Tuesday, June 10, 2008

Green Shakes


No, I'm not talking about the sudden chill some of us feel each time a new strip mall is erected over a once-living patch of earth. I'm talking about the kind of shakes you drink. Most people call them smoothies. I don't like that word. I associate it with my time spent living in Berkeley and working in San Francisco when my co-workers would all go grab a 'juice' or 'smoothie' for lunch and talk about how healthy they were.

Newsflash: 32 oz of fruit juice once a day as your main calorie source might not be the best nutritional plan.

These co-workers would all complain half an hour later of being so exhausted and twitchy. Hmmm. Wonder why?

Of course, that was many years ago, when smoothies were just emerging and Jamba Juice was in its infancy. Things seem to have gotten a little more well-rounded lately.

My typical breakfast is a shake. I like the word 'shake' because I like to imagine that it's really a milkshake. I have a vivid imagination and the idea of eating ice-cream for breakfast helps me keep the rage at bay. I've found a combination of ingredients that, while fussy, works for me.

This morning was a little different. To my standard mix, I decided to add some raw baby spinach.

Now don't make a face. I was shocked to find that I couldn't taste the spinach at all. Not that I'd mind. I've been known to drink cabbage/beet/celery juice. However, the red-haired vegan has a less encompassing palate. He hates cooked greens, but will eat them raw. You can only eat so many salads, so adding some to breakfast seemed like a good idea. Even he could sense no spinach.

We could all stand to eat more leafy greens. Try incorporating them in odd ways and it may surprise you.

Green Shake

I'm warning you that these ingredients may not be easy to find, so experiment with what you can easily find around you. This recipe makes 2 tall glasses for 2 people or more of less.

4 tbsp Nutiva Hemp Shake (berry something or other)
4 tbsp Brown rice protein powder (made by MLO)
4 tbsp soy milk powder (Better than Milk brand)
1 banana
2 c blue berries
1 tbsp flax oil
2 c water
1 bag of washed baby spinach (6 oz)
2 strawberries for garnish

Note: I use a Cuisinart hand-blender that can chop through almost anything. If you have just a regular blender, try processing the spinach first in a food processor (which I did anyway).

1. Blend it all until it's smooth and green. I blend it with my hand-blender in a big pitcher then pour.
2. It's best to drink these right away. They don't really keep all that well.

So there it is. I might even be able to convince myself that it's a mint-ice-cream shake if I weren't too lazy to go get some spearmint from my garden. Maybe the spinach will give me the energy to do that tomorrow.

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