Since we’re going to be covering smoothies in our raw food class this week, I thought I’d post another. This one is closer to what I drink most mornings when I start to get hungry. The kids love it, and since the spinach is so mild I can pack a decent number of greens in. Can you see why I choose to plant blueberries and raspberries?
Such a simple, ordinary smoothie begs an ostentatious name, n’est-ce pas? Something along the lines of those at Jera’s Juice, the smoothie shop I remember from our days living in Boston. My favorite was the Razzamatazz, which was basically frozen yogurt with some ice and raspberries in it. With 2 free “enhancers”, of course. These days, my preferred smoothies are more nutrient dense, and with the greens, darker and mauver in color. All those antioxidants and minerals give me the power to make up new words like mauver. What new word have you made up recently?
Without further ado, I give you my tribute to the ghost of smoothies past:
- 1 banana
- 1 cup frozen blueberries
- 1/2 cup frozen raspberries
- 1-2 Tbs chia seeds
- 1-2 Tbs flax seeds
- several handfuls of spinach
- less than 1 cup of water to thin
- I tend to put the fruit cut into chunks on the bottom, then frozen fruit, then greens. All amounts are an approximation. I just pour into the blender til it looks right or the bag is empty.
- Sometimes I add the seeds before the greens, sometimes I pour them in once everything has homogenized.
- Once everything is in, I add enough water to nearly cover the fruit.
- Blend, baby, blend.
- We like to top our smoothies with buckwheat crunchies and goji berries, and eat them with a spoon.
I stopped drinking smoothies in early winter because, well, we keep our house relatively cold, and a nice frosty smoothie was often the LAST thing I wanted to drink. But I didn’t feel as well when I started eating things like sprouted toast or oatmeal and hot tea for breakfast as I have in years past. So I’m back to smoothies, and I’ve found a couple of things to alleviate the situation: I put on my hat, coat and gloves before I sit at the table. Kidding. Well, almost. I do actually wrap up in my snuggly shawl sometimes when I’m particularly feeling the cold, but that’s only til the heat kicks in. Did I mention that I crank the heat to a balmy 65 when I start to make my smoothie? Yes indeedy, it’s a veritable sweat lodge in the kitchen by the time I start to slurp my frigid beverage. I turn it right back to 60 when I’m done, however, so those of you who wear your coats at my place can continue to plan accordingly. Unless you come for smoothie time.
I don’t usually “break the fast” until I’ve been up for a while, so if I remember, I pour the frozen fruit into a bowl and let it defrost until I’m ready. This alters the texture of the smoothie slightly, but nothing horrible and the not-freezing smoothie is more appetizing for me in winter. Lucky as I am to have a Vita-Mix, I also leave it running for a little bit. You can make warm soups in a Vita-Mix if you let it run for 5-7 minutes. I’m not looking for warm berry soup, but if I run it for 2-3 minutes it does seem to take a bit of the chill off.
I am still experimenting with adding warming spices to the smoothie — ginger, cayenne, cinnamon, cloves, cardamom, etc — depending on the other ingredients. The carrot cake smoothie would be an excellent winter warmer since it lends itself to inclusion of lots of those spices, and I imagine chocolate-flavored nut milk drinks would also be delicious with those types of spices. Also, those same spices are credited with having a number of health benefits: cinnamon alone is known for its antiseptic, antibacterial and antifungal properties and has been widely used as a diaphoretic (promotes sweating), parasiticide, antispasmodic, aphrodisiac (hubba hubba!), analgesic (painkilling) and diuretic. Ginger has more than 12 types of antioxidants making it useful for many health issues, is anti-inflammatory and — you guessed it — reputed to be an aphrodisiac! Love is all you need…