Thursday, February 2, 2012

Viva La Green Smoothie!


There are a lot of blogs out there dedicated to the benefits of green smoothies, with good reason. Imagine eating the equivalent of an entire salad, with a whole head of lettuce or kale or spinach or chard along with the juice of 4 oranges, and a basket of strawberries and a whole mango in one setting. Imagine how good you'd feel after drinking one of these! And would you believe it that this concoction is delicious as well? That once blended you don't taste the green part much at all? And that because the greens are already pulverized that the benefits of all that chlorophyll and all those vitamins and all that fiber are immediately available to your body for digestion? You actually get more out of the greens this way than in a salad because the blender does all the work.

A few years ago, my veggie voyage took me down the raw food road for a year. Although I don't follow that eating regime any more, I learned a great deal about nutrition as well as unorthodox food preparation, much of which I share on this blog. One lesson we learned was the value of a good blender. I think that if you are to buy only one fancy kitchen toy in your life, it should be a high power blender like a vitamix or a blendtec. The super-blender is an amazing tool, that we use multiple times each day for salad dressings, dips, smoothies, juice, almond milk, sauces, blended soups...you get the picture. They are expensive, but absolutely worth the investment. That's all I'm gonna say about this now.

Back to the green smoothie. There is no one way to do it, although here are some pointers that I can give you for the best results.

GREEN SMOOTHIE TIPS
  • Lettuce, Spinach, and Chard make the smoothest smoothies. Kale, while good, is more difficult to pulverize and more bitter. Arugula: blech. Dandelion greens: bring 'em on! (especially if you've got these growing in your back yard.)
  • Frozen fruit: mangoes, strawberries, peaches, etc. are great
  • A few oranges, juiced, add sweetness and necessary liquid.
  • Blueberries are tasty but have pectin which makes the smoothie thicken with time.
  • Fresh young coconut meat plus its water add electrolytes and creaminess. Find them at an Asian market.
  • Reds mixed with greens make a brown smoothie. Looks bad, tastes good.
  • Raspberries taste really good, but be ready for the seeds in your teeth.
  • A couple handfuls of frozen bananas result in a soft serve texture. Peel and slice bananas and then freeze them. Pull out as many as you need to make your smoothie.
  • Dates soaked in water add sweetness and energy.

GREEN SMOOTHIE BASIC FORMULA
(for 2-3 people)
  • 1 head of greens
  • 2 cups of liquid (juice, coconut water, etc)
  • 2-3 cup of fresh or frozen fruit
 Put everything in the blender and blend til smooth. Taste and adjust accordingly.

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