making smoothies at night

Since I left work two hours early Friday, I’ve gone through a few boxes of tissues, several packets of Emergen-C, four bowls of chicken noodle soup, twice daily rounds with the neti pot, hot compresses on my eyes, Vicks on my chest, an entire season of a television show online, some reading in Best Food Writing 2009, a little bit of Food Network and, mercifully, an entire 15-hour block of sleep from Saturday into Sunday that, I’m pretty sure, is a miracle in itself considering all the constant nose-blowing.

I mean, I knew it was cold season, but, people, I haven’t taken sick time at work since Saint Patrick’s Day. A few months ago, when everyone was sniffling and sneezing, I somehow was fine, and so I kind of thought I must have a pretty great immune system or something. Cue the line, Pride cometh before a fall.

frozen blueberries
orange and banana
making a smoothie
banana to smoothie

The thing about getting sick is it reminds you how weak and vulnerable you can be. It doesn’t really matter how much you want to clean the bathroom or go out shopping or meet your friend for brunch; you can’t do it. Your body can’t do it. And so, while you tuck yourself beneath a pile of blankets and think about all the things you were planning to do, you become content to do the one thing you have to do: nothing. Or at least nothing besides the above-mentioned list of home remedies and entertainment/distraction. (What do you all do when you’re sick?) That, and make smoothies.

finished smoothie

Ah, smoothies. Where else can you take a bunch of fruit, nothing else, and in a manner of minutes, have something as delicious as dessert? I’ve grown very attached to this new habit, this way of drinking my vitamin intake.

And you know, actually, in some ways, it was kind of nice that, on a day when snow came again to Chicagoland, I didn’t even notice. When people were rushing around shopping malls, I was sound asleep. It’s just a few days before Christmas and, here I am, slowed down and quiet, sipping through a straw.

Homemade Blueberry-Orange-Banana Smoothie
I think I’ve made a total of four of these in the last week, yes, I am serious. The first time, I needed a little sweetener to make it taste better, but by the last time, the natural sugars in the fruit were plenty. In fact, basically everything here is optional but the frozen blueberries, which give a great consistency to the shake, but you could also freeze whole bananas ahead of time for the same effect.

1 orange, peeled and sectioned
about a cup of frozen blueberries
1 banana, peeled
maybe a couple Tablespoons of milk
four ice cubes
sugar/sweetener, if necessary

In a blender, a food processor or, best of all, an immersion blender, combine orange pieces with blueberries, and add banana. Pour in a little milk to get it the right consistency if you’d like. Last, add the ice cubes to give it those awesome ice chunks throughout.

Shanna Mallon

Shanna Mallon started Food Loves Writing back in 2008, as a way to remember her grandma and write about her life through food. Since then it's become a place leading her to a lifestyle of eating whole foods, a new home in Nashville and the love of her life, Tim. Follow Shanna on Twitter @foodloves, keep up with Food Loves Writing on Facebook and stay inspired with the monthly newsletter.

This Post Has 21 Comments

  1. Joanna

    I love smoothies. I hate being sick and admitting that I can’t push through it. I hate having to stay in bed, but I’ve gotten a lot better in recent times at admitting when I need the rest and not pushing myself too hard. It takes me much less time to recover that way.

  2. giao

    love such a healthy, tasty treat. rest up your sweet head. hope you feel better soon!

  3. Anne

    I think the holiday season demands smoothies. I am healthy (at the moment) but have been far to lax with the vitamins. One of these could be in my future…

  4. Jacqui

    and you still found time and energy to write a lovely post. hope you’re feeling better! what show did you watch?

  5. Shannalee

    Joanna, I can’t tell you how much better it made me feel to read that you understand. The learning comes slow for me sometimes (most of the time) but you are so right: it pays off to stop and rest.

    Giao, Thank you, sweet girl!

    Anne, Yes, it does. This time of year, when germs are EVERYWHERE and the weather is changing and so on, we should be pumping ourselves up with vitamins! I totally believe that now.

    Jacqui, You’re kind. I have to say, it was a lot easier to lay in bed, typing on my laptop for an hour Sunday afternoon, than it was to take a shower, which I never did end up doing. Priorities, ha! Oh and it was Brothers & Sisters. Guilty pleasure.

  6. kate

    I’ve had such weird desires for smoothies, something this winter dweller isn’t used to really craving. I love keeping frozen blueberries on hand for just that use though. Adding a pinch of ground cardamom to the mix before whirring it is so delicious, as is ground flaxseed. The more nutrients, the better! I hope you feel better and can enjoy a wonderful Christmas!

  7. Jennifer

    Sorry you’ve been sick — feel better! I also share your love for smoothies. Good stuff!

  8. Sarah Kate Branine

    Mmm yummy! I’m going to the grocery tonight and everything on this recipe is on my list;-) Get well soon!

    Merry Christmas!

  9. Jessica

    Sweet baby jesus this looks amazing. I want one SO BAD. Ugh your photos are so gorgeous, I just love them.

  10. Tim

    well well well… looks good… the smoothie that is. I mean, the fruit looks good by itself too. I mean the blender looks cool too… I mean of course it does. I mean.

    Let’s see… it has been so long… but when I get sick, I go for tea. Tulsi tea is excellent. White and green tea. And kombucha! I am guessing you can’t hack kombucha though.

    RM-10 is great too.

  11. postcollegecook

    omg the neti pot! I’ve heard it’s both amazing and disgusting.

    Try adding spinach to your smoothies — you won’t be able to taste it and it will pack in even more vitamins.

  12. Danielle

    Awww I’m sorry to read that you’re ill! Hope you’re feeling better as I write this and that the vitamin-packed smoothies have taken effect, just in time for Christmas!

  13. Emily

    We are in the same boat! An avid juicer, I thought I’d be spared the cold season too, but alas not. I’ve had my emergen-c also, and my smoothies (frozen banana, coconut water and nutmeg is pretty sublime too, though this morning I too had blueberries in mine!). I hope you feel better soon!

  14. jessiev

    i’m so very sorry you were so ill – UGH i loathe that. the smoothie idea is brilliant – and anything with blueberries is a REALLY GOOD THING. glad you’re feeling better!

  15. Megan Gordon

    Vitamin C party! Wow…so sorry you’re not feeling well. I just got over what sounds to be the same thing and I have to say, Mucinex was my savior. It’s a little pricey and you actually have to wait in the pharmacy line to get it which is always a bummer, but it’ll clear you up! And smoothies certainly help, too :) Feel better!

  16. Susan

    I was in the exact same boat as you all last week and most of this week. For what seemed like the first time this year, I got sick. I wish I had a blender…

  17. Jennifer

    I hope you recover soon. With this remedy on hand, I think it’s in the cards…When sick with a cold, I rely on the Traditional Medicinals cold tea sampler. It works wonders. Even flushes cheeks with their familiar rosy hue. 😉

  18. Shannalee

    Kate, Oh, ground cardamom is a great idea! I am going to try that next.

    Jennifer, Thank you!

    Thanks, Sarah. You’re so sweet!

    Jessica, MAKE ONE! So easy, so delicious. We’re talking 15 minutes, tops. Really.

    Tim, Of course it has been so long since you’ve been sick. Of course. I love tea – never heard of kombucha or RM-10 but what, I can’t hack it?? I think this is a challenge.

    Postcollegecook, Spinach! Brilliant! And yes, the neti pot is a must. Hilarious and crazy but so helpful, I swear.

    Danielle, Well, there was an unforunate half hour last night where I had an ice pack shoved against my FIRST BLOODY NOSE EVER, right after a great smoothie, not that they’re connected, but today I’m feeling much better. I’m not 100% there yet, but I’m closer than I was. And I’m able to breathe most of the time, so you know, that’s good.

    Emily, Nutmeg! I love all the cool spice options people are suggesting. Love this idea!

    JessieV, Bought this giant frozen bag of blueberries and boy, it’s been coming in handy, ha!

    Megan, The one thing I hate about Mucinex is all the coughing up of stuff. I know that’s probably what I need but, gosh, it’s unforunate when you’re sitting at your work desk, you know? I may have to bite the bullet over Christmas.

    Susan, Wow, you too, huh? But you’re better now? OK. That gives me hope. Wish you had a blender, too! But the little immersion ones are cheap. And so easy to clean!

    Jennifer, I hope so too! And I need to go get myself some medicinal tea tonight. Sounds lovely.

  19. Kim

    I got a Magic Bullet blender in college, which is THE perfect single-serving smoothie tool. I love that thing. And the best part about being sick is having the perfect excuse to stay inside huddled up watching bad TV all day!

  20. Shannalee

    Kim, I quite agree. Hibernating is the redeeming factor, no question.

  21. Pingback: Breakfast is Beautiful « We A.R.E. in the Kitchen

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