Sunday, September 7, 2014

Green Drink

Salads are wonderful. As a gardener and vegetable lover, I love salads. In fact, if I had to write a list of favorite summer things, salads would be on it. (The rest of the year here is just too cold to eat large, fresh salads!) But I have a not-so-secret secret: my favorite way to eat my veggies is to drink them.

This past week has been unseasonably warm. Normally we're approaching fall here, which means cool, crisp September days. Our current highs have been in the upper 80s and 90s, full of humidity. In order to avoid turning on the stove - and to get cool refreshments into our system - we've been enjoying smoothies galore.  Mom doesn't usually measure quantities so gathering recipes can be difficult. (She is a master in the kitchen, an intuitive food genius - a talent that I did not inherit, except, perhaps, for pasta dishes.) But, consider yourselves lucky! I managed to get this homemade recipe off of her.

Since we use a Vitamix, I cannot promise how this drink will come out in a regular blender. Odds are, it will not be as smooth and well-blended. (Hopefully just as delicious. though!)


3 large leaves of organic kale. (Remove the leafy greens from the spine and stem. Do what you will with the stem and spine of the kale - composting is great! - but you'll want the greens for this).
1 handful of organic baby spinach
1/2 organic pear juice
2 cups water
3 cups of frozen organic mixed fruit (mango, pineapples, and strawberries).

Yield: ~32oz (4 8-ounce glasses)

My family and I are used to some pretty green smoothies. We started off with berry smoothies and progressively migrated to green, vegetable-filled ones. For us this is sweet enough as-is; however, others might find it is not what they are used to. Sweetness can be added by putting in organic honey  or increasing the quantity of berries and fruit. 1/2 of a frozen ripe banana (one that was allowed to sugar) can also be used as additional sweetener. Keep in mind with more frozen fruits used, it might become necessary to check the consistency of the drink after blending in order to thin it with more water.

I also do not recommend this drink as a meal. Often we drink this as a side to our meal for our vegetables, or the precursor to our meal, to get the digestive system going in the morning before protein. We never drink our smoothies without following with a protein of some kind. Protein is hugely important in preventing blood sugar spikes, including ones caused by natural sugars in fruits.Another thing we often do is drop in 1/2 an avocado for healthy fat. Healthy fats also decrease blood sugar spikes and help satiate you. Plus healthy fats in a diet help to maintain good nerve health. With a family history of nerve disorders and Alzheimer's, and more...I want to keep myself like a well-oiled machine. (Pun not intended, I swear! ;) ) In case you're interested in trying avocados in the drink, know that avocados will give the drink a smooth consistency and may give it a "greener" taste (although we haven't experienced this). If it is too much, add in more fruit. Eventually you'll accustom to it. My suggestion would be to try the drink without the avocado first, with any other adjustments, and then add in the avocado. It's easier to not-add than to take-away!

Happy drinking!


  1. I am trying so hard to get into green smoothies because I know I don't eat enough fruits and vegetables but they just taste so gross to me. Plus I'm allergic to berries and pineapples :( It makes putting together a good smoothie hard. I drink Breakfast Carnation for breakfast and I think I am going to start making that a pb banana chocolate smoothie!

    1. That does make it hard. But not impossible! Try and find recipes with peaches, apples, bananas, or pears in them. (Even melons!) In this drink, for instance, you could substitute any of these for the berries until you got a flavor you can handle. When we started, we had to do much more fruits than veggies, in order to get a flavor we liked.

      We also started off with apple-carrot juices (not smoothies). Carrot juice and apple juice (fresh) combined. I can see if I can find the recipe for that one for you, if you'd like. It's from a recipe book, I think.

      Pb, banana, chocolate smoothies are amazing! I have one for breakfast on my early morning days. I add in some organic Hemp powder and also use Amazing Grass' Green SuperFood Powder Holiday Blend: Chocolate Peppermint to add in more nutrients. (I tend to be really nutrient deficient with my health, so I try to compensate wherever I can.) Then I'll even add an Organic powdered Vitamin C, for extra antioxidant action. Trader Joe's has had a really tasty organic/fair trade not-too-expensive chocolate hemp protein powder, too, I think. The organic stuff can be expensive, but you might be able to find cheaper, non-organic versions. By might, I mean you can!