When was the last time you said ‘I love you’ to yourself?
Was it with a quiet day at the spa?
A cucumber eye treatment with a purifying avocado, kale and lemon masque perhaps?
Prior to a few days ago, that would have been my idea of self pampering. I’m great at wearing green veggies on my face and while I’m sure they do a world of good when it comes to detoxing my pores, I’ve always had this nagging feeling that if I could just manage to ingest those putrid tasting greens, then I would be much better off.
Where there is a will, there is a way, no?
So when Nicola from g-freemom invited me to participate in D-tox January: a month of juices, smoothies and g-free soups, I decided to seize the moment and finally conquer the dreaded green smoothie!
And yes, I figured it would help that I cannot smell or taste.
I suppose I could have just gone about this like I typically do, find someone else’s recipe, make a tweak or two (like adding just one little green leaf and maybe a splash of something else to help the smoothie go down) then hope for the best. Not this time though, I needed to do some some research on how to go about making delicious green smoothies that my kiddos husband and 3 year old would drink too (my 7 year old eats Brussels sprouts like popcorn, so he was in the bag).
I struck gold when I found this fantastic book by Victoria Boutenko: Green Smoothie Revolution: The Radical Leap Towards Natural Health.
This book is a quick and easy read, but packed full of really great information. Victoria has a wonderfully informative guide to making green smoothies so that you can reap all the benefits. It’s a little more complex than simply throwing various fruits, vegetables and greens in a blender. Victoria answers the common questions regarding green smoothies which you can check out here.
Victoria’s concept of a “green smoothie” might not be the same one you have in mind right now. When I tried to make a green smoothie a few months ago, I filled my Vitamix with…well, green stuff. All that wholesome kale, dandelion green, lettuces, cabbage, etc., add a little water, some Greek yogurt, flax seed and VOILA!!! An absolutely disgusting blend of liquefied creamy chlorophyll. Oh JOY!!! Let me just chug that down with some bacon fat or something, because I may as well go eat the grass in my backyard with our dogs.
So here’s the trick that Victoria discovered and has absolutely mastered with her recipes: fruits have a stronger flavor than greens. I remember four or five years ago when my husband got into juicing for a month or so. He would make this carrot, tomato, beet (BEET?) concoction but would throw an apple in there; and it tasted like apple juice with some carrot flavor. Granted, it was bright red from the beet (BEET?) but at least it didn’t taste like dirt.
It’s true. You can sneak all kinds of nutritious greens into your smoothie as long as you include lots of fruit: apples, oranges, pears, bananas, mango…go for it. Victoria does say not to add anything but fruit, greens and water to a green smoothie…no fats (like nuts, seeds or oils), supplements or starchy vegetables (like BEETS!). Apparently, these additions can slow down the absorption of nutrients from the fruit and greens…and can cause irritation and gas (which explains a LOT as to why Mike’s juicing phase only lasted a month)!
We started out using Victoria’s Beginner Green Smoothie recipes and I took her advice in the book for when it comes to introducing green smoothies to the green adverse. The first few times I put the smoothie in an opaque cup (with a lid) to hide the green contents from my 3 year old. Imagine my delight when he finished it and asked for more “apple juice!” HAHA!!! Luke now loves his morning smoothie, although he does ask for one that’s blue.
That’s okay, the greens are still in it!
Luke’s “Blues Clues” Smoothie
(makes about 6 cups)
We use nothing but organic produce in order to eliminate the chemical pesticides.
2 cups Water
1 Banana, chopped into 4 pieces (I like to use peeled, frozen bananas)
1 cup Blueberries (fresh or frozen)
1 Apple, quartered and seeded
1 Pear, halved and seeded
1 Orange, peeled
1 handful of Dandelion Greens
- Blend, Pour and Enjoy!
I wouldn’t have believed it, had I not made the smoothie myself!
So I got a wild hair yesterday and added Bubbies sauerkraut (I kid you not) in a smoothie that included kale, mango, apples and a pear. When Mike tasted it, do you know what he said? “Tastes like banana.”
Funny that there were no bananas in it! So when I told him there was sauerkraut in it, he made this look like I had just stolen money from his wallet or something. So if this works on an intelligent and flavor discerning 37 year old man, imagine how effective it will be on my husband kids (oops, did I just say that?).
“You Won’t Guess What’s In Me” Smoothie
(makes about 7 cups)
3 cups Water
2 Apples, quartered and seeded
1 Pear, halved and seeded
1 cup frozen Mango
1 handful Kale
1/2 cup Bubbies Sauerkraut
- Blend, Pour and Enjoy!
Literally, just a handful of Kale!
If you’ve never tried Bubbies Sauerkraut, you are missing out! This is not the same kind of sauerkraut you get in a can, it is not sour at all and in fact, it has a slight sweetness to it (compared to the canned stuff). From what I can remember, I would describe it like a mild dill pickle. The cabbage is nice and crunchy, not soggy and limp like the canned sauerkraut. Due to the way it’s made, it is full of healthy probiotics and I need all of those I can get! I eat this stuff every single day, straight from the jar (no need to heat it up), and I never get tired of it.
So go ahead and grab a green one…and start loving yourself from the inside out!
This post is also linked to Seasonal Sundays over at Real Sustenance.
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