The Sweet Meadow

Vitamin Green

recipes, foodAishe Besim

I must confess - I'm not a fan of multivitamins. I actually think they make people lazy.

Instead of making an effort to eat a variety of foods that are high in different vitamins and minerals, they stick with the same kind of diet and then supplement this with a tablet. Skip the manufactured product and just get it from the source!

I firmly believe drinking a green juice or smoothie regularly is a natural form of multivitamin. I was first introduced to the concept of green juices by my naturopath Greg Munro from Natremed, long before I'd even thought about becoming vegan. Greg had just watched the documentary Fat, Sick and Nearly Dead and was educating me on the benefits of drinking a green juice most days. 

Green vegetables have more valuable nutrients than any other food group on the planet. They build your internal system and strengthen your blood. They are very high in calcium, magnesium, iron, potassium, protein, zinc and vitamins A, C, E and K. They are also loaded with folic acid and chlorophyll and purify the blood, prevent diseases, improve circulation, strengthen your immune system and boost your energy levels. 

There's literally hundreds of green drink recipes available online, but ever since finding Kimberly Synder's Glowing Green Smoothie recipe I've been hooked. Scroll down for my tweaked recipe. 

Makes about 1 litre

1 x large bunch of spinach
Handful of kale leaves, stems removed (throw them in the compost)
2 x stalks of celery, chopped
1/2 a large cucumber, chopped
2 x granny smith apples, chopped

2 x frozen bananas, chopped
Handful of fresh herbs (I like parsley or basil depending on the season)
Juice of one lemon

1. Pass the freshly washed juice ingredients through a juicer (cold-pressed is best, although I'm still using my old school Breville Juice Fountain, so use whatever you can afford!). I tend to add some cucumber or apple as I'm juicing the spinach or kale, to help the leaves pass through the juicer. This should extract anywhere between 500 - 700ml of liquid, depending on the size of the apples and cucumber. Add water if there's less than 500ml of juice extracted. 

2. Pour the juice into a blender and add the chopped frozen bananas, lemon juice and fresh herbs. Blitz until smooth. If you're not keen on frozen bananas, substitute for frozen pineapple or frozen mango. Definitely include the fruit though, it's a natural sweetener and removes the need to add stevia, honey or some other sweetener. 

If you have a good quality cold-pressed juicer you could probably store this in the fridge for up to two days, although I drink mine immediately as my breakfast.

Using a juicer and a blender makes a lot of mess in the kitchen, but I find it gives me the best consistency. If you have a top of the range blender like a Vitamix, Thermomix or Blendtec, feel free to skip the juicer and just use the blender. I'd still blend the green vegetables together first before adding the apples and banana. 

Get juicing!

 Silverbeet is a good alternative if you don't have kale or spinach. 

Silverbeet is a good alternative if you don't have kale or spinach.