Notes from Debbie's Kitchen
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Well, it looks like I'll have to keep the 'zucchini brownie'
recipe someone sent me until next season, as the summer squash appears to be
done now that the temperatures are dropping. I'm still kinda swamped with "New
CSA System" stuff, but wanted to at least give you one good new thing to try this week! - Debbie
Green Smoothies, redux
Okay, so I've tried these now, the ones that Kimberly Potts gave me the recipe for a few weeks back
-- and they are really cool! Beautiful, tasty, easy to make (and clean up
after). It finally dawned on me (duh!) that you don't have to be a raw-foodist or
even vegetarian to like these babies. Just because you're an omnivore like me
doesn't mean that you can't include something this simple and delicious in your
eating repertoire. Doesn't have to even be daily, like the proponents suggest.
I'm sure daily is fine, but the point is, people should definitely try this and
see for themselves, like you might any other recipe.
This is what I've been trying (so far), and both my husband
Ken and I have been enjoying them. I like them because they're helping me to
use up the apples (of which I've acquired a backlog). So far I've made it with
kale (both kinds), collards, and beet greens, and all have been great:
Green Smoothie with Apple, Lemon and Ginger
makes one large portion of about 20 oz. (a little over 2 C)
3 small apples or 2 large, peeled, cored (you can leave the
peel on if you want to; in the end I've found the texture to be a little better
without the peel)
A piece of ginger root, 1/8 - 1/4" slice, peeled, chopped
(and the ginger it totally optional; you can leave it out if you want)
Juice from half a lemon
1 C water
2 to 4 leaves of kale, chard, collard greens, beet greens...
you could use mizuna or spinach (though if I used either of those, I'd use more
than '4 leaves'), pretty much any green (radish greens? carrot tops?). Rule of
thumb: if the leaves are small, use more, if they're large, like collards can
be, use less. Be sure to strip off and use the leafy part only of stuff like
collards, kale and chard, not the stems. A good measure would be, say, 3
medium-sized dinosaur kale leaves. When I used beet greens, I used a handful
because they were small.
Put everything in a blender and blend really well; work up to your highest setting so that everything
is pureed really finely (I just have a two-speed Waring blender, so I start on
regular speed 'til it's blended, then flip it up to high and let it run 30
seconds or so, until it is really nice and uniform).
Then pour it into a glass and... voila! Mainline that green
As Kimberly says, you can make green smoothies from most any
fruit and greens, as long as you keep the proportions roughly 60% fruit 40%
greens; I just started with the apple option because that's what I have lots of
right now. When the pears come in, I'll try using them as the fruit. Ditto for
pretty much any fruit we get (except maybe concord grapes, 'cause I don't know
any easy way to get the seeds out before pureeing them. If you had infinite
patience and lots of time and could seed them first, I bet they'd make a killer
green smoothie though!).
A few salient pointers to keep in mind when making green
smoothies (as gleaned from the additional info Kimberly so kindly sent me in
the mail). Stuff in quotes is directly from Victoria Boutenko, the woman who
wrote the book on green smoothies:
1) "When blended well, most of the cells in the greens and
fruits are ruptured, making the valuable nutrients easy for the body to
2) If you're going to consume these on a regular basis, be
sure to vary the greens you use
. Don't make 'em with the same type of
green day in and day out. It's okay to use the same fruit, but "almost all greens contain minute amounts of
alkaloids. Tiny quantities of alkaloids cannot hurt you, and even strengthen
the immune system. However, if ou keep consuming kale or spinach, or any other
single green for many weeks without rotation, eventually the same type of
alkaloids can accumulate in your body and cause unwanted symptoms of
poisoning." [That last line kind of cracks me up - like there could ever be wanted
symptoms of poisoning!! ;-)]
3) "Drink your smoothie by itself, not as part of a meal. Don't
consume anything, even as little as a cracker or candy with it. You may eat
anything you want approximately 40 minutes before or after you've finished your
smoothie. Your goal is to get the most nutritional benefit out of [it]." I like
to sip on mine as a sort of pre-lunch snack. Think "Elevenses", that meal
'after second breakfast but before lunch', of hobbit fame.
4) "Don't add anything to your smoothie except greens, fruit
and water. I don't recommend adding nuts, seeds, oils, supplements or other
ingredients ... most of these items slow down the assimilation of green
smoothies in your digestive tract and may cause irritation and gas."
5) "Don't use starchy vegetables such as carrots, beets,
broccoli stems, zucchini, cauliflower, cabbage, Brussels sprouts, eggplant,
pumpkin, squash, okra, peas, corn, green beans, and others to your green
smoothies. Starchy vegetables combine poorly with fruit and may produce what my
children call 'gas 4 less.'" [Victoria's words, not mine; I don't have any kids.]
6) Keep it simple. "Don't add too many ingredients in one
smoothie, such as nine different fruits and a dozen different greens. Try to
keep your recipes simple to maximize nutritional benefits and to keep it easy
on your digestive system."
I think that all sounds pretty reasonable. Have fun with your green smoothies!