January. That dreariest of months here in Charlotte, NC.
The Holy Days and the holidays are over. All of ’em.
Work picks up again with a vengeance, and it’s already dark when we quit for the day. But, unlike in December, there are no cheerful Holiday lights easing our drive home.
Carolina blue skies turn gray and the temperatures suddenly drop from the 60’s and 70’s to below freezing. We’re taunted with the possibility of blizzards and wind up disappointed when we don’t even get enough snow to look pretty and instead, have to face the nuisance of power outages and city-wide milk-and-bread shortages.
To add to the general despondency, in the spirit of making New Year Resolutions, most of us have just spent some time considering our weight, our finances, our relationship status – everything wrong with ourselves and our life, and all the myriad ways we could “improve.”
And that is why NOW is the perfect time for Zip-a-Dee-Dooh-Dah Smoothies. Full of Vitamin C and potassium from oranges, Vitamin A from carrots, and the anti-inflammatory and warming action of ginger, these smoothies are guaranteed to put a smile on your lips, a song in your heart, and zip in your dooh-dah!
Seriously, ginger is an amazing herb for boosting the immune system, which makes it a perfect partner for the Vitamin C and bioflavanoids in oranges and the antioxidants in carrots. Additionally, ginger is known for improving circulation and increasing blood flow, which can not only make you feel a little warmer during these cold winter months, but can also improve libido for both men and women.
Ingredients for Zip-a-Dee-Doo-Dah Smoothies:
2 Large Organic Carrots (or an equivalent amount of Baby Carrots)
1-2 Inch Knob of Ginger
1/2 Cup Orange Juice, Water, or Coconut Water*
Directions for Zip-A-Dee-Do-Dah Smoothies:
Peel and segment the oranges; remove seeds. Toss in blender.
Wash and peel carrots. If you have a high-powered blender, just chop into smaller pieces. If your blender is not-so-powerful, you might prefer to grate the carrots instead (or whirl in a food processor.) Add to blender.
Peel the ginger. Again, if you have a high-powered blender, just chop it a little; if not, you may want to grate it.
NOTE: Ginger can be a little hot and peppery on the tongue, so if you are new to ginger or not sure what your spice tolerance is, start with about a 1 inch knob, or about a tablespoon grated. You can always add more to your smoothie and re-blend, if needed.
Add 1/2 cup of your desired fluid. If your oranges and carrots are very sweet, water or coconut water will be fine. If your oranges are a little sour, orange juice will give it needed sweetness.
Blend until smooth. It should be a day-glo orange color. If it’s not, add a little more carrot. If it gets too thick, add a splash of water.
Enjoy! Soon, you too will be singing, “My, oh, my, what a wonderful day!” and believing there’s plenty of sunshine heading your way!
You can alter this recipe as needed. Nectarines or tangerines could easily be substituted for the oranges, if that’s what you have available.
If you don’t have a high-powered blender, you may want to prep this recipe the night before. Even though I do have a high-powered blender (thanks, Daddy!) I’ll sometimes prep the night before because it does take more time to peel fresh oranges and carrots than it does to simply toss some frozen berries and bananas in the blender.