Rejuvenating Green Smoothie

Cook, or blend...

Don’t worry, no broccoli was used in this recipe.

The Omnivore’s Dilemma

After posting articles the past two weeks focused on meat and dairy I think it is time we change directions and try something different. By now you are probably thinking that I’m as carnivorous as a wolf, but nothing could be further from the truth. I love eating fruits and vegetables and strongly encourage people to include as much fresh and organic produce in their diet as possible, especially the dark leafy greens, and cruciferous plants from the brassicaceae family. True, I do advocate for the consumption of animal products, but in the past I have also recommended that meat: should only cover a quarter of your plate, does not need to be included with every meal, and probably doesn’t need to be eaten every day for most people. With the help of this smoothie recipe, today is going to be one of those days where we can take a break from the meat.

Raw vegan

Raw vegan food diets have become more popular recently among the health conscious, and while I don’t regularly eat this way, in some situations I really enjoy this kind of meal. I normally advocate heavy, warm, moist/oily meals that are easy to digest and useful for providing a sustained energy throughout the day. However, it is not always necessary to eat this way, and sometimes the opposite is appropriate. For example, perhaps when it is later in the day and you don’t want to eat a large meal before bedtime, or if you have been feeling heavy and need a light meal to balance.

The recipe

1 cup water

1 cup blueberries (preferably “you-pick”)

1 banana

2 spoons RAW honey

1-2 inches of ginger root

1-2 inches of turmeric root

3 Tbsp sunflower seeds

1 cup water

½ lime juice

½ bunch cilantro

1-2 large kale leaves

Add each ingredient one at a time in the order listed above. As always, I recommend making variations based on your preference and need. Some possible alternatives include:

2-3 medjool dates instead of honey (the deglet noor can be used, but are firm and more difficult to blend)

1 pear instead of banana

parsley instead of cilantro

1-2 Tbsp nettle powder, or fresh if it grows near you!

6 out of 6 tastes

According to Ayurveda there are 6 tastes in food: sweet, sour, salty, bitter, astringent, and pungent. More or less of foods with these tastes can then be eaten depending on the person and their situation. Personalized taste proportions can be chosen based on: a person’s body type, health status, the season, the geographic location, age, etc. In other words, everything has an effect on us, and properly selected foods can be used as medicine to balance these factors and ensure we achieve optimal performance. This smoothie has all six tastes and therefore should be good for everyone in most situations. The honey is sweet, the lime is sour, the sunflower seeds are salty if you buy them roasted and salted (I don’t), the kale is bitter, the turmeric is astringent, and the ginger is pungent.

Ayurvedic smoothie guidance

Without getting into too many of the details, from an Ayurvedic perspective it is best to avoid some common smoothie practices such as adding ice, using excessive amounts of sweet fruit, adding yogurt, and eating them daily. In Ayurveda a diet that is primarily composed of raw vegan food is typically avoided, but I guess that is a difference in philosophy. I’m not trying to start a food fight here, so all differences aside, you definitely can’t go wrong eating one of these delicious green smoothies on occasion!

Further reading

Here are a few related articles I’ve written for the the herbivores, omnivores and carnivores that are interested in reading more:

Bitter is better, eating wilder foods

Confessions of an Ayurvedic Counselor: Part 2, Meat

The “Integrity Food” Revolution