Saturday, September 25, 2010

Green Smoothies

I am a member of Amazon Vine which means I am given free stuff to review... sometimes it's advanced copies of books. I have here an uncorrected galley proof of Victoria Boutenko's Green for Life: The Updated Classic on Green Smoothie Nutrition

Some background on me. I like to try to eat healthy (I think everyone does) and I am a member of our local CSA and have been doing CSAs for about six years, mostly because I thought that having the fresh produce in the house would inspire me to eat more of it. It doesn't really work that way, though, and I've struggled to find recipes for things like bok choy and sweet potato greens. I do a lot of convenience food as a single mom and my freezer has several Stouffer's frozen lasagnas in it right now. I try to eat yogurt (with fruit or honey) or cold cereal with milk at night when I'm craving something sweet instead of ice cream which I definitely know better than to keep in the house or I'll have a quart for dinner. I don't have poor health per se, I rarely get sick, but I have poor circulation in my legs and I worry about my heart. I also am exhausted constantly which I always figured was just part of being a mom but lately I have been thinking that maybe other people don't get as tired out as I do. I didn't have health insurance for years because I couldn't afford it and the state of MD only gives low income insurance to children and pregnant women. Not being willing to get pregnant just for the health insurance, I just skipped going to the doctor. When Amazon Vine sent me the list of products available for me to review, I picked Green for Life: The Updated Classic on Green Smoothie Nutritionbecause I was interested in her claim that a quart of delicious easy healthy green smoothie a day could cause a significant improvement in health, even with no other diet changes.

I read it cover to cover and here is what I think.

I want to try this! So today I got up, full of energy at the prospect of having more energy, and had my daughters read through the recipe chapter and choose a smoothie. Each girl made her shopping list on a piece of paper. When we got to the store, we spread out through the produce section, got what was on our list (which involved a lot of reading of labels, good Language work), and we headed for the checkout. It was three reusable bags full of produce. I'm thinking, how much is this going to cost? We love green juice that's pre-made and sold in the stores (Odwalla Micronutrient Fruit Juice Drink, Bolthouse Farms Green Goodness Fruit Smoothie) so I was hoping this would be tasty and cheaper. My total for four recipes -- EIGHT quarts of juice -- was $25.00. So much cheaper! I was dancing in the checkout aisle. Plus we can experiment with our own combinations. I figured that even if I got home and lost all my enthusiasm for this project, we'd still have apples, bananas, kiwi and mangoes for lunchboxes, and romaine, spinach, and Swiss chard for salads and side dishes with dinner. What's the harm in trying?

I was intrigued by her list of what constitutes a green, and some of the nutritional information she discovered. Here is her list of greens that they've eaten in the past year (not counting the wild greens she harvested herself):

beet greens (tops)
bok choy
carrot tops
collard greens
edible flowers
mustard greens
radish tops
romaine lettuce

aloe vera
baby dill
peppermint leaves


All juice making aside, a family trip to the produce section of the grocery store was great fun and a learning experience for the children. Standing in front of the fresh greens section (a section I usually quickly bypass and don't even see), my mouth was watering. So many new things to try! Once I saw them as food, I couldn't wait. Not having to worry about a recipe really freed up my mind. And these foods are super cheap. Super healthy. My family is so excited about making a smoothie for our afternoon snack. The four we are trying are:

Welcome Smoothie for Beginners
chard, spinach, strawberries, mango, apple, banana, lemon, water

aloe vera leaf, celery, kale, apple, banana, lime, water

romaine lettuce, honeydew, water

Kiwi Enjoyment
kiwi, banana, celery, water

1 comment:

dailygreenbar said...

Hi I love reading about how people discover green smoothies. I also use sweet potato leaves when in season bought from Farmers Market here in Canberra. Yummy with peaches and medjool dates.
I have the first edition of Green For Life and have been making green smoothies for over 2 years now delicious. I was so inspired I started blog Jane