Tuesday, January 4, 2011

The Green Smoothie Experiment

Before I talk 'green smoothies' I just have to say I am SO totally excited right now ... just checked my UPS tracking and see that my Silhouette SD is "out for delivery" .... yay!  Can.not.wait!!!  It's a (slightly-belated) Christmas gift from the hubs - he's the best! Anyone out there have one of these?  Well ... I'm sure LOTS of you out there have one ... but anyone reading this??  LOL  I'm sure we'll talk more Silhouette in the not-too-distant future! Yes!

Okay ... on to the topic at hand ... my green smoothie experiment.  I was in line at the grocery store check-out one day over the holidays when one of the headlines from a magazine jumped out at me ... "Dr. Oz's #1 Fat Cure" ... Actually, it more like practically attacked me ... so I took that as a sign and brought it home (the magazine, that is).  I mean, really, people ... if it's a #1 for Mehmet C. Oz, M.D., it must be good ... right?!  Well, I wanted to find out for myself.  Now, anyone who knows me knows I'm not the most patient person when it comes to waiting for results .... I'm an instant-gratification kinda' girl, so when things don't work for me after a few tries, I have a funny way of talking myself out of them.  Hopefully, with the encouragement of my good friend Mehmet (we're like this), I will stick with this one long enough to see results ... something ... anything?

The bottom line of the article is that blending your dark green veggies with a bunch of fruit breaks down the cell walls of the plants more than chewing them would and therefore your body absorbs more of the "good stuff."  You are supposed to have more energy and the smoothies provide digestive assistance so that your liver and pancreas can focus more on fat burning than on digesting.  Hey, sounds good to me!!!  It doesn't hurt that I happen to like spinach, but even if you don't, the fruit that you add really mask its flavor anyway. I should preface this by saying that so far I haven't been very experimental with my ingredients yet.  I realized after deciding to start this that I desperately need to make a trip to Wegman's (holla!). Okay ... so until then, I'm just working with what I have in-house, which is basically organic spinach and pink lady apples .... hey - that works!  :)  And as afraid as I was to put the glass to my mouth after seeing the color of the smoothie (yes, I know they are called "green" smoothies, but it was still a little shocking), I must say, I found it to be quite delish!!  So now I'm working on day four of my experiment and so far so good ... I actually find myself looking forward to them!  My daily routine now goes something like this ...

Dig out the ol' Hamilton Beach ancient antique of a blender that I have for use of the occasional blending need:

(yes, it says 14 speeds, but in actuality, it's more like 3 because it's not quite in the working condition it once was ... one too many frozen cocktails, perhaps?!)

Grab a hand-full of my dark leafy greens (yumm-o!):

Rinsed, of course.  But I don't bother to de-stem ... nor do I pat dry ... I find that the little bit of water still on the leaves just adds a little to the smoothie.

Then I take whatever fruit I have (again, thus far, only my fav pink lady apples, but love them) ...

Peel them (I've heard bad things about leaving the peel on the apple ... not recommended, people!) and chop them up (the older/less powerful your blender is, the more you should chop):

Then I just blend 'em up!  Oh ... and I did add maybe a tablespoon or two of water and a squirt of lemon or lime juice (depending on which I had on hand) ... just for kicks and to help my blender get going (poor ol' thing!) ...

And this is kind of how it looks:

Almost Georgia O'Keefe floral-like, eh?!  Okay ... maybe not.  But still kind of cool.  :-)  And the finished product:

At first I thought there was something wrong with this picture, as the bubbled glass made the smoothie look ... well, bubbly ... but it's not ... just the glass photographs that way, apparently.  Anyway, I usually make a bit more than I did this time, but I'm running low on my leafy greens .... Wegman's here I come!

Oh ... and I had a little help with taste-testing this time:

This is our cat Pumpkin ... who can be equally as sweet as she can be evil.  Apparently she was quite enthralled with the blender, but just couldn't resist checking out the finished product.  :-)  I think she must have done this while I was cleaning up, because I didn't notice this until one of my boys pointed it out to me.  Funny!  Oh ... speaking of the clean-up, though ... talk about easy ... all I do is rinse the blender, add a little water with one drop of dish detergent, and blend again for a few seconds:

And then rinse again ... wah-lah!  Easy peasy clean-up!

Um ... as a side note, I made this smoothie yesterday before I left for work, and as I was doing the dishes last night, noticed something interesting ...

Do you think a small piece of rubber spatula negates the health-benefits of the dark leafy greens???  Ooops!

Okay, well, that's my experience thus far with my green smoothie experiment.  Has anyone else out there tried this yet??  Since I've read this article, I've noticed tons of recipes on the web that sound awesome and I hope to mix up my ingredients a little more and take this thing to the next level!  I'd love to hear your thoughts and experiences! 

Thanks for reading!  Here's to happy green smoothing!  :-)

Sunday, January 2, 2011

New Year ... New Blog ... Welcome to My World

Happy 2011

I hope you all had memorable holidays - whichever you celebrate - and that you were able to bring 2011 in with those you love. We did both. Christmas in our home was amazing, with two Santa-believing boys and two happily-home-from-college girls on a well-deserved break. And my wonderful m-i-l who fills with just tears watching the kids and listening to the things they say (out of the mouths of babes). The hubs and I marveled at watching the excitement of Christmas through our boys eyes once again. Nothing beats it. I also love watching our girls become such individuals and really come into their own through this time in life. They are both very different, and still both beautiful and wonderful people who I am sooo proud of.  And while life in our house can get very hectic (maybe just a small understatement), the joy of having everyone together under one roof is unlike any other.

Please disregard the messiness of the kitchen in the background (as well as the early-Christmas-morning gaze we all seem to have) ... sometimes you have to just let it go ... :-)

Again, happy new year to anyone reading ... I'm excited to see what this blog may develop in to over the year ... perhaps nothing more than a scrapbook for myself ... but, if that's the case, again ... I'm okay with that.  :-)