Rich, dark green leafy veggies are abundant this time of year. So, today we are celebrating these nutrient-dense rock stars. They are some of the best super foods on the planet that help detox and cleanse the body as well as support immune function, digestion and metabolism. Yet, most people don’t ooh and ah over kale and chard (unless you’re me that is). This may be because greens typically need a little extra TLC to make them tasty, as they tend to be bitter and have a tougher texture.
Now, although the bitter quality of greens actually stimulates the cleansing power of the liver and also aids digestion and I don’t think we should eliminate its bitterness entirely, my motto is that food has to be a source of enjoyment at the same time that it is a source of medicine. So we need tasty ways to prepare them and this is what I just recently taught students at PCC Natural Markets in my Greens Glorious Greens class. It’s all about making them tasty and tender. And quite frankly, it is easy to do so. Whether it is by adding a little sweetness with some honey or fruit, or learning proper cooking techniques for tenderizing those babies, either will do the trick. Check out my Quick & Easy 5-Min Greens for one of the best ways to soften them up and add them to anything your eating to ensure they are abundant in your daily diet.
But, for a new recipe, try “Siona’s Go Go Green Smoothie.” I’m not typically a fan of smoothies for meal replacers, unless they are homemade, contain only high quality whole foods and plenty of real protein. So this means that you’ll have to skip the powder. Yup, no faking it here folks, just good ole protein from organic whole yogurt and milk. The recipe got its name because green foods are the type that will help you “go” all day long.
The flavors will make your lips pucker and your taste buds sing! I love the combination of peppery arugula with the pungent ginger and bright refreshing flavor of lemon. The apple and dates add sweetness and the avocado helps to round it out and cream it up. My husband likes to throw in a handful of blueberries, which is also tasty. But I didn’t officially add them below, because the smoothie would no longer appear green. We enjoy this smoothie in the morning with a hard-boiled egg and a scoop of oatmeal or serve it as an afternoon snack.
Yet, my favorite part about this recipe is the nostalgia it gives me, and I have to say that I love how food connects us to one another and has the ability to create great memories. This recipe reminds me of my friend Zephyr Dunnicliffe who has great taste, whether it is for food or fashion. No matter the occasion (even a bio-chem or A&P exam), she would arrive to Bastyr University in her heels with a green drink or kombucha in hand. I always admired her zest for life, and I agree that we should treat ourselves to good health and good food no matter the occasion. Her personal favorite flavors are jalapeno and lime instead of ginger and lemon. So, cheers to Zephyr who definitely “drinks in style!” With this recipe you will be too!
Let me know how you like it by posting a reply on the blog below. Enjoy!
Yours In Cooking & In Health,
Siona’s Go Go Green Smoothie
Green foods are nutritional powerhouses that should be included in our daily diets for proper metabolism regulation and optimal health. Green smoothies are one of my favorite ways to enjoy green foods. Drink 1 liter for a meal replacement or drink a 12-ounce cup in addition to your normal meal.
Makes 1 serving
Preparation Time: 5 minutes
4-6 pitted mejool dates (or 2-3 teaspoons raw local honey)
1 granny smith apple
1-2-inch piece of fresh ginger, peeled
½ avocado, pitted and peeled
1-2 small lemons, juiced
5-6 kale leaves, de-stemmed
1 cup of baby spinach
1 cup of baby arugula
½-¾ cup organic whole milk yogurt
½-¾ cup organic raw whole milk or coconut water
Pinch sea salt
½ teaspoon ground kelp, optional
½ teaspoon ground chia or flax seeds, optional
Add dates to a blender and grind to a paste. Add apple, ginger, avocado and lemon juice and blend. Add kale, spinach, arugula and blend again. Add yogurt and milk, sea salt and optional ingredients and blend until smooth and creamy. If mixture is too thick, add more milk or some coconut water. Enjoy!
Copyright 2010, S. Sammartino, Original recipe