* Or, Oddly Alluring Blend of Mudlike Green Vegetables to Clear Your Sinuses
[Don’t you expect a giant, hairy, muddy hand to suddenly lurch from under the surface of that liquid, and grab you?]
I’ve enjoyed green smoothies for several years now, and they’ve always been a staple when I need a quick and nutrient-rich breakfast. Until recently, however, I’ve always added blueberries to a green smoothie as a way to “mask” the color and create a more palatable palette. Well, not this time!
Remember in grade school when you played with water colors and, in an attempt to discover a new shade of say, red, you combined orange and yellow AND blue? And what you were left with was a cloudy, miry composite that resembled the distinctive grayish-brown of, maybe, a mud puddle, or perhaps a wet greyhound, or sort of like a cup of stale coffee, or–most likely–a stretch of swampland?
Today’s smoothie isn’t quite that bad. . . only mildly resembling fungus in color. To me, the shade of this smoothie evokes moss and green olives and slightly overcooked asparagus. . . green, yes, but tempered with a hint of gray.
Still, desperate times required desperate measures. Stricken with a nasty bug over the past few days (which, from what I’ve been reading, is making the rounds through the foodie blog world), I decided I needed to pull out the big guns–or, in this case, the big cucumbers–and create a smoothie that would soothe, nourish, and fight viruses and bacteria, all in one green, velvety solution. A Superhero Smoothie!
Well, maybe more like a monster smoothie. Still, who knows why certain monsters are appealing–enticing, even? I mean, Fay Wray’s Ann Darrow fell in love with King Kong, right? Beauty was bowled over by The Beast. And why would the Princess kiss a frog in the first place? Like this smoothie, they all had a certain je ne sais quoi that drew people to them. Or maybe it’s just my febrile imagination talking. Either way, the smoothie seemed to do the trick: it got me through the morning feeling a little less congested and a little more energetic. And, for some reason, the more I drank, the more I liked it.
[Attack of the swamp thing! All that’s left are the smoothie remains. . . “]
One caveat: if you’re a fan of fruity or slightly sweet breakfast smoothies, this one is definitely not for you. It’s quite tart, with a texture more like a vegetable cocktail than a milkshake. Think of it as a refreshing veggie juice and you’re more likely in line with this beverage.
I based the recipe on similar ones posted here, but this is my own concoction. Feel free to play with proportions and ingredients to your own taste.
Swamp Thing Smoothie
Look! It can actually seem vaguely attractive in this light! This smoothie is great when you’re feeling fatigued or when your body needs an immune boost. The vegetables are alkalizing, the herbs detoxify, the juice adds Vitamin C and the garlic fights illness-causing organisms like viruses and bacteria.
3-4 large leaves lettuce (your choice; I used green leafy)
1 stalk celery, trimmed, cleaned and chopped
1 small clove garlic (or 1/2 a large clove), optional
1/4 cup (60 ml) cilantro or parsley, or a combination
2 leaves fresh basil
6″ (15 cm) piece cucumber (leave skin on if organic)
juice of 1/2 lime
1/3 cup (80 ml) unsweetened cranberry juice
1/2 avocado, peeled and cut in chunks
about 1/2 cup (120 ml) water
1 tsp (5 ml) agave, if desired, or 2 drops stevia
Place all ingredients in a high-speed blender and blend until very smooth. Pour into a glass and enjoy immediately. Makes 1 large or 2 small servings.
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