Pre-apocalyptic Blackberry Basil Smoothie

by Gena on June 30, 2012


Sorry for the interruption in our regularly scheduled CR programming, folks! If you’re in the DC/ NOVA area, then you know that an epic rain, wind, and lightening storm on Friday night left a ton of folks—myself included, at least for part of today—without power, internet, or proper cell reception. For people like me, who are remorselessly internet dependent, these hours are difficult. Thankfully, my Mom was visiting, so any anxiety related to the power outage was channeled into making her feel comfortable and not stressed out. How, you ask?

Well, there were pancakes:


And there was tea and conversation in the Hobbit garden.

On Friday afternoon, before my Mom arrived and the apocalyptic weather began, I whipped a deep purple, beautiful, and tasty basil blackberry smoothie.

Basil and blackberry you say? Why, yes. I use fresh basil in everything during the summer, from pestos and salads to grain pilafs and slaws. I adore basil, and I’ll pretty much use any chance I get to add it to my food. In the last two weeks alone, I’ve shown off my adoration of this herb with my parsnip rice with basil and spring peas, and, on Thursday, my lemon herb quinoa with spring peas and basil.

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Basil may not seem like an obvious add in for a smoothie, but the other day, when I whipped up a lunch salad that included blueberries and basil, it occurred to me that the same kind of combination would be great in a smoothie. Lo and behold, a little googling revealed that I’m not, in fact, crazy (or if I am, it isn’t because such a smoothie sounded good). Blackberry and basil is a tried and true combination, and if it weren’t, I’d be telling you to try it anyway. It’s absolutely delicious; sweet, surprising, and summery.


Blackerry and Basil Smoothie (raw, vegan, gluten and soy free)

Makes 1 large or 2 mini portions

1 cup blackberries
1 medium or large frozen banana
1 scant cup almond milk
1/2 tsp vanilla extract
1 small handful basil leaves, washed

Blend all ingredients together till smooth and creamy. Serve with a sprig of basil!


Power outages aside, it’s piping hot here in the district. More and more, cold, blended drinks are becoming a daily part of my routine; either a really nutrient dense smoothie (with hempseeds or chia seeds, a vegan protein powder, maybe some nut butter, greens, and the like) for breakfast on a weekend (I don’t like transporting them to class, so they’re not a weekday breakfast option) or a lighter, fruitier mix for late afternoon refreshment. Combinations like this remind me that something so simple—the addition of a mere herb—can make an otherwise predictable smoothie sing.

What was the last unexpected smoothie combination you tried?

With that, I’m getting back into the swing of things with some late afternoon work and focus. I hope you all enjoyed your weekends, and I’ll see you back here tomorrow! On the menu this week:

  • A new pancake recipe (Mom approved)
  • A new cookbook review
  • A simple, summery potato salad

And more. Till soon!


NB: I’m submitting this recipe to Ricki’s Wellness Weekend!

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{ 32 comments… read them below or add one }

Ali Seiter June 30, 2012 at 9:34 pm

MAN, do I absolutely adore basil in smoothies! I even have my own recipe, a Blueberry Basil Smoothie, that utilizes the subtle flavors of avocado and banana to highlight the basil’s sweet tang. Cilantro also pairs wonderfully with mango, pineapple, and peaches in smoothies.

Much love and support, as always!


Lisa @ The Raw Serenity June 30, 2012 at 9:35 pm

This smoothie sounds as good as it looks!
I have never tried that combo before so I’m more than happy to try it out :)
Cant see why I didn’t think of it before as parsley is such a common ingredient in juices.
The power outage it probably just what you needed so you could completely unwind and focus on spending quality time with your mum :)
Lisa x


Hannah June 30, 2012 at 9:38 pm

Mmmm! This does look tasty. Watermelon and basil are also a popular combination in the summer! And strawberry.

My brother is in Baltimore, I wonder if they were affected too. I made banana soft serve this morning for breakfast but I also added nut butter, hemp protein, and cacao. It was very tasty, and made it less of a dessert and more of a meal!


Alex June 30, 2012 at 10:46 pm

That smoothie looks absolutely delicious! Quick question, are you using fresh blackberries of frozen? Looking forward to reply, thanks!


Shira June 30, 2012 at 11:45 pm

Looks super gorgeous Gena! My pre-apocalyptic smoothie today (we are experiencing epicly bizarre weather here in Raincouver) included watermelon, mint, strawberries, and lime – so good! I love the idea of adding basil to smoothies!


Averie @ Averie Cooks June 30, 2012 at 11:54 pm

love the title and the looks of this smoothie.

sorry you were without power and that happened to us last summer in San Diego…husband traveling, 4 year old child, no power for about 36 hours…it was a big eye opener from the elevators to the fridge to the internet just how dependent we all are!


Hannah July 1, 2012 at 5:44 am

I love rosemary in desserts/sweets, so I can definitely see basil being wonderful here!

I’ve not had a power outage for some time, but I can’t tell you how many times I’ve come home from work to no water. Apparently, there’s one water main/switch for the entire complex of something like a hundred apartments. It drives me crazy; once it was off for eight hours.

That said, while I couldn’t use the bathroom or get a drink of water, I still had internet, so perhaps you had the worse deal ;)


homestead mommy July 1, 2012 at 6:33 am

That smoothie looks delicious! We are in Ohio and got hit bad by that storm. We aren’t supposed to get our electric back until the 10th of July. :( I will have to give your recipe a try when the electric comes back one.


Alexia @ NamasteYoga July 1, 2012 at 8:07 am

wow that smoothie looks intense!! i usually only get such a dark colour in my smoothies if i add concentrated blackberry powder! looks amazing! I havent tried basil in my smoothies, I usually add herbs to my green juices but use leafy greens only in my smoothies, maybe i will have to switch it up soon! this one looks great! i love the deep purple colour!


Nicole July 1, 2012 at 8:14 am

I love fresh herbs in smoothies! Strawberry basil is also very nice. I’ve been in love with cilantro, cinnamon, banana for a while. Banana, maca, vanilla, and mint turned out to be a lovely combination too. If I can track down some blackberries, I will be making this :) It looks beautiful!


Ricki July 1, 2012 at 11:11 am

So sorry about the power failure! Glad you had your mum with you, though–I bet being together made it easier for both of you. And I agree about basil–it should really go in EVERYTHING in the summer! Gorgeous smoothie. :)


The Delicate Place July 1, 2012 at 3:29 pm

it was crazy down there! yikes! glad everyone is safe! i have been trying all kinds of crazy green smoothie/puddings/savory soups via a green smoothie app by raw family. just today i made a figgy pudding and a basil cabbage soup to enjoy as part of my lunches/dinners to start the week! basil is one of my favorite herbs and i have been enjoying tons of fresh fruit —hey gotta store up while we can since fall will be apple city and that’s it in terms of fruit right? i’m living the life of an island princess right now (papaya, pineapple, figs etc). some of my favorite flavors are when sweet meets savory but when pushed i tend to gravitate towards the savory.


Bitt July 1, 2012 at 3:46 pm

Mmm blackberry basil sound good. Hope you are staying cool.


Liz July 1, 2012 at 3:51 pm

I made this smoothie exactly as you posted it, and it was phenomenal. (Next time I might add a splash of balsamic vinegar, just for kicks!) Thanks for the recipe!


Carrie (Carrie on Vegan) July 1, 2012 at 6:49 pm

I’ve been adding purslane to my strawberry/banana/peach smoothies, but I don’t necessarily want to taste the purslane. Good for getting my omega-3s though! I DO love the taste of fresh mint in my nearly everything, I’ve been adding it to lentils for a Greek flavor and to smoothies…it brightens the flavor of whatever it’s paired with. I have some basil on my counter, will have to try your blackberry/basil combo! Glad you survived the storm, Gena.


Jennifer July 1, 2012 at 10:54 pm

I discovered the blueberry basil combination one day when I went to South Block Smoothie & Wrap Company in Arlington, it was delicious! Thanks for the reminder about it though, I need to start making smoothies like this again :)


Stephanie July 1, 2012 at 11:24 pm

YUMMMMM!!! :) Will definitely make this drink again! Thanks Gena :)


Ilana July 2, 2012 at 2:13 pm

A few summers ago I got strep and I was sure it was just a cold so I tried to burn it out with herbal smoothies. I hit on a favorite: blackberry, mango, banana, kale, ginger, mint, basil, and lavender. HUGE herbal hit over the fruit and ah ma zing. This just reminded me I need to do that again. Maybe without the ginger now that I’m not sick…


Revitalize with Stefania July 2, 2012 at 3:00 pm

That looks so refreshing and delicious. I hate when we lose power, I lose my mind and feel trapped! Hasn’t happened so far here this summer but it happened once or twice this past winter.

Check out my blog for a chance to win a great ebook this week!


Theresa July 2, 2012 at 3:20 pm

This sounds great. I am a huge basil fan especially this time of year when I can pick it from my herb garden. Lately, I have been putting sweet basil in my iced tea instead of mint. It is my new favorite summertime beverage and so easy. Just brew some green tea, throw in some sweet basil and squeeze of lemon…done. :)


WonderfullyWorthy July 2, 2012 at 5:28 pm

This meal looks so nutritious and lovely. Thanks for creating such a great post!


Lisa July 2, 2012 at 8:40 pm

My favorite green smoothie includes basil. It’s called “Thai Me Up Green Smoothie” from Kris Carr’s ebook “Crazy Sexy Juices and Succulent Smoothies” I will definitely give this one a try!


Bonnie July 3, 2012 at 12:29 am

This looked so good I picked up the ingredients last night and made it today. I’m hooked! Thank you!!!


Jade July 3, 2012 at 1:38 am

Post apocalyptic indeed! While on one hand it does seem like several natural disasters are happening right here in our home country, we really only notice them so much because they’re so close to home. True or not, though, I’m sure this smoothie is great anytime!


Bam's Kitchen July 3, 2012 at 6:39 am

Perfect timing for this heat wave we are having here in Hong Kong. I make smoothies every morning for my youngest teenager and this one is really different. Will have to give it a try. I am happy that Sumptous Spoonfuls gave you a mention so that I could find your great site. Take care, BAM


Anne:) July 3, 2012 at 11:13 am

Like you, I love basil. Heck, I have four types of it growing in my herb garden! I just never, ever thought of putting it in a smoothie, but when I read your post I could ‘taste’ it all together and it sounded so yummy. You inspired me!

I didn’t have blackberries, but I did put this little concoction together and it was scrumptious… Even my seven and five year old LOVED it!

basil (I used lemon basil, but any type would do)
honey (locally grown)
Peach tea

Blend and drink.

It was so good that I wished I had more of the ingredients! :)

Thanks for your YUMMY recipes.


Ella @ Lifeologia July 6, 2012 at 12:35 pm

Love Love Love this!!!
Would love it if you shared this at my Potluck Party ;)
This would be a beautiful addition to our Summer Drinks theme ;) xoxo


Gracie July 8, 2012 at 4:50 pm

Aw! I’d love to see pictures of your hobbit garden!


Jennifer March 14, 2013 at 8:55 pm

Oh My! This Blackberry & Basil Smoothie is Crack!!!! Thanks so much for the recipe. I love Basil & Cilantro in smoothies.


Beca June 18, 2013 at 1:31 pm

Delicious! Thanks so much for the fresh idea!


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Lisa Ann Mitchell December 14, 2013 at 12:44 pm

Blackberry food is awesome. Thank you.


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