My smoothie recipes took a turn for the better after visiting our Colorado friends, Mark and Patty. (Don’t I always recommend hanging out with people that inspire?) The pile of vegetables she had on the counter for breakfast looked like an awesome stir fry, not something I would put in a blender. That’s mostly because my standard smoothies were more fruit than veggie based, since I apparently couldn’t get past my long-held distain for tomato juice. Yes, I added a handful of spinach or kale, since I knew it influenced the color more than the taste. And a carrot, although I would say I have less than fond memories of carrot juice too. (I was a picky young thing.) So a carrot and some spinach added to a blend of berries, tropical fruits, melons, apples, or whatever I had on hand made for a good smoothie. Don’t get me wrong here-it is a very healthy foundation, especially if I added some protein like yogurt, kefir, or peanut butter (not into protein powders).
So watching Patty chop up cucumbers (dislike), avocados, ginger, kale (she powders her own as well), carrots, mango, and a banana was like a mini-revelation for me. It’s not that I hadn’t known about similar smoothie recipes, it’s that I hadn’t owned the possibility that I could like them and make the shift from fruit based (sweet) to veggie based. Surprisingly, with a few fruit chunks, they are still sweeter tasting that I’d expected. And I’m getting my fresh servings of veggies at the top of the morning while I drink my Stringbean Coffee.
I started making larger portions and leaving some in the blender for the next morning, even throwing in more veggies. I might add coconut water, chia seeds, or almond milk. Then my grab and go habit surfaced, so I put them in Ball jars
for easy transport.
What I’ve really enjoyed is the process. Does that sound weird? Really, the peeling, cutting, grating, blending, and storing have become a part of my morning ritual a few days a week. And since I’ve found a way to eat nutritious cucumbers
, I put them in my water pitcher with some lemons for summer sipping. I love when my intentions match my actions, and this is one habit that has long-term benefits.
So if you're looking for a recipe base, it looks something like this:
1 cup peeled cucumber
Handful of kale or spinach
2 peeled carrots
1/2 cup mango, apple, melon, or berries
1 tsp ginger root
1/2 cup water, veggie juice, coconut or almond milk
(I don’t like super cold drinks so I don’t add ice. Plus it doesn’t get watered down the next day.)
Mostly, enjoy the process of playing with your veggies, experimenting with flavor combos, and putting whole foods into your system.