It is 4:00pm, and my mysterious neighborman can see I am dusting little flecks of melting snow off my shoulders. What he cannot see is that I am pondering how I might cut a deal with the universe to give away my first born child for an all-expenses paid vacation to a warm, sunny destination. I am thinking of a place where popsicles cannot help but melt and beads of sweat leave unwanted stains in unwanted places. A place where my swimsuit feels like too much fabric, too hot, and the cool ocean breeze whispers faintly reminiscent songs through my frizzy mop of damp hair.
This destination is not here in Wisconsin.
It is nowhere within thousands of miles of where I live, yet I take an odd comfort in these thoughts while murmuring a small guilt-ridden apology to the first-born child that I hope to one day have. I swear kid, that was not me talking…it was a crazy lady fed up with a thing called winter.
But March gives hope.
It lends itself to a wishing…a waiting…and a hoping that doesn’t seem so far away. Asparagus will be in season shortly followed by the annual abundance of summer squash and fresh tomatoes and strawberries picked fresh from the vine. My bike will escape storage, and a tune-up will be needed to ensure it’s ready to cruise the bike paths all summer long. The humidity will come and along with it, an uncontrollable mop of curls that will inevitably be put up into a ponytail nearly every day. The warmth of the sun will shine brightly on down and my skin will soak up every little ounce of it (and along with it, a thick layer of SPF).
Spring, I am ready. I am ready to trade in hot bowls of chili + cornbread for giant farmer’s market salads. I’m ready for crunchy veggie sandwiches in place of lentil soup and heaping plates of pasta and comfort food. As good as it is, my thighs need a break and a very large salad.
But until then, I will continue to wait patiently. I’ve got my own version of paradise in the form of smoothies made with my new obsession – Almond Breeze Unsweetened Almond Coconut Milk. It reminds me of suntan lotion and beaches and all those warm thoughts that get us cold weather-living people through the dreary months of winter. Plus, if you’re allergic or sensitive to lactose or soy, it’s a great “milk” alternative for both your smoothies and whopping morning bowls of cereal.
So go on and drink up. I know I did. All three glasses of this smoothie below, to be exact.
Blood Orange Tropical Coconut Smoothie
Prep time: 5 minutes
2 blood oranges, peeled and deseeded
1 cup frozen pineapple
1 cup Almond Breeze Unsweetened Almond Coconut Milk
2 scoops vanilla protein powder*
1 large handful baby spinach leaves
optional add-ins: 1 tablespoon chia seeds or flaxseeds
optional toppings: granola, peanut butter, oatmeal
*I use Tera’s Whey protein powder, which is locally made here in Madison
Blend all ingredients in a food processor or blender until smooth. I like my smoothies on the thicker side, so if you prefer a thinner consistency, add a bit more almond coconut milk. Get crazy and top your smoothie with granola, a drizzle of peanut butter or raw oatmeal.
Makes two servings
[This post is sponsored by Almond Breeze, all opinions are my own.]