Sunday, March 14, 2010

Ode to Green Smoothies

In college I wrote an assigned speech about Vinny Barbarino, which was (if you'll please pardon my bragging,) a smash hit. You'd think this would encourage me to boldly continue on proclaiming my adoration for whatever I want, whenever I feel, but truthfully I'm much more inclined to the Haiku. Not so much skilled as inclined. My favorite traditional Japanese Haiku is by Matsuo Basho c.1689:

Not knowing
The name of the tree,
I stood in the flood
Of its sweet smell.

That one gets me a bit weak in the knees, in a romance for nature kind of way. Moving on to human nature and modern  Haiku, Jack Kerouac wrote in 1959:

All day long
wearing a hat
that wasn't on my head.

Who can't relate to that? But now, thanks to my assuming post title, I'll share something with you that tells you everything I feel about Green Smoothies, in 17 syllables or less:

heart of a monkey
gas station shopper
blends best guess.

Several years back I randomly began reading this raw vegan blog - I think I was looking for a salad dressing recipe. It was my first blog and I still read it, as somehow it's evolved into this can't-put-down novel for me. Quirky cast of characters and all. Regardless, I became really interested in Raw Foods and began experimenting. For the sake of making an enormously long story short - I cannot be a raw foodist; my throat itches all of the time, and the majority of the recipes involve foods that come from nowhere near where I live, which interests me zero. But I did come away with some valuable ideas and recipes. 

Green smoothies are fruit smoothies which include greens, hidden deep down in a landslide of fruity taste. Kale, spinach, chard, purslane, beet greens, lambsquarters - and all you'll ever taste is fruity goodness. Victoria Boutenko, a well known raw foodist, wrote a fantastic book called Green for Life complete with theory, data, recipes, and all things green smoothie related. The premise here is that we need to eat a motherlode of greens - but we don't. We've evolved to enjoy other tastes, and sitting down to bowl after bowl of greens is not manageable for most people. So, she's devised a way to sneak them in - like how mom's grate apples and sweet potatoes into those Mickey Mouse pancakes. Although totally undetectable, eventually you might start to crave the taste of the greens, advancing on to recipes that feature them more than hide them.

My go to green smoothie recipe includes strawberries and blueberries from my freezer (still frozen,) a handful of any kind of greens, and apple cider. If there's any bitterness, I add maple syrup. I also like romaine lettuce mixed with melon and ice. And I'm not opposed to throwing in a banana now and again, but usually my taste buds equate bananas to baby food, especially when they're pureed. I use a Vitamix Super 3600 which I bought off Ebay and have grown to love. I feel similarly emotional about the Vitamix as I do my pets; our time together is bound to be shorter than I can stomach. Later, I found the same model fortuitously underpriced in a Florida thrift store and bought it for back up. Vitamix blenders have high powered motors and the ability to reverse the blade motion, but no matter what you use it's really important to macerate the greens to smithereens, as hiding the taste is only so good if the texture remains chewy. Plus, greens in your teeth is not what we're going for here...

I'm embarrassingly behind on planting for Spring. I normally would've planted the hoop house in February, but instead I went on a road trip for 2 weeks. Of course, life is always changing, and I have to go away again before I can plant. So, for now, I'll buy my green smoothie greens, but I assure you that they are the sweetest when they are home grown.


  1. I have lots of greens
    and I love to drink smoothies
    time to mix the two

    Perhaps I should stick to prose!

  2. Pretty pics :) And, yay for green smoothies!


  3. Haiku kee chew
    banana rama ding dong
    He did the monster mash

    As you might tell I also live in the north country and am feeling a little spring silly. Might be the green smoothie - mountain dew and rum.

    Grand Isle is a couple hours almost due east of me. Been to Leader in Swanton many a time.

  4. so you must sugar than, wiseacre? I think that's the Leader you mean... We're headed up to Johnson,VT tomorrow to the family sugar operation. Grand Isle is a bit short on trees (although there are lots of people boiling here.) Unlike the rest of Vermont and the Adirondacks, the Champlain Islands seem a lot more like the UP of Michigan.

  5. JP-
    Your green smoothie with blueberries and strawberries look delicious. I can relate to your comments about your blender--we recently got a Blendtec blender, and I am in love. There is nothing better than making smoothies after a day spent blueberry picking.

  6. Your words: flawless...but it really is your photos that always get to me! Such a source for eye candy and useful knowledge! Thank you!

  7. This is such a great idea. I personally love greens like kale, spinach and lambs quarters. But for some reason I just don't eat them very much unless they are included with something, like a sandwich. This could be another thing that I could include them in.
    And OMG, your strawberry/blueberry green smoothie looks amazing!


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