Posts Tagged ‘leafy greens’

How green you are! “Green veggie power soup”

I know what you’re thinking. Not another bowl of green!!

I promise to do something else soon. Like some healthier baking. Some almond chocolates. Or a big family vegetable lasagne (dairy free) Some sorbets. In the hope that it gets warm enough to warrant them?

But today friends, green. And lots of it.

My friend posted this link up, and Lo and behold- I had pretty much all the ingredients save the green beans. I felt duty bound to prepare it immediately, and if you don’t quibble about quantities, working on the chuck-it-all-in principle, it is extremely quick to whip up (less than 15 minutes I’d say) Here is the website for the recipe.

Once cooked, blend and season to taste. (I added bouillon powder during the cooking, and salt/nutritional yeast at the end)  I blended my spinach in raw, because, why not?  I think a small clove of raw garlic would not have gone amiss either. It was beautiful and vibrant and …green..and my son refused to eat it!   So I consumed it all, and thoroughly enjoyed it. His lunch was quite Green….just not green in colour. He looked actually indignant when I offered it to him!

That’s all for now. I can hear my little man coughing up in bed….he should have had my power soup at lunchtime  🙂

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Moments of satisfaction: “Fasts”, Facebook groups, Green smoothies, and Green Icing.

Okay, seriously exciting thing happened for a leaf-loving blogger yesterday. I was already feeling quite Green, as a friend and I did a juice-and-smoothie fast for a short time this week, and I have to say it was so refreshing. I was amazed at how I felt so full- yet “light”.  It didn’t last long, because I like to…well, you know…chew food, but I carried on eating a ton of Green Food, and no Beige Food at all, and I really felt grand. (See this post here for my thoughts on Green Food and Beige food)

Simultaneously, my friend added me to a Facebook group for an exercise support group (Jillean Michaels)  I wasn’t too interested in it to be perfectly honest- I do like exercise DVD’s from a practical “don’t have to leave the house” point of view, but I am trying to get back into cycling again. I was just about to unsubscribe from the group, when someone mentioned she wanted to try “those green power juices that are everywhere on Pinterest”. Of course this was music to my ears- I could barely wait to post one of  my favourite and simplest green Smoothie recipes:

“Half a cantaloupe melon, 2-3 handfuls of babyleaf spinach. Instructions: Blend, drink, rejoice!”

Immediately another group member said that she too enjoyed them (with her children too) and from then on in, within 24 hours, the group wall was awash with photos of beautiful green drinks, recipes, and posts for suggested shopping lists. Enthusiasm abounded, and shopping trips were rapidly organised. We were Loving Leaves.It was a beautiful thing  🙂  (Is. I mean it is a beautiful thing. The Green Revolution continues……)

The most awesome ever “slimming shakes”, and “energy shakes”!!  🙂

So of course, I found myself doing the workout. I am on Day 3. I can barely walk downstairs- To be absolutely truthful…..I love that feeling  🙂

My other small moment of satisfaction was to have one of my weird recipes validated  🙂  Okay, it is not my recipe- plenty of people are sharing this online. I got a notification that people were visting this site from another bloggers site who I didn’t know and I popped on over out of curiosity. It is Ria’s Collection Blogspot, and it seems like she has just started but she loves baking recipes. She had made some beautiful vegan chocolate cupcakes (using avocado IN the cakes to sub for butter) and had topped it with “Not Quite Betty Crocker” Avocado frosting (recipe here)  Here is her husband’s verdict:

So he knew the cupcakes had avocados in it. When he got back from work, he found me frosting the cupcakes so I asked him if he wanted to taste test one. He obliged, like always and took a bite of it. He nodded in agreement when I asked him if they were good. After chewing down one half of the cupcake, he asked me what’s the frosting made of…a question I was waiting all this while to answer. When I told him it had just avocados, cocoa & sugar, he was definately surprised! I don’t think he thought I would go that far with that fruit 🙂   This frosting kind of sets and loses it’s sticky property so this is perfect to pack and send it to wherever you want!The cupcakes were super moist and the frosting was rich and creamy.No one would guess it has what it has 🙂

 

By the way, the actual cupcakes look wonderful and moist, I think I will try them one day (follow her link above for the recipe)

 

These were my small moments of satisfaction (at least- in the realm of Green food- I do have many others!)

Wishing you plenty of your own  🙂

 

Things that work together

Strawberries and summer days. Crunchy autumn leaves and cosy walking boots. Great music and closed eyes. Friends and laughter. Painted toenails and summer sandals. Mango and spinach. Did I lose you on the last one?

A sweet ripe mango +  water +  2 handfuls of raw babyleaf spinach is the simplest of all green smoothies. They work together. You will love it. And best of all:  it will love you right back!

Here are some green combinations that work together. Required: Blender

  • Mango, spinach (Alternative: Substitute the water for fresh orange juice, and a squeeze of lemon if you wish. A glug of “not from concentrate” smoothie can help give it a lift if you are beginning and/or in a hurryAnd if you crazy busy in the mornings, and are blessed enough to be able to access frozen mango chunks, you save yourself some work- just thaw a cupfull the night before.) 
  • Ripe pear, kiwi, squeeze of lime, spinach/kale
  • Cantaloupe melon, apple, spinach  (add half a ripe avocado for a creamy drink)
  • Oranges (whole), ripe banana, frozen strawberries, spinach or other greens
  • Orange, lemon, pineapple, greens (like the “orange lemon and pienapple” you used to drink as a kid. Only not…)
  • Pineapple, frozen blueberries, greens
  • Mango, apples, lemon juice, greens

If you blend up a concoction and you are not keen on it, don’t throw the baby out with the bathwater-just work it out: what does it need?

  • Too thick and gloopy? Add water or fruit juice or a glug of quality smoothie
  • Too watery? Add half  a banana, or a chopped apple. If using water (recommended) only add enough to get the blender going at first or you will dilute all that lovely fruitiness too much
  • Not sweet enough? Add ripe banana, a strawberry or three, or a little fruit-only juce/smoothie
  • Still not sweet enough? Add some honey or maple syrup.
  • Not quite “something” enough? Sometimes a squeeze of lemon is just what it needs. It’s like the salt of green smoothies.
  • Too “green” for your taste? This is not a usual scenario as most people start quite cautiously!  Kale is strong but even that you can end up enjoying.
  • Too sweet? Maybe you could try savoury smoothies: (Details via this link) or a home-made gazpacho for breakfast (Click for recipe)

I don’t even know if you like painted toenails and summer sandals (on yourself, or others)

but I highly recommend you start whizzing up green smoothies.

It’s a no-brainer delicious way of consuming plenty of fruit and raw greens and helping your children do the same. If they are very small you won’t even have to convince them, just insert straw.

And unlike summer sandals (which I sometimes wonder if I will get out this year) you can love them every day of the year. To your health!! (And fingers crossed for a decent UK summer!)

1 photo and 2 quotes

First: A photo. Take a good look! I was quite mesmerised by the shading!

Second: 2 quotes from friends who are loving leaves, in green smoothies.

I’ve started doing green drinks in the morning….. I love it! I feel like I have so much more energy in the day and it doesn make me make much better food choices 🙂 I love it!  Today I put in 1 beet, celery, carrot, apple, 1/2 banana, frozen spinach and frozen strawberries, and it was delicious! Seriously!  We have one of those great Thermomix blenders so I just put in a cup of water, whizzed it up and drank it.”      Sarah (Read her recipe blog here)

“I’m new at this and I am loving them! I drink a litre every day and I feel so full of energy- they really fill me up too!”  Patricia 

Have you loved leaves today?  🙂  

Have you drunk your greens today??

This post is dedicated to my beautiful Andaluzan friend Noemi, (which is Spanish for Naomi) who now lives in the good old US of A. When I first met Noemi in Spain, we ate a LOT of ice cream together! But she also taught me a lot about good, wholesome simple Spanish food. Her favourite supper was a bit of white fish with either a simple salad, or some steamed vegetables with olive oil and a pinch of salt.

Curiously, almost a decade later and thousands of miles apart, and somewhat out of touch, we both found our health paths converging (erm- hello? is that a word? I am so rusty!) She suddenly posted something on Facebook about “Green Smoothies”, and I thought “Wait- I drink those! Somebody else that I actually know drinks those! Ohmygosh!”

The short version of my story was that I was getting desperate with a looooooong term health issue that regular medication could not seem to shift. Not life-endangering but OH, SO not nice! My Mum passed me a book that she had read (I don’t know if she passed it to me out of enthusiasm, or if she didn’t find it “for her”…never mind..the main thing is, this book came into my hands, called “Green For Life“. I read it in a day or two, and kind of said to myself “erm- well, lets give this a crack shall we?  Fresh fruit smoothies supercharged with leafy greens? It can’t do any harm!”

Day 1- I literally bought myself a bag of curly kale and some ripe bananas, and threw it in a blender with some water. NOTE: I would not recommend starting with curly kale- it has a kind of strongish flavour, and it may put you off green elixirs for life.My discomfort and nigh-on desperation was driving me and I chugged back two massive glasses a day- morning and evening- about a litre a day. It was GREEN, amigos!!

Within a few days my issue had subsided, and I was so excited- and continued with one large smoothie a day. I then discovered that babyleaf spinach and Lambs Lettuce (corn salad) are very mild tasting, but also very nutritious so I switched up my leaves from time to time. I also discovered ways to make it considerably more delicious than just banana 🙂  Since then, I have made it an (almost) daily habit and I have my family on board (most of the time!)  Oh- did I mention that I have never had a problem with my previous health issue? I do not have perfect health- I have issues, leftovers from decisions of yesteryear, but nowadays they rarely rear their ugly heads- kept at bay by the power of greenness!  🙂

So- even though I have posted about these before- here are a few reminders for those who want to get those raw greens doing their wonder-stuff!

  • All you need is a regular old tabletop blender (ie “liquidiser”)
  • Liquid+Fruit+Greens+extras
  • Liquid: I use water. You could also use coconut water or almond milk. For quite a while I used a bit of shop-bought smoothie/fruit-only juice, and this helps kids drink them
  • Fruit: Ripe bananas, frozen berries (strawberries add sweetness, the rest add a little acidity), mango,pineapple,sweet pears- experiment!
  • Greens: the mildest tasting ones are babyleaf spinach and lambs lettuce (corn salad) and can be piled in with gay abandon, frankly. Curly kale, swiss chard, beet greens, romaine lettuce?
  • Extras (optional): sweetness (dates, honey etc), “supplements” like bee pollen, spirulina, ground linseed etc
  • If you are beginning, begin with mild greens and add little by little.

  • Since you are blending up all this goodness, make it a large one, yea, even super-size. Like “SuperSize”, only…NOT….

  • MUST be delicious- there is no point in drinking something you don’t enjoy or you will never continue.

  • Try drinking one first thing in the morning, and then wait 30 minutes to see if you still want breakfast? You may not need it…

  • Whatever you believe about breakfast being “the most important meal of the day”-what is true is that a clean green breakfast drink sets the tone for better food choices mid-morning and later on.
  • These are an utterly fabulous weight loss shake, especially if you add some healthy proteins. (I am not qualified to advise on weight loss- did everyone get that? But just so you know, these are fruits and greens, people, and I don’t think you can go too wrong on that….)
So- back to Noemi.
She started a “Green Smoothies” group on Facebook (it’s an English/Spanish group) and added all her friends and I think, at first everyone was a bit “Eh??” (like my husband was when he first saw me doing it- “You are WEIRD!” – said kindly, by the way 🙂  …As an aside, he went from “What on EARTH?” to….”Let me try…not bad!” to……”If there’s any spare I’ll have it”  to…….”Please could you make a massive goblet and let’s all drink some every day” to……”No green smoothie today?? Quick, we need to go shopping!!”)
On the Facebook group there was even a comment early on of “Erm- excuse me, but in Spain, we know how to eat, I know Americans eat terribly, but we don’t need all that….
But now, she has dozens of people blending up green leaves, yea, even loving leaves (fancy that!)  and there are plenty of positive reports on personal benefits, and how it is spilling over into improving other eating habits….in short- a Revolution is happening, friends.
Have you started drinking your greens yet??

Roll up, roll up!

At this time of abstinence from bread, our thoughts are turned…to green wraps! Allow me to refer you to a previous post, written in the days when this blog was a mere babe in arms (less than a year ago- which makes this blog a babe in arms still…..) It’s an inside-out BLT. Oh yes, it is! A la Beth. This is Loving Leaves.

For green wraps you need-

  • lettuce leaves, any kind.
  • a spread or dip that you love, eg my walnut pate, hummous, home-made guac, etc
  • Plenty of sprinkles: chopped olives/grated carrot/red onion/corn/avocado (My friend suggested chicken, to which I suggested, that when your bread is a green leaf, you can put whatever you want inside, surely!)
  • a sprinkling of salt or spices if desired

For more details and (very poor) photos, see this post: Inside-out B.L.T

Green Wraps: A new way to eat your salads!

On green juice and kapotasana

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Sometimes I get yoga emails from a guy named Lucas Rockwood. He has a cool story- started as a sweaty overweight guy who could not get his hands past his knees and who lived off Red Bull, meat, pizza and the like…..and ended up as a very slim, uber-bendy bloke, who eats only plants and drinks lots of green juice, and loves it. He now lives in Thailand making a pretty packet with his yoga courses.

I like his emails because they are short and to the point, he doesn’t talk about chi and chakras, and he signs off , not with the traditional “Namaste”, but  “Stay Bendy” 🙂 

He often says things like “Coffee, meat and white carbs make you stiff” and “eating lots of greens helps your flexibility”, though never really offers much more in terms of “evidence”; just the thousands (literally) of people he has met and taught. But no “official studies” or anything….

So one day after Christmas, my body did not feel good. I had not loved it as I know how to  🙂  Tesco had loads of celery,cucumber and greens on the Reduced Shelf (It was not yet Jan 1st, so people hadn’t started dieting yet 😉 )  and I decided to just drink green juice for a day to give my poor digestion a break.

(I hasten to add, I do like drinking this, and I see no point in subjecting yourself to something you loathe just for the sake of “detox”, but there are a million ways to clean up your insides, like sweet, delicious fruit and water. More ideas in this post)

After one day of green juice, I was feeling better and pain-free and in the evening I decided to do some cheeky backbending. It had been 3 or 4 days since I had done any and I expected to be very stiff, so planned to take it slowly. Imagine my surprise when I was able to get further back than I ever have, with far more ease than I had ever experienced. (Yes, that merits an underlining, it does!)

I love personal anecdotal evidence  🙂 

P.S. No, obviously the girl in the photo is not me. But I can do that posture. It’s called Kapotasana- “Camel”. I nailed it in quite a short time, and I attribute it to  just 10 short minutes back stretching a day, and lots of clean food and water. That’s just my opinion  🙂

Namaste: The divine in me salutes, and reverences, the divine in you.

Namaste  🙂 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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