Berry season is maybe the time of year I’m most excited for. You can get apples, bananas, oranges and whatever else all year long, even sometimes strawberries, but blackberries, raspberries and blueberries are special and really only taste delicious in the summer time. You don’t bite into a strawberry in December and have to run to the sink to avoid having the juice that’s running down your arm drop onto the floor. You don’t pick through a basket of raspberries in February, looking for the one that’s a little orange and a little red because you like how it looks a little tie-dye and is therefore that much more fun to eat. And you barely even see blackberries or blueberries in the colder months – maybe in warmer states you’ll find them, but in New York, you will usually only see them start to peek out in April and by September, they’re gone until next year. The one thing I will miss about working in Manhattan is walking through the farmer’s market in the mornings and knowing what’s in season because you can smell it, and there’s nothing as fragrant and wonderful as the smell of summer berries. It almost makes up for the putrid subway smell. It’s almost like the berries were my reward for wading through the stank of the subway, and man, it does not get more polar opposite than summer time NYC subways and summer time berries. But let’s not focus on that, shall we? It’s berry season and I want them on my yogurt, spooned over fresh whipped cream and, more importantly, on top of a big stack of pancakes. Banana pancakes, if possible.
When ALOHA contacted me recently about partnering up for a recipe, at first I wasn’t sure. I don’t consider myself to be a super healthy blogger. I would never use the hashtag #fitness or #workbitch or whatever it is that people who live in Lululemon like to tag their photos. But, hey, I figured, why not try something new? They sent me some of their ALOHA smoothie packets and some of their coconut oil based chocolate. First of all, as someone who generally tries to watch her carbohydrate intake (see: starts crash dieting like an idiot a week before she knows she has to go to the beach), the chocolate was freaking awesome. It was low in sugar and low in carbs, but I still felt like I got to enjoy some rich, dark chocolate. Once I tried that, I was like, okay, maybe these ALOHA guys aren’t so bad after all. Then I got to the Berry Blend packet – I threw some in a cup of plain yogurt to see what it was all about. And I was sold. It was really good and it’s packed with lots of vitamins and nutrients and all that good stuff. I didn’t want to make a regular ol’ smoothie or anything with it, though, so I figured I’d meet the health and fitness world halfway and throw this good-for-you powder into my favorite breakfast food: pancakes. As previously stated, banana pancakes are my pancake of choice (surprisingly – nay, wrongly – Kramer prefers regular pancakes), so in some sliced bananas went. I of course had to use some fresh berries as garnish, because not only are they juicy and beautiful, but there’s nothing quite like juicy berries drenched in sweet maple syrup. It’s heavenly.