Larry and I have been trying to eat more nutritious foods, and have improved immensely since gardening and farming. I use my blender for many things, but especially for fruit and berry smoothies. Recently, we purchased a Vitamix blender in order to make delicious green smoothies as well. Unlike juicers that waste the pulp, a Vitamix turns everything into liquid. We are happy with the results, but have only used it in spurts. That is because I want the greens I eat to be chemical free, and I don't always make it to Whole Foods.
We grow much of our produce, and do it organically, even building up the soil with homemade compost. This past week our belief in the importance of doing so was reinforced with Rodale's "2014 Dirty Dozen List: The Most Pesticide-Laden Produce You're Eating." Spinach was No. 6 on the list, and kale and collard greens were noted to frequently be contaminated with insecticides that are particularly toxic to human health. So, what to do? The article suggested to at least buy the "dirty dozen" organic.
Now you know why my gardening is changing. I planted kale and Swiss chard for the first time, and a much larger area of spinach. Yes, I planted for our Vitamix!
So far, we’ve tried and liked six recipes from the Vitamix recipe book that use 2 cups of spinach each. I pack the cups full so that Larry and I each get a good serving along with the other nourishing food in the recipe. There are many recipes, so you are certain to find one that suits you.
It’s Easy Being Green Smoothie:
1 cup green grapes
1/2 cup fresh pineapple (I keep frozen pineapple chunks handy)
1 medium banana
1 carrot, halved
2 cups spinach
1 medium apple
6 cups ice cubes
Place ingredients in order list into Vitamix container; secure lid.
Process beginning with Variable 1 and slowly increasing to Variable 10 and then to High. Blend for 1 minute, or until desired consistency is reached.
I thought it impossible that a baked green leaf could turn into something edible, let alone delicious. You just have to go out on a limb and try this kale chip recipe. The first time I made them, they disappeared so quickly, I made two more batches. I used garlic salt in one and chipotle seasoning in the other.
Carol’s Kale Chips: (from the Natural Grocers calendar)
1 small bunch organic curly leaf kale
1 tablespoon olive oil
Black pepper, to taste
Preheat oven to 300 F.
Rinse kale and dry thoroughly. Tear leaves into large pieces minus the thick stems. In a large bowl, massage oil into the kale and sprinkle on salt and pepper. Arrange leaves on baking sheet in a single layer without overlapping or crowding. Bake 10 to 15 minutes, keeping a close watch to prevent burning.
Happy healthy eating!