Posts Tagged ‘Green Smoothies’

Raw Fusion: Better Living Through Living Foods — Book Review

Book Review for Raw Fusion by LindaJoy Rose, PhD

In Raw Fusion — a companion duo of high raw food lifestyle tips and recipes — Dr. LindaJoy Rose offers strategies and recipes for increasing raw and living foods in the entire household while maintaining peace and what I call the “yumminess factor.” LindaJoy expands upon some of the integrative and non-judging ideas of my own ebook, The Lazy Raw Foodist’s Guide, but instead of a few chapters on these important topics, LindaJoy offers two books’ worth of living foods support, differing lifestyle coexistence, and a “fusion” of deliciously prepared raw foods and healthier mainstream meals. Indeed, Raw Fusion is one of the most family-friendly and practical tools I’ve ever encountered for high raw food living.

I’ll let LindaJoy explain her powerful premise:

“I have maintained a high raw diet (70-80% daily, sometimes 50% when I travel) for over three years now. During the first year … I didn’t know many people who were raw and had to figure a lot of things out on my own. I would have loved to interview other raw foodists about what they ate; I was particularly curious about what they were eating that was not raw. When I decided to write my own book on raw foods, [my friend] Jeff encouraged me to create a book directed to mainstream types like himself, who are open to making positive changes in their diets, but might find the concept of high or full raw intimidating and too far on the fringe. …My goal in this book is to help inform you about this exceptional lifestyle. I want to streamline and share all of the information that I gathered from my
research, both practical and educational … .”

This mainstream approach to a fringe lifestyle bridges gaps that can cause resistance, arguments, and division among otherwise loving and supportive family members and friends.

Victoria Boutenko, inspiring, author, speaker and one of the original mama bears of the growing raw food movement, provides the Foreward to Raw Fusion. Victoria describes her international travels and notes commonalities in eating styles of countries with very low obesity rates. In her Foreward, Victoria heralds a homemade, high raw and lightly steamed diet as the most obvious connection among places like Japan, France and Austria — places with far superior weight management compared to the U.S. This is exactly the kind of eating presented in Raw Fusion!

Although Victoria spent much of her early career advocating for a 100% raw food diet, her book Green for Life was the one that got green smoothies to go mainstream(ish!). Prior to Green for Life, I was the only person I knew who blended kale, raspberries and water together and called it a meal. Six years later, most raw foodies drink some kind of green smoothie every single day. LindaJoy includes a variety of unusual smoothies in Raw Fusion, and shares just how popular and revolutionary green smoothies have been for her loved ones. She even includes a “Formula for the Perfect Green Smoothie” and entire section devoted to “Getting More Greens.” In many ways, Raw Fusion enables ordinary people to “go green” with minimal fuss or weirdness.

Raw Fusion: Better Living Through Living Foods offers an extensive and informative pantry chapter, to help you prepare your shopping list. The companion book provides replacement recipes for SAD condiments like sour cream, mustard, mayo, and salsa. High on my list is the Kale Chips Series, including a nut-free version for people who prefer something lighter than the usual cashew sauce. Salty and sweet cravings will find relief in their own crave-buster sections: fast and easy antidotes to munchies and emotional eating.

Like The Lazy Raw Foodist’s Guide, Raw Fusion pools resources, featuring raw food chefs and educators like Angela Elliott, Tera Warner and many others, who provide question and answer style wisdom and recipes. Yours truly contributed an article on “Macrobiotics and the Raw Food Diet,” as well as my recipes for “Multi-tasking Crackers,” which use ground flax seeds and leftover veggie or nut pulp to make tasty snacks. My “Anything Goes Butternut Soup Base” and tips for tastily combining raw cacao and greens also make an appearance.

Dr. LindaJoy Rose (affectionately known to fans as “LJ”) holds advanced degrees in the fields of psychology, hypnotherapy, and the mysteries of the subconscious mind. In a world that contains so much negative programming around food, body image and health, I love LindaJoy's ability to offer not only tasty, nourishing food options, but also helpful self-programming tools for success in the raw food lifestyle. Clients and regular readers of my blog know that I’m a huge fan of symbols, Runes, mythology, past lives, decoding the body’s “language,” and Archetypes — all of which function as keys to understanding and thereby reclaiming our subconscious minds. In Raw Fusion, LJ offers decades of experience as a hypnotherapist, sharing tricks of the trade with readers to help them manage weight and increase vibrancy. For people looking to take the next step in weight loss, she’s also got an entire hypnotherapy program. (Click here for more details on Hypnovation for Health.)

You can also find LJ’s blog, sample recipes, videos and event information here.

With the approaching holidays and New Year’s Resolutions, or anytime you want to upgrade health and harmony, I highly recommend the Raw Fusion duo. These beautiful books will round out any raw, vegan, or healthy living collection, as they help you find more energy, greater health and higher awareness.

Tips for Tastier Green Smoothies

I’ve been painting Doorway Number 10 all week and will post photos soon. In the meantime, I thought I’d post some quick tips to make green smoothies more interesting. Summer offers wonderful fresh produce, especially greens and fruit — perfect for this little health food staple. If you’re like me, though, you might feel a little tired of green smoothies, even with your farmer’s market stash. I’ve drunk some form of green smoothie on most days for the past five years. Sometimes even varied fruit and greens seem … boring. Even superfoods, fruit and greens … dull.

I realized while talking with some friends about this dilemma that I’ve found easy ways around it with essential oils, teas and unusual flavor combinations. You can dramatically alter your smoothie experience with a little knowledge and experimentation. Here are some of my favorite combos:

Acai-cacao-blueberry-peppermint

Acai tastes like a combination of blueberries and chocolate, so when you add those flavors in with the acai, the flavors really pop! I like to use fresh mint as the green in these smoothies, but I’ve also used Romaine or spinach and just added 3 drops of peppermint essential oil. Adding some cinnamon powder or essential oil brings out even more flavor dimensions in this combo.

cilantro-anise
I am drinking this right now, actually. Many people find cilantro a difficult green to drink, but it chelates Mercury and other heavy metals, so it’s worth the effort. I’ve found that cilantro tastes good with frozen pineapples or frozen mangos, and it tastes good with pretty much anything if you add 3 drops of anise essential oil. Something about the licorice flavor of the anise brings out depths of flavor in the cilantro for a total wow experience. I just have frozen bananas as my base today, along with a hint of acai, anise, and even some maca. Normally, maca-cilantro would taste disgusting as a sweet smoothie, but the anise cuts the flavor and makes it seem complexly sweet. Anise also has a side benefit of helping with bloating or gas that some people experience with too much liquid or poor food combining.

maca-cacao

On its own, maca is not the most smoothie-friendly ingredient because it tastes like radish. Put too much of it in your kale smoothie and you risk a total blech reaction. But maca-combined with cacao creates an almost magical experience.

maca-spirulina-cinnamon

Another example of combining flavors in order to transform the yuck factor into an amazing “yum!”

schizandra berries

These things are totally tart. I can put one, possibly two into a smoothie, but no more unless I’ve made a tea and sweetened it with stevia. The cool thing about schizandra (other than the fact that I wrote a novel about Schizandra Ginger Parker) is that it is known as the “5-flavored berry.” This means that it can amplify or adjust whatever flavors you combine with it. If your green smoothie were wine, you could say schizandra would enhance the “bouquet.”

cinnamon

This spice deserves its own little blurb. Not only does it add depth, sweetness and spiciness to just about any flavor combination, but it also helps to regulate blood sugar. If you use essential oil, a couple drops will give good flavor. If you use the spice itself, 1 tsp-1 tbsp will transform your smoothie. Err on the side of caution first and add as desired. Cinnamon works best as a subtle flavor but can easily become the dominant one if used too heavily.

chai tea

I’ve written on this before as a way of transforming dandelion greens, figs and apples into a cider-like concoction. The rich flavors of chai tea also make a nice, chilled background to tropical fruit based smoothies. Because cilantro is used sometimes in Indian cooking, chai tea also works well in making that one more palatable to the unitiated. 😉

zucchini

I learned about this from Melissa Mango. If you want to create a creamy consistency without the heavy fats or adding tons of bananas, you can peel (or not peel) a zucchini and add it into your blender. It has very little flavor on its own but will bulk up your drink into a thicker experience.

cucumber

One of my favorite smoothie add-ons, especially in summer for its cooling effects. Cucumber also has lots of silica in the peel, so buy organic and use unpeeled if possible.

frozen bananas

This one seems obvious but it’s a godsend on a hot summer afternoon without air conditioning. Freezing bananas also ensures you always have some fruit on hand for those “forgot to go produce shopping” moments. Peel and break them into pieces first! They are a staple, but I find that ANY smoothie tastes much better cold.

Other Random Tips

A few other superfast things I’ve been doing lately:

spirulina pudding: 1 avocado mashed together with 1-2 TBSP spirulina powder, and a sweetener of your choice (agave, stevia, xylitol). Bliss out!

maca-cacao-goji pudding: 1 avocado mashed together with 1-2 TBSP maca powder and 1-2 TBSP cacao powder, plus sweetener of your choice. I usually just use 1 packet of stevia. Top with optional goji berries.

fruit salad on bitter greens: if you hate the bitterness of uber-healthy dandelion greens or arugula, try topping them with fresh strawberries, peaches and raspberries. You won’t even need a dressing.

dandelion pesto: a healthier take on the basil version and a good way to get these supergreens into your system. I make mine with an entire bunch of dandelion greens, a tablespoon of olive oil, juice of half a lemon, a hint of walnut oil if available, some raw walnuts, pinch of himalyan sea salt and either a bit of cinnamon honey, or just the tiniest dusting of cinnamon and a packet of xylitol. Process in a food processor until reasonably smooth, but still a little crunchy. Serve on portabella mushrooms topped with tomato and parsley, or as a sauce for zucchini or brown rice pasta.

kim chee guacamole

Add your own or store bought kim chee to an avocado and eat with a salad or tortilla chips. You won’t even need to spice it because the tangy, spicy kim chee makes it taste a bit like salsa guacamole (with the advantage of probiotics). This one is more hard core than the other recipes, but I’m sharing it for those people who, like me, really love fermented foods — or at least wish they did!

For more super-easy tips from me, as well as lots of awesome raw chefs, please see The Lazy Raw Foodist’s Guide. Enjoy Summer’s bounty!

More Green Smoothies to Write Home About

Ever since Victoria Boutenko sent me a review copy of Green for Life, back in early 2006, I have begun most days with some sort of green smoothie. It got so that I didn’t even think about it: breakfast was simply green, very green, everyday green.

Until this summer. Suddenly, this summer I could no longer tolerate green smoothies. It didn’t matter which green or which fruit I used, after a couple sips, my stomach would lock up and not allow even a bit more down. If I managed to swallow some of these concoctions in the name of “health,” I would end up needing to juice fast for two days just to get my stomach settled.

This experience caused some interesting realizations, not the least of which was just how much of a raw foodist I’d become. The idea of anything else for breakfast literally had not occurred to me for several years! What exactly did “normal” people eat for breakfast? Cocoa Puffs? I attempted a few more green smoothie combos and did a few more unintended juice feasts before I called it quits.

I stopped drinking green smoothies for about two months. I started eating fruit for breakfast, or VEGA protein powder, or HempNGreens rawnola with sesame seed mylk (exceptionally yummy, by the way). I survived, but I did miss my smoothies. Then one day, I mixed some Vitamineral Green in coconut water and felt the same gut wrenching stomach pains. Ah-ha! Mystery solved: I had grown so accustomed to adding Vitamineral Green to all my smoothies that I hadn’t even noticed it as the one common denominator amidst all varieties of greens and fruit. This also explained why I could eat a kale salad but not a kale smoothie. It was never about the kale!

Anyway, long story short, I’ve been back on green smoothies again for about 2 months, and the time away increased my fondness for them. I have nothing against Vitamineral Green; I think it’s a fabulous product. My stomach just doesn’t appear to like it anymore. But it does love green smoothies! I decided to share two more favorites here:

SPIRULINA BELLY BLISS

This is a recent variation on an old standby, utilizing coconut kefir instead of almond mylk.

5-15 leaves dinosaur kale (depending how green you like your smoothies)

1 cup coconut kefir (coco meat + coco water, so it’s nice and thick)

1 cup water or coconut water

1 avocado

1-2 bananas

1-2 TBSP spirulina

1 tsp lucuma

1 TBSP liquid lecithin (soy or sunflower)

Blend and enjoy!

CACAO IS IN THE HOUSE

3-4 cups baby spinach

1 cup coconut kefir (meat + water)

1-2 TBSP cacao nibs

2 bananas

3 dried schizandra berries

1 TBSP liquid lecithin

splash of Jerusalem artichoke syrup

water to thin to desired consistency

Blend and chug for a supercharged day.

Want more lazy recipes that deliver maximum energy for minimum mess? Check out The Lazy Raw Foodist’s Guide for tips from Sarma, Shazzie, Anthony Anderson and many more people looking to make your health journey as easy as (raw) pie. Cheers to you!

Cozy Takes on Green Smoothies

Brrrr … Autumn’s chill has crept into the morning air, sometimes lasting into afternoon and getting downright cold at night. What’s an aspiring raw foodie to do? If you’re like me, you probably don’t feel wild about tepid green smoothies. I like them very cold and refreshing — except on chilly mornings. Then, I just want something warm and cozy in my belly. Warm, cozy and filling, that is. When the temperature drops, my metabolism goes into higher gear working to keep me warm.

Enter some fun variations on the traditional green smoothie. Raw fooders and health-conscious folks alike can try these ideas to start the day with a nutritional kick and a cozy belly.

The (Now-Famous) Dandelion-Chai Smoothie:

dandelion greens (I used 1/2 bunch)
some leftover chai tea (I like red roobois chai for extra anti-oxidants)
about 9 figs
1 small apple
1 tbsp chia seeds
a little extra water if you don’t have much tea

Blend. This tastes like a thick apple cider!

You can serve warm, but let the tea cool slightly before blending so that you preserve the enzymes in the fruit and greens.

***Please be VERY careful when blending warm or hot liquids. Make sure to tighten the blender lid before starting. Also, if your blender is very cold, please let the tea cool a bit before pouring into glass, so that your carafe doesn’t crack.

Peppermint Hot Chocolate

Herbs “count” as greens, and cacao and mint go well together. This also works well as a cold drink, especially if you freeze the bananas and use chilled nutmilk.

1/2 bunch mint
1-3 TBSP raw cacao (depending on desired kick; also good with carob)
2 bananas
1 cup water or favorite nutmilk
1 cup warm peppermint or other herbal tea (cinnamon flavors work nice, too)
1 dropperful of vanilla stevia (or one xylitol packet + vanilla bean or vanilla extract or 1 TBSP raw honey)

Blend and enjoy. For extra heat, you can also add up to 1 tsp. cayenne pepper before you blend.

Yerba Mate Latte

You can sometimes find unroasted Yerba Mate, but the traditional Mate still packs some nutritional punch with lots of b-vitamins and mateine for energy. Brewed Yerba Mate is naturally a bit green. I like it brewed and then slightly sweetened with xylitol or stevia and mixed with my favorite nutmilk. Being a Lazy Raw Foodist, though, I sometimes just mix it with a little boxed Hemp Milk or Oat Milk fortified with vitamin D — an important winter nutrient for vegans.

For a special treat, I’ll add 2 drops of peppermint essential oil + 1 tsp raw cacao powder before mixing in the milk. Choco-minty-madness in a cup!

Lovely Licorice

I’ve also found licorice tea a nice base for superfood smoothies. In Traditional Chinese Medicine, licorice is added to most herbal remedies. It nourishes the adrenals, helps with diabetes and has also been shown to block one of the main toxins released by the Lyme Disease bacteria.

I like this one:

warm licorice tea
5-15 leaves dinosaur kale (fewer if it’s old and bitter)
1 TBSP spirulina (very optional)
2 bananas
1/2 – 1 cucumber
3 schizandra berries (more will make it too tart, but 3 imparts a complex flavor)
tinctures of:
fo-ti
reishi
gotu-kola
St. John’s Wort (which, in addition to fighting winter blues has the happy effect of soothing frazzled nerves).

I usually add some chia seeds and lucuma powder and/or honey to thicken and sweeten. Licorice imparts a slightly sweet taste, so you don’t need too much lucuma.

For a variant, you could add goji berries instead of the bananas. I don’t eat bananas with gojis as it makes my stomach hurt, but you might fare better.

Experiment!

This morning, I’m going to experiment with some Numi Rooibos, beet greens, pears and pumpkin pie spice. I’ll post the recipe if it turns out well.

In general, think warm, think winter herbs and spices, think drink by the cozy fire … and see what you invent!

For more sneaky ways to get your greens, you might enjoy The Lazy Raw Foodist’s Guide … and if you’d like to curl up with a book by that cozy fire, might I recommend Schizandra and the Gates of Mu? 😉