Archive for the ‘Food’ Category

Green Smoothie Tips

Friday, January 16th, 2015

A friend asked me advice on my green smoothies because I said I liked mine… lol, that sounds like a request from someone who takes a sip of his and thinks “bleh!”  Here are my tips:

  1. Use a really awesome blender.  We have a blendtec, which I see regularly at Costco for about $350.  It’s really expensive but totally worth it.  Totally, totally worth it. We’ve had ours for somewhere between 3 – 5 years.  Vitamix is very similar, but they apparently infringed on a blendtec patent… I haven’t studied it to see if it was a coincidence that their engineers came up with the same thing, or if they maliciously stole technology… but I have a hard time supporting a company that infringed illegally.
  2. Check out Green Smoothie Girl – we got her books, and she has a ton of stuff on Youtube.  Reading her books made smoothies make a lot more sense… it was a discussion on food and nutrition that was somewhat new to me, and she had a lot of things she presented as facts.  Not sure where she got her information, but sounded good enough to move towards this lifestyle.
  3. I like kale in my smoothies.  I hate kale raw… but in a smoothie I can’t really taste it because of the other stuff I put in, and I love that i’m eating a supposed super green.  I have grown kale for the last 3 years and it’s so awesome to pull a few leaves out of your garden, as opposed to buying an overpriced wilting bunch from the grocery store.  My family also loves sauteed kale… kale chips are too much work, imo, but they taste good enough to have made a few times this summer.  I’ll put in anywhere from 3 to 5 leaves into my smoothie… the leaves can be almost 2 feet long.  Lots of nutrition.
  4. GSG recommends spinach as a green that does not hardly have a taste… and that’s what she recommends for those starting out.  I get bags of spinach from Costco and put them directly in the freezer.   Right now, since I don’t have fresh kale, I put in about 3 – 5 handfuls of spinach, so I can get the green.
  5. I have learned to blend my smoothies in the blendtec twice (pushing the “smoothie” button).  This makes a huge difference…
  6. I like to buy ripe/old bananas, which are usually almost 1/2 off.  I buy them because they sweeten the smoothie better than bananas that are not ripe enough.  I usually put one in.
  7. I LOVE apples in my smoothie… I usually put one apple in on the second round of blending, because I like the chunks… it’s like a treat to get a crunchy, juicy piece of apple in a smoothie.
  8. We have ground up flax seed that we ground ourselves.  Apparently you can’t put in whole seed, or it won’t digest… so we grind it, put it in the fridge, and then you can put a tablespoon (give or take) in each smoothie for added nutrition.

Here’s a typical throw-it-together “recipe,” which is an adaptation of doing this for the last few years:

  • 3 cups of water
  • A bunch of spinach (3 – 5 handfuls) that was frozen, if I don’t have my kale. Next summer we’ll try to grow other “greens”
  • 1 old banana (sans peel – I’m not that weird!)
  • Probably 1 – 2 cups of frozen fruit from costco – preferably blueberries, but sometimes I’ll go with less nutritional fruit for the taste, or for something different.  Favorites are mangos and/or peaches.
  • About 3/4 cup of dry oats (yes, oatmeal!  Weird, huh?)
  • Sometimes 1 – 3 carrots… I usually have to chop them into 2 – 3 inch pieces.
  • sometimes the flax seed.
  • I used to use a few drops of liquid stevia to sweeten it, but I’ve done without it for so long that it doesn’t matter anymore… but if this tastes like a dirty garden to you, then get the liquid stevia and it will transform your drink into a sweet, heavenly delight.

Hit the smoothie button.  Then do it again.  That’s it… it’s a big meal, or drink it throughout the day.

Also, most of the time I put in chia seeds since we have a ton of them here… but I do it only in the cup, after I have blended the smoothie.  Putting them in the blender is a bad, bad idea (it is a huge pain to clean later).

There are a gazillion recipes, and really, when I make a smoothie I just look around my kitchen to see what should go into it… make up your own stuff based on nutrition and taste.

The Quest for the Best Chocolate Chip Cookies

Friday, September 12th, 2014

I love a good chocolate chip cookie.

Just the other night we made cookies and I remembered advice from THE person who makes the most available cookies I’ve had.  Her dad owns a bakery and she has some kind of midas-food touch.

Her advice?

I simply follow the instructions on the package.

Yeah, like it’s that easy, right?  I do that to, exactly… with a few exceptions.

Those darn exceptions have got to be the downfall of “perfect.”

Anyway, it’s been on my mind this week, and look at this article I just found: Ask a Chef: Chewy chocolate chip cookies

Here’s what I love about this article: instead of a recipe (which there is, actually, at the bottom), it focuses on the science of making a good cookie.  When you have words like creaming process, seeping, “run out,”  hydrated, emulsify, brown the butter, etc. you know it’s going to be fun to read.

Enjoy!

Knock ‘Em Dead Garlic Spread (aka green dragon breath)

Monday, September 19th, 2011

My friend Shauna K. brought this amazing spread with some fresh garden tomatoes to a dinner. I couldn’t get enough. Shauna is one of the healthiest eaters I know… so anything from her is fair game. In her own words:

Its a lot like pesto but not so expensive because you can use any weeds from your backyard if you want instead of pinenuts.

I named this recipe because it really puts you in a position to have awesome garlic breath after its eaten!

Knock ‘Em Dead Garlic Spread

1/2 cup olive oil
1/3 cup lemon juice
1/2 tsp – 1 tsp salt
1 tsp dried basil (fresh is even better)
few sprigs parsley
3-4 stalks green onion
(throw in a couple wildcrafted weeds from your backyard – optional)
8 cloves peeled garlic

Blend in blender or cuisinart. Pour over anything compatible (veggies, rice, pasta, etc). Enjoy the dragon breath!

I dare you!