This warm berry smoothie is spiced with cloves, anise and cinnamon and brightened with fresh citrus. In Ecuador, naranjillas (an orange/pomegranate) and mortiños (a tart pea-like berry) are used, as are the leaves from oranges and lemons and ishpingo (the flower of the cinnamon plant). I’ve made some substitutions based on what’s available in our mountain climate. Serve warm or cold.
- 3 cups blackberries, fresh or frozen
- 2 cups blueberries, fresh or frozen
- 6 cups water
- 1 cup coconut water
- 2 cinnamon sticks
- 3 pieces star anise
- 4 whole cloves
- 1 cup cornstarch dissolved in 1 cup cold water
- 2 to 3 cups sugar, depending on the sweetness of your berries
- juice of 1 orange
- juice of 1 lime
- juice of 1 lemon
- In a 7-quart saucepan, bring six cups water, berries, coconut water, cinnamon sticks, star anise and cloves to a boil. Simmer for 20 minutes.
- Add the cornstarch (dissolve in one cup of cold water first) and sugar, and cook over low heat for another 10 minutes.
- Remove the spices with a spoon (all but the cinnamon sticks will float to the top).
- Stir in the orange, lime and lemon juices.
- Cool slightly, and blend until smooth in a blender.
- Serve warm or cold.