Let’s kick off the new year with a super green smoothie! Packed with green vegetables, winter citrus, and green apples, this smoothie is just what the nutritionist ordered. Optional mix-ins add a little extra sweetness, healthy fats, and protein.
Hello folks, happy New Year!
Huge apologies for my unannounced absence over the last couple of weeks. I had decided that I needed to take a little break and fully intended to write one last post before the holidays letting you all know I wouldn’t be around, but life happened and the post didn’t. The last week before we went away was a flurry of activity; my parents were here for just a couple of days so we were busy doing family and touristy things, then there was packing for our trip, and both Paul and I worked literally up until the second we left the house. But then we left, computers securely behind us and not to be opened again for two whole weeks.
Our trip was not without travel hiccups, as are wont to happen at this time of year; we had delays, missed connections, a surprise night in Singapore, no luggage for the first four days we were in Bali, and a particularly exciting evening whereupon sensing something large had flown against our mosquito net, we realized there was a bat in our room.
Still, Bali was bliss. It was hot, probably some of the most intense sun I’ve ever experienced, and I spent much of my time squared away in the shade reading books. I read five books over the two weeks we were gone, and one of my goals for 2015 is to read more books during the rest of the year, something I need to be better at making time for. I slept 10 – 12 hours a night at least for the first week, and a solid amount over the rest of the trip. We ate well, and I found Bali much easier as a vegetarian than I have in other parts of Asia. I have lots of inspiration for recipes to share with you here in the coming weeks.
In our last stop, Seminyak, my heart broke when I saw the amount of plastic on the beach, and even more in the water. One couldn’t swim even a couple of meters without getting tangled up in plastic. I decided immediately that my primary goal for 2015 would be to reduce the amount of plastic I use. Although I’m already a fervent recycler and a reuser of things, one can always do more. Since I’m an avid meal prepper I often use freezer bags or similar when I stash food away, so I’m brainstorming changes I can make. Any suggestions are welcome.
It’s always bliss when I get home from a trip to get back into my own bed and my own kitchen. Although we didn’t eat excessively in Bali, two weeks of airplane, hotel, and restaurant food left me wanting all the green things, and so when I got back to Stockholm I made it happen.
This is the greenest smoothie I make. It’s absolutely jam-packed full of goodness. There’s kale, romaine lettuce, parsley, celery, and cucumber on the vegetable side. A ruby-red grapefruit ups the vitamin C content even more, and adds a good amount of zing, as does a big chunk of green apple. From here you’ve got decisions to make. If you’re used to drinking really vegetal green smoothies, or your after a lower-sugar option, you can add half an avocado. This adds healthy fats and gives the smoothie a creamy texture. If you’d prefer something slightly on the sweeter side then add half a frozen banana instead of the avocado. Hemp seeds add protein and healthy fats. Which ever direction you take the whole thing is gloriously green, vegan, raw, and delicious. It’s just what the nutritionist ordered.
We’ve got a lot of goodness happening here!
Kale is a good source of vitamin C, beta-carotene, manganese, and contains nearly twice the vitamin K (essential for blood clotting and also an important anti-inflammatory agent) than any other cruciferous vegetable (broccoli, cabbage, etc). Iron, magnesium, vitamin E, folate, and phosphorous are among the complement of vital minerals found in kale.
Avocados contain an incredible range of phytonutrients, and many vitamins and minerals. Avocados are a good source of vitamin K, fiber, vitamin B6, vitamin C, folate, and potassium.
Celery is rich in dietary fiber and B vitamins, and helps prevent water retention.
Parsley is a rich source of antioxidant nutrients with chemoprotective compounds.
The phytonutrients found in cucumbers (cucurbitacins, lignans, and flavonoids) provide us with valuable antioxidant, anti-inflammatory, and anti-cancer benefits. Cucumbers are an excellent source of vitamin K. They are also a good source of copper, potassium, manganese, vitamin C, phosphorus, magnesium, biotin, and vitamin B1. Cucumbers also contain the mineral silica, which is important for nail and hair health.
Grapefruit is an excellent source of vitamin C. It is also a great source of carotenoids; a pre-curser to vitamin A. Dietary fiber, potassium, and vitamin B1 round out this nutritional powerhouse. Ruby red and pink grapefruits also contain lycopene (good for your prostates, fellas!).
Bananas are a great source of concentrated energy and potassium. They are also a very good source of vitamin B6 and a good source of vitamin C, dietary fiber, and manganese.
Hemp seeds are a great source of protein, contain the ideal balance of omega 3-6-9 fatty acids, and are high in fibre. Hemp seeds also reduce inflammation in the body and balance hormones.
- 1 packed cup Tuscan kale,
- 1 packed cup romaine lettuce
- ½ packed cup parsley leaves and stems
- 1-2 celery stalks (leafy bits are fine too)
- ½ cup cucumber slices
- 1 ruby red grapefruit, peeled and quartered
- ½ a green apple
- ½ a ripe avocado OR ½ a frozen banana
- 1-2 Tbsp hemp seeds (optional)
- 1 cup cold water, more if you'd like a thinner smoothie
- Place all ingredients into an upright blender.
- Pulse a few times to loosen, then run the blender for 1-2 minutes until a very smooth consistency has been reached.
- Pour into a glass, and drink immediately.