Filming a YouTube video about Inner Awakening in Thailand

Filming a YouTube video about Inner Awakening in Thailand

Thursday, April 24, 2014

EASY GREEN SMOOTHIE (Vegan Recipe of the Week)

As a way of sharing my enthusiasm for the cruelty-free lifestyle, I've decided to start a new weekly blog segment here, in which you'll find my favourite Vegan recipes with easy-to-follow instructions and pictures!

You've probably already heard that green smoothies are one of the healthiest, most easily digestible, vitamin-filled energy sources for your body. I, personally, start every day with a blender of green smoothie for brunch! (Breakfast and lunch put together.) So many health experts and dieticians recommend including these in your diet that really, anything I have to say about them will only be a repetition of all the great facts already out there. Even still, since the care for your physical form is of vital importance not only for your body's health, but also for your mental clarity and spiritual joy, (remember- the body through which you express yourself is the interface through which you experience life and the way you treat your body directly affects the experiences you gain!) I'll repeat a few of those benefits before getting to the good stuff.

-By "drinking your greens" the nutrients and vitamins are more easily digested and converted into energy than they would be if eaten solidly as salad

-It's faster and easier to drink a smoothie than to eat the equivalent amount of fruit and veg, so this is a perfect meal for those who lead busy lives. (Remember: a smoothie is not just a drink; it's a meal!)

-Children love smoothies! If you have a picky little eater, a cold, sweet, fruity smoothie (in which spinach, spirulina, wheatgrass juice, cucumber and other veggies have been cleverly hidden) is a sure way to make sure he or she is getting enough healthy stuff.

-Believe it or not, even some vegans don't get enough veg in their diets! That's because many vegans go vegan just for animal rights reasons without necessarily caring about their health, thus, they wind up eating a lot of processed, grain-based, snacks foods. (Like instant noodles, crackers, breads and baked goods, pasta, etc.) Going vegan for the animals is great! But- you can be of more use to the animals if you're healthy and fit! So, if you're a "potato chip vegan," make sure to give your body a break. Eat less processed junk food, and treat your physical form to more nutritionally rich treats.

-Smoothies are affordable! Since a smoothie can be made with whatever ingredients you choose to put into it, the cost will be as much or as little as your food budget affords. If mixed frozen berries, spirulina powder and Vega protein mix are out of your budget, you can use whatever seasonal fruits are available at a low cost (or pick your own when you can!) and simply freeze them yourself. Soy flour is much cheaper than protein powder, but still contains a high protein count. (If you go this route, pick a non-GMO soy flower, and use it in moderation; it's not for every day, but only the days when you'll be eating less protein.)

-Smoothies give you energy without weighing you down! If you have an active day ahead, (going for a long hike or picnic, or running errands without much time for a break,) make a smoothie in the morning, pour it into a travel cooler or thermos and enjoy a refreshing, portable, energy-boosting treat throughout the day.

Now, for the recipe:

What you'll need:
-a blender
-fruit
-liquid
-greens
-protein powder (optional)
-green powder (optional)

First, the blender! Many smoothie-advocates recommend getting a top of the line, expensive model, but for me, this low-end ($25 on sale!) works perfectly- crushes ice, blends fruit, gives good consistency.)


First, as a base, pour some liquid into the blender. Be sure to always add liquid first, or else the frozen fruit and veggies will not blend, and that can dull your blender blades. I'm using a store bought green juice that contains wheatgrass, alfalfa, cucumber, plus some fruit juices for sweetening. You can use any kind of juice or non-dairy milk as the smoothie base- try soy milk, rice milk, almond milk, hemp milk, etc. Keep in mind that the flavour of the juice should complement the other ingredients you put in! If you're using berries and vanilla flavoured protein powder, don't use a tomato-based juice, but sometime mild like almond milk! If you're putting in only salad greens and veggies, then by all means, use a tomato juice, carrot juice, or pure green juice. (Pure meaning, no or little sweet fruit.)


After the liquid, add your spirulina powder, or whatever other "green powder" you may pick. It's best to add it before other ingredients so it has a chance to blend in nicely, and not clump. Spirulina is a super food, and has been praised by the UN for it's perfect blend of nutrients. If you only have one superfood added to your ordinary diet, spirulina is a good choice, since it's packed with essential amino acids, vitamins and nutrients. It's a pure micro-sized plant, and full of green energy! A teaspoon is enough- this stuff has an intense flavour, and you don't want it to overpower the other ingredients.





Next, add your greens! I like to put in a lot of spinach. When making your green smoothie with a lot of fruit, spinach is the ideal salad vegetable because it blends smoothly and hardly changes the flavour of the drink at all. You can add as much or as little as you choose; notice, I like a lot! This is what makes the smoothie a "meal;" like drinking a salad!



Because the leaves are lighter in weight than the fruit, it's important to put them in first so the fruit can push them down towards the blades. This saves you from the trouble of later scraping down the sides of the blender. 

Next, add your fruit! I've gone with a cup of frozen mixed berries, but you can also use apple slices, kiwi, mango, melon, orange, papaya, pineapple, starfruit... anything! If you have a sweet tooth, including a slightly-brown skinned banana will give the smoothie an added sweetness and also a smooth, creamy texture, as well as add some starchiness, which is good if you're very active.



Now for the protein powder! I really like "Vega" brand, since it was created by a vegan athlete, and never has sugar, animal products or artificial chemicals added. The vanilla flavour complements this fruit and spinach blend really nicely. I've found the chocolate (!) Vega protein powder goes well with soy milk, one banana, and a cup of frozen blueberries. If you're using chocolate, skip the spinach and spirulina, because somehow they combine to form an unfortunately cheesy taste... You can also find flavourless powders, like hemp protein, soy protein, or chia protein. If you don't have any kind of protein powder, you can add a scoop of plain chia seeds, or even pre-cooked (and cooled) quinoa. 



To get all the powder dissolved, and to aid the blender in it's mixing process, I add a cup of (filtered!) water. You can also add a non-dairy "milk" or more of your juice if you like a stronger flavour.


Now you're ready to blend it all up! Choose a "liquify" setting, not a "chop" setting, or, if you have a blender like the one pictured, opt for "dispense" setting, as that gets all the lumps out!



You'll notice that even after so much spinach, green juice and spirulina has been added, the colour still comes out nice a pinkish-red. If you're making this for children (or grown ups) who have a prejudice against drinking green things, pick really intensely pigmented fruits, like blackberries and raspberries, and add just a little bit of beet juice or pomegranate juice for more colour. Cheers!

5 comments:

  1. I just love it <3 Makes me feel like spring on the inside <3 Nithyanandam

    ReplyDelete
  2. Dear Sudevi, I would like to point out that by drinking smoothies you are bypassing the mouth which is the processor, and so the body will not know when enough is enough. For example, it is probably easy to drink the juice of 5 or 10 carrots, but the same cant be eaten. In yoga, we would eat the vegetables or fruits rather than make smoothies out of them. I meant to email you for quite some time, and I finally did just now. I hope you are able to read it.
    Vishal

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  3. Green drink powder has probiotics that keep your digestive system balanced and get rid of harmful toxic. It also has digestive enzymes that help break down food and absorb nutrients. So I will recommend everyone to start taking healthy drinks.

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