Meet My Two New Best Friends (plus: winners!)

My blender:

And my green smoothie:

Ahhh... green smoothies. A little bit of sunshine on a grey February day. I realize that for some of you, that doesn't look very appetizing. Should have wiped off the edge of the glass. Just trust me on this one: Once you try a few, you'll recognize the green goodness of these concoctions.

Earlier this year, I did a raw food trial - I ate only raw food for ten days. I? Loved it. Loved. it. I felt light and free and energetic. Me! Energetic! The most energy I've had recently is when I ran from the couch to get the Trader Joe's Candy Cane Joe Joes from the kitchen and back.

I first heard about eating a raw diet from an interview on NPR, with the authors of the cookbook Raw. I thought it sounded interesting, but I didn't think it would be for me. Last year, I kept getting hints that I needed to improve my diet. I made a soul collage card, and all the pictures I picked and put on my card were of raw fruit; I didn't consciously do that, I just grabbed the pics I loved, and that's how it ended up.

Reading about Steve Pavlina's raw trial and subsequent way of eating was intriguing, but again - nah, not for me. Well, maybe. OK, maybe I'll add in a little more raw food each day.

I started thinking seriously about it this fall. I heard that eating a raw diet increases your intuition, and that was a big motivator. I knew something had to change. I was thinking this coming Spring, when the farmer's market opened, I'd start. THEN, my Dad got me a Target gift card for Christmas. As soon as it was in my hands, I wanted to get a blender. Forget about the trash can we need in the office, and new measuring cups (mine got melted!), or clothes. I was picturing a blender.

So off to Target I went. Target is right beside Trader Joe's here, so after I got my blender, I walked over to Trader Joe's and loaded up on organic bananas, pears, kiwi, pineapple, spinach, clementines, kale, sugar snap peas, and broccoli, before I even knew I was doing it! It was like I was on auto-pilot. OK! Raw trial starts tomorrow! That's cool.

The blender I got is 700 watts - pretty powerful for a department-store blender. Lots of people who eat a raw diet use either Blendtec or the Vita-Mix, but my Target Michael Graves blender was under $40, and it does a GREAT job.

So I did it. It was EASY. I didn't miss anything. I wasn't craving anything. I would eat three or four clementines at a time, loving every bite. HUGE salads, of iceberg (love the crunch!), spinach, apples, avocado, lemon juice. And - green smoothies. How I love thee, green smoothie!

Here's an example of one recipe:

All the ingredients are laid out - 1/4 of a pineapple, juice of one lemon, one whole kiwi (peeled), 1/2 cup blueberries, 1/4 lb. spinach. (all organic) (Thank you, Trader Joe's!)

I add the liquid first. You can use just water, too, or fresh orange juice - anything, really! Rum, maybe?

I use a celery stick to unstick the fruit from the side of the blender - then I don't need to worry about the blade accidentally nicking some plastic something. I can then throw the celery stick in at the end, or just it eat. After the initial unsticking, everything usually blends smoothly.

Yummm, kiwi.

I didn't get a shot of the blueberries going in, but that's why it's pink/purple! I put the spinach in one handful at a time, lots and lots of spinach.

Blend, blend, blend. The blender I got has a "smoothie" setting, and it really gets everything all mixed in.

Yum. Yum. This smoothie was tart, 'cause of the pineapple and lemon juice. Really tasty.

The simplest smoothie I've made is 2 - 3 bananas, 1/4 lb. spinach, and water to blend easily. That smoothie is prettier, it comes out a bright green color, without the blueberry bits in there. AND - it tastes like just the bananas! I've put in HUGE handfuls of spinach, and it still tastes like the fruit. Another recipe, with no pictures:

1/4 pineapple
2 kiwi
juice of one lemon
couple chunks fresh ginger
5 strawberries
2 whole kumquats, de-seeded
~ 1/4 lb. spinach (several big handfuls)
several leaves kale
water to blend smoothly (~ 1/2 cup)

Now THAT one's very refreshing. You get little bits of kumquat rind. Obviously, I'm not eating locally. When the organic farmer's market opens weekly this Spring, I'll incorporate more local produce. We do have one open every other week through the Winter, but that's hard to get to with no car, and I'm hopelessly bad at asking for rides.

I'm not eating a raw diet right now, but I still start every day with a green smoothie - it's like a vitamin/mineral shot at the beginning of my day. Highly recommend it.

Annnnd, we need winners, don't we?

All right, writing down names and pulling from a hat, we have:

Winner of the book - tysdaddy!!

Winner of the feelgood list - hahamommy!! (Otherwise known as Diana -this is the second thing she's won on my blog!)



carri said...

Fantastic timing! I've just been thinking about smoothies and now I have some great recipes to start with. Thanks Caren!

Anonymous said...

I did a few years as a CNA at a nursing home. All this smoothie talk reminds me of the pureed meals I'd have to shovel down the maws of patients who couldn't tolerate solid foods anymore. All that choking . . .

But, there's something about the color green . . .

And thanks for the book! I am eagerly awaiting its arrival . . .

P. S. My Word Verification for submitting this comment is "minguify". Sounds like something one would to do make a smoothie . . .

Byron said...

You are my inspiration. For real.

Cynthia said...

I drink green smoothies too! At least I did. It was difficult to face a cold green smoothie during the winter. I am hoping to get back to it though. Last year, I spent two months eating high raw and never felt better. Why did I quit?!

piscesgrrl said...

My husband makes a green smoothie almost every day and if the right fruits are in it, my kids will drink a bit too. I should start doing that more. I've been on the candida diet a lot lately so I'm avoiding many fruits, but once I get my system rebalanced I can go back to smoothies. I miss them!