Saturday, February 12, 2011

Bottling Colorful Creations

I'm basking in the color of the contents of this week's The Veggie Bin items! Ahhh, color bliss! Like the last box, the strawberries are divine! I'm off to add them to some Swiss Chard, Mixed Greens, Cilantro, Water, Coconut Oil, and Honey in the blender...for the result of a healthy smoothie breakfast in about 24 seconds (the time my blender takes to whip it all up).

Colorful Hugs,


Friday, February 11, 2011

Bottling Tomato Soup-Smoothie

Yesterday, I experimented with making this Tomato Soup-Smoothie for a friend. It turned out well, so I'm planning to make it for my husband and I today. Plus, it's a quick way to use up some tomatoes I have here.

In blender, I put:

~ 3 Tomatoes from The Veggie Bin
~ a handful of Thyme from The Veggie Bin
~ Seasonings: To taste, Himalayan Sea Salt , Black Pepper, Garlic Powder, Onion Powder, Cayenne Pepper (tiny shake), an assorted Spicy Seasoning Blend I had on hand (just a little shake)
~ Juice from 1/2 a Lemon
~ 4 Dates (or, to taste)

I blended on the smoothie setting until the mixture was nice-n-smooth. The consistency, while fairly thick, was still easy enough to just drink.

About the soup-smoothie, my friend replied:
"Oh that Savory Smoothie was the BOMB!! I slurped it all down and sprinkled in a few kale chips."
What a nice way to get more tomatoes into our systems!

Tomato Hugs, :-)


Wednesday, February 9, 2011

"Slice of Blueberry Heaven"

I made this delicious raw-vegan blueberry pie today. My friend, Chloe, named it. "Shall we call it a 'slice of blueberry heaven'?" she asked me when she saw a picture of it on my Facebook page. So, Chloe, a "slice of blueberry heaven" it is! :-)

Chloe wanted to know what ingredients, in addition to the obvious blueberries, were used to create this 'cake-ish' pie. Let's see if I can get it all straight in my mind, because I was just winging it. :-)
For the crust, in the food processor, I fully processed (until it basically couldn't spin any longer):
~ Soaked raw almonds, approx. 2 cups
~ Medjool Dates, pitted, 6
~ Honey, approx. 1 tablespoon or to taste
~ Cinnamon, a good shake...a few times :-)
~ Nutmeg, a good shake...a few times :-)
~ Sea Salt, a pinch or two
~ Garden of Life's Coconut Oil, approx. 1 - 2 tablespoons

This basically made enough to create a crust for both the bottom and top of the pie. I made two "balls" with the crust (it was like Play-doh), and then I pressed the first one down on the plate to spread the crust.

For the sauce, in blender, I put:
~ blueberries, approx. 1 cup
~ more of the above mixture made in the food processor. But, the second time using the food processor, I used 5 Medjool dates (pitted) and a little less of the other ingredients, as well.
~ water, approx. 1 cup or so to get it to all mix in the blender.
After blending, I ended up with a thick-texture for the sauce, however, it was easy to pour over the whole blueberries I had spread on top of the bottom crust.

Next, I spread the other Play-doh-like crust on another plate (for size). Thankfully, I was able to lift it up off the plate with a spatula and then place it on top of the blueberries and sauce.

I poured more of the sauce on the top crust, smeared it around like icing, spread more blueberries on top, and then put in the the refrigerator to set. Actually, I first put it in the freezer for about 30 mins and then moved it to the fridge.

So, what did I do with the leftover sauce?

Made a smoothie but added ice to make it more smoothie-like!

So, as you can see, I've been to blueberry heaven today! :-)

Blueberry Hugs,


Sunday, February 6, 2011

Bottling this Mountain Smoothie

Mountain Smoothie! :-) My teen asks for a smoothie, well, he gets a smoothie. LOL. No, he didn't drink ALL of this. We split it between the family...

Ingredients include: Spinach (a few handfuls), Strawberry (approx. 7), Blueberry (a few handfuls), Banana (2 -3), Water (approx. 2 cups), Honey (to taste).



A Cruciferous Veggie/Ginger Juice

Who would think all of these ingredients are in this juice: Carrot, Cauliflower, Bok Choy, Kohlrabi, Brussels Sprouts (1/2 of a whole stalk with sprouts), Parsley, and Ginger? You could end up with a little spicy after-taste, but popping a Barhi Date in the mouth so nicely counteracts that!



Thursday, February 3, 2011

My Answers to the Cons of Juicing

Donna McGee, studio manager at Life's Journey Yoga & Wellness, shared this article with me: The Pros and Cons of Juicing by Jo Cavallo.

Below, I've quoted some of the cons that the writer lists followed by "my answers" to them!

Here goes...

Article: "However, there are some drawbacks to juicing. For one, the process of juicing eliminates fiber."

My answer: Because we would typically balance juicing with eating whole foods or making smoothies (in blender) that retain fiber, it wouldn't be as if we are completely eliminating fiber from our overall diet. The chance to nourish the body while eliminating the process of heavy the digestive system a well-needed invaluable, I think.

Article: "One of the health benefits of eating more fruits and vegetables is to increase your source of heart- and digestive-healthy fiber."

My answer: It's all about balance: eat some, blend some (the smoothie made in blender keeps the fiber). Then, juice, too, for that instant-dose-of-nutrition opportunity! I think the optimum word here is "balance." Juicing doesn't have to take over the whole diet, unless one is juice fasting or such for a certain period of time.

Article: "Also keep in mind that unless you drink your home-squeezed juice right away, you run the risk of contamination by exposing it to air and pathogens."

My answer: I think this juice-and-immediately-consume-it process is a beautiful thing! Fresh juicing, fresh drinking! Why wouldn't we want to get the nutrients from the juice into the body as soon as we can? Isn't that far better than drinking juice that has sat on a store shelf for weeks? Plus, we don't need a huge glass of fresh juice to receive the nutritional benefits, so it shouldn't be tough at all to get the fresh juice consumed soon after juicing the produce.

Article: "And then there is the expense of buying a juicer and the time investment needed to prepare the fruits and vegetables you're using and the cleanup afterward."

My answer: There are juicers to fit varying budgets. For anyone who is a regular consumer of store-brought juice, well, before long or over time, they'll eventually end up paying the cost of a juicer for juices they've been purchasing. Plus, with juicing, there are no bottles or containers to dispose of after juicing, so it's easy to see why juicing would be an eco-friendly choice when it comes to consuming juices.

Regarding the time investment element, is it really that bad to take a little bit of time out to push some produce through a juicer and clean the equipment when we're done? Many people spend far more time cooking a full-course meal in front of the stove/oven...which often requires far more prep and cleaning time than the overall juicing process? And, by the way, quite often, that one fresh juice is far healthier than the full-course cooked meal. I think the "time investment" is something that can be viewed differently with a little shift in perspective.

Happy Juicing! :-)


The Very Berry Spinach Smoothie

What happens when fresh, local strawberries and spinach from The Veggie Bin meet frozen blueberries picked from Jacksonville's Cardui Organic Farms? Well, here's one possible result:

"It tastes like ice cream," my husband said upon taking his first sip. Moments later, I heard all the slurping going on. Good to the last drop! My teen drank his out of a 12oz mason jar that was filled to the top, so this was one of those treats enjoyed by the whole family!

In blender, put:

~ strawberries, approx. 7 (I leave the green stems on for the iron. Once everything blends up, you can never tell they were even there. If you're using this week's strawberries from The Veggie Bin, do save some to eat whole. Mmm, they are fresh and yummy! I really considered not blending them because of how delicious they taste as is!)

~ frozen blueberries, approx. 1 cup

~ spinach, a couple handfuls (I used the The Veggie Bin's spinach and gathered a nice size handful from the bigger bunch.)

~ water, 1 1/2 - 2 cups depending on the consistency you want

~ honey, to taste (I used The Veggie Bin's local honey.)

~ optional: ice

Blend well. Perhaps pop a straw in your glass, and enjoy your very berry spinach smoothie with honey!