Wednesday, February 6, 2008

Tips on Green Smoothies

Apple & Tomato Acrobatics, courtesy of yours truly.

So, I haven't always been a fan of green smoothies. It wasn't really the green color; veganism helped me to love most green things, excluding cooked spinach, steamed asparagus and, of course, mold. Instead it was more the idea of drinking greens and, for some reason, that just seemed... well... grosssssss.

But, at the point I transitioned to raw foodism, I figured that because I have such a hard time getting down large amounts of raw green leafies, I'd give it a shot. After all, it couldn't be bad for me - it's greens for chrissake!

Nevertheless, I approached green smoothie-making with the wariness of a four-year-old towards broccoli. That is to say: I was quite, quite sure that I would not at all like it.

And actually, that's probably why I chugged it the first time: I was so sure I wouldn't like it, I didn't give myself a chance to taste it. I also chugged it the second time. And the third time. And, well... until Tuesday of last week.

That Tuesday, I was halfway through my green smoothie when suddenly I realized, "Hey... this tastes like apple juice." (I'd used kale and apples.) It didn't taste like greens at all, despite how it smelled. After noticing the pleasant flavor, I had no trouble whatsoever slowly sipping any green smoothies made with apples - bananas, however, are an entirely different box of shoes; I can't stand to do anything but gulp smoothies with bananas. It's the texture, I think.

Anyways, I thought that I'd give any newbies who wander across this page a few tips on how to make green smoothies taste better.

First a warning: don't start off with lacinato kale - the very, very dark green kale you find in health food stores. It's so healthy it'd blow your head off (um), but it is far too bitter for a newbie and honestly, the bitterness seeps through the flavor of the fruit. With most green smoothies, the flavor of the fruit you add will wholly eclipse the flavor of the greens, but that isn't completely so with lacinato kale.

Second, choose your greens wisely. Aside from lacinato kale, most types of dark leafy greens, as well as romaine, are viable. One exception is red chard - it's so salty that you can literally eat it on its own and have it taste a lot like chips, so don't even go there unless you like some serious saltiness in your smoothies. Other than that, try collards, curly kale, romaine, spinach, and plain ol' Swiss chard in your smoothies (not rainbow chard!) - all of these have a distinctly sweet or fresh (lemon water-y) flavor with just slight underpinnings of bitterness. You can avoid this by consuming mostly "baby" greens - that is to say, greens that haven't been grown to max size.

Third, choose your fruits according to what you like - sure, I like bananas, but I'm finding that they're not so hot in smoothies, and I use them only when I don't have anything else. You may be confused by the constant shout of, "bananas in green smoothies!" from the raw foodies, but it's not true that you have to have them - they just give a smoother... more smoothie-like texture. I also couldn't stand bananas for the majority of my life. So whatever fruit you like, throw it in! Just remember to take the seeds out and peel it first if it's citrus - otherwise it will be veeeery bitter.

And fourth, add any additional things you may like in it. I'm talking fresh-squeezed lemon or lime or even grapefruit juice - or even cacao nibs, MSM, etc. (I love Emergen-C's lemon-lime MSM, by the way. It makes my smoothies so... fizzy!)

Blend it all up, ya got yerself a green smoothie. Hooray for you! Soon, the love for green smoothies will take over the world and raw vegan cupcakes, too. ;)

No comments: