Friday, June 24, 2011

Green Smoothies

I've been hearing about green smoothies for a few years now from many, many different sources. They are touted as the latest health miracle, keeping cancer at bay and doing all sorts of good things for your body. While I can't verify or deny the health claims, I do think it's a good idea for all of us to up our intake of greens. I've made a few green smoothies with that end in mind but it's such a pain to try to keep fresh greens on hand. Well, today I made a discovery. (And there are probably tons of people out there who already know this, but it's new to me.) FROZEN GREENS WORK IN GREEN SMOOTHIES! They are so much easier to buy (I can get them at my local grocery instead of trucking out to Whole Foods) and keep on hand. (Frozen lasts a lot longer than fresh.) I can make green smoothies whenever the mood moves me, much to the chagrin of my children. (They just want regular fruit smoothies, hold the greens, please.) Today I made one that was absolutely perfect! I'll give a sort of recipe here, but it's one of those "throw it all in there" kind of things. I don't have amounts for you for every ingredient, but I'll estimate a few of them. It also helps to have a high powered blender; I have a Vita Mix that I love, love, love.

Here's what I blended up:

~ 4 to 6 pitted dates (they are the sugar for the smoothie)
~ frozen collard greens (about a cup)
~ pineapple juice (enough to wet everything down so the blender would work and not freeze up)
~ 1 banana
~ about a tablespoon of coconut butter, maybe a little less (it was the bottom of the jar so I just threw in the remainder; it gives a nice pina colada flavor)
~ frozen fruit to fill the rest of the blender jar to about 3/4 full: strawberries, blueberries, pineapple chunks, mango chunks, peach slices

The dates don't want to blend up with the whole batch or by themselves (they stay too chunky with everything or stick to the sides of the jar by themselves) so I threw them in first with just one or two of the next ingredients and some of the juice and blended that up before proceeding with the rest of the ingredients. With so much frozen fruit you have to use the plunger to get it all going. Blend it all to smithereens and don't look at the color. If you use blueberries, it's not really a green smoothie, it's more... brownish purple. Drink in a dark room. If you don't use the blueberries it's a neon green, also not normally a color you would think of for something you eat, but it works. It's amazing how something that looks so odd can taste so absolutely delicious, but it really does!!

There are a lot of other green smoothie recipes out there that use a lot more greens than I do, both leafy green veggies and green fruits like grapes, honeydew, and apples, and a lot of them come out with more visual appeal than my recipe, but not more flavor! Some of them are sweet like mine, some are more grassy if you like that kind of thing, but they are all so good for you. Cure cancer? I don't know, but a yummy glass full of fruits and veggies can't hurt!

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