January is always the toughest month for me for cooking. There’s a post-holiday malaise that hangs over the kitchen. I try to balance the excesses of December with austerity, but it’s hard to get excited about much of the seasonal produce when the pickings are slim. Oh, I like root vegetables and cabbage and squash but sometimes I need a break from all of that.
Sometimes I need a break from everything.
For the first time in our adult lives, we didn’t travel anywhere for the holidays. Dan and I had the luxury of waking up in our own bed on Christmas morning, of exchanging presents under our tree. Of lazing around, eating a variation on these cinnamon buns for breakfast, meeting a friend for a viewing of Star Wars in the afternoon. It was all marvelously relaxing and easy.
I so enjoyed the relaxation that I decided to take a real break from everything. We didn’t have our New Year’s brunch this year–it turned out we didn’t have the energy and motivation–and it felt oddly freeing to skip it.
In the last few weeks, I’ve been taking a break from ambitious cooking, from taking meticulous notes with everything I cook.
And it’s been great.
I’ve finally started itching to get back and play in the kitchen, to find that little spark of inspiration, to feel the desire to get back to work.
Which brings me to this cranberry clementine smoothie.
It’s a way to ease back into cooking with January’s brightest jewel-toned fruits. It takes about two minutes to make. It’s creamy and citrusy and nutty and gets smoothed out with a splash of vanilla. There’s no added sugar or sweetener. It’s vegan and gluten free. And it makes a lovely simple breakfast when you’re trying to reset for the new year.
Looking for another smoothie recipe? Try this pineapple mango ginger green smoothie.
Cranberry Clementine Smoothie
- 2/3 cup frozen cranberries
- 2-3 clementines peeled, 2 medium or 3 small
- 1 banana fresh or frozen
- 1/4 cup sliced almonds
- 1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract
- 1 tablespoon flax seeds optional
- 1 tablespoon protein powder optional
- a few ice cubes
- Add all of the ingredients to a blender. Blend until smooth. Pour into a glass. Serve.