Why Chronicle Smoothies??

Why Chronicle Smoothies? Well, because I love smoothies. And I believe that smoothies are worthy of plenty of love. And I think it's fun to experiment, and share my experience with other like-minded smoothie fanatics.

Wednesday, November 24, 2010

Pretty In Plum Plus

Ok so this might not be the most creative post I've ever made, but let's face it - sometimes the fridge just isn't that exciting. Today's smoothie is almost exactly like yesterday's smoothie, with the addition of a handful of spinach and a change of juice. In and of itself, that actually is exciting, because it just goes to show that smoothies can be totally wild and exotic, or a variation on a theme. Sometimes it's fun just to add or change one thing to a recipe to see how it affects the final product.

1 banana
1 plum
2 fennel stalks and leaves
1 apple
1 handful frozen blueberries
1/2 cup Balkan style yoghurt
1/2 cup mango orange nectar
1 handful baby spinach

In this case the mango nectar added an amazing sweetness and flavour, and the spinach brought a nice nuttiness and depth to the whole experience. I had a discussion the other day with one of my dear friends about the merits of so-called "Green Smoothies" or smoothies with the addition of veggies. Her perspective was that it was kind of like cheating, that she prefers to chew her veggies, have salads, etc. I do see her point, but after thinking about it, I came to a different conclusion. Without a green smoothie, would anyone be having a salad for breakfast? The way I see it, I am. And I think that's pretty cool. Green smoothie on!

Thursday, November 18, 2010

Pretty In Plum

Continuing on the theme of using fennel stalks and leaves in smoothies, today's is beautiful and delicious. I don't know about you, but I just love purple smoothies!

1 banana
1 plum
2 fennel stalks and leaves
1 apple
1 handful frozen blueberries
1/2 cup Balkan style yoghurt
1/2 cup tropical juice

I'm still amazed with with every fennel smoothie I make just how amazing the taste is. It gives every smoothie the same refreshing feel that celery does, but instead of the bite, you get an amazing sweetness and a touch of anise flavor.

Maybe I'll start posting some recipes, too, where we can use the leftovers in smoothies. What do you think? Smoothie on!

- Posted using BlogPress from my iPhone

Sunday, November 7, 2010

Fun With Fennel

Gee I love when I try something new and it turns out delicious! I'm particularly excited about this smoothie because I've been thinking about trying this for quite some time now. So here's what I did this time:

1 banana
1/2 cucumber
2 stems fennel, with leaves
about a cup of red grapes
1/2 cup balkan style yoghurt
cold water
3 kiwis, peeled

This was another smoothie that was a delight to taste, and to smell. Some of you may not be used to fennel, or anise (Foeniculum vulgare), but it's a veggie that's an absolute staple in our household, both cooked as a side dish and raw in salads. It has a fabulous licorice flavour, and though I don't like licorice, I loooooooove fennel. The seeds are used frequently as a seasoning spice (great pounded with a mortar and pestle and used as a rub for meat, fyi), and the leaves as a herb. It was also used in the making of absinthe... Lots of very interesting properties make it great for health - it's been said to improve digestive tract health (also reducing flatulence), be great for eyesight, reduction of hypertension, and even for increasing breast tissue improving breastfeeding. Pretty neat stuff for something that is so absolutely delicious.

Since it's a lot like celery in texture, I wasn't worried about using it in a smoothie at all. In fact, it's much more smoothie-friendly, I believe, since it has a nicer taste, even when used in higher quantities. Celery, on the other hand, can become very overpowering in a smoothie or a juice. This is just my first attempt, stay tuned for more experimentation with fennel. Oh, and it's just perfect with the tartness of the kiwis, by the way... Smoothie on!

Friday, November 5, 2010


Oh was this smoothie ever a success.... Fragrant, smooth, yummy, everything a super smoothie should be. Did I mention nutritious? No fancy business here, but one I'm sure all you coriander addicts will adore. I was craving yoghurt this morning, so I went a little heavy. If you'd prefer a less creamy version, just decrease the amount of yoghurt.

1/2 cucumber
1 banana
1 apple
2 kiwis (peeled)
3/4 balkan style yoghurt
1 small handful coriander leaves and stems
1 cup cranberry juice
splash cold water

The kiwis really added a nice tang to this smoothie, and I have some neat ideas about what to do with the rest of the punnet, so stay tuned. And not surprisingly, kiwi and coriander go great together! Smoothie on!

What did you think?

Monday, November 1, 2010

Apple Pie Smoothie

Hello everyone, I'm back! Sorry for the long hiatus, I have just started a great new job, and the new schedule has taken some getting used to. I have been smoothie-free, but now we're going to make up for it. Continuing with my excitement over using oats in my smoothies, I had a great idea to do a nice, seasonal smoothie, and I'm so pleased to report that it was a HUGE success, I'm sure you're going to love it. Ok, so the ingredients:

2 apples
1/2 cup balkan yoghurt
1/2 cup milk
1/2 cup orange juice
1 handful old fashioned oats
1 tsp honey
1 large pinch cinnamon
Cold water as needed to thin

Align Center

Since apples are usually quite hard, be sure to blend for long enough to make sure you don't get any chunks. One of the nice things about this creation is the fragrance, which is just as tantalizing as the taste. Many studies have shown that cinnamon has a positive effect on blood sugar, insulin response and even cholesterol levels. Commonly used for all kinds of ailments in traditional Chinese medicine, cinnamon is also believed to improve energy, vitality, and circulation. So there you go, something else that tastes great, and is also great for you! I so enjoy finding out how so many natural things work to keep us healthy, and it just reinforces my opinion that as long as you're eating "real" food, you'll be ok...

So tell me, have any of you tried a pie in a smoothie before? Smoothie on!

Tuesday, October 19, 2010


Oh how I love this smoothie!! Can you tell I'm excited? I always tend to get a little excited when I try something new and it ends up being delicious... Since with this cooler weather I've been craving oatmeal, I thought to myself it'd be the perfect time to add some oats to my smoothies. So this is the beginning of my Adventures In Oats, I'm sure you're going to love it.

1 banana
1 ripe avocado
1/2 cup plain yoghurt
1/2 cup orange juice
1 handful rolled oats
1/2 cup frozen blueberries
splash of cold water

I'm noticing a bit of a trend lately, with my deep purple smoothies. This is of course due to an overstock in frozen blueberries in my freezer... This smoothie has a really neat flavour to it because of the oats. Being my first foray into the realm of oats in smoothies, I was quite conservative adding only a handful. I'm going to experiment with more, but you'll notice I had to add a splash of cold water because the oats really thickened this smoothie up.

Oats, as most of us know, are a fantastic source of fiber. Doing my homework about oats I came across a great website www.eatmoreoats.com which is chock full of great info about the benefits of adding more oats into our diets. One of the major benefits is in cholesterol reduction and heart health, but there are plenty others, such as blood sugar control, cancer reduction, blood pressure, weight loss, bowel health, and many more. I have lots of great ideas which will be blended up this week, so stay tuned! Smoothie on!

Have you tried oats in a smoothie before?

Wednesday, October 13, 2010


Sometimes, albeit rarely, a mix doesn't quite work the way I'd hoped. This just happens to be one of those times. I think had I added some more fruit, it could have worked better, or perhaps arugula and coriander just weren't meant to be... I will experiment further and get back to you on that. It wasn't terrible or anything, just not my fave.

1 banana
3/4 cup green tea
1 stick celery
1 cup yoghurt
1 handful frozen strawberries
1 handful arugula
1/2 handful coriander
1 tbsp salba

What do you think would improve this smoothie?

Sunday, October 10, 2010

Green In Disguise

Would you believe me if I told you that this is a green smoothie?? Well, believe it or not, it is. Yes, even though technically it's purple. It's because blueberries have a magical property - they turn every smoothie you use them in purple, regardless of what other ingredients you may use. That's a great tip when you're trying to trick someone into drinking a green smoothie... They won't even notice the green stuff, I can guarantee it.

1 banana
1 handful frozen strawberries
1 handful frozen blueberries
1 handful arugula
2 cups green tea
1 tsp honey

This smoothie was incredibly nutty from the arugula, and less creamy than some other smoothies because I didn't use yoghurt. That being said, it was really refreshing, nutritious and tasty. Hope you enjoy it as much as I did, smoothie on everyone!

- Posted using BlogPress from my iPhone

Friday, October 8, 2010

Avocado-Strawberry Awesomeness

Yesterday I decided that it was time to kick it up a notch, so when friends came over for dinner it was the perfect opportunity to make an extra special smoothie that I could also share with all of you. I have to give credit on this smoothie to my sister, since she's the one who first introduced it to me. She had a similar concoction at a Hawaiian smoothie joint, and decided to give it a go herself. This is my take on it, and it just so happens to be one of the most fabulous smoothies I have ever made. I actually served it for dessert last night, and it was perfect. I usually use orange juice for the strawberry part, but I was out, so you'll see how I improvised... So this smoothie has 3 parts for dramatic effect: (Serves 4)

Avocado (Green) Part:
3 ripe avocados
1/2 cup milk, or enough to make it pourable
Blend, then pour into glasses, rinse blender

Strawberry (Pink) Part:
1 banana
1 cup frozen strawberries
3/4 cup Sangria (yeah baby), or enough to make it pourable
Blend, and then take a spoon, turn it upside down over the avocado, so that the scoopy part of the spoon is facing down, and slowly pour the strawberry mixture onto the spoon, so that it slowly pours and sits on top of the avocado mixture.

Now add a spoonful of ricotta to each glass, topped with chopped/bashed pistachio nuts, and then drizzle some good quality honey over it, et voila.

I'm sure you're going to be amazed at how awesome this smoothie is, and if you're anything like me, you're just going to want to make it every day... Let me know if I need to start a rehab group for this one! Smoothie on!

Tuesday, October 5, 2010

It Ain't Easy Being Green

This smoothie was inspired by me looking at my garden sadly, knowing that to my dismay all my cauliflower plants ever did this season was grow humongous leaves. No cauliflowers at all. Since the leaves are so beautiful and awe-inspiring, I thought it'd be worth checking out whether or not they're edible. Turns out not only are they edible, but they're a lot like kale, ie. full of wholesome goodness. The colour of this smoothie is spectacular, and it's really nice and fresh tasting. I think next time I'll add a bit of honey to sweeten it up a bit, or maybe some mint for some zing... I've also noticed that a disadvantage of using green tea in smoothies, is that there's quite a time lapse between brewing it and it being cool enough to go into s smoothie. Here I added 2 ice cubes to the tea to hurry the process along, but I think in the fututre what I'm going to do is brew a big batch and put it in a jug in the fridge. I enjoy cold green tea, already, so I'm pretty sure that'll work out great. Here we go:

1 ripe avocado
1 small banana
1 cup balkan style yoghurt
1 humongous cauliflower leaf, or kale leaf
1 1/2 cups green tea
1 apple

Here's a photo of my big, beautiful cauli leaf. It might not pack quite the nutritional punch of the much darker green kale, but it still measures up with plenty of antioxidants, minerals and vitamins.

What did you think of this smoothie? Comments are welcome, smoothie on!

Monday, October 4, 2010

Antioxidant Punch

I'm just so excited about today's smoothie! It's something I've never tried before, and never even thought of, except that I was reading an article on green tea, and bam... it hit me... (because ever since starting this blog my whole world revolves around smoothies) put it into a smoothie! This has sparked lots of ideas for the next few smoothies I make. I was also requested by Emily in a comment on Zingy Speckle a couple of weeks ago to include some banana replacement options, so here goes:

1 ripe avocado
1 cup frozen blueberries
1 handful pineapple chunks
1 handful honeydew melon chunks
1 handful strawberries
1 handful cantaloupe chunks
1 acai blueberry yoghurt Astro Biobest smoothie
1 1/2 cups green tea, cool

I can't describe to you how refreshing and tasty this smoothie is. I will by trying it with a banana in the future, but for the banana averse amongst us, the avocado does a great job at adding thickness and smoothness to this concoction. It also gives that nice nuttiness as an added bonus. The subtle bitterness of green tea is not an issue in this drink, it just gives the whole thing a really great flavour, and of course the benefits of all those antioxidants.

There are tons and tons of websites extolling the virtues of green tea, but in a nutshell because there is very little oxidation in the processing of green tea, it is widely considered the healthiest of teas. It's rich in antioxidants, particularly catechin polyphenols which have been shown to slow the aging process. Handy for weight loss because of its ability to enhance fat oxidation and increase the body's metabolic rate, it also has documented uses in all kinds of areas of health and well-being, including reproductive health, digestive health, etc.

One thing I was surprised to read was that green tea is actually a great source of vitamins and minerals, containing vitamin C in comparable amounts to a lemon, and tons of different types of B vitamins which are water soluble and so readily available in a tea. In summary, 5-6 cups of green tea a day, and you have a lot of your body's mineral requirements covered, and this smoothie helps you get there.

Have any of you tried a green tea smoothie before? Tell me all about it in the comments below. Smoothie on!

Sunday, October 3, 2010

Avocado Amore

Who loves avocados? I do, I do!! When I first heard of avocados in smoothies, I wasn't exactly sold in the whole concept. Now I know that they are absolutely sensational in a smoothie, adding a really yummy nuttiness and incredible smoothness. Try this one on for size:

2 avocados
1 banana
1/2 cup frozen strawberries
1/2 cup frozen blueberries
3/4 cup Balkan style yoghurt
1 cup orange juice

One thing you have to remember is that the addition of avocados, while adding to the flavor and texture of your concoction, will also make it a lot thicker. You can see from the peaks, this was a thickee. I enjoyed it almost like a dessert, but to loosen it up a little either omit one avocado, or add some more liquid: oj, milk and water would all work a treat. Smoothie on!!

How was your first avocado smoothie? Let me know in the comments area below!

- Posted using BlogPress from my iPhone

Tuesday, September 28, 2010

Sweet Sweet Sergeant Pepper

Props to my dear husband for this creation. It's great, because he's gutsier than I am (in his own words, when I asked him what's in it, he said "Everything but the kitchen sink"), and he's starting to get really adept at smoothie creation... It is an art, you know... My husband has been working really hard lately to get back in shape and lose a few pounds, and one of the things he's been doing is incorporating fresh, raw veggies into every single meal. Smoothies are a great way to mix it up (hehehe, yes I'm so punny) rather than always munching on celery sticks. I'm not dissing celery sticks, though, I swear, but you all know where my loyalties lay. So stay strong, because this concoction has some interesting goodies in it:

2 bananas
2 apples
1 avocado
1 cup balkan style yoghurt
1 handful red grapes
1 handful baby carrots
1 handful sweet peas
3 small sweet yellow peppers
1 handful broccoli
2 cups orange juice

One of the notable things about this smoothie is the lovely fragrance. You really don't notice how sweet those peppers smell until you put them into a smoothie. I have to admit, the flavour takes a little getting used to, but really, it's surprisingly nice once you give it a chance. Smoothies are a lot like life in that way, sometimes it's a little hard to get out of your comfort zone, but once you do, you reap the rewards. Smoothie on everyone, be gutsy!

Let me know what you thought of this smoothie in the comments below!

Saturday, September 25, 2010

Truly Grape

I must confess, today's smoothie wasn't exactly an original creation... Between you and me, yesterday's smoothie was so filling that I couldn't drink it all, and so I used the left-over glass as a starter for today's. Yeah, that's right, I'm allowed to cheat on my own blog!!

Well, no, I don't really think I'm breaking the rules here. I actually think one of the greatest things about smoothies is that there really are no rules - everything goes. I mean, all I did was add some goodies, and today's smoothie was completely different from yesterday's.

1 glass of yesterday's smoothie
1/2 cup frozen blueberries
1/2 cup frozen strawberries
1 handful red grapes
1 cup orange juice
1 large stalks celery

Now celery is fantastic in smoothies, but you have to watch it because it can take over in the flavor department. When using celery, I found that 1 large stalk per blender or juicer full is about my limit, but I suggest you experiment by starting small.

I'm excited about this post, because this is my first time posting from my iPhone, so we'll see how it goes...

Let me know what you thought about this smoothie in the comments area below, smoothie on, everyone!

- Posted using BlogPress from my iPhone

Friday, September 24, 2010

My Thai Smoothie

This has got to be one of the yummiest smoothies I have ever made. Inspired by flipping through Thai recipes, and by thinking of more fun ways to incorporate coriander into my smoothies (it seems like I can never use up a big bunch of coriander fast enough before the last few leaves start to brown, and it just breaks my heart to waste the beautiful stuff), this smoothie is definitely a success.

1 banana
1/2 large cucumber
1 lime, peeled
handful fresh coriander leaves and stems
1/2 avocado
1/2 cup frozen mango pieces
1 slice watermelon
1 can (400ml) coconut milk
1 1/2 cup pineapple juice

For this post I did my homework on coconut milk. It's a good source of manganese, iron, vitamin C, calcium, and Omega 3 (see Self Nutrition Data for more info), but it also has a heck of a lot of saturated fat in it, which isn't that great. In future smoothies, I might use the coconut milk in a lesser quantity for that reason. Although I have to say, this is a very filling smoothie, and foods with fat in them do help us get enough of that "satisfied" feeling so that we don't over eat...

As always, comments are welcome, Smoothie on!

Wednesday, September 22, 2010

Why Smoothies Rock

Since I have been on the go since 8am today and I didn't manage to fit in a smoothie, I thought today might be a great day to write about Why Smoothies Rock.

Firstly I'd like to thank everyone who has been following, supporting and commenting on this blog, whether on facebook, twitter, or wherever. The support has been overwhelming, especially hearing about people's experiences with my recipes, and how they have been inspired to smoothie on and to eat healthier. From the first day that I started writing this blog, it has been a wonderful spiral - inspiring me to keep my creative juices flowing and come up with fun, tasty concoctions every day. Thanks, all!

So what's so great about smoothies? Well, if quick, easy, and nutritious isn't enough, I have some more reasons to add. There is one thing I'd like to be clear on, so that there aren't any misunderstandings here. I for one ADORE cooking. I mean, I am passionate about my food, and I won't hesitate to toil all afternoon chopping and preparing for a Thai meal or a home-made pasta dish. I don't mind spending time cooking, in fact, I relish it (hehe, no pun intended) (yes, that was me laughing at my own unintended pun). So although smoothies are quick and easy, I don't use them as a way to cheat out of cooking, but they most certainly are a fantastic way to ensure that I'm getting all the fresh/raw fruits and veg that I require into my daily diet.

Another thing that's great about smoothies, is that some things are actually nutritionally best for us in the form of a smoothie. Leafy, green vegetables such as kale can actually be difficult for human beings to digest raw, and pulverizing them in a smoothie makes the nutrients more readily digestible.

Smoothie vs. Juice - the final word. Honestly, I used to be a juicing fanatic. And there are still many fabulous things about juicing. A beautiful, rich fruit and vegetable juice can be hard to beat. The reason why the smoothie gets my vote most of the time is that when you juice you lose most of the fiber. This is negative in a few ways: (a) most of us don't get enough fiber in our diets to begin with, now we're chucking it out instead of getting it in our system, (b) fiber helps fill us up, so when we don't eat it we feel hungrier sooner, even if our nutritional requirements are met by the juice, and (c) unless you have a bunch of eager horses or chickens, you're wasting a lot of good, wholesome food by juicing.

Finally, and this might just be me, creating new, fun, exciting smoothies is a blast. I never tire of it. Just when you think you've thrown everything you could think of into a blender together (and believe me, I have had that thought), you get inspiration from the oddest source. And to tell you the truth, I haven't made too many gross smoothies... yet...

Monday, September 20, 2010

Brown Is The New Black

Ok I'm not going to lie, when I first laid eyes on this smoothie the color worried me a teensy bit. Today's creation was all Mike, and let me tell you, it was surprisingly delicious - nutty, sweet and creamy. Trust....... and enjoy!

(PS this ended up being a humongous smoothie, enough for 4 servings)

2 bananas
1/4 watermelon
1 cup mixed frozen berries
1 cup yoghurt
1 cup pineapple juice
1 handful sunflower seeds
6 or so baby carrots
2 stalks celery
4 pieces broccoli
1 tablespoon Salba®

For those of you who aren't familiar with it, Salba is (straight from their site, by the way) "the richest whole food source of Omega 3 fatty acids and fibre found in nature. Every serving (12 grams or approximately 2 flat tablespoons) of Salba® provides over 2,400 mg of Omega 3s, over 4,500 mg of dietary fibre, with less than 0.5 net carbohydrates per serving. Gram for gram, Salba® provides six times more calcium than whole milk, three times more iron than spinach, and fifteen times more magnesium than broccoli. Salba® is all-natural, has no trans-fats, is gluten free, has almost no carbohydrates, and is certified Non-GMO (Genetically Modified Organism)."

Salba is actually a registered brand name for the seed of the Chia, or Salvia hispanica plant. For more info check out the Salba website, or the wiki. Smoothie on!

Friday, September 17, 2010

Berry Bonanza

This lilac beauty is as yummy as it looks. I'm starting to feel a little better, so I've indulged my yoghurt craving today with this smoothie.

1 banana
1/2 large cucumber
1/2 cup strawberries
3/4 cup blueberries
3/4 cup yoghurt
1 cup pineapple juice

Cucumbers are fun in smoothies, because you really can't tell they're there unless you put a heck of a lot it, and they're nice and juicy. They're also a good source of Vitamin A, Pantothenic Acid, Magnesium, Phosphorus and Manganese, and a very good source of Vitamin C, Vitamin K and Potassium, according to Self Nutrition Data, a great site for finding out what really is in your food.

Thursday, September 16, 2010


It's amazing what one plum did for this smoothie!! Sweet, purple, smooth, and yummy. Still trying to beat this cold, so I stayed away from the yoghurt today.

1 banana
1/2 large cucumber
1 green apple
1 small orange
1 lime
1/2 cup cold water
1 plum

Wednesday, September 15, 2010

Cold Buster

As you can probably tell from the name of today's smoothie, I have a fierce cold today. This smoothie is my attempt to banish it. I used lots of citrus here, and veggies, and honey. I stayed away from yoghurt since dairy products can increase mucous production, and avoided making it too sweet by using lots of fruits.

1 banana
1 lime
1/2 lemon
1 orange (that I mistook for a grapefruit...woops)
1/2 cucumber
2 sticks celery
4-5 leaves of sorrel
1 tbsp honey

Honey is great, in that it has lots of vitamins and minerals in it, as well as antioxidants. I found a cool site here that seems to be a pretty comprehensive guide to everything honey, check it out here. Smoothie on!

Tuesday, September 14, 2010

Zingy Speckle

The first thing I'd like to point out about today's smoothie is the fragrance... it just smells incredible (all you other coriander addicts out there will immediately understand what I'm saying here). And yes, it tastes just as lovely as it smells, and it really looks pretty, too, with all sorts of different colored speckles in it. Here are the ingredients:

1 small banana
1/2 medium cucumber (unpeeled)
large handful of red grapes
1 apple, cored
1 lime, peeled
1 handful of coriander leaves and stems, washed carefully (important step - it tends to be full of earth, which is very grainy in a smoothie)
1 cup pineapple juice
1 splash (maybe a 1/4 to 1/2 cup) grapefruit juice

Coriander, Coriandrum sativum (also known as cilantro) is a fascinating herb to me - mainly because of people's incredibly strong feelings towards it. No one seems to be like "Coriander, meh.". It's always either "Holy guacamole I LOVE the stuff!!! Inject it into my eyeballs, maaan!!!", or "Don't let it even touch the rest of my food, it'll contaminate everything and make it all taste like soap". In addition to its use as a fragrant herb, of course it has plenty of nutritional and medicinal value. It's great for the digestive system, and the bruised seed can even be applied externally as a poultice to help with joint pain. The leaves are full of antioxidants, too. Smoothie on!

Monday, September 13, 2010

Krisz' Peanut Butter Cup Surprise

Yesterday when I was telling my friend Krisz about my new smoothie blog, she shared with me her new fave smoothie recipe, and ladies and gents, it's a winner. She uses a standard blender for this mix - half a banana, 2 big tablespoons of organic peanut butter (no sugar or anything added), a spoonful of honey, about half a blender full of milk, and one ice cube. The most important part of this recipe, Krisz insisted, are the proportions, which I discovered for myself today when trying it out.

I was really excited to try this recipe, particularly because the first thing I did was throw some unsalted roasted peanuts into my Vitamix and turn them into my own home-made peanut butter.... This smoothie is absolutely amazingly delicious, and packs a great protein punch, and is the perfect cure to a chocolate bar craving.

As we all know, legumes in our diet are incredibly important, and peanuts are no exception. Full of protein, vitamins and trace minerals, peanuts have been shown to be great for the heart. Something that I didn't know until I did my homework, is that peanuts have lots of oleic acid in them (like olives), and actually rival the antioxidant content of many fruits. To my surprise, roasting them has actually been shown to increase antioxidant content by 22%! So peanut butter is great, but to be clear, I don't believe that applies to peanut butter that is so processed and full of sugar that in my opinion it cancels out whatever might be good about the peanuts... I'm talking about peanut butter with only one ingredient in it... Peanuts (go figure). FYI the peanut butter I made this morning was so delicious and creamy that you'd barely be able to tell the difference between it and the store-bought sugary brand. Do beware of the proportions in this recipe, as I added a bit too much peanut butter, so my smoothie was a bit thick and intense... Nothing a shot of milk didn't fix, mind you. But talk about fill you up!! I'm half way through my smoothie, and I'm full. Smoothie on, everyone!

Saturday, September 11, 2010

Kermit D. Smoothie

Ok folks, today we're getting a little bolder and starting to bring out the big guns. Just trust me here, because this smoothie is absolutely delicious and sweet. So what we have here is half a medium cucumber from the garden, a couple of small celery stalks also from the garden, a handful of frozen strawberries and frozen left-over mango from yesterday's smoothie, a banana, an apple, about a cup of pineapple juice, and a few leaves of malabar spinach to top it all off.

Remember when I told you we'll get to some of the finer points of the Vitamix vs. standard blenders debate? Well, here's one of the main reasons. I don't know if any of you have ever tried to include apples in one of your standard blender smoothies. Or celery or spinach, for that matter. Well, what happens is that since those are pretty hard, fibrous creatures, your smoothie usually ends up pretty chunky, and I don't know about you, but I think that's kinda yucky. In a Vitamix, however, you just turn it up to high and leave it for about a minute, and you have the smoothest, fluffiest drink imaginable. We'll discuss the further advantages of that fact a little later on, but for now, if you have a standard blender, for this smoothie I suggest you omit the apple and celery, and maybe give the spinach a shot...

I thought I'd tell you a little bit about Malabar Spinach, or Basella alba today, even though you could just as easily swap it for regular spinach in this recipe. I'd never heard about this spinach (also known as Asian Spinach) until this year when I was introduced to it by my favorite exotic plant breeder as a perennial, climbing spinach, which sounded really, really cool to me. It's a really pretty plant, as you can see, and though the leaves are a bit smaller and thicker, and don't taste exactly the same, I've found it to be a great, easy-to-grow- spinach replacement, which doesn't bolt in the heat, so I love it.

Nutritionally, it's exactly what you'd expect from spinach: high in iron, calcium and vitamins A and C, packing quite a punch of protein per calorie. And when you put it in the blender, you get all that wonderful soluble fiber, too. Enjoy the smoothie, everyone!

Friday, September 10, 2010


I must say, I am especially proud of today's smoothie, it is absolutely sensational, and looks delightful to boot. The Lean-Green-Nutrition-Machine has a small cucumber from my garden, about a half a cup of Balkan style yoghurt, about a half a cup of fresh mango (I usually use the frozen stuff because it's both convenient and consistently fresh and ripe, but the fresh ones looked nice today so I grabbed one), a splash of orange juice, and last but not least, a handful of leaves of sorrel from my garden. It's nice and sweet, and the sorrel leaves give it a bit of a lemony tang. If you don't have any sorrel, I'm sure arugula would do the trick.

Sorrel, or Rumex acetosa, is considered to be much like spinach in that it is said to have blood-cleansing and improving qualities. It's got iron, vitamin A, vitamin C, some calcium, phosphorus, potassium, magnesium and dietary fiber in it, but because it's relatively high in oxalates, sorrel leaves shouldn't be over done by anyone who is prone to kidney stones or arthritis. It's also super easy to grow, and will grow all year long in a pot. Left outside it's a perennial, so it'll just keep coming back with a vengeance. Here in eastern Ontario it can get a little hot for it; I don't get many leaves in high summer, but in spring and fall I'm treated to beautiful fresh young leaves. I'm going to try putting some in a pot this winter, I'll let you know how that goes. (PS It's also really good in soup, but I digress...I just can't help myself)

Thursday, September 9, 2010


So today for our first smoothie together, I decided to be a bit of a purist. Start simple, and all that... So the ingredients are a large, pretty ripe banana, frozen blueberries, Balkan style yoghurt, and a mix of orange and grapefruit juice. Delicious and nutritious as it, isn't the colour purty??

Wednesday, September 8, 2010

The Secret Smoothie Weapon

Before beginning our smoothie journey together, I think it's important to have a little chat about an appliance that I find INDISPENSABLE in my smoothie crusade. In fact, the word "appliance" doesn't quite capture the magic... This thing, in my opinion, is a smoothie game changer. Ladies and gentlemen, I bring you (drum roll please)..... the VitaMix!

Look, I'm not saying that you can't make a perfectly awesome smoothie in your standard blender, because you absolutely can. But the power that this machine has allows it to literally pulverize things that you never before would consider putting into a smoothie (more on this in later posts).

The mixes that I'm experimenting with on this blog may not succeed quite as well in a regular blender, but I'll attempt to offer ingredient substitutions as often as I can. See you tomorrow with our first smoothie together!