Smoothies have really become quite the nutritional thing, these days!
My daughter makes them and has for several years now. My sister turned me on to them a couple years ago. I know of more folks my age that enjoy them on a daily basis. Many just buy them already prepared and bottled from the stores. Others, like my daughter, one of my sisters and I, make them.
It’s wonderful way to use those ‘tired’ looking veggies and fruits, instead of throwing them out!
I promised my little sister that I would write a post about it, and, Bonnie, I did not forget. My smoothies have been under development and testing all this time.
By George! I think I’ve got the recipe down!
The recipe I am about to share here is the backbone of my smoothie making but depending on the time of year and what is fresh and in season, I do add to this list or take away from it.
For instance, it is March.
The stinging nettle are just now coming up as tender shoots. Stinging nettle is great for detoxification of your body, improving metabolism and circulation, helps with periods and menopause, is a great aid for the skin and overall enhances energy levels.
It has to be carefully harvested with gloved hands, rinsed and blanched before being introduced into the smoothie. It’s a green ingredient that gives a nice, subtle peppery depth of flavor.
I’ll be adding this ingredient in my next few gallons of smoothies while they are still tender shoots.
When peaches are in season, they go in. When the herbs in my gardens are up and growing, I’ll harvest chives, chive blossoms, oregano and parsley to add into the mix
Everything that goes into the smoothies is put in there for a reason. Fresh herbs, greens and micro greens are not only good in developing a nice flavor profile but they make your body healthy too!
The green tea goes in for its healthful benefits. Cinnamon lowers blood pressure, ginger is great for digestion, and nutmeg is the ‘happy’ spice. Cloves are great for your lungs. The turmeric not only enhances the color of the smoothie but is also great for reducing inflammation in the body.
Beets are amazing for your liver, boosting your brain and blood AND providing a boost of energy! They also make the smoothie a nice burgundy color. Cherries are wonderful for arthritis. Apples are just plain healthy magic. That old adage about keeping the doctor away….Well? With oranges, I vary the kind that I use but I prefer blood oranges. Bananas are at their assimilation best when they are very ripe and they provide a natural sweetener.
When I make my smoothies, I make sure I have very ripe bananas available, gather the other ingredients, set aside a few hours and make it. I make about 2.5 to 2.75 gallons of it at a time which means that I will make smoothies about every ten or so days. It’s a huge process and my husband also helps. While most folks have a Ninja blender or some new smoothie new making machine, I still use my 40+ year-old Osterizer blender. It still works!
While my Hubby sets the blender up and does an operational check on it, I prepare the ‘brew.’ This involves assembling the glass bottles and other tools needed to make it with. I cook the beets and its greens, peel and fine chop the other fruit, and prepare the strong brew of green and Bengal Spice teas. All of the ingredients are then combined in a huge plastic bowl as a ‘soup’. Good filtered water is in standby for thinning the concoction as it blends and purees in the blender.
The list of ingredients I use in my smoothies are:
– 1 12-ounce bag each of – black berries, cherries, blue berries, raspberries (if available), pineapple and mango.
– 3 very ripe bananas (If they get too ripe before you go to use them, freeze them. I keep a stash of bagged, ripe bananas in the freezer at all times)
– 3 apples
– 2 oranges
– 4 kiwis
– 1 bag baby kale, spinach and chard mix
– 4 beets and their tops (cooked tender crisp and bright; the water that was used to cook the beets and tops is also incorporated into the smoothie. There be vitamins in that!)
– 1 pepper each – Serrano, Jalapeno, Anaheim; seeds and all go in. (I will use Hatch and Fresno peppers in this when they are available. 3 peppers total)
– 1 bunch of cilantro
– Fresh basil (I buy it but if you grow it; even better!)
– 1 pack of micro greens
– 1 cucumber, ends removed but skin is retained
– 1 bag of match stick carrots
– 1 bottle of filtered water for thinning
– 4 cups of strong tea made from Green and Bengal Spice tea bags (6 bags of green; 2 bags of Bengal Spice)
– Dry spices: cinnamon, ginger, clove, nutmeg, turmeric
I do not add any extra sugar into my smoothie. The molasses I put in my smoothies does mildly sweeten it but I add it mainly for its rich iron content. If you like your smoothie extra sweet, use raw honey. Try to stay away from processed sugar.
What I end up with, after all is prepared, mixed and bottled is a beautiful garnet colored concoction of complex flavors that has a wonderful sweet heat to it.
What a delicious way to get your veggies, fruit, vitamins and minerals. I drink a twelve ounce glass of this with my supplements and pills every morning. I have never felt better!