As many of you know, I began juicing at the start of this year. First thing each morning I drink a glass of freshly made green juice (several handfuls of kale and spinach, half a cucumber, 3-4 stalks of celery, half a green apple, 2 carrots, broccoli stems if I have them on hand, sometimes half a bell pepper, and I have most recently added 2beets). With the summer heat I began making fruit smoothies. Using frozen fruit and keeping them really thick it was almost like sorbet. While a better option than my favorite summer, okay favorite anytime, food, ice cream, I was not getting much nutritional bang for my buck with these smoothies. My smoothies were momentarily satisfying, but I would often be hungry an hour or so later and have a headache. I quickly realized I was probably consuming way more sugar than was good for me. It is safe to say I was getting in close to ten servings of fruit on my smoothie days. I guess I was trying to balance it out for all those Americans who don’t consume any fruits or vegetables on a daily basis.
I started doing a little research and found lots of great smoothie recipes that included veggies, nut butters, and about ¼ the amount of fruit I was using for my smoothies. I was very excited to try a new, improved version of my smoothie. I loaded my glass (I don’t own a blender, just one of those ingenious Cuisinart wands) with rice milk, wheat germ, a banana, spinach, frozen blueberries, and a couple of spoonfuls of almond butter. I was so excited to take my first sip. It was GROSS! Bleh! This was how vegetables and healthy food got a bad rap.
I love spinach. Fresh baby spinach from the green market is one of my favorite foods, after ice cream. I don’t even mind the ridiculous amount of work it takes to clean all the dirt and grit from those delicious green leaves. Turns out I do not love spinach in smoothies. With a little tweaking and some lowered expectations for how smoothies with only 2-3 fruit servings will taste I have begun to acquire a taste for spinach in smoothies. I enjoy that my new smoothies leave me feeling full for several hours and I do not get a headache from my blood sugar level skyrocketing then crashing, but I am still scared to try adding two of my favorite foods that many of the smoothie recipes call for, avocados and kale. If spinach was this bad kale is bound to be horrific. And avocado? I’m going to try it tomorrow, but not without lots of trepidation.