Needful Things – Vita-Mix

Raw Food: Green Smoothie ingredients

(Ingredients for one green smoothie)

At my other food blog, Nika’s Culinaria, I have reviewed quite a few fantastic cookbooks over the years. I adore picking up a new book, reading it and then cooking a few recipes from it and showcase the results I got (Modern Indian Cooking by Hari Nayak and Vikas Khanna, My Whole Grain Manifesto – take back your inner grain!).

As I am new to the world of raw cuisine, I have no raw cookbooks and have been very slowly building some of the basic knowledge and methods people have developed for presenting raw foods in such a way that interest and excitement is maintained.

Thus, I have been extremely fortunate to be able to get my hands on a 5200 super Vita-Mix for this review and for a tasty exploration into a new culinary world.

I had been using a regular off the Wal-Mart shelf sort of blender for years but only VERY sporadically. Until a month or so ago, it had sat on my shelf, very dusty and lonely. I cleaned it up and started to make smoothies and other mixtures for raw living foods such as flax crackers.

It wasn’t but a few uses before that poor blender (more like counter bling than an actual appliance) began to puff out clouds of smoke (am NOT exaggerating). I have killed food processors in the past (was pureeing turkey for some turkey wellingtons – long story) so I was resigned to failure as I saw the white puffs and smelled the acrid stench of burning electronics.

The one green smoothie I made in that blender came out with large kale bits that were quite intact when my body was done with them (ahem, a few hours later). The old blender could not get the kale and other greens sliced up enough for it to be used by my body.

As is suggested by many raw food proponents, there is abundant nutrition locked up inside of the leafy greens such as kale. As we are not ruminants, with the 3 or 4 stomachs and the bacterial flora needed to break down cellulose (plant cell walls) those nutrients are hard to digest and access.

Its not our “fault” as humans, its just that our primate evolution didnt include the ruminant digestive system.

We have evolved and adapted to eat those animals who do have the multiple rumens but the meat is only a subset of the nutrition that comes from eating plants.

Its like the sunshine has been captured by plants (grasses) and then filtered through the ruminant’s digestive system into their meats. Our adaptation has not included the ability to extract our entire needs from meats (like true carnivores such as cats) but rather, our biochemistry requires additional inputs from plant sources to make a complete toolbox for our growth and function.

Leafy greens are great for us but its like the nutrients are locked away, behind the plant walls. A Wal-Mart blender can not break the plant walls sufficiently so a lot of that kale goodness in my green smoothie was flushed away.

The Vita-Mix, with it’s robust turbine, was able to liberate abundant amounts of goodness from those greens, making my green smoothies truly whole foods. Its hard for me to express how important that is.

Green Smoothie Goodness

If you are not familiar with the sort of hack that a green smoothie is, listen in. You take hard to chew green chlorophyl tasting challenging greens like kale, which many people usually cook the dickens out of, and blend to liquifaction with a variety of fruits. The smoothie you get doesn’t taste “green” at all and is filled with all the fiber of whole foods (no juicing here).

I once tried juiced wheat grass and got an instant migraine and had an explosive flash to the smell of a newly mowed lawn. That is a flavor that does no smoothie any good. With this green smoothie method, that flavor is essentially eliminated.

The smoothie I share today has an additional bit of goodness, freshly grown salad sprouts, some of which were quite spicy!

I grew these two SproutPeople sprout mixes: Italian (red clover, cress, garlic) and French Garden (red clover, arugula, cress, radish, fenugreek, ad dill) .

Raw Food: organic sprouting italian blend

Raw Food: organic sprouting french garden mix

As a result, this smoothie was spicy without adding any dried spices!

I also used pink grapefruit which added a very dominant flavor to the smoothie, you might prefer to try this with sweet oranges. Am thinking, if you don’t mind or even crave tart, that blood oranges would be resplendent in this smoothie! Am going to try that when they come in.

Nika’s Spicy Leafy Fruity Green Smoothie Explosion

Ingredients:

  • 4-5 medium sized leaves of curly ORGANIC kale
  • 1 cup freshly sprouted organic French Garden Garden Sprouts, drained well
  • 1 cup freshly sprouted organic Italian sprouts, well drained
  • 3/4 cup washed and drained blueberries
  • 1 pink grapefruit, peeled
  • 1 ripe banana, peeled
  • 1 small apple, cored but not peeled
  • 1/4 of a cantalope, skinned and cubed
  • 5 large strawberries
  • 1 tablespoon minced fresh ginger
  • 1/4 to 1/2 cup organic coconut juice, as needed

Directions:

Put kale and sprouts in the blender, including a 1/4 cup of coconut juice.

Raw+Simple: Kale Sprout Fruit green smoothie

Raw+Simple: Kale Sprout Fruit green smoothie

Raw+Simple: Kale Sprout Fruit green smoothie

Blend this a bit until the kale has been partially broken down.

Raw+Simple: Kale Sprout Fruit green smoothie

Add the rest of the fruit and also add coconut juice IF liquid seems to be needed.

Raw+Simple: Kale Sprout Fruit green smoothie

Blend again! Keep it blending until leaves are no longer seen but not any longer than that.

Raw+Simple: Kale Sprout Fruit green smoothie

Serve the smoothie and then rinse the blender jar, add warm soapy water and blend to clean, EASY PEASY.

Vita-Mix : Cleaning is easy

Enjoy! Those dark bits are blueberry skins that are REALLY persistent but full of goodness. If your smoothie sits a bit, blue will spread out from those blue bits, further infusing the smoothie with blue yum.

Raw+Simple: Kale Sprout Fruit green smoothie

7 Responses to “Needful Things – Vita-Mix”

  1. Judith says:

    Ohh, Nika,

    It looks delicious. Of course, your photography is impeccable!

    Now, I don’t have a VitaMix and with current circumstances being the way they are, I won’t be able to get one for awhile. In the meantime, I am downloading the page and will try some of this. I may have to do with unpureed bits in the meantime.

    Thanks so much. Will definitely reTweet this!

  2. Maire says:

    Are you noticing any differenc in your health from the raw food?

  3. Nika says:

    Judith, Thanks for your kind words! Please let me know how it goes for you. Even if you have larger pieces of kale leaf, the flavor is still sweet if you add the fruits. Still VERY do-able.

  4. Nika says:

    Maire: Excellent question. I would say that I have not been on it long enough to know yet. I am guessing the first effect I will see is some weight loss but I have not been measuring that (do not want to be obsessive!). I can say that I noticed a difference (to the better) after my first green smoothie – my GI elimination became much more healthy (as in not constipated – something I dont especially like talking about but its huge in our lives right?)

    I have other health concerns that will not turn around right away – relates to degenerative conditions ..

    AND – another thing that I have not been able to change yet is my use of coffee – this is one of my goals – once I have beaten that I think my energy levels will really benefit.

    Sorry for the dump of info! Just thought I would answer best I could.

  5. Great images and that looks like an amazing smoothie, I can’t wait to try it. Thank you for this great blog!

  6. Amy Skene says:

    I never would have thought of growing sprouts and using them in a green smoothy. (I feel kind of dumb saying that but I’ll say it anyway, ‘cuz it’s true!) Thanks for the idea. I just ordered a Vitamix last night and I can’t wait to start using it.

Leave a Reply