Happy St Patrick's Day! I am so thrilled my family are staying with me and we can spend this fabulous day together. This is one of our favourite holidays. My mother is part Irish -- her family are descendants of the McDermotts, Sullivans and O'Learys. We are very proud of our Irish heritage and milk it for all it's worth. I know St Patrick's Day was originally a religious holiday. But let's be honest, to any self-respecting hedonist, it is fondly embraced as a "feast and drinking day": a fabulous opportunity to celebrate "everything Irish" and a golden invitation to get "over-refreshed" with irreverent indulgence under the guise of national and ethnic pride.
Those of you who know me know all-too-well my penchant for "all things green." I will seize any and every opportunity to turn everything green and celebrate! I have always thought the Chicago River looked better green. Thankyou, St Patty's Day! Although, 40-100 pounds of orange food dye being poured into the river constantly? OK Maybe not. I have also dreamt of marching in the famous St Patrick's Day Parade full of blarney and a pint of green ale. Well, nearly. Having actually kissed The Blarney Stone, along with my mother and sister, I can live up to the second requirement. Those of you who have spent time with us know that is an understatement! But, having never had a beer in my life, I will have to forego the second. So I turn to my trusty green smoothies as my ale of choice and share it with you today.
I start every day with a different green smoothie, and this blend is my favourite way to introduce new people to the practice, which can really boost your health.
Leafy greens are loaded with vitamins and nutrients and chlorophyll. A molecule of chlorophyll is similar to a molecule of blood. Ann Wigmore likened drinking green smoothies to getting a blood transfusion, where your body is nourished with essential nutrients for optimum health. I had read Ann Wigmore's books and had made many "green soups" over the years, but did not incorporate them regularly in my daily routine until I read Victoria Boutenko's book Green For Life. That book and her story changed my life.
If you are new to green smoothies, start by making them with fruit to get used to the taste of all of the different greens and wild edibles, and then slowly transition into pure vegetable green smoothies that are more alkalizing and do not contain as much natural sugar. But making sweet fruit green smoothies with mild leafy greens is the most effective way to introduce these nutritionally dense shakes into your diet. I would suggest starting with fruit smoothies and then gradually reducing the amount of fruit in the blend every day.
There are a ton of fantastic green smoothie recipes out there for healthy blending inspiration. The Boutenkos share a lot of their favourite raw green smoothie recipes on their website and in their books. There is also a multitude of raw and vegan websites sharing heaps of information and endless recipes for raw green smoothies. They are so easy to make. Just throw in some leafy greens and the fruits or vegetables of your choice. Experiment with the flavours that work best for you. If it is too sweet, add in some more greens. If it is not sweet enough, throw in a little sweetness. Too easy!
For the more savoury green smoothies, a top tip is to throw in an avocado instead of a banana (you know I will take any opportunity to give my beloved avocado a guernsey) and you will get a creamy raw smoothie that would make anyone green with envy. I also like to throw in some organic creamed coconut and ice, which tends to take the bitterness out of some of the wild edibles and greens that are not as palatable to some people.
I have deliberately chosen spinach for this introductory smoothie. The mild flavour that is so easily masked with fruit makes this smoothie enjoyable for even the most green-skeptic drinker. Perhaps St Patrick's Day is the perfect day to try this because everyone is drinking green drinks! Just remember to rotate your greens for variety.
Trust me - If it weren't for the green colour, you would never know this smoothie had leafy vegetables in it. It tastes like a mango banana coconut fruit shake. Go green and you won't be sorry. It will literally change your life! No orange food dye required.
I intend to drown my sorrows in a few gallons of this blend as an antidote to my broken heart after I drop my sister and my gorgeous niece off at the airport tonight. However, if the green smoothie doesn't do the trick, I intend to head down to the famous (or infamous) Tam O'Shanter Inn with mum and dad to sing and dance to some great Irish music. There is nothing quite like it in L.A.
Happy Green Smoothie Day!