The most amazing things in the world are also often the most elusive. For instance, I was just watching the show Blue Planet with my little brother (we’re both biology nerds and I for one could watch echinoderms for hours), and the episode we watched was on the abyss, where many of the species are unknown to science. The abyss is home to the creatures that are the stuff of legend even today, such as the giant squid, which has never been seen alive. Most people – especially those who don’t habitually watch nature programs – are never really exposed to such fascinating creatures as the glittering bioluminescent firefly squid and the chambered nautilus. But as science and technology advance, even the distance of 4000 meters and the elusive nature of many of these creatures cannot keep them forever obscured from the lens of science and even the fascinated eyes of the everyday public.
I visited a nearby aquarium on a class field trip today, and discovered they had installed a new exhibit dedicated to the little-known, yet captivating world of abyssal life. Things that had previously only lived in textbooks and on the television screen for me were now available before my eyes (and at my fingertips as I got to touch a moon jelly.) Fantastical creatures such as spiny crabs and giant isopods (sea roaches) were brought up from the depths of their natural home to serve as ambassadors in educating us surface-dwellers about their elusive relatives deep in the sea. It was both sad and exciting for me to see this – shy creatures usually prefer to remain that way, but their presence likely served a noble purpose in helping to make the public care about them, and to make information about them less elusive to the scientific world.
This post deals with a smoothie-making technique that eluded me for some time, much like the giant squid continues to evade human capture. But I’m sure this smoothie tastes much sweeter that a 60-foot-long cephalopod!
For years I have dreamt of making some sort of swirled smoothie – a drinkable work of art with two different colors of flavorful libations swirled together in some sort of marbelized effect. But all my attempts at creating this mouthwatering masterpiece have failed, as the two flavors always wanted to just blend into one single-colored, homogenous mush. However, recently I was able to make a significant stride towards accomplishing my swirled-smoothie dream with this Tropical Fruit & Crème Swirl Smoothie. While the swirl was not perfect, the two different-colored smoothies did stay relatively separate:
In terms of taste this was a total success. The two flavors balanced one another in perfect harmony: the colorful swirl of tart tropical fruits tastes delicious when paired with smooth, sweet vanilla/banana crème. I added cream cheese to the crème smoothie, which added just a subtle, yet delightful, tang, as well as a smidge more protein and calcium.
Enjoy this artistic smoothie with your eyes for a moment before devouring it with your mouth! And feel good about eating this yummy work of art, for it contains several servings of fruit and is a good source of fiber, protein, calcium, vitamins, and minerals. Beautiful inside and out!
Tropical Fruit & Crème Swirl Smoothie
for crème swirl
- 1 banana
- 1/4 cup plain almond milk
- 2 Laughing Cow brand Creamy Swiss cheese wedges
- 1/2 cup Greek vanilla frozen yogurt (I used Oikos)
for tropical fruit swirl
- 1 whole nectarine, cut into rough pieces
- 2-3 fresh strawberries, with leaves removed, halved
- 1 cup frozen fruit of choice (I used mango and pineapple, in keeping with the tropical theme)
- 1/4 cup plain almond milk
First, make the crème portion of the smoothie: Place 1/4 cup almond milk, banana, Laughing Cow, and frozen yogurt in blender. Blend until smooth. Pour into desired serving glass. Place in freezer while you make the…
Tropical fruit portion: Place nectarine, strawberries, frozen fruit, and 1/4 cup almond milk in blender. (Reserve one strawberry for topping if desired.) Blend until smooth.
Remove crème portion of the smoothie from freezer. Pour tropical fruit portion gently onto crème portion and swirl in with a spoon. Top with additional strawberry slices if desired. Enjoy!