A few weekends ago, I traveled to Olympia, Washington with my parents to attend the wedding of my sister Lori’s daughter, Jennifer. I loved spending time with my family in a beautiful albeit rainy part of the country!
Here in New England we say that April showers bring May flowers, but in the Seattle area they have rain all year long, so the flowers are plentiful. For the wedding and reception, a bunch of us got together to arrange flowers in dozens of Ball Jars. And you thought Ball Jars were just for canning …
Reception food has a reputation for being so-so … but not this event. Jen’s wedding featured a veritable ocean of seafood—raw oysters, curried mussels, and geoduck, which you’ll learn all about in next week’s Cooking with the Moms podcast. Lucky for all the guests, Jen works at Taylor Shellfish Farms in Shelton, WA, so we were treated to the freshest, most flavorful shellfish you could imagine.
Don’t you think these oysters look like shimmering jewels? The raw bar was beyond beautiful … and it turns out that oysters are also super nutritious. They’re brimming with heart-healthy omega-3 fats, immune-boosting zinc, vitamin B12, iron, and lots more. Despite their nutritional benefits, I’ve never gotten past the ‘yuck factor’ of eating them raw … until the wedding.
I decided it was high time to brave it out, and so I bellied up to the bar for “exclusive” Shigoku oysters, which Taylor Shellfish describes as, a small, dense, cornucopia of an oyster with a light, clean taste of cucumber and salt, and a finish of water chestnut and Jerusalem artichoke. The culinary verdict: I loved these oysters. In fact I went back for seconds … and thirds!
My dad is an oyster-eating pro. His technique: Top with a bit of Tabasco and a squeeze of lemon and just toss ‘em back …
After all the overindulging at the wedding, the next morning my sister offered to make the berry and kale smoothie that she and her husband have for breakfast every day. Feeling brave after a night of raw oyster eating, I happily accepted. Check out all the healthy ingredients in her shake including cod liver oil (omega-3!), berries, and freshly picked kale from the garden. You’d think my sister was the dietitian in the family!
Makes 1 Serving
Lori says the mix of ingredients in her Vitamix shake is pretty flexible. Sometimes she adds a spoonful of peanut butter or yogurt for extra protein or swaps the water for 100% fruit juice. If you plan to pack in a thermos or a to-go cup for an on-the-go boost on the way to school or a sporting event you may want to leave out the chia seeds and psyillium powder since they tend to make the shake thick and gummy if you wait too long to drink it!
1. Place the water, banana, blueberries, mixed berries, protein powder, flaxseed, chia seeds, cod liver oil, kale, and psyllium powder as desired in a blender and blend until well combined. Pour into a glass and enjoy.
Okay, so it’s not a Northwest beer, but it was refreshing and oh-so healthy!