I thought a follow-up post would be a good idea given the lengthy amount of wonderful thoughts, suggestions and questions you all had on my last post. Before I dive into that however, I'm feeling a little disclaimer/confession is in order. Here it goes... I love the flavor of green smoothies. I even love the slightly fibrous, leafy texture when my blender doesn't completely pulverize the mix. Don't hate me. I know it's a new flavor sensation for many people and there is a lot of "how the heck can I mask all this KALE flavor" type thinking going on. I know it can be an acquired taste, one that I am still patiently waiting for my own daughter to completely embrace. She's slowly coming around thanks to my relentless offers and outspoken green smoothie love. She is also twelve now and coming into that place in her own (very athletic) life where she recognizes healthy habits and choices are so much more than cruel parental methods of punishment.
I remember years ago trying my first wheat grass shot at Wild Foods and feeling instantly transported to some secret nirvana of powerhouse nutrients, a world entirely unknown to me prior to that moment. I couldn't believe what I was experiencing. The fresh grassy flavor permeated my senses similar to the way Bach Rescue Remedy (or other flower essences) does, I could feel it entering my body on a cellular level. It made quite a powerful impression on me. Needless to say, I was thrilled years later when the concept of a green smoothie entered my life. I don't own a juicer, and don't plan on becoming an indoor wheat grass farmer to support my daily dose, green smoothies are a fine replacement indeed. Maybe it doesn't taste like a frappuccino or new york cheesecake, but who cares? Those foods have nothing on the cancer fighting, antioxidant giving, mood altering (I could go on and on here...) benefits of the beloved smoothie. We could go on all day about the green taste... but really? What are we arguing here? This tonic gives life. Do we want to eat foods that give life or foods that literally take it away? The choice is ours everyday. We are powerful beings that have tremendous control over our health. Don't leave that power on the table, and definitely don't place it in the hands of the industrialized food industry. It's just a few leaves, and they can change your life.
So, let's get to your awesome thoughts and questions:
- The blender that I currently use is an Osterizer 500 watt. I bought it about 8 years ago for around $100 and it has done a really good job. It is now finally started to show signs of retirement but I will use it until it finally keels over. Then I will (hopefully) replace it with a Vitamix. Nothing beats that machine from what I hear.
- It is unlikely any blender other than a Vitamix (or something of that caliber) will get your smoothie perfectly creamy. I say embrace the little bits of green goodness! ;)
- Stitch Sista uses a stick blender for her smoothies.
- As added medicinal/therapeutic support, some of you are using cold herbal tea infusions as your liquid. Brilliant!
- Yes, you can taste the greens. Don't let a few pulverized leaves scare you!
- Marisa mentioned how perfect these are for getting over the 3pm slump to which I say YES! YES! YES! So true!
- "Just wondering...can I use growing wheat grass in my smoothies or does that have to be juiced first." Lucky you to have growing wheat grass! I never have used wheat grass but you could certainly try it. A smoothie is blended ingredients (fiber and all), juicing is a different process. I do not juice my greens, they go right into the blender.
- Sure you can do this with arugula. It would be a little spicy/peppery but go for it!
- "Will it still taste okay without the honey or syrup? I'm a diabetic and would need to have it without the sweetening agent." Sometimes I put no maple syrup at all and it's super fresh tasting. There is no green smoothie law, make it how your body needs it to be. :)
- "Just wondering is this your breakfast or do you eat some protein as well, do you ever add a protein powder." Often this is my breakfast. It is a snack during the day too. I don't add any protein powder as I prefer my smoothie to be a delivery of fresh pranic bliss. Clean and simple... BUT... everything has some degree of protein in it, one cup of kale has 2 grams. I love a handful of raw nuts here and there throughout the day for a consistent delivery of quality protein. Of course there are plenty of other ways I consume protein too, but for me, green smoothies are not my main protein source. Others did mention that they do add protein powder though so go for it!
- Yes, Orange Juice is a fabulous addition! Really brightens all the flavors.
- "Does anyone have a good website or blog with some sort of beginner's guide to green smoothies?" I'm so glad you asked! Check out Sarah's green smoothie info and video at Happy Foody.
- Wonderful suggestion, thanks Ebby! "Have you tried a savory green drink? Try it with a sliver of ginger, a dash of cayenne pepper, a clove of garlic, celery, dandelion and a mix of dark greens with a carrot, an apple and a splash of apple juice. With a few tamari almonds it makes a great dinner."
- Liz is embarking on a personal 30 day green smoothie challenge. YAY!!
- Many of you shared ingredients that make it into your own green smoothies. Here is a list of ideas from everyone: apple :: spinach :: kale :: collards :: banana :: peanut butter :: honey :: tofu :: soy milk :: berries :: herbal tea infusion (cold) :: sprouts :: peaches :: flax seeds :: parsley :: hemp seed :: arugula :: cod liver oil :: orange juice :: agave :: ginger :: cayenne :: garlic :: celery :: dandelion :: carrots :: apple juice :: juiced beets :: lime :: lemon :: mango :: papaya :: beet greens :: pineapple :: rainbow chard ::
In addition to the answers and information I just shared, please know the most important thing to remember is to not let this feel complicated. Eating simple foods is one of the most basic experiences we have in life, yet we tend to over-think and over-complicate the very idea of it day after day. Keep it simple, go forth, step into your own power and feel amazing! And remember those seven little words spoken by Michael Pollan, "eat food, mostly plants, not too much." What more could be said? Take care everyone, and thank you for adding so much to this topic, it's been great!