“What do you give a ghost for breakfast? A BOOBERRY Smoothie, of course!” – Great Aunt Martha
My Aunt Martha was always the pun-ny one in the family! She was also a very imaginative cook – especially when it came to making food for children. She understood the value of “playing with your food” and making food fun. An eerie dark purple smoothie or milkshake, a fun, seasonal straw, a new name – “Booberry!” – and suddenly this basic berry smoothie/milkshake was a completely different drink than the blueberry smoothie/milkshakes she’d made for me in July.
My six or seven year old self viewed this purple brew as a magical elixir as I sipped it, exploring Martha’s (huge to me then) wooded back yard, looking for brightly colored autumn leaves for crafts and wondering where all those big black birds came from. We never saw them in Charlotte, except in the late autumn/early winter months. The natives called these large groups of crows a murder. Occasionally, there’d be larger birds, slightly scarier looking birds, traveling in pairs and croaking hoarsely.
Maybe I should have been scared. But I felt invincible, with my magical booberry smoothie, and as long as I was respectful to wildlife, wildlife was usually very respectful to me. I can remember sitting long October hours in the grass, just watching things.
“Quoth the Raven, Nevermind,” Martha would say when I asked her where those big black October birds came from.
I think I was about eight or nine when I finally read the famous Edgar Allen Poe poem and was able to respond something smart-alecky like, “Well, they will be rapping tapping tapping at your front door – only the birds, and nothing more.”
So here is Martha’s (veganized) Booberry Smoothie recipe. Instead of vanilla ice cream, or milk and vanilla extract, I used unsweetened vanilla almond milk. (With the banana, this smoothie should be plenty sweet enough – if not, maybe you need to reconsider the amount of sugar you are used to in your diet.) October is also not the season for fresh blueberries, but in this case that’s a good thing – frozen blueberries give an even darker purple color. Martha also always added a pinch of nutmeg, I think – but that may be something you want to try only with adults, unless your children have a more sophisticated palate.
Ingredients for Booberry Smoothie (Single Serving):
1/2 Cup Frozen Blueberries (for deepest, darkest color; fresh is fine but will be paler)
1 Frozen Banana
1 Cup Unsweetened Vanilla Flavored Almond Milk
Pinch of Nutmeg (Optional)
Directions for Booberry Smoothie
Add all ingredients to blender, whirl until smooth.
Serve in Halloween mug if possible, with a festive, reusable BPA-free straw.
Bonus Recipe … October Sunshine
I’ve shared this recipe before, but I’m sharing it again as it is a perfect October recipe. Not only is it Day-Glo orange, but it’s full of vitamin C, vitamin A, and anti-inflammatory ginger – perfect to ward off a cold or speed up healing of a cold or flu. Use more ginger for adults, a little less for the kiddos.
Ingredients for October Sunshine (One Large Serving)
2 Large Organic Carrots (or an equivalent amount of Baby Carrots)
1-Inch Knob of Ginger
1/2 Cup Orange Juice, Water, or Coconut Water*
Directions for October:
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. (If you are trying to recover from a cold, feel free to add more ginger.)
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.