Green for Life - Kobo
What was this fascinating read? "Green for Life" by Victoria Boutenko. I've mentioned this book in another post as it was a major source of inspiration for my exploration of green smoothies. After my initial fascination with these verdant drinks, I fell off the wagon and didn't get back on. I found mixing them using my immersion blender too cumbersome and I didn't have the determination to press on. I recently bought a new blender, in the hopes of making the process a little easier* and decided it was time to read more on the subject.
What is so great about Green Smoothies? Through her research, in consultation with many experts in the fields of nutrition - both human and chimpanzee(!) - and her family's own evidence, Boutenko discovered:
- Greens, above all other food groups, meet all nutritional needs.
- A raw food diet featuring green smoothies can cure disease, prevent cancer, and even slow or reverse aging.
- Consuming 1-2 litres of green smoothies per day can have profound health benefits, including: weight loss, improved digestion, improved allergies, healed eczema, fewer headaches, reduced stiffness after exercise, even improved sex life and peaceful birthing.
- After one month of drinking a litre of green smoothies per day, study participants reported: less fatigue and more energy, increased motivation, "zingyness", fewer grey hairs (!) and cravings moving from processed or cooked foods to raw foods and greens.
|Now that's green! My lettuce began to bolt, |
so I rescued what I could and made some
green juice: 4 cups packed green & romaine
lettuce blended with 4 cups water
So what's in a Green Smoothie? It's actually surprisingly simple: water, greens, and fruit. That's it. The ratio depends on your tastebuds, which will adjust as you become familiar with the taste of greens. Novices (this includes children especially) should start easy so the smoothies are tasty and enjoyable. You can get a large number of recipes by registering for the Recipe App on the Raw Family site, or purchase the App for your mobile device. It also includes a FAQ and an excellent guide to green smoothies. There are combinations for all tastes and seasons.
How do green smoothies taste? Yummy! You can completely adjust your ingredients based on preference. If you like sweet, add (very slightly green) bananas or mangoes. If the green flavour is a little strong, add more fruit or lemon juice. I really enjoy drinking green smoothies and look forward to the every day. We recently went away for five days and I didn't get to drink my usual allotment - though I did manage a little - and noticed the difference. I started feeling a general yuckyness and my digestion slowed down.
|I carried two of these buckets containing 3 heads of lettuce each|
(in their soil) to Cornwall, ON to prevent losing them to flowering
or drought. I used half in smoothies and the other half returned home.
Want to get started now? Some tips from the guide mentioned above: wherever possible, ingredients should be fresh, local, ripe, and organic; and rotate your greens (change it up now and then to ensure nutritional diversity). A tip of my own: frozen fruits can be great for convenience - fresh is better, but frozen is a good compromise, adds a great texture, and is refreshing in summer, I usually combine fresh and frozen fruit.
Here's a basic recipe:
1.5-2 cups packed greens (start with green or romaine lettuce or spinach)
1-2 cups water
2-4 cups fruit (try mango, strawberry, apple, banana, peach, etc.)
|Before - romaine lettuce, frozen mangoes, |
frozen strawberries, and water
* I learned first hand last week how awful a green smoothie can be if made in a blender with dull blades. The greens and fruit skins remain in big chunks and the result is chewy - yech! Boutenko heartily recommends the Vita-mix blender, but at over $400, it's a little out of my price range at the moment. It could be a future family Christmas present. Instead I settled for a 16-speed Oster and have learned a few tricks to preserve the motor and blades: blend the water and greens first, then add the fruit which should be chopped or in small chunks, frozen fruit should be added gradually. If you get big chunks when mixing, blame your appliance, not the smoothie!