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Saturday, Sep. 20, 2014

Shrek juice isn't just for ogres

Posted Friday, January 25, 2013, at 1:50 PM

(Photo)
To me this is liquid magic, to my daughter Dani Rae it's Shrek juice. A smoothie with spinach, banana, clementine, almond milk and a scoop of protein. What are your favorite smoothies?

I'd like to gather up a good list of recipes and run them in the newspaper, so please, send them all my way!


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I don't have much of a recipe to follow, so I won't be able to help much with a cookbook.

I basically throw in a handful of several types of nuts, maybe a raw egg occasionally, some dried fruit, handful of spinach or carrots, one each of orange, apple, banana, about five large strawberries, a handful of blueberries, maybe some fresh pineapple and a slice of ginger.

I also alternate some grapes, pomegranate, peaches or any other fruit that is on sale. I stay away from broccoli and cabbages because they add a taste I don't like in my smoothie. I would rather eat them raw or cooked but not as a drink.

When I am making a smoothie for my wife it is banana, strawberries, maybe some pineapple and a little vanilla.

I forgot to say that all smoothies get a cup of filtered water and a cup or two of ice cubes. I cut back if I have frozen strawberries since it becomes more of a frozen concoction with all that frozen.

-- Posted by stevemills on Fri, Jan 25, 2013, at 4:29 PM

While I admit I need more greens in my diet... I prefer to eat my food. I'm just not satisfied unless I've physically chewed. I could drink 1000 calories in no time, even healthy calories. The smoothie craze would never work for me.

-- Posted by craftin_mom on Sat, Jan 26, 2013, at 12:32 PM

I drink my smoothie for lunch so it gives me a jolt without a sugared diabetic fruit coma...mostly protein:

1 1/2 cups ice

1/2 cup frozen blueberries

1 scoop garden of life vanilla raw protein powder

1 scoop garden of life perfect food plant protein

2 nectreese monk fruit sweetener

top with unsweetened vanilla almond milk

All together maybe 80 calories for a 20oz. glass and a half....but, I needed to drop some pounds and this fills me up...It taste like a blueberry-vanilla shake and is a dark rich green and last about 6-7 hours...Along with an egg and dry Ezekiel raisin toast for breakfast and a low calorie sensible dinner, I'm dropping pounds in a major way and feel great...I am a major coffee drinker and do get animal fats from the milk I add to the coffee...If I was not dieting...I would be cheese burgering it for lunch then sleeping 3 hours in the afternoon....so this might just become a change for life with me to shake me up a little.

-- Posted by chefgrape on Sun, Jan 27, 2013, at 7:56 AM

craftin-mom, I agree with you about still wanting to chew something so I keep nuts, carrots and the occasional whole fruit. I never wanted to go extreme like some folks do and I think that is what allowed me to phase into my new way of eating.

Usually, I still eat one sensible meal a day and an occasional non-sensible one too. :-) But I miss sometimes because I just do not have the craving for what I used to love, like pasta, bread, potatoes and junk food.

My wife is now concerned that a bag of M&M peanuts will go to waste, where before, I was hunting down her hiding places and breaking into the stash. I may break down and have some, but it isn't important anymore.

At the same time as my smoothie increase, I started watching my gluten intake. Many of my aches and pains have gone away, and when I cheat the pains come back within a few hours. When I ache, I tend to console myself with eating. Bad combination.

-- Posted by stevemills on Sun, Jan 27, 2013, at 8:39 AM

Sadie, trying ti get back to your recipe request, I have to try to stop putting things in. This morning I was happily stuffing the blender container when I realized I had no more room and there were still things I would have put in.

Cutting back with a good recipe would help me stretch my food budget and probably increase my water intake, since I would have more room for water and ice.

I am looking forward to garden season this year so I can make some cucumber recipes, and recipes with good tasting, garden fresh veggies, especially tomatoes. I've tried making some juice form store bought stuff, but the taste is really lacking.

-- Posted by stevemills on Sun, Jan 27, 2013, at 8:46 AM

Looking forward to recipes!

-- Posted by bbbluebird on Tue, Jan 29, 2013, at 8:46 AM

I mentioned somewhere that I do not use cole crops (mustard, cabbage, collards, kale, kohlrabi,etc) because of taste. Maybe some recipes that can wean me form fruit would be good?

I have two recipe books from Vitamix, but it is nothing like getting a firsthand opinion from someone who has actually prepared and consumed the drinks.

I found that I can add carrots, some broccoli, spinach, cucumbers and bok choy without affecting the taste adversely (for me). Anyone else have some favorite veggies they slip in?

-- Posted by stevemills on Wed, Jan 30, 2013, at 8:19 AM

Steve, I am wondering the same thing. We are supposed to consume a pound of fresh veggies a day and another pound of cooked veggies. The only way I'm going to get that much fresh veggies down is by hiding them in a good fruit smoothie. But so far, I've only tried spinach.

I welcome feedback on the incorporation of veggies.

-- Posted by sfowler on Wed, Jan 30, 2013, at 9:43 AM

I use that Perfect Food Original-Super Green Formula from " Garden of Life"...It has it all and in powder form for shakes...It contains 45 Phytonutrient-Dense Superfoods, HSO Probiotics and Digestive Enzymes....It has every thing from sea vegetables to grains, seeds, legumes, fruits, etc. and taste good with only 40 calories....It gets my veggies and probiotic help in just a scoop...Whole Foods carries it....I use it along with their plant vanilla protein powder they just came out with and unsweetened vanilla almond milk...keeps me full for hours.

-- Posted by chefgrape on Wed, Jan 30, 2013, at 10:10 AM

Here is the link to the raw protein I use with the greens in case ya wanna check it out..

http://www.gardenoflife.com/Products-for...

-- Posted by chefgrape on Wed, Jan 30, 2013, at 10:14 AM

What is the best appliance to use to make smoothies . . . blender or something else?

-- Posted by bbbluebird on Wed, Jan 30, 2013, at 1:16 PM

I was given a Ninja blender for Christmas which will grind anything I'm sure my dad got it at Costco..he loves that place ,but any blender or stick blender and a sturdy glass will work as long as it will crush ice...I have found the cheaper off brand stick blenders are not as good as the upper end ones, however I have an Oster and I think I paid about 30 bucks for it....I do know that in blenders you would pay 6 times more for a Vit-a-Mix then you would a Ninja and you get the same result according to consumer report I saw.

-- Posted by chefgrape on Wed, Jan 30, 2013, at 4:49 PM

Thanks for the help chefgrape and LeahW!

-- Posted by bbbluebird on Thu, Jan 31, 2013, at 8:36 AM

I am a Vita Mix man. Does not have the same ring as Marlboro Man, but....

I definitively believe in smoothies as opposed to juicing because I WANT the fiber. For some, fiber might be an issue.

When I first tried VitaMix it had a stainless steel container and they were less concerned about noise. It sounded like it was grinding itself to oblivion so I returned it, but now it sounds like a blender on steroids.

I have not tried the less expensive units, so I can not be positive, but one of the big differences that I perceive is the useable life-span and warranty. A friend of mine has gone through two machines so far in about 3 years.

Mine has a full warranty for seven years and I have talked to numerous users who have had theirs for 15-20 years and never had an issue. Hopefully that means I can pass mine down to our daughter who is using a less expensive brand.

Of course, I also got mine from the factory store in upper Ohio so I saved about $150.

Regarding recipes and veggies, I like to use all natural ingredients, unprocessed except for what I do and organic of course. Maybe some flavorings, but that is it.

-- Posted by stevemills on Thu, Jan 31, 2013, at 10:33 AM

Two days ago I made a particularly UN-satisfying one so I won't try to share that recipe, but this morning I have a particularly good one, so....

I like mine thick, and even better if they do not separate after sitting for a few minutes so I add nuts whenever I can. That seems to help.

Today's was a

quarter cup walnuts, and quarter cup almonds

One large apple

One large orange

One cup of blueberries

6 large strawberries

one banana

1/2 cup lightly packed spinach

one celery stalk

one peeled carrot

half cup of water

two cups ice cubes

That makes two large drinks. When I have a refrigerator available I usually put the mixing container in the fridge so I can give it a quick mix just before filling the next glass.

There, I shared a recipe. If you are putting your smoothie in clear glass, I find it more appetizing to make it a pretty color.

Sound crazy? It matters and you will also convert more people to drinking smoothies if it is pleasing to look at.

Sadie, to me your Ogre Juice is a pleasing green. Maybe try some mint leaves some time to give an unexpected twist. Just a thought. :-)

-- Posted by stevemills on Sun, Feb 3, 2013, at 10:44 AM

Thanks, I'm loving them. Yours sounds great, Steve. The only trouble -- I've gotten my husband hooked on these and we can seem to keep the refrigerated stocked. We are going through fresh produce like you would not believe. This morning I added about 1 cup of kale to mine and I couldn't even taste it. Kale is a super food! Of course, this cold I've been fighting probably factored into this.

-- Posted by sfowler on Tue, Feb 5, 2013, at 12:10 PM


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Sadie Fowler is lifestyles editor for the Times-Gazette.
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