Friday, May 3, 2013

Jockey Juice: A Smoothie by Julie Morris and the Perfect Mint Julep Alternative

It seems as if Old Man Winter has finally released us from its icy grips and is steadily retreating into spring! And nothing says spring quite like putting on an over-sized hat, sipping a refreshing minty beverage, and watching a small man (or woman, Go Rosie!) abuse an animal around a track! Obviously, I’m refereeing to the Kentucky Derby and the enduring Mint Julep.

Regardless of how you feel about the event, the Mint Julep is a classic for this time of year, especially if you are located below Mason’s and Dixon’s line! Just look at this excerpt from a letter penned in 1936, by a Lieutenant General Simon Bolivar Buckner, Jr to a friend of his who requested Buckner’s Mint Julep recipe:

“Your letter requesting my formula for mixing mint juleps leaves me in the same position in which Captain Barber found himself when asked how he was able to carve the image of an elephant from a block of wood. He said that it was a simple process consisting merely of whittling off the part that didn't look like an elephant.

        The preparation of the quintessence of gentlemanly beverages can be described only in like terms. A mint julep is not a product of a formula. It is a ceremony and must be performed by a gentleman possessing a true sense of the artistic, a deep reverence for the ingredients and a proper appreciation of the occasion. It is a rite that must not be entrusted to a novice, a statistician nor a Yankee. It is a heritage of the Old South, and emblem of hospitality, and a vehicle in which noble minds can travel together upon the flower-strewn paths of a happy and congenial thought.”

While I’m slightly offended by this guy’s insistence that a Yankee can’t do something (and personally I prefer the term “Winner” over Yankee) I can offer a perfect, healthy, and incredibly delightful alternative to the Mint Julep that any novice or even statistician can make and enjoy all summer long while still maintaining the quintessential essence of a bourgeois drink that will most certainly result in “happy and congenial thought.” And better yet, there is a simple formula to follow!

The Mint Chip Smoothie is one of the stars of Julie’s new collection of Superfood Smoothies, and is delicious, refreshing, and the perfect way to welcome the warmer days ahead! It is as much a ceremony as it is a drink. 

Mint Chip
2 cups frozen spinach
2 cups frozen bananas
1/4 cup raw cashews
3 tbsp cacao nibs
2 tbsp (packed) fresh mint leaves, minced
1 tsp vanilla extract
2 cups rice milk (original variety)
1/2 cup coconut water
1/4 tsp chlorella
Sweetener, to taste (optional)

Blend all the ingredients together until smooth. Taste, and sweeten as desired.

Makes two 18-ounce servings.

A quick note, I didn’t have frozen spinach but fresh spinach worked just as well. I also substituted the coconut water for regular water. It was simply amazing! I’d also add, that while the chlorella adds a beautiful blue-green color as well as a nutrition boost, don’t skip this recipe just because you don’t you have it in your pantry! The recipe works without it as well!  While I immensely enjoyed this radiant smoothie last night after work, I think it is really going to shine after a long hot bike ride or run!

Cheers and enjoy the festivities this weekend

Reprinted with permission from Superfood Smoothies © 2013 by Julie Morris, Sterling Publishing Co., Inc. Photography by Julie Morris.


  1. I still can't get behind the green smoothies; it's a mental block. Swear it doesn't taste like spinach?

    1. Abby, I promise you can't taste the spinach at all! And you haven't had a proper green smoothie until you make it in a real blender!!!

      Instead of tasting like your lawn, this has a fantastic and nuanced chocolate mint taste.

    2. but you are also super taster so maybe you will taste the spinach? Just try it!

  2. What a beautiful photo! I'm going to pick some mint up on my way home. Excited to try this!!!

    1. Tried it. LOVED IT!