Wednesday, May 1, 2013

Blender Bender

That's right, I'm on a bender! It's smoothies, smoothies, smoothies. I can't get enough. I'm throwing all kinds of weird stuff in there: spinach, cucumbers, mint, apples, mangoes, papaya, bananas, celery, lime juice, green tea, almond milk. I've got ginger, fennel, parsley and green beans just waiting for me to get even crazier. Slowly letting go of sweet fruit comforts and gearing up to try some savory concoctions.

I want to share recipes and pictures of my experiments, but will mostly share pre-blended ingredients rather than resulting drinks...because...well, the colors are not too appealing. Maybe I'll get better at appearances once I get the hang of the flavors, but I can assure you that they are delicious and give such a vitamin buzz when imbibed. And since I'm not doing a total deprivation detox here--just a slight lifestyle adjustment--I will be revealing a guilt-free watermelon martini recipe.

Before I get into ingredient combos, however, I will give some basic tips.

*Blending versus juicing. There are camps that advocate for one over the other. I am blending because I am not prepared to buy a juicer right now. I'm not to concerned about which is better nutritionally because they both are better than not having any fresh food at all.

*Best blender. Dedicated green smoothie bloggers swear by either the Blendtec or Vitamix brands of blenders. I wish either were available in Vietnam, but alas, I will have to wait until this summer to purchase one in the U.S. Future update to come on which I decide to buy and how deeply I fall in love with it. I'm currently using my Phillips blender, and it's working fine. I have only had problems with the motor when making cashew butter or almond milk, but it's still alive and spinning.

*Order of ingredients. For best preservation of the motor, it's best to blend liquid and softest ingredients first and then add firmer fruit and veggies one at a time. If the blades aren't catching, just jiggle the machine or add more liquid.

Don't be afraid to experiment! If the result is not so tasty, just hold your nose and rejoice in all the healthy things you are putting into your body

Apple, Celery, Cucumber, Watermelon, Aloe and Lime

1/2 C water
1 apple sliced
2 stalks celery
1 cucumber in chunks
watermelon (2 servings?)
juice of 2 limes
1-2 TBS aloe gel

 Aloe is a bit of a bitter taste, but it can be masked by sweet fruit. I don't mind it, but my boyfriend hates it. I keep a whole aloe leaf in the fridge and cut two inch chunks for smoothies. If you've never worked with the leaf before, just cut away the outside green part (never eat this or your intestines will be very unhappy!), then toss the clear gel into your blender. I keep the green scraps in refrigerated for a few days and rub the gooey side on acne spots, bug bites, and sunburns. Individual aloe leaves are super cheap and widely available in SE Asia, and I used to have a huge aloe plant in Virginia.

I've spent enough time fiddling with html as I try to make this blog pretty, so it's time for bed. But stay tuned for several more smoothie recipes tomorrow.

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