I am fortunately/unfortunately a morning person. This sucks the most on weekends when most people want to relax and sleep in and I am up and ready to go at 6am! Sure I have quiet time, and can drink my coffee and read the paper, but I don't like to eat alone and am usually famished by the time the rest of the house wakes up.
But after I watched her make the Vanilla Bean Coconut Water Smoothie, I was hooked. Not a big fan of smoothies, I was intrigued by the 5 ingredients that were needed for this. First off, I couldn't imagine slurping down a glass of Greek yogurt. This ingredient to me was only to be used as a substitute for sour cream on my baked potatoes, and not the main ingredient in a drink. What sold me was the use of the vanilla bean. I've never baked, cooked, or done anything with the actual bean, so I had to try this. Add the honey and mint, which I love, and I was sold. When watching the show for this recipe, Claire suggests using the honey to taste and she only put half of her honey/water mixture in. I tried this, but didn't like that I could still taste the tartness of the yogurt, and ended up just putting in all the honey/water. I also couldn't wait the 10-15 minutes for the honey/water to cool, so I put a few of the coconut water ice cubes in the pan to speed up the cooling. Coconut water can be found in specialty grocery stores. I have a Mexican grocery store Vallarta (that has well priced vegetables) where I bought 2 cans of the water (1 can fills 1 tray), Wholefood's Market or Trader Joe's are also other grocery options. The recipe says to use 1/2 a tray, but again, I used the full tray to cut the tartness of the yogurt. It all depends on your taste. I like sweet, with just a tiny bit of sour. Check out the Claire's recipe page for the full recipe as well as other comments on the recipe.
my finished product
1/2 cup honey
1 vanilla bean, split lengthwise
2 cups Greek yogurt
1 teaspoon torn fresh mint leaves, plus sprigs for garnish
Coconut water, frozen in ice cube tray (approximately 1/2 tray) (I used a full tray)
Combine the water, honey and vanilla bean pod in a small saucepan over low heat. Simmer for 7 to 9 minutes, stirring occasionally, to allow the vanilla to infuse into the honey. Remove the vanilla pod and allow the mixture to cool completely, about 10 to 15 minutes. (I added a few coconut ice cubes to help speed the cooling time)
In a blender, combine some of the vanilla honey with the yogurt, mint and 1/2 tray of frozen coconut water cubes, or more for desired consistency. Puree until smooth, then pour into glasses and garnish with a sprig of fresh mint. Serve immediately.