Wednesday, June 15, 2011

The "Green" Smoothie

This is what I've had for breakfast for the past week:

Crazy, right? It's not the exact same thing every day. This morning, it was a leaf of kale, an apple, an orange, two carrots, a handful of flax seeds, ice, a little filtered water, and a bunch of mashed blueberries leftover from making jam. BOOM - all five servings of fruits and veggies knocked out for the day.

Admittedly, this one did not turn green due to the addition of the blueberries, but some of the ones I've had have been a lovely bright green. I usually add whatever fruit or veggies I have in the house, and one of the veggies HAS to be something green. I found this little cheat sheet that gives you some ideas to get started, but as you probably guessed, I don't really follow it exactly. I don't use that much liquid - just enough to get it to the right consistency. I add three or four things from column B instead of just two. Of course, I also toss in those flax seeds.

I did learn on the second day that consistency is the key to making these work. I didn't realize that the HI-LO switch on the blender had been moved and instead of pureeing my drink I liquified it. You wouldn't think it would matter, but it did! It did not get smooth and I had big clumps of kale in it. It was more of a "chunky" than a "smoothie!" The taste was off and it was really hard for me to choke it down, even though I had made an identical one the previous day and it was fine.

This leads me to the blender. You good blender is beneficial. I have a Hamilton Beach one that I received as a gift about 8 or 9 years ago that is on it's way out. The motor gets really hot, it smells really funky after it's been running half a minute or so, and then there's this:

On the white plastic, around the black gear that makes the blades spin, the plastic is cracking. There are fine cracks going in a circle around it and they leak badly, which leads me to believe that the whole thing is just going to fall out one day. It's sad that the rest of the machine is made so poorly because the jar is beautiful, thick heavy glass that would probably last another 50 years if not longer. I'm hoping it will hold on for another few months while I save up for a Vitamix. I don't want to waste any of the money I've saved on a temporary machine. I want to get the one that will last and not wimp out on me!

After a week of these, I can't really say that I feel like I have more energy. Maybe it's just because I'm a fat kid, but after I have one I feel REALLY hungry. I crave salt and carbs something fierce too. It could be my body crying out for the things to which it's addicted, who knows? I'm not going to become a raw foodist (WHAT? Give up BACON???) or a vegetarian (see bacon comment) any time soon though. Even though I am not feeling any of the supposed "health benefits" so far of the green smoothie such as increased energy, weight loss, and decreased junk food cravings, I'll still keep drinking these. They're fast/easy to make and have increased my produce intake by a LOT without adding extra fat or salt to my diet the way cooking veggies would have. Besides, it's only been a week. Who is to say this may not be different after a month?

I think the biggest surprise was that these don't taste gross. Come on - a big picture full of bright green sludge that includes pureed kale??? Yuck. Admittedly not appetizing at all. What I'm finding though is that if you include produce that you already like to eat, and you puree everything REALLY well, and use plenty of ice so that these are cold, they're not bad at all. I encourage everyone who reads this to give them a try.

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Blogger Becky said...

I used to juice and they are really good. I give you lots of credit for doing this in a blender! I used to get a bit more energy, but mostly I was just more regular! And like you - it totally increased my produce consumption. I really should be doing this with you!

3:39 PM  
Blogger Samara Link said...

Sara, it's awesome that you're doing this. You're right -- it is seriously difficult to get two and a half cups of veggies and two cups of fruit in every single day, but this makes it much easier. It's also a great way to make sure you use up all the items in your food co-op basket. I'm glad you've found a way to make it work for you and that you're enjoying it. So healthy! Thanks for sharing.

8:07 AM  
Blogger Maggi said...

Is that an orange with the peel? Awesome! I had a smoothie obsession a few weeks ago; I was having a fruit smoothie every morning for over a month, but just did your basic fruits/orange juice/ice/yogurt concoction. They were awesome but I agree, I definitely felt more hungry after having one. If you're not in the market for a VitaMix, yet, the Ninja works really, really well for pretty cheap. Not loving the lightweight plastic of the carafe, but the system can really take a beating.

9:02 AM  

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