A story about the perfect green smoothie.
I’ve always been given the impression that you’re never quite a grown up until you start drinking wine. But I’ve never developed a taste for it. So here I was, in the dying embers of my youth, wine-glassesless. (Is that a word?). In any case, despite this being a classic first world problem, my husband and I were having friends around for dinner and so it was time to get real.
Ok not too real – we weren’t planning to actually drink wine, but we could at least sip sparkling grape juice out of proper glasses and give our friends some crystal instead of the usual mugs for wine that our folks get when they come over.
First, I wandered down Glen Huntley Road to Mercantile Home – they seemed like a serious place for serious adults buying serious house things. Then things got tricky.
“Are you looking for red or white wine glasses?” the owners asked me. What?! There’s a difference? They quickly realised they were dealing with a complete wine glass neophyte. I had no idea what type of wine my friends were bringing for dinner and unfortunately they didn’t have 4 of each type so it was time to get creative…
“Why not, let’s live a little”, I thought – “I’ll get a couple of both!”. That way I could buy some white grape juice and some red grape juice and give the correct wine glasses to our friends depending on whatever wine they brought along. Genius!
And that’s the story of how I ended up with beautiful, expensive, crystal wine glasses that we never use.
Now every morning I make myself a green smoothie in one of those Nutri Ninja contraptions, but today it dawned on me – why not drink it out of the wine glass and put that crystal to work for a change?
Sure, not drinking straight out of the Nutri Ninja plastic container would in fact create one extra glass to wash and doing dishes are my second favourite household chore – my first being hitting my head on the top bunk bed until I faint (thanks Erma Bombeck!). But…I was off work for the day and clearly my life has no purpose nor meaning without sitting in front of a computer and getting stuck into a juicy spreadsheet so this all seemed like an excellent way to pass the time.
I’ve been slowly playing around with this recipe for about two years now and getting it the way I want it. I want something healthy but it has to be delicious and something I really look forward to every day. Given I only ever ate between 2-4 weetbix every single day of my life until my mid-twenties you can see how my breakfast eating habits change at the rate at which the reign of despots are overthrown.
Anyhoo onto the ingredients:
- 1 banana
- 2/3 of an apple (basically cut one side and then half of the other)
- A small handful of baby spinach leaves (you can use cos lettuce as well but I find the baby spinach has a much milder taste)
- A couple of medium size strawberries
- Some continental parsley (my husband has heaps of this but I prefer less)
- Some mint leaves
- A couple of squeezes of fresh lemon juice
- Some blueberries
- Chia seeds
All ingredients are suitable for vegans.
- Chuck everything except the blueberries and chia seeds into a Nutri Bullet or Nutri Ninja
- Put into your best wine glass
- Sprinkle with the chia seeds and a few blueberries
- Sit on your favourite comfy chair and enjoy
MAKING ALTERATIONS TO YOUR GREEN SMOOTHIE
This smoothie works just as well without the strawberries (as I know these can be expensive – especially when organic). And the blueberries are just a nice to have as well. Instead of the baby spinach you can use cos lettuce or even mixed lettuce, however the mixed lettuce can give it a bit of a bitter taste – I’ve used them in desperate times but I prefer not to. Instead of apple you could use a pear (although I personally don’t like the texture of that anywhere near as much). I would also recommend playing around with the amount of mint, parsley and lemon you want in there because that’s often down to personal preference.
Finally, if you don’t have a Nutri Bullet or Nutri Ninja, you can make it in a standard kitchen blender. I did that for a couple years before I figured out how much easier the bullets were. Plus they’re way easier to clean. But a blender can work well if you’re making it for more than two people.
SOME GREEN SMOOTHIE TIPS
Being a green smoothie veteran there are a few other tips I’d like to share:
Start growing the mint, parsley and lemon for the smoothie in your back yard.
We’re super lucky with a north facing garden and everything grows at the pace of a weed out there so we can often get the lemon, mint and parsley fresh from our back yard. That’s less wasteful than getting stuff from the supermarket and having it going bad before you can use it all. I recommend those ingredients of the smoothie only because I have found trying to grow enough of the strawberries and baby spinach to use every day is difficult if you’ve only got a small veggie patch, plus they get attacked by birds and moths which is just downright rude!
A green smoothie needs to be ripe
The banana is what gives this smoothie it’s “smoothie-ness” (so if you’re not a banana lover unfortunately the whole thing won’t taste very nice). But do you know what tastes even worse than no banana in a green smoothie? An unripe banana in a green smoothie. I made the mistake of doing this once and it was pretty puke-worthy. Needless to say I wasted a bunch of expensive organic strawberries feeding my kitchen sink drain.
Make sure these smoothie ingredients are organic
I know organic can be expensive so just remember there are certain things that are better to get organic. In particular I would recommend you prioritise getting the baby spinach, strawberries and blueberries organic as they are all known to have high levels of pesticide use in non-organic farming.
You don’t need to add any sweetener to the smoothie
The ripe banana (and if you add strawberries, those too) make the green smoothie nice and sweet, while the lemon adds that dash of tang to the mix. Adding sugar or maple syrup or agave or even dates makes it taste a bit weird. And PS, no – you cannot replace the sweetness of an unripe banana by adding sweetener.
A Fresh Smoothie is a Good Smoothie
Lastly, you can’t really store the green smoothie – this stuff is definitely designed to be consumed fresh. Maybe the most you can leave it without it tasting weird is a couple of hours.
And as soon as you’re done remember to wash the glass – it takes a fifth of the time to clean if you do it straight away. It’s the only dish my husband doesn’t have to force me to wash.
If you’ve tried this recipe, let me know how it went and what you thought!
My second Mum got us this as a present. It hangs from our kitchen window sill and I love the way it plays gently with the light while I’m making my smoothie every morning. It was so pretty today I decided to take a photo.