A while back (which could mean a year ago or 2 years ago or 6 months ago), I caught an episode of Oprah on which Dr. Oz made a green smoothie with apple and spinach and a bunch of other stuff.
Sometime in January, I started saving the stems and leafy tops of root vegetables, and in the mornings, I’ve been making my own green smoothies.
This evolved when I was making them with spinach alone and I ran out of spinach. It occurred to me to use turnip greens. The experiment grew from there. Kale is a strange green to add – it almost makes the smoothies taste a little salty.
2/3 cup of tart cherry juice
1 banana (sometimes I use ½ banana and ½ green apple)
1 handful of fresh blueberries
1 stalk celery
2 hearty-sized handfuls of leafy greens (I’ve used spinach, kohlrabi leaves, turnip greens, beet greens and kale – sometimes, I’ve mixed; other times I’ve stuck to one type)
appx. 1 tsp. parsley leaves
fresh ginger (1/4” thick, half the size of a dime? I like a lot.)
fresh squeezed lemon juice (from 1 wedge)
1/2 to 1 tsp. honey
3-4 ice cubes.
Throw it all in a blender and blend!
I’ve tried making smoothies with no banana and a whole apple, but I cannot get behind the texture of the apple/leafy green version. It tastes gritty each and every time, whereas, with the banana, the texture is (drum roll) smooth. Go figure. I’ve also tried them without, the ice, and I have to say – especially while your taste buds are adjusting to the general concept of the green smoothie – the cold from ice makes them more palatable. Ice also improves the overall texture. One last note, t
he thicker your greens, the less you need to add, and the longer you need to blend.
When I drink a green smoothie, I feel like I am instantaneously imbibing servings of fruits and vegetables that I otherwise would not eat that day. I also like the taste, although the first time I made the Dr. Oz version, using a recipe from the internet, it had the texture and taste of grass clippings. Playing with the proportions of ingredients helps get it right. But the really big, happy discovery about green smoothies is that, the weeks when I manage to make one every day - which does happen now and then, I notice that my skin looks better. That might sound insane, but it's a true observation. I have always had big dark circles under my eyes; mostly, this is my general coloring. However, the circles become less pronounced those weeks when I have a green smoothie every morning - so something healthy must be happening inside my body too.
I was convinced that I could find more interesting use for these trimmings than stock, but I didn’t try hard to find those interesting uses, and the smoothie is all I came up with. So tonight, I’m saying, Hello stock! I piled cauliflower trimmings, a broccoli stem, kohlrabi stems and leaves, fennel stalks and leaves, ginger, lemon, used tea leaves, half of an unused sweet potato (peels and all) and green onions into a pot. I plan to portion it out and freeze it. I’ll let you know when I get around to using some of the stock.
Anyone out there have other suggestions for how to use leafy greens from root vegetables? I have a feeling that the farmers markets hold the promise of roots and greens for a while to come.