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Eat your greens, smoothie style

Jun 29th, 2012 | Category: Cooking, Food

by Samantha Schuller

Most smoothie recipes you’ll find regard banana as king of the blendables, along with his foreign cronies pineapple and mango. But you needn’t stray from your seasonal eating commitment in order to enjoy a delicious, smooth, healthful beverage.

A Super C Smoothie. PHOTO BY SAMANTHA SCHULLER

Smoothies are a great way to enjoy fresh, seasonal produce, and there’s almost no wrong way to make one. With a good blender, you can fool yourself (and picky kids) into doubling your intake of vital whole nutrients by adding handfuls of those dark, leafy greens we all know we should be eating more of. (They are one great way to use up what sometimes seems like unnecessarily copious amounts of chard coming out of the garden or CSA box!)

All you need to build a tasty smoothie is fresh or frozen fruit and enough liquid to blend it with, in about equal parts. On top of that, endless add-ins will ramp up the nutritional content and flavor combinations.

Any classic flavor pairing is easily translated to smoothie form—think apple cinnamon, blueberry peach, and cherry vanilla. Or get creative and try gourmet flavor pairings, like strawberry balsamic, blackberry ginger, and raspberry kombucha.

Here are two basic recipes to help you build your own smoothies, and one super yummy gourmet recipe, well suited to July’s abundant fresh produce. Soon you’ll be inventing recipes of your own—take a peek at the sidebar for ideas to kickstart your creativity!

Blend on low or use the chop setting until ice and large chunks are incorporated with the liquid. Switch to medium or the blend setting until smooth. Serve and enjoy! Each recipe makes about four 6-ounce servings.

More ideas

If you need more ideas for summer smoothies, try these summer blends: blueberry and basil, pear and arugula, strawberry and mint leaves, raspberry and kombucha, blackberry and ginger, and apple and fennel.

Toss It In!

We all hate letting good food go bad. Overripe fruits can be combined with the odds and ends in the fridge and garden to help cut down waste (and keep the fridge nice and fresh!). Try adding the following ingredients to smoothies: almond butter, applesauce, beet juice, beet greens, coffee, fennel fronds, iced tea, kale, kefir, kombucha, lemon balm, lettuce, melon, microgreens, mint, oatmeal, parsley, peanut butter, plums, sorrel, sprouts, and wheatgrass.

Strawberry Super C

When my kids looked sideways at me about the green flecks in this yummy smoothie, I told them it was just strawberry seeds. They bought it.

Ingredients

1 cup carrot juice

2 cups fresh strawberries

1 cup raw spinach

1 tbl lemon juice

2 tbls raw honey

4 ice cubes

Ruby Red Berry Smoothie

Don’t be shy about the beets—they give this smoothie gorgeous color, but the taste is all berry.

Ingredients

1 cup juice

1 cup blueberries or huckleberries

1 cup raspberries or strawberries

1/2 cup chopped raw or roasted beets

1/2 cup milk or yogurt

2 tsp raw honey

4 ice cubes

Raspberry Yogurt Shake

This passes for a milk shake in my house!

Ingredients

1 cup ice

1 cup milk

3 cups fresh raspberries

1 6 oz container plain yogurt

1 bunch chard, washed and stemmed

4 ice cubes

Published in the July 2012 edition of Grow Northwest magazine

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