Fiesta Friday #22! Green Tea Smoothie

Happy Fiesta Friday!  This week’s event is hosted by Margy and Sylvia – thanks lovely ladies!  Angie from A Novice Gardener, is the creator and instigator of this weekly party precinct, for which this is my third attendance.  The fellowship and connection with other fabulous bloggers from those weeks has been fantastic, and I am looking forward to another great time. Please come and join the party – click on any of the links in this paragraph to find more info.

”Fiesta

As I’m from the land Down Under, 4th July isn’t the celebration of patriotism currently underway in the USA.  I’m more than willing to join in your celebrations though :).  Alas my offering for this week’s party is not red, white or blue – rather it’s green.  A lovely, lip-smacking green smoothie.  What better way to join in a party than to lift a glass, give a clink, then sip (or slurp as the case may be) away.  This beverage has the added bonus of being ridiculously good for you too, so you can imbibe as freely as you would like.  I hope you enjoy!

image

Original RFD Recipe – Green Tea Smoothie (serves 2)

This recipe does take some forward planning, though I usually have the frozen ingredients in my freezer as staples.

Ingredients

  • 250 ml cold green tea
  • 1 tart apple (eg Pink Lady), cored and diced
  • 1 sprig fresh mint
  • 2 good handfuls baby spinach (approx 1 cup)
  • Chunk fresh ginger, approx 1cm x 2cm, peeled and sliced
  • 1 Lebanese cucumber, sliced
  • 1 medium zucchini, ends trimmed, sliced
  • 1 frozen banana
  • 2/3 cup frozen (fresh) pineapple
  • 1/2 ripe avocado
  • 1/2 lemon, peeled, seeded and quartered
  • 1/2 lime, peeled and quartered

Method

  • Make green tea in advance and allow to cool
  • Wash and chop fruit and vegetables
  • Place tea in blender or Thermomix
  • Add spinach and mint
  • Add remaining ingredients
  • Blend until smooth and creamy (Thermomix – 1 minute speed 8)
  • Pour into tall glasses or Mason jars, garnish with additional mint and enjoy!

image

Notes

If you aren’t accustomed to drinking green smoothies, you may find some of these ingredients utterly bizarre.  I did too until I sampled smoothies that included things like zucchini and avocado.  These both add a lovely creaminess to the smoothie, and I rarely make one without one or the other. 

The cucumber, lime, ginger and pineapple all provide a tangy, tropical freshness, as well as being packed full of nutrients.

This blend is a little tangy – if you would prefer a milder flavour, try omitting either the lemon or lime, or adding a tablespoon of raw honey.

I like my smoothies nice and thick – if you would prefer a thinner drink, simply add more liquid.

 

Juice Detox Day 5 – Juice Master Spring Clean

Well, I made it!  I am a little tardy with my update post, but I did indeed do the full 5 days of the detox.  Other than the headaches, I felt no negative side effects, though did find myself feeling lighter through the day.  And I did lose 1kg, an added bonus.  I can only wonder what would have happened if I followed the program to the letter!  Maybe next time.

I really enjoyed the breakfast/evening smoothie on Day 5, but struggled with the middles ones.  I’m not a fan of pears, and this juice retained that slightly gritty texture that pears have.  It also had a peculiar ‘earthy’ undertone to it, which I struggled with.

One of the things I have valued in this program is being forced to try new flavours that I would never have tried otherwise.  Some paid off, and I will actually have those juices again.  Others, well, let’s just leave them in the detox cupboard.

One reason I’m running late with this post is that I went away for my father’s 70th birthday party yesterday – the day following Day 5 of the detox.  From previous experience, I thought it would be fairly easy to find something reasonably healthy to eat.  Wrong!  Party pies, sausage rolls, meatballs, beef kebabs, prawn cocktails, and dairy-based desserts filled the menu.  I selected a couple of the ‘least worst’ items so I didn’t starve, but am really feeling the effects today.  Bloated, lethargic and generally flat.  So out came the juicer and blender this morning to try and flush away the ill effects of yesterday, and start clean again.

I’ll have to take my own dish next time and introduce them all to the wonders of raw.

imageSweet Beet Smoothie

  • 1 apple
  • 2 medium carrots
  • 1 medium red beet
  • 1 large handful of blackberries (fresh or frozen) – I used mixed berries (raspberries, strawberries & blackberries)
  • Small handful of ice

 

 

 

 

 

image

Pear ‘n’ Parsnip

  • 1 apple
  • 2 pears
  • 1 medium parsnip
  • 1/2 peeled lime
  • 4 sprigs mint

Juice Detox Day 4 – Juice Master Spring Clean

imageOn the downhill slide now, with Day 4 in the bag!

Feeling pretty good, no headache today, so my body must be adjusting to the lack of caffeine.

I’ve passed my first weight milestone too! That makes 5kg in total since starting on the raw diet. Pretty happy with that!

Today’s drinks were neither my least nor most favourite. I did remember to have the Ginger Shot though, which was pretty potent. I tried making it the first day in my Thermomix, and it didn’t work – just too small an amount for the blades to crush properly. The last two days I’ve simply forgotten it.

Today, I finally remembered, and fully understand why Jason says it will give “a Kapow!” Oh my word, it sure does pack a punch! I’ve never tried Tequila, but I assume it would provide a similar jolt to the brain and fire all the way to your belly. At least this shot is good for you though.

Ginger Shot

  • ½ apple
  • 2cm piece of ginger

 

imageNature’s Super Blend

  • 2 apples
  • 1 large handful baby spinach leaves
  • ½ medium zucchini
  • 1 peeled lime
  • 2 medium carrots
  • ¼ cucumber
  • 2cm broccoli
  • ½ stalk celery
  • ¼ green capsicum (I skipped this as I cannot eat them)
  • ½ avocado

 

 

imageMinty Sunshine

  • 2 oranges
  • 3 carrots
  • 1 thin slice ginger
  • 4 sprigs mint

Juice Detox Day 3 – Juice Master Spring Clean

The detox program calls this Wobbly Wednesday.  I guess that, similar to ‘hump day’, this middle day of the program is where you are most likely to cave in.

Well, I held up pretty well.  I did have a few more snacks – fruit, veggies and nuts – than I should have, but I was really hungry.  That was my biggest hurdle today.  Water and the juices simply weren’t satisfying my stomach’s need for substance.  I think all in all though, I didn’t do too bad.

I only had a mild headache today, and was actually feeling a bit more energised.  The breakfast/evening smoothie today was scrumptious, although the middle juices were a little ordinary.  I persisted though!

imageBerry Banana Crunch

  • 2 apples
  • 2 handfuls of mixed berries (fresh or frozen)
  • 2 tablespoons of natural yoghurt (obviously not raw, so you could either skip this, or use a nut creme as an alternative)
  • 1/2 banana
  • 2 tablespoons mixed seeds (I used sesame and chia)

 

 

 

 

 

imageGreen Refresher

  • 1 apple
  • 1 pear
  • 1/4 cucumber
  • 2 large handfuls baby spinach
  • 2cm broccoli
  • 1 lime, peeled

Detox Day 2 – Juice Master Spring Clean

imageDay 2 done and dusted! Had a cracker of a headache today, which is probably caffeine withdrawals.

Coffee is one thing I still have not broken away from until now. Considering I didn’t even like coffee until I became a uni student – whereby coffee becomes as necessary as air – it has been the single biggest food addiction I am trying to break.

I also don’t know if it’s due to the abundant liquid I am drinking, toxins being flushed out, or a combination of the two, but I am paying much more frequent visits to the little girl’s room. They are the only two real indications of detoxing so far. Oh, plus I’ve lost ½ a kilo!

The morning smoothie wasn’t quite as yummy as Day 1’s but I enjoyed the two middle juices more.

Veggie Power

  • 2 apples
  • 1 large handful of baby spinach
  • 1 large handful of kale
  • ½ lemon
  • ½ stalk of celery
  • ¼ medium cucumber
  • 2cm broccoli
  • ½ avocado
  • 1 small handful of ice

 

Ruby Tuesday

  • ¼ pineapple
  • 2 medium carrots
  • 1 red beetroot
  • 1 thin slice ginger
  • 4 sprigs basil
  • 1 small handful of ice

Juice Detox Day 1 – Juice Master Spring Clean

image001-6Well, I have survived the first day of my first ever detox! It actually wasn’t as painful as I expected. There was only one period where I was feeling hungry, but otherwise, the juices and smoothies were keeping me well satiated.

As you have probably gathered by now, preparation is not something I always think of, and I sometimes decide to jump into things before entirely thinking them through. I would never have previously labelled myself as impulsive, and I don’t think I still would. I deliberate long and hard about important decisions, and research all avenues before making my choice. However, it’s once I’ve made that choice that things go a little pear shaped. I then become very impatient, and want to act on my decision – now!

This is where I found myself. This is a JUICE detox, yet I don’t have a juicer. Well I did purchase a small manual juicer when I first decided to go raw, but found it far too painful to use, so it has been sitting in the cupboard. It would never work for this detox, as it takes a good 10-15 minutes to make 100ml of juice – I’d be standing there cranking all day!

I have been using my Thermomix to make juice, by blending and then straining through a nut milk bag. This works a treat, and I have used it many times, however it once again becomes a time factor. This was my method for Day 1. Yet chopping, blending and straining two large servings of juice is simply not practical in my mad rush of getting ready for work. I will leave this for weekends, when I have a little more time.

The other major hurdle with this is that I cannot make a small juice. The first item on the menu is a shot-sized juice, and this simply did not work in the Thermomix.

Hence, last night after work, I purchased a juicer. It’s a centrifugal juicer, which is not the ideal for the raw diet. For me though, with limited time, space and money, it is the best option for now.

Anyway, back to the detox. The plan is to start each day with the Ginger Shot, then there are two serves each of two different juices throughout the day.

Turbo with a Kick

  • 2 apples
  • ¼ pineapple
  • 1 handful of baby spinach leaves
  • ½ lime, peeled
  • ½ stalk of celery
  • 3cm cucumber
  • 1 cm ginger
  • ¼ ripe avocado
  • 1 handful of ice

 

This was made in the Thermomix as a smoothie. One of the nicest smoothies I’ve had to date!

 

Natural Energiser

  • ¼ pineapple
  • 1 large handful of baby spinach leaves
  • ¼ medium cucumber
  • 1cm fennel
  • ½ medium zucchini
  • 15 sugar snap peas or beans
  • ½ lime
  • 1 handful of ice

 

I made this one in the Thermomix and strained through the nut milk bag. First sip saw an interesting face being pulled – not too sure on this one! By the end though, it was quite palatable, though I still couldn’t truly say I enjoyed it. Very much a veggie juice.

No real side effects from the detox as yet, other than a slight headache. I’m hoping to avoid drastic repercussions! Fingers crossed.

Progress Update and Looming Detox

Orange wedges dropping into waterI’ve mostly just been sharing recipes lately, so thought I should update you on my progress in general.

My weight is very slowly dropping, and I have almost met my first milestone, which is pretty exciting!

Another thing I have really noticed is that I am not so much of a puffing billy anymore. Walking from the car park to my office, which is on a very slight incline and includes two flights of stairs, used to leave me puffing and wheezing. Now, I am only breathing slightly heavier, and usually only if I am weighed down by excess luggage – laptop, travel bag etc. For me, that is a huge improvement!

I am about to undertake my next big challenge though – a juice detox.  I have always been dubious of detox programs, and have never seriously thought about doing one.  This juice detox however, is based on natural raw juices and smoothies, so fits right in with the lifestyle change I am attempting.

I doubt that I will go flat out and do a hard-core detox.  The program does call for only the juices to be consumed for 5 days, and only SOS foods to be eaten if absolutely necessary.  I don’t think I’m quite game enough yet to do that, so will probably still have a raw evening meal, or something along those lines.  I will definitely keep you updated – this could get interesting!

Layered Green Smoothie Recipe

imageI love green smoothies.

When I first began looking into the Raw Food diet, and came across the green smoothie & juice trend, I must admit that I was skeptical.  However, I have been won over!

They are such a fantastic way of getting those leafy greens into your body (which, let’s face it, aren’t always the yummiest vegies to eat), along with all of their fabulous nutrients.

Smoothies are so quick an easy, and can be a snack, or an entire meal replacement.  For a crazy, busy life, they are a blessing.

I’ve been experimenting with various combinations, and have my Basic Green Smoothie down pat.  However, I felt like being a little artistic this week, and tried creating a layered smoothie.  My first attempt didn’t work so well, and it wound up looking more like an abstract painting.  Second attempt today worked much better!  Here is the recipe if you’d like to give it a try.

RFD Original Recipe:

Ingredients

  • 200ml almond milk
  • 1 cup baby spinach leaves
  • 1-2 kale stems (leaves cut away from main stem)
  • 1/2 avocado
  • 1 medium banana
  • 1/2 cup frozen strawberries
  • 1/2 lemon (peeled and segmented)
  • 1/2 orange (peeled and segmented)
  • 1 apple
  • 1 tablespoon hemp seeds

Method

  • Put half of the almond milk, strawberries and half the banana into a blender and blend for 30 seconds or until smooth – set aside
  • Put remaining ingredients into the blender and blend for 30 seconds or until smooth and creamy
  • Put ‘green’ smoothie into your chosen glass
  • Pour the ‘pink’ smoothie over the back of a spoon on top of the green layer

My Notes

As the green layer is more dense, it sank through the pink layer, hence not creating a nice layer.  If you want a psychedelic effect, feel free to just pour it in and see what happens!

Pouring the pink layer over the back of a spoon helps it to sit on top rather than funneling down into the green layer.