I've mentioned before on this blog that I don't care for green smoothies — "yes" to leafy green veggies and green juice, but "no" to fruits and vegetables blended up and poured into a glass. Just the thought made me feel more than a little queasy. Not that long ago I was asked to review a green smoothie e-book but declined, saying I probably wasn't the right person for the job.
It must have been fate that at a recent birthday party for a friend, I complimented one of the guests on her recently published cookbook, and she asked if I'd like a free copy to review on my blog. I knew she was a Certified Raw Food Coach, and I'd previously tasted some of her amazing creations, so I said, "sure!" What I didn't remember was that the book was a raw green smoothie book. I decided to face my fears head on, and accepted the book with a smile — and a bit of well-hidden trepidation.
Madeline Eyer says in the introduction to her book, that green smoothies are usually made in a proportion of 60/40 fruit to leafy greens, and that is a good place to start. However, as your taste buds and body adjust, it's best to eventually reverse the proportions. I stuck with the recipe proportions for my first few smoothies, not wanting to push my taste buds, but, as it turned out, I had nothing to fear. My first smoothie was called simply delicious. And it was. Really. As I drank it I heard the words, "yummo, yummo, yummo," coming from my lips.
Smoothie number two was called banana float, and it was equally, if not even more, delicious. The color was a deep purplish tone from the addition of blueberries. The recipe called for beet greens but in the introduction Maddy says if an ingredient is missing from the pantry, just substitute another. I didn't have beet greens but I did have a bunch of red chard from our next-door-neighbor's garden, and chard tastes like beets to me, so I used it. I was pretty nervous stuffing chard into the blender, but the resulting smoothie was amazingly delicious. I loved it! If you'd like to try it, you can find the recipe for the banana float here. (Just click on the book pages to enlarge them.)
If I weren't an experienced green smoothie drinker, having already had three (I made one of the smoothies twice!), I might have been alarmed by the brown color of jungle juice, but I bravely took a sip and was delighted to find I loved it. Although it may look like chocolate, it was actually the addition of frozen cherries that turned the smoothie such a dark, rich color.
Essential Green Smoothies, unlike most cookbooks, is fully illustrated, with the artwork of Royce Richardson filling every page. And each recipe is accompanied by a paragraph of facts about one of the ingredients and why it is beneficial to one's health. The wonderful little book provides not just delicious, healthful recipes, but visual gratification and loads of useful information as well. (Did you catch the word "delicious" in the last sentence?) Each of the green smoothies I whipped up was a delight.
Note: The recipes call for edible essential oils, but most of the oils can be substituted with fresh lime, lemon, ginger or grapefruit as noted in the directions. Also, the recipes require a high speed blender such as a VitaMix or Blendtec.
Full disclosure: The cookbook was given to me by the author for the purpose of a review. I was not paid. All opinions are my own.