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Thursday, February 16, 2012

Health in a Glass: Beet, Spinach and Fruit Smoothie

I have become a fan of the green smoothie.  The smoothie with some kind of green in it. I think I made my first one about one year ago. It was magical. I drank them in the pretty standard way (1 green, plus 2 fruits) blended together, for a good amount of time. I used whatever fruits I could find in the food markets here in Cairo, so whatever was in season (Guava season was a delicious painstaking nightmare), the only small challenge was the lack of variety of greens. I would bring my smoothie into work, sit it at my desk and sip on it for the morning. It made me feel very good.

Then. I moved in with Heather, just after Christmas. Heather was a fan of the green smoothie that I made, but was like "Why do you have so much fruit, and so little vegetables?" to which I put on a thoughtful, look, like I was taking her suggestion into consideration, but thinking "because putting spinach in my smoothie was a challenge, and more vegetables in it will be gross". So, I went to work and then I thought about it. Okay, maybe I could throw some carrots in. Or beets? (I've NEVER been a fan of beets. Which I get is difficult because it seems like people who like beets, LIKE BEETS.) Anyway, I thought about it and googled. But it seemed you needed a juicer to put carrots and beets in it.  And we don't have a juicer. So I put it on the back burner, as they say. Then I thought, okay, if we grate them first, we could put them in the blender.

We have to be gentle with the blender because past experience with blenders purchased in Cairo shows that they will smoke and catch on fire the second you turn your back.  So. we grated and blended. And for some safety, I added a bit of yogurt.  and strawberries, 1 banana, and one orange. We blended them all. And let me tell you, the result was HEAVEN.

We don't have the exact same thing every day. We have about 1/2 of one beet grated into it every day. (I've never eaten beets before coming to Cairo and the vegetable sizes can sometimes be different. One beet is about the size of 3/4 of a tennis ball.) We have been having strawberries and orange because they are in season.  One day instead of green leaves we put in broccoli. Sometimes radish leaves. Sometimes greens I find on the street that I can't find the translation for. Sometimes a bit of ginger. Once, Heather bought a bunch of lemons instead of grapefruits by accident, so we used those. That was a sour week.

Also, I'm aware that putting too many fruits and vegetables in one smoothie can be hard on your digestion. But, if you want to get into it, my digestion have improved so much. In retrospect, I would have eased into increasing my fiber like that. But now I feel really great. And regular, IF you know what I'm saying.

Here is the one we had this morning.  It is not green. And as long as you put beets in it, it never will be. :)

Do you want the recipe?

Chop up whatever fruit you desire that you have in your fridge. Add a handful of roughly chopped spinach, grated 1/2 beet, grated 1/2 carrot. Maybe even some grated ginger if you're feeling particularly sassy that day.

I put in yogurt.  The equivalent of one of those individual sized ones. Add a bit of water, and then hit blend. Blend it well. We can't all afford an awesome blender, and for those of us that can't...blend it well and long.

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