Last weekend I took a class on raw foods. I had taken a different version of the same class a year ago. The instructor has lived for a decade without cooking her food (anything over 42 C starts to kill some of the goodness in food) – and she’s a vegan. I didn’t take the entire diet and lifestyle to heart but I did pick up some good ideas. The most obvious and persistent being almond milk. She also prepared a green smoothie which I thought wasn’t too bad. This most recent class spurred me on to finally try the smoothie and it’s … not too bad (okay, it will never beat a chocolate milkshake/thickshake, but what does?).
The recipe provided by the instructor was pretty simple: blend raw green vegetables and fruit in a 40%-60% ratio with a cup or so of water. As you get used to the green veggie bitterness work your way to a 60-40 ratio (more greens than fruit). She used mixed greens – heavy on kale with an orange and a pear for sweetness. She also added 1 cm of ginger for health and zing.
The specific incarnation of the green smoothie recipe pictured above (Laura’s green smoothie mach 1) is:
Blend together until smoothie like:
- zest and juice of 2 oranges
- 3 small bananas (I have a hand from my plant that has been in the fridge so is a bit brown, but still really good. I’ve heard that freezing them makes them even better for a smoothie – maybe next time)
- a bunch of greens (I included silverbeet minus the toughest part of the trunks, spinach, parsley, celery leaves, warrigal greens, mint, baby broccoli leaves, baby kohlrabi leaves, radish leaves, cabbage leaves, lettuce)
- 1 centimetre of ginger, chopped
- 1/2 pear
- 1/2 cup of water
This produced about 1/2 litre of smoothie – 2 good glasses worth.
Everything in the smoothie came out of my garden except the ginger (maybe my crop will be harvestable next year), pear (don’t even have a pear tree) and water (maybe I should have used water from my rainwater tanks to be more of a purist – or maybe not).
I added the pear after tasting the smoothie and finding it a little bit too bitter.
I sort of liked the taste and think I could get to where I craved this healthy goodness. If I experimented long enough maybe I’d find I like it better with a specific mix of greens (less bitter ones?). I basically picked a couple of everything green and edible I had growing in my backyard (Frank said I threw in everything but oak leaves which is a slight exaggeration).
Frank suggested that next time I should add honey. This will be a much cooler idea soon since we’re about to get honey bees. I think if I did add honeyI could leave out the pear and the smoothie would be sweet rather than bitter. It might not be a chocolate milkshake but I don’t feel guilty using this as a meal – I would never (except in a daydream) use a chocolate milkshake as a meal.
Frank’s opinion (my toughest critic) is that we should drink one of these a week. He thinks he’d learn to like it and knows it would be good for him. In fact, on the back of this decision, I just sowed more greens (spinach – out of season, silverbeet – in season and mixed Asian greens – in season) to supplement what is already in our garden. What we have is enough for normal use but maybe not enough if we start drinking them as well.