Almost every week, I see a friend posting about some green juice or green smoothie they had or need to have. I’ve enjoyed a few myself and I remember my introduction to the world of green beverages: an extremely refreshing bottle of callaloo juice I randomly picked up off a supermarket shelf some years ago. It had only 5 ingredients: water, callaloo, lime juice, ginger and sugarcane juice. You can’t do it any better than that! *ahhhhhh*
I usually whip up my green smoothies at home by grabbing whatever’s green and blending it with a little water and a bit of fruit. If I have any bananas that are becoming over-ripe, I normally chuck them into the freezer for use in a smoothie. This is because I find that frozen fruit makes the drink extra chilly and quite the right stuff on these ‘force-ripe-summer’ hot days we’re having.
Most green smoothie recipes that you’ll find online will call for green leafy vegetables like spinach, kale, collard greens or mustard. But, if you’re in Jamaica, you don’t need to complicate things by thinking ‘foreign’! We have an abundance of our own green leafy vegetables to choose from. Don’t believe me? Look in your fridge! Don’t you see something green?! LOL.
Unless you live in a home with a very blessed backyard, or just went to visit your granny in the country, you’ll need to add the ingredients for your green smoothie stash to your regular grocery list. No! You don’t need to go through the hassle of travelling to the market to haggle for quality produce at great prices. To get all your fruits and leafy greens, you could use an affordable but high quality market delivery service like Real Farm Freshness. These are some courteous people who will bring your fruits, veggies and any other produce to your home or office door for likkl n nutten. But, if you need the exercise from walking around and you enjoy the social interaction, please go to your neighbourhood fruit stand and green grocer, or a farmer’s market like the one held at Michi Super Center every month. Don’t forget that we need to build Jamaica by buying Jamaican and eating Jamaican!
Once you’ve got your fruit and leafy green stash, you’ll probably need some ideas for how to combine them for yummy beverages. While I enjoy my spontaneously crazy fruit and vegetable combinations, my green smoothies may not get the same frothy grins from you. So, I checked out the blog at Simple Green Smoothies and they have a lot of info for the clueless and even offer a Free Green Smoothie Recipe e-Book. They also have what they call “The 60/40 Formula” in which your recipe is always 60% fruits and 40% leafy greens.
“For example: 3 cups fruit, 2 cups dark leafy greens, 1-2 cups of water. Makes 32-40oz or 4-5 cups.”
So you don’t have any excuse to say the smoothies will taste yucky or ‘green’. In fact, you could really benefit from taking on their “30-Day Green Smoothie Challenge” – which begins 1 July 2013 – and try to drink one cup of green smoothie goodness a day.
But, don’t get bogged down by all the recipes that call for weird sounding leafy greens, berries and super foods – just use my list Jamaican fruits, vegetables and liquids outlined below, to make your green smoothies low-cost and local:
|Pak Choi||Pineapple||Coconut Water||Ginger|
|Lettuce||Watermelon||Nut Milk (coconut/soy/almond)|
|Avocado Pear||Otheiti Apple|
Once you’ve decided that you want to get your green smoothie habit going, my recommendation is that you:
- Plan for one week of juices.
Fail to plan? Plan to fail!
- Make a shopping list.
Don’t get too much of anything and don’t end up with snacks or other junk that distracts you while you shop.
- Get your ingredients.
Wherever you can: Coronation Market. Market Delivery Service. Local fruit stand and green grocer. Farmer’s Market. Your backyard.
- Grab 5 mins to gather your stuff, blend and fill your bottle to go.
The quickest meal you ever made! LOL.
- Always use local fruits and veggies and buy whatever is in season.
Healthy doesn’t mean you have to be wealthy nor make someone else wealthy.
Now, if you’re lazy – sorry – extremely busy, you could simply call up Live Juice Bar and order a few bottles of their “100% Fruit and Vegetable Juices and Smoothies made Live!” They deliver and you can win cool juice jars, bottles or even bonus juices when you order.
Remember, if you want to up your veg intake or just ensure you have something sensible for the day, try a green smoothie! No strainers, no twisting of muslin cloths to wring out precious juices. No fibre lost.
But, whatever you do, just keep it simple and fill up on your greens!