When It’s …Ummm? Instead of Yummm!

March 3, 2008

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When all goes well, my meals are utter symphonies of flavor, texture, beauty and nutrition. And, some days, they are strange experiments that might need quite a lot more work; hardly ever, of course, but it very occasionally happens. : ) And for all the other times, when I am so busy with other elements of life that I just need to get some nutrition into my body, I resort to my go-to meal of choice: the vegetable smoothie. The, hUMMMble vegetable smoothie, as you can see for yourself. Because when you first see it, about the only adjective it’s likely to inspire is, …um…as in, I am going to drink that?

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So, nooo…, it’s definitely not a born beauty, and there may be some textural issues to overcome, but for flavor and nutrition – it is the BEST! Am I sure about the flavor part, you ask? Well. YES, frankly, and it is largely thanks to a recipe called ‘Rocket Fuel’ that was making the rounds in my circle when I went raw for the first time, seven years ago. It’s a great, forgiving recipe that I wished I had known about for my first four months of raw when I lived on blender food alone, not knowing how else to prepare anything, haha! I had inadvertantly hit upon the very thing my body required to shift into this lifestyle: the easiest, most nutritious preparation possible in the form of vegetable smoothies, or as I like to call it: Blender Food.

I am not so enamoured with the concept of adding fruit to greens in a smoothie, other than the occasional addition of perhaps a quarter of an apple to round out a particularly intense combination like dandelion greens or the like. The following recipe is perfect for people like me who don’t like sweet greens and yet want something powerfully pleasing to the palate. And, being a smoothie, it is by nature fast food. That’s rather catchy, isn’t it: By Nature, Fast Food. Fast food, by Nature. Hmmm…

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This will fill a one quart mason jar, more or less, depending upon the size of your vegetables. I used to make HUGE blender batches, using lots of water and I now prefer this in the proportions given below. Experiment a bit to find your own preference, because that is probably what your body needs most. (And then expect that to shift, and shift again, at some point!) An even more potent variation if this recipe, and the one that is most optimal is in my up-coming recipe book. For now, enjoy this one. I do, almost daily!

TIP: I keep all my veggies washed and prepped (but uncut to retain nutritional integrity) in plastic boxes in the fridge, that way all I have to do is pull out the entire bin and I can slice off and toss bits of everything in there into the blender and have a fulfilling, delicious, nutritional and portable meal, in way under 5 mins.

ROCKET FUEL

1/4 cucumber

2 sticks of celery, sliced with 1/4 inch cuts

1/4 carrot stick, scrubbed, only peeled if not organic, and sliced into discs

1/4 beet, roughly chopped

2 inch wedge of red or green cabbage, or bok choi

1/4 avo

1/4 bunch of kale or collards

1/2 bunch of cilantro, can sub or add parsley but it will thicken, because parsley puree will gel.

1/2 lemon, juiced and NO SEEDS or it will be too bitter. Trust me, I’ve tried to be manly and take it with seeds for their cleansing effect and decided it is just not necessary to suffer that much bitterness. Just take citrus seed capsules. Really.

1 big splash of nama shoyu (about 1 Tbl)

pinch of cayenne and or an inch or two of sliced ginger, both ideally. I am also into fresh tumeric right now, which I LOVE so you’ll see that and some spirulina tabs in the photo above as well.

Add filtered or spring water to your preference, about 1 cup is a good place to start, and blend. If you’d like a big pitcher of easy to drink liquid, then add water to the top of the vegetables and you’ll have enough to last you an hour or two. It’s also easier to drink that way if the thick texture bothers you. Matt Amsden doesn’t add any water, (he says at the bottom of this post), but does add a whole cucumber. I love it that way too, then it’s like a spoonable, savory pudding. Either way, he has another helpful tip, which is to remember to stir in some whole goji berries, about 1/4 cup or a nice handful, after you blend it in order to have a physical reminder to chew your juice! Goji berries are sweet and salty, so I can handle them. Forty percent of digestion takes place in the mouth and many digestive issues can be eliminated by simply chewing everything that goes into your mouth until you get a flavor change, signaling that it’s ok to swallow now. This definitely includes liquids, except perhaps water, though I wonder what Danny Vitalis would have to say on that subject!

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Yeah, so, like I said: yuhhhhhhhh um………………..

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