Wednesday, October 14, 2009

Newbie to Green Smoothie

I've recently started making green smoothie with my modest glass blender.
I've never mixed fruits and greens on a blender before, I've always thought of a smoothie as strictly fruits only concoction.
and Nope... I don't have the super powerful blender like Blendtec or Vita-mix, because the Blendtec/Vita-mix that are available here are the commercial ones which cost US$628-661, which is around US$200 more expensive than the home consumer one.
Normal blender cost around US$50 and that's a good brand.
So I'm not planning to get Blendtec / Vita-mix just yet, although they remain in my wishlist.

I can't use my normal blender to smoothly blend carrots though, last time I did that, it almost broke my blender, almost.... *phew*
I still use my centrifugal juicer for carrots, beets, etc
Although I'm gonna try to take the carrot pulp from my juicer and put it in my blender to see if it can be blended out smoothly to drink.

The smoothies turn out great !!!!!
Advantages :
They're easy and fast to make.
They make me drink my raw greens easily (I get all the fibres)
They make me drink my ground flax seed easily (I don't really enjoy ground flax on my salad)
The blender is way easier to clean and wash than my juicer.
and most of all
They taste like desserts !!!!!!! Yuuummmmmmmmmmm !!!!
I'm spoiled with smoothies, it makes me "lazy" to chew my vegs now. :)

This one is my green smoothie in a 0.5 litre glass.
(I made too much, it made me a bit too full, but so good though)
I put in :
- a handful of romaine lettuce & green spinach
- half a cucumber
- 1 banana,
- 3 dates,
- vanilla beans from half a vanilla pod (can't seem to smell the vanilla),
- half a spoonful of ground flax seed (ground it first using the dry spice blender)
- coconut water
- did I put mango in ? I can't seem to remember ;)

I prefer not to use water in my smoothie, just coz I don't want to bland the taste.
Last time I used watermelon and I squeezed the water out of the watermelon into the blender, yes with my barehand, I am that strong ;p
or I'd squeeze in lemon juice. and any other fruit that's water-y.

and I don't add ice cubes in my blender, if I find my ready-to-drink smoothie not cold enough, I simply add some ice cubes and stir and drink.

Since my blender is a normal modest blender,
it doesn't really blend brocollis that well,
Last time I added brocollis, okra, ground flax, raw almond and banana and watermelon.
But there was too much greens than the sweet fruits, so it turned out quite yucky and brittle-y
But I gulped the whole thing anyway ;p
Oh well, I'm still experimenting

I'd like to try Chia, Hemp, super green food powder, etc, but they're just not available here. Shipping them would be costly and I don't know whether the shipping condition & duration will make the products go bad or not.

Here's what I do, for now :
- I "chew" my smoothie (I don't use straw to drink my smoothie)
I don't use a straw to drink my smoothie, because I'm worried that I'll be "drinking" the smoothie all too fast without "chewing" it first.
I mean, with smoothies, it's not really chewing, but since when you eat normal food, you need to properly chew the food so they mix well with the saliva where enzymes interact and it's beneficial for healthy digestion, so I figure I need to "chew" my smoothie instead of drinking it right away.
Yes you can also sip slowly with your straw and "chew" before drinking your smoothie.
But since I don't have a glass straw, I use my spoon to "chew" and drink my smoothie :)
It's fun, it's like melted ice cream with each spoonful.

- I use straw for :
My regular carrot & beet juice.
I also sometimes drink warm lemon water.
(it was every morning last year, it's good for your health)
Lemon, especially, is very alkaline inside our body but it can be very acidic to your teeth enamel and it's better that it doesn't stay in contact with your teeth for long periods of time.

And for that reason, I used to use a plastic straw (bubble tea straw) to drink my lemon water / juice and since I don't want to throw the straw out after every use, I wash it with soap water and a tiny brush that goes inside the straw.
But I haven't been using it lately, well because it's plastic.
Now I just drink it from the glass.
I may have to eventually purchase a glass straw, but I'm still afraid they'll arrive broken since they have to be shipped from overseas. Oh I'll figure something out :)

Here comes the Question no. 1 :
I read that raw foodist may have bad teeth because the enzymes from the raw greens/fruits may harm the teeth's enamel or something like that.
Notice when you're cutting up some types of vegs, they have a sticky sap thingy ? and cooking the vegs will eliminate this sap.
Maybe the enzyme in the veg's sap is causing the teeth to go "bad".
Also the sugar from the fruits and dried fruits.
Some people say it's better to use a straw when drinking juice/smoothie so the juice doesn't really get in that much contact with the teeth.

So in the long term, I don't know Whether it's better to "chew" the smoothie and let it interact with saliva for better food absorption and digestion or Whether to use a straw and swallow straight away so you have a better teeth ?

But I suppose your teeth won't be not any worse than the typical American diet of sugary cakes, desserts, etc, right ?
I think you're safe as long as you eat more greens than sugary fruits, and not overeat on acid fruits, dried fruits and dehydrated stuff.
And if you rinse your mouth, floss and brush your teeth and you'll be fine.

Feel free to share your thoughts and experiences :)

I also find these articles that kinda calms me down on the whole bad teeth thing :
The Raw Divas Blog titled "The Raw Food Diet isn't bad for your teeth"
Frederic Patenaude Blog titled "Why Raw-Foodists Have Problems With Their Teeth How to avoid dental decay, gum disease and erosion for good."


Question no.2 :
I read in a book somewhere that it's better to juice not more than 3 types of fruits for better absorption in our body.
I suppose it applies to smoothies as well.
But we all tend to put like 7 (sometimes even more) ingredients into the blender.
I read a lot of health improvement in people who drink a mix of a lot of vegs+fruit smoothies and it's been proven great for our health so far

So Do the "Don't juice more than 3 types of fruit" really apply ?
What do you think ????
I suppose mixing vegetables is fine.
For example, salad consist of so many different types of vegs and the rainbow combination is good for us.

I think if it works, it works, it's that simple.
If blending 10 ingredients keep you healthy, then I suppose it's good for you, and you can always only mix 3 types of fruits/vegs when your running short on fruits n vegs :)

What I'm not sure is mixing the vegetables and the fruits, Are there any rules for that ?

I seem to keep on answering my own questions, except for the last one though :)

Woww..... this has been a long post :)
Thanx for reading :D


Debra said...

This looks sooooo good. thanks for the recipe. I am going to try it!

miss v said...

i love green smoothies... i have been making them for several years and find them to give me lots of energy. i try to have a couple a week, but it's less in the colder months.

my favourite mixes are simple
- 1 banana, 2 oranges, spinach
- 2 bananas, 1/4 cup bluberries, 10 almonds, romaine

i don't worry about food combining so much. some people follow that line of thinking, but i don't.

janet said...

Mmm, I love green smoothies and how much energy they give me.
Yours is a lovely color!
I often add a handful of blackberries to give them a pretty purplish color- makes my kids happier to drink them! said...

Hi Debra... :)
For the recipe, it's more of a i add this and add that and why don't i add some of this. I'm such a newbie at this and I'm just adding things that I think might work. No guarantee of the taste ;) But they turn out pretty yummy tho :)

Miss V,
yup... I'm actually still mixing vegs and fruits, it's so much easier drinking the greens than chewing them :)
will try your mixes :D, thanx

yumm... Blueberries would be awesome, purple and sour-y, but they're imported and kinda expensive here, so I usually stick lemon and strawberries for the sour kick :)

My Little Space said...

I haven't started out any smoothie yet! They look so deliciously fresh and healthy. Like what you said earlier...the blender can't afford to do that...then have to buy a juicer. Try cutting down the budget lately! Probably, blend it first then strain it with a sieve.

Related Posts with Thumbnails