This morning I was looking through all my food as I packed my lunch for work. There was a very very ripe pear in my fruit bowl. I picked it up, and it was extremely soft and bruised. My first instinct was to throw it away. And as I was walking over to the garbage, I remembered a blog I read one time about saving overly ripe fruit for smoothies. So I set it on a plate to use when I got home.
During the day I was thinking of what else to add to the smoothie. In the spirit of using only ingredients I had at home, I thought of the vanilla rice milk in the fridge. Then I thought it needed some sort of protein and thickener, which the almond butter was perfect for. And once I got home, I remembered the shredded coconut in the freezer which would give it a tropical spin.
So many variations can occur with this recipe. Any overly ripe fruit will work, such as bananas or peaches or unsweetened applesauce. The pureed fruit makes a thick nectar that would also serve as a base for a good sauce. Any sort of milk such as cow's milk, soy milk, almond milk or yogurt would work. Any nut butter such as cashew or peanut could replace the almond butter. Ground flax seeds would be a nice addition too. If you are looking for a 'smooth' smoothie, I'd leave out the coconut because it is a bit chunky. But if you feel like chewing your smoothie, add it!
Double or triple the recipe if you are making this for several people. The recipe below was just a small after work snack!
Pear Almond Smoothie
Makes about 4 oz.
1 ripe pear
2-3 tbsp vanilla rice milk
1 tsp almond butter
1 tbsp shredded coconut
Cut pear into large pieces and puree in a small food processor or blender with rice milk until smooth. Add almond butter and blend. Add coconut and blend until fully integrated. Add extra milk if you want a thinner smoothie. Pour into a pretty glass and take a swig!