As a kid, I hated bananas. You could try to hide it in bread, slice it and slather it with peanut butter, freeze it and cover it in chocolate; I wouldn’t eat it.
Fast forward to today, and I can’t get enough of the fruit! From “ice cream” to smoothies and eating it in its purest form, the banana has become a staple of my diet.
Recently, I’ve been experimenting with smoothie recipes in my blender, and like a mad scientist, concocted my best recipe to date. A banana, some blueberries, greek yogurt, almond milk and a spoonful of peanut butter are all blended together and make my PB&J Smoothie.
1/2 frozen banana, sliced
1/4 c. fresh blueberries
1/4 c. plain greek yogurt (I’m partial to Chobani, but any brand will do)
1/4 c. unsweetened vanilla almond milk (I use Blue Diamond)
1 tbsp. creamy salted (or unsalted) peanut butter
Directions: Measure and pour into blender. Blend until smooth and creamy. Pour into a glass, add a straw and enjoy!
Now, my relationship with blueberries is a bit newer, but I’ve jumped into it head first. Smoothies, atop of greek yogurt, or just by the handful, I love this antioxidant-rich fruit so much that I’ve even put it on a sandwich. Yes, you read that right, a sandwich.
It was a bit of a splurge (calorically), but it was the Super Bowl and I decided to treat myself.
I give you the oh so humbly named… The Best Pulled Pork Sandwich in Existence
The Best Pulled Pork Sandwich in Existence
Shredded Pork Shoulder (recipe adapted from The Kitchn)
4-5 lb. pork shoulder, bone in
1 tablespoon brown sugar
2 teaspoons cumin
1 1/2 teaspoons paprika
1/2 tablespoon salt
1 teaspoon pepper
1 tablespoon pork rub (mccormack grillmates)
1 tablespoon olive oil
2 medium yellow onions, peeled and cut into wedges
4 cloves of garlic, peeled
1 14-ounce can diced tomatoes (I used a can of hunts tomato sauce)
1 ½ cups of beer, wine, or broth—I used a combination of Malbec red wine and chicken broth (1-cup wine, ½ c. broth)
Directions: I followed the directions provided by The Kitchn to a tee. Instead of a dutch oven (No college student can afford one of those ceramic beasts), I used an aluminum pan that can be thrown out afterwards.
•1 to 1 ½ cups of fresh (or frozen) blueberries—depends on how strong you want the blueberry in the finish product
•2 cups water—you may need to add more, just watch how fast the liquid reduces
•1 tablespoon honey or sugar
•Juice from ½ of a lemon
•4 tablespoons balsamic vinegar (more or less to taste)
Directions: Add the blueberries, water, lemon juice and honey to a small saucepan and cook over medium-high heat. Keep close eye on it and stir frequently. When it begins to reduce, turn down the heat to medium and add the balsamic vinegar. Check the doneness of the sauce by how well it coats the back of a metal spoon.
As for the bread, I used foccacia rolls from Trader Joe’s, but a whole wheat bun or flatbread would be great. I toasted the bun in a pan I lightly sprayed with some canola oil. Now, I let the bread char just a little on the edges…okay, I accidentally toasted it a bit too much, but the it ended up working fantastically with the pork.
For the final touches, top the pork with a handful of arugula (its peppery bite cuts through the richness of the pork and the sweetness of the sauce), drizzle a spoonful of blueberry sauce, place the other half of the bun on top and… Go. To. Town.