Friday, June 26, 2015

Banana macaroon smoothie

banana macaroon smoothie

Recently, thanks to the wonder that is the internet, a certain issue has come to my awareness. No, nothing important like trade bills, or presidential elections; this issue deals with linguistics, which sounds like a very dry subject compared to such flashy newspaper-worthy things.

According to Wikipedia: “Linguistics is the scientific study of language.” (And from here on out please acknowledge that I am talking out of my ass, meaning I am not an expert in any way and am merely running on my assumptions about a complex field—so please correct me when, not if, I am wrong.) That would obviously mean that linguistics isn’t some silly little book of orthographic rules or one person’s interpretation of how you should pronounce certain things (Worcestershire, anyone?). It is scientific. Therefore, linguists must use the scientific method and analyze things critically and do whatever the hell scientists do (does anyone really know?).

I have also learned, in running around the internet, that all linguists (at least the good ones) are descriptivist. What does descriptivist mean? And what about its not-so-scientific counterpart, the prescriptivist? Well, this video does a good job of explaining.

Basically, descriptivism is the study of language as it has evolved naturally and the way that it is used. This article will give you a good idea of the descriptivist mindset (it certainly did for me). Among linguists, there is no “good grammar” or “bad grammar”, but only hypotheses about language usages that can, with enough evidence, become conditions of correctness.

The article gives the example of subject-verb-object order used in English. It is an order rarely broken in normal conversation and therefore has become a “correctness condition” of Standard English. That’s not a universal rule, of course—in Latin, which I actually started taking this year, the standard sentence structure is subject-object-verb; the subject is nearly always at the start of the sentence and the verb is nearly always at the end of the sentence, which makes translations a hell of a lot easier. Other orders are not incorrect, but they are less common and mostly used for emphasis.

And then you have the prescriptivists.


Those are the dictionaries, the Grammar Nazis, the English teachers with red pens in hand, who tell you what is correct and what is incorrect and dictate their arbitrary rules for usage even if they result in such jarring sentences as “Remember me, who am your friend”. They are the ones who deride your filthy, illiterate, non-Received Pronunciation way of speech.

Maybe I am bitter after years of dealing with teachers who, through conspicuous omission, told me that my adherence to nonsensical rules of grammar (e.g. split infinitives, comma placing, etc.) was more important than my actual writing, mostly ignoring things like cadence or word choice—you know, stuff that actually matters in the realm of writing! I distinctly remember hearing from one teacher a few years ago that my use of quotation marks and commas (something like that) was a hallmark of my writing and was uniquely mine. That made me die a little on the inside.

But no matter! Now, we can rise up against the prescriptivists.

A caveat—yes, we do need a little bit of prescriptivism for society to maintain its incredible level of literacy and to organize our sprawling, globalized languages. But there are problems that linguists (and even I) have noticed with this perspective.

Perhaps most importantly, prescriptivism encourages elitism by purporting that the dialect of one social class or race is more important than another’s. Indeed, Wikipedia gives the definition of “linguistic prescription” as “the practice of elevating one variety or manner of language use over another”. In American English, this “variety or manner” has inevitably been that of the upper-class white man. Consider dialects like African-American Vernacular English. Seen by many as a lazy way of speaking, ridden with slang and grammatical missteps, it is actually just another dialect that has its own internal logic and grammatical structures, etc. Yes, you wouldn’t want to use a dialect like AAVE in an academic paper (it is more suited for a casual setting), but who the hell cares? Not a descriptivist.

I know, it sounds crazy. When I first heard about this whole world of linguistics, I was a little unnerved. I was a filthy prescriptivist for the longest time, advocating for the use of “well” over “good” and “fewer” over “less”, standing in the way of split infinitives and seeking to normalize comma usage with a vengeance. But no longer. I’ve learned to unclench myself and just...

"Let it go, let it go homie" source

Yes, I still like to distinguish between their, there, and they’re; yes, I still worry about spelling at times; but I don’t get in a huff if someone violates one of those hundred million arbitrary rules set in place by old, white men writing dictionaries three hundred years ago.

Looking at you, Noah. source

Think you might be one of those filthy prescriptivists? Ask yourself: do you
  • Insist that sentences should never ever oh god please no end in a preposition?
  • Say “the plural of octopus is octopodes”?
  • Care about split infinitives?
  • Think the use of “literally” for emphasis is terrible and represents intellectual decline in our society?
  • Hate pop culture words like “bae”?
  • Regularly have arguments about the Oxford comma?
  • Resist the use of “they” as a gender-neutral pronoun?
  • Believe the habitual be is a hallmark of illiteracy despite all evidence otherwise?
  • Describe yourself as a “grammar Nazi”?
Then I have something to tell you: YER A PRESCRIPTIVIST, HARRY. Literally. You are so not bae. To really be a descriptivist, you have to embrace change no matter where it comes from.

And so that concludes my poorly-informed spiel about language and other shit nobody cares about. So let’s get on to this smoothie. 

Much tastier than those dirty little prescriptivists.

Today’s recipe is also from Seriously Delish; and while smoothies aren’t something I make often, I’m super excited to share this one with you.

Mostly because of the toasted coconut rim. Just look at that. Isn’t it charming?

At least a little bit?

Shockingly, I’ve actually never used toasted coconut in a dessert before. I know, I know. It’s quite simple to toast coconut, though—just toss a handful in a nonstick pan and place over medium heat, stirring consistently until it turns a nice golden-brown. Boom. Toasted coconut. If you use sweetened coconut, the toasted coconut alone will taste like a macaroon.

But it gets better—this smoothie not only uses toasted coconut but frozen bananas (perfect for making thick, creamy smoothies) and coconut water. Do be sure to peel your bananas before you put them in the freezer, though—don’t be stupid like me and leave them on and expect to be able to peel them easily while they are about as hard as small, curved bricks.

Here’s the recipe.


Vegan banana macaroon smoothie

Adapted from Seriously Delish by Jessica Merchant

Serves 2


354 grams • frozen bananas • 3 medium

360 grams • light coconut milk • 1 ½ cups

366 grams • coconut water • 1 ½ cups

245 grams • nondairy yogurt (see if you can find coconut yogurt to go with the macaroon theme!) • 1 cup

20 grams • shredded coconut (sweetened or unsweetened), toasted • ¼ cup

8 grams • vanilla extract • 2 teaspoons

Agave nectar, for the glass


Combine banana, coconut milk, coconut water, yogurt, 10 grams • 2 tablespoons toasted coconut, and vanilla extract in a blender. Puree until smooth and creamy.

To rim glasses with coconut, put a drop of agave nectar on your finger and rub along the glass rim. Place remaining toasted coconut on a plate and turn the glass upside down onto the plate. Press coconut onto the nectar to adhere. Pour smoothies into each coconut-rimmed glass. Drink up.


Look at that smoothie. Fancy as shit.

Making this coconut rim has made me want to try the technique with other little flaky foods. How about...sprinkles?

It's already been done to death and back?? ...Fuck. source

If you liked this smoothie, check out these other coconut-y recipes.

Gluten-free carrot bread with cardamom and coconut. It’s like carrot cake, but healthy!

Chocolate layer cake with chili and coconut. Still one of my favorite layer cakes on the blog.

Chocolate coconut zucchini cupcakes. Perfect use for the overflow of zucchini to come.


  1. I love the addition of coconut yogurt. This looks so decadent and healthful! Great recipe!

    1. Thank you Kennedy! It tastes like dessert in a glass, but is actually pretty healthy :)

  2. Ha! I like to make sure my grammas is correct, unless I am just chatting with friends online or am just having one of those days where spelling isn't top priority :P I am pretty sure though, that I do not tick all the boxes for the prescriptivists, maybe somewhere in between? :P

    Anyway, that smoothie looks amaziiiiiiing :D And I love the cute little rim on the glass too, t'is charming indeed :D Thanks for sharing! I know a shop that sells cheap coconut milk, so I am sooooorteeeed! :D

    I hope you have a lovely weekend ahead! x

    1. Ah, I was mostly saying all that in jest anyway, there is nothing wrong with being a *little* bit prescriptivist! I think linguistics are pretty interesting so I thought I'd share some "fun facts" :P Glad you like the smoothie!

  3. A mcaroon smoothie sounds awesome! I am a big coconut fan so can't wait to try this! Love the toasted coconut!

    1. Hope you do try it! very simple but very tasty :)

  4. Amazing flavours! Bananas and coconut rock together..I can imagine how this would taste. Love the way you decorated it with toasted coconut!

    1. I agree, it really is a great combination! Thank you for stopping by :D

  5. This smoothie is amazing! That's exactly what I need! Thank you so much for the recipe!