July 29, 2013

Essential Green Smoothies by Madeline Eyer


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.

Simply delicious

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.

Banana float

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.)

Jungle juice


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.

Mango majesty
The last smoothie I sampled was the mango majesty — another wonderful jar of deliciousness. I guess I don't dislike green smoothies anymore — or at least not the smoothies in "Essential Green Smoothies." They are very fresh, flavorful and clean tasting — not heavy or too thick.

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.

22 comments:

  1. Sounds to me like the Universe was determined to get you to try green smoothies! It's great your willingness to step outside your comfort zone was rewarded with deliciousness.

    I don't have a high speed blender, but I'm going to toss this book on my wish list for when that day eventually arrives!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Crazy Universe. Hmmm. A blender is a lot less expensive than a camera. You never know when one might pop up. IMine is a reconditioned one which cost less than a new one but had the same warranty.I'm not sure if they still do that.

      Delete
    2. A blender is a lot less expensive than a camera.

      Yep, as are a lot of other things, but that make them a priority for us. The camera, on the other hand...

      Delete
    3. Just kidding about the camera. I'd probably choose the camera, but it's hard to imagine not having my blender. I use it at least once a day, most days.

      Delete
  2. I'm glad they all worked out for you! They all certainly sound delicious. I'm not a big fan of green smoothies, either, but I do like one from time to time. I'll be checking out the link to the recipe.

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    1. I was pretty surprised by how good they tasted. I had a kale smoothie once that was disgusting, but these were really yummy.

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  3. Nice! Good for you for just diving in, despite reservations. I'm a fan of green smoothies but I always seem to make the same one or two over and over. It'd be nice to change that up. I don't have a Vitamix but I'm sure it helped yrs texture wise.

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    Replies
    1. I always make the same smoothies over and over, too, but apparently different recipes yield different results. Who knew? The truth is, if I weren't reviewing the book, I'd probably just make the first smoothie again and again. I'm boring that way.

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  4. Nice! I have been on a green smootie kick since last December and I can truthfully say they have changed my life. Juices are very good for health.

    Regards,
    Tahitian Noni Juice

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  5. You can never have too many smoothie ideas, and the ones you try sound especially bright and refreshing. As much as I love photos, I'm kind of attracted to the idea of a fully illustrated cookbook. The cover at least is gorgeous, and it seems kind of novel in this day and age.

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    Replies
    1. It used to be one smoothie idea was enough for me — banana, frozen fruit, almond milk or almond butter, cacao nibs, chia seeds and hemp. Done. Now I'm paying more attention to the different flavors I can enjoy — including leafy greens.

      Yes, illustration is kind of novel these days, and one of the reasons is how long it takes to do a full-color illustration, and how expensive it becomes to pay the illustrator. It can take 20 hours to do an illustration. I did an illustrated cover for a gardening magazine once, but it was for a non-profit group and the illustration was donated.

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  6. I'm fine with green smoothies as long as it doesn't taste "green". That's actually my theory as to why some people don't like green smoothies. All of the ones you tried look and sound awesome. I don't have a high speed blender though, just an ol' pokey one. I'm guessing the recipes would still work, just a bit more chunky?

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    1. I didn't like the idea of fruit and greens mixed together, regardless of taste, but I'm adjusting. :) The citrus really makes the smoothies taste great, and not 'green' at all. I think I used to make smoothies in my old blender, but they never reached the state of creaminess that my VitaMix achieves. If I only had a regular blender, that's what I'd use.

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  7. Well, it's been three weeks and I'm still having a green smoothie 6 days/week! I'll admit I haven't gotten too adventurous, but these sound terrific. I really like that she's not bound to every ingredient and love the idea of working towards a higher ratio of vegetables to fruits in order to limit sugar (who am I?).

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    1. I'm impressed, Abby. I'm glad to see you and your VitaMix have finally bonded (blended?) over the green smoothies. They're much better than I thought they would be — delicious, in fact. Next thing you know, you'll be adding apples to those smoothies.

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  8. Thanks for posting this review. I have been wanting to try green smoothies as an alternative to juicing, and now I feel much more comfortable with it!

    BTW, this book is today's recommended book on vegetarianclearinghouse.com:

    http://vegetarianclearinghouse.blogspot.com/2013/07/recommended-book-green-smoothies.html

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    Replies
    1. Thanks for the link, Amanda, and for making Essential Green Smoothies your book of the day!

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  9. The smoothies look so delicious! The Mango Majesty looks like my soon to be favourite!

    www.veganmiam.com

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    1. Who knew that green smoothies tasted so good? Well, I guess everyone but me.

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  10. I have been a green smoothie lover for a long time now, so glad you overcame your heatiations!! My regular not fabulous blender never gets kale or chard into small enough bits for a smoothie so i just stick to spinach and some amazing grass. The mango one sounds so good!
    Ttrockwood

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    Replies
    1. I'm glad I finally got over my distrust of green smoothies, too. Now I prefer them, and all-fruit smoothies seem like dessert.

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