Tuesday, April 9, 2013

My 5 Minute Morning Green Smoothie

As I've mused before, since getting back from South East Asia I've been slowly dragging my carcass into the realm of the living with being good about light yoga, upping my workload slowly, amongst other things.  Of course, none of that will do me much good if I'm not sweeping the steps of my body's temple with high fiber green vegetables! 

I have generally had a bit of a hard time with smoothies, finding there is either too much added sugar in the form of flavored non-dairy milks, agave, bananas, dates, etc. lacking in actual vegetable content aside from a cursory couple of de-stemmed kale leaves or dash of spirulina.  

The flipside is me going overboard and forgoing flavor in the name of "healthy," and end up chewing through a thick, fibrous, muddy beet, kale, cinnamon, acai, maca, almond, jalapeno, parsley, grapefruit sludgefest that tastes about as good as the dirt they're all grown in. 

Finally I seem to have found a tasty medium that tastes pretty damn good (For something so healthy), isn't packed full of freaky banana sugar (one banana has approximately 15 grams of sugar in it, thats a tablespoon!), is predominantly vegetable based.

Oh, also, it takes like less than 5 minutes to prepare (though a bit longer to thoughtfully sip as you review your various morning rages), as there is barely any prep involved beyond DUMPING STUFF IN TEH BLENDER!

So, what all goes into this?  Well, lets get onto the recipe below for that.

5 Minute (AMAZING) Green Smoothie
Makes 2-4 servings to fuel you, and maybe company, throughout the day.

  • 1 large, organic cucumber, ends trimmed*, and cut into 3-5 chunks
  • 1/2 a small bunch organic parsley or cilantro, stems included
  • 1 mottled banana (the browner the skin, the less starchy), peeled and halved
  • 2 organic kiwis, ends removed, and halved, skin on**
  • 3-5 leaves organic kale, torn in half lengthwise
  • 1 head organic romaine lettuce, bottom cut off and then cut into 3 or 4 sections
  • 1 Organic apple, quartered (I use fuji, but any should work)
  • 1 inch knob of ginger
  • *optional* juice of 1 fresh lemon or fresh lime
  • *optional* A dash of spirulina
Place about half of your ingredients into an uber blender (I use a BlendTec but Vitamix should work), add about 1 cup of water and pulse it a couple of times to create space for the rest of the ingredients.

When you have created space for the rest of the ingredients, load them in and pulverize (my blender has an automatic Whole Juice timed setting).  

If you can't fit _everything_ in (I can usually just eek everything in, sometimes barely), feel free to save it for the next day.  *I usually sacrifice half a cucumber if something needs to go.

From there, enjoy your breakfast! If you are flying solo, it should make enough juice to fill a couple of ball jars to give you some green boosters throughout the day.  Generally since I've gotten back, half of it has been my breakfast and I try to eat mindfully throughout the rest of the day.

**Yes, kiwi skins are edible and under appreciated!  Also as a nice touch, add the kiwis after the juice has been prepared, and blend it just a little more, this makes sure the black seeds are still whole and lend a nice crunch to the smoothie.


Obviously this can be tailored to your personal preferences, but I've found that the lighter water heavy vegetables like romaine and cucumber really help give refreshing body to smoothie without making it too vegetal, overwhelming the qualities of the apple and kiwi.  The banana also really helps round out the body of the drink, as I learned one morning when I forgot to add said fruit and was wondering what the drink was missing... Speaking of missing, I'm all out of romaine... erk! 

Saturday, April 6, 2013

Full Bodied Zucchini Hummus (Low carb! Gluten free! Infused with sass!)

It seems like carbs make me tired, like, really tired if I'm not careful.  I once had an internship at an Special Ed facility, and if it was french fries for lunch before the meetings I was a goner. I'd have to leave the group meeting at least a couple of times and go to the rest room and pump out some jumping jacks just to make sure I wasn't passed out, drooling on my clipboard as I sat on the sidelines.

Needless to say, I took pretty well to the low carb lifestyle one finds in raw food diets (and the generally better levels of energy).  However, there are some heavenly flavors one just can't find in the raw food world, flavors like Tohum roasted tahini.  Mind you, Tohum tahini is a specialty that I don't find my self able to (afford) to use all the time, but if you haven't tried it I do strongly recommend it.  Thankfully, there are other slightly more cost effect brands that are delicious enough.

Anyway, I do digress... Since I got back from Asia, I've been trying to eat better/more healthy, and felt like turning to a diet heavy in fresh fruits and raw vegetables was a good start, while minimizing my intake of processed foods.  So, you can expect to see updates (often green in color), of some of my staples during the past week.

One of the delights I whipped up was thus hummus.  I used some components of the raw base (zucchini in lieu of chickpeas),, and matched it with the flavoring components of my historical favorite hummus (the one on the side of this bag), and tackled the problem of raw hummus traditionally having the consistency of a thick salad dressing (moar flaxseeds!).

The end product was the full bodied, flavorful hummus I fondly remembered, that I could eat freely with carrots and celery without Mr. Sandman dragging me off to Nod.

Speaking of Nod... I'm still a bit jet lagged, and should get this recipe down before I PTFO...


  • 2 Large Green Zucchinis, cut into chunks
  • 2-4 cloves of garlic, peeled*
  • 2 t Vegetable Better than Boullion
  • 2 t Franks Hot Sauce
  • 6 T Fresh Squeezed Lemon Juice
  • 3/4 c Roasted Tahini
  • 1/2 T Cumin Seeds, Toasted
  • 1/4 c Extra Virgin Olive Oil
  • 3 T Nutritional Yeast
  • 1 t black pepper
  • 3 T Flax**
Throw everything but the flax into the high power blender or food processor. Blend until smooth.  If mix is watery, toss in the flax seeds and again blend until smooth. If you are using a food processor instead of a blender, I'd recommend using pre-ground flax meal for optimum smooth temperature. 

Transfer hummus to a container and place in the fridge until the flax seed has set.  When set, enjoy with carrots, celery, or whatever else you like to dip into hummus.  I've been eating it on raw onion bread with fresh sliced of tomato and a few grinds of pepper. 

*Garlickyness is a matter of personal preference, I go for 4 but that can be a bit much for most folks.
**Every zucchini will have different levels of water content, so you may need more or less hummus. You do not want to add too much, or else you will give the hummus a gummy texture, otherwise, it should be great!