The bones of a good Green Smoothie
Green smoothies are fantastic for getting in an extra serving of vege’s for the day, as well as a perfect opportunity to create a nutrient dense and tasty meal in one tall glass.
I have converted many a child to a “green monster juice” with a sneaky trip (being careful to not wake up the monster) to the garden to gather the ingredients and the addition of a teaspoon of honey to the mix, as children definitely like it better when it’s nice and sweet.
Firstly you do need to invest in a really good blender – this is an appliance I would never do without! Inferior blenders can’t blend these raw ingredients to the creamy consistency that makes a smoothy so pleasant to drink.
I got my Omniblender at http://www.houseofhealth.co.nz/shop/Omniblender
I also hear the Nutri-Ninja does a great job too if you don’t want to buy a full size blender (available at Mitre 10 and their mates Noel and Harvey)
Use organic ingredients where ever possible. Ideally grow your own greens and herbs – it's easy!The picture above is me in my garden. If I can do it, anyone can!
1 cup of liquid - best is coconut water or nut milk but if neither of those is around water will do.
(Coconut water is ideal for it’s electrolytes)
Something a bit creamy like 1/2 avocado, 1/4 cup of coconut cream, ¼ cup of natural unsweetened yoghurt or heaped dessert spoon of almond butter
(these give you your good fats and helps better absorption of nutrients)
A handful of berries and a handful of fruit. I buy organic frozen berries, and freeze ripe bananas whenever there are extra in the fruit bowl, peeling them and cutting them into 3 - 4 pieces then free flow freezing them before storing in a zip lock bag. I also love mango and pineapple. If you are using fresh fruit and berries add a couple of ice cubes to the blender
1 tightly packed cup of roughly chopped green leaves of choice - silver beet, kale, cos lettuce, spinach
1/2 a lemon roughly chopped, whole with the pips and all for their vital health properties
1 small handful of green herbs. I like mint the best and it grows wild most of the year in my garden, and parsley is always refreshingly good!
Depending on my mood I may add some spices - I love cinnamon or fresh ginger but try whatever you like!
Use water or more coconut water for desired consistency.
If you want to make your smoothy a complete meal you will need to add protein e.g. 1 or 2 raw eggs or a high quality protein powder (I think whey is best unless you are avoiding dairy)
If you have a recipe of your own you would like to share I would love you to go ahead and do so in the comment section below
Broth… the truly magical super food!
As far as I’m concerned broth and stock are the same thing (even though a chef will say a stock is rather more specific in its design). So whenever a recipe calls for stock feel free to reach for your beautiful, wholesome and nutrient dense home-made broth. Once you realise how vitally important your broth is to your families health you will want to always have a new batch brewing.
Beef, chicken and fish stocks are used as a base in traditional foods across nearly all cultures today, as they have been as far back as history has recorded recipes. When properly prepared and used broths are deeply nutritious, containing a broad range of minerals, electrolytes, gelatin, and other nutrients such as glucosamine, chondroitin.
Broth has been traditionally used to prevent and heal infectious disorders such as tummy bugs and cold and flu (chicken broths are particularly well known for this).
Fish broth made with fish heads is particularly high in iodine, a mineral we are commonly deficient in and which deficiency can lead to serious health problems.
Why not get your glucosamine and chondroitin from a beautifully tasty and nutritious broth rather than an expensive and potentially inferior supplement?
Gelatin is highly beneficial to our digestive system and very healing for digestive disorders such as hyperacidity, IBS, Chrohn’s and colitis.
Broth can be made in bulk. It will last in the fridge for up to 1 week but freezes well, without damaging any of it’s nutrients and lasts several months this way. Just be sure to remember to label your broth with the date and type of bones you made it from!
For all bone broths most amazing health benefits, the most amazing thing about broth for me is it’s delicious flavour! Using broths as a base for a meal can turn something quite plain and ordinary into something delicious and deeply satisfying. And there is certainly nothing more satisfying than knowing that with every mouthful, whether it is sipping on a cup full of pure broth or eating cabbage which has been gently brazed in broth (perhaps with a little added crushed garlic and ginger and a splash of apple cider vinegar) your body is being fed so completely well.
As with all food, please use organic where ever possible to reduce the potential toxic burden on your body and to help look after the environment!
CHICKEN BROTH 1 whole free range chook ( or 2 kilo’s chicken bones with plenty of joints like the wings, legs, necks)
2 tablespoons apple cider vinegar (to help leach all the minerals from the bones into the broth)
1 large onion, chopped
2 carrots, washed and chopped
3 stalks of celery, washed and chopped
A few sprigs of thyme
A small bunch of parsley
1 bay leaf
6 black peppercorns
2 tablespoons of butter
Wash the chicken, place in a stock pot big enough to easily cover the chicken with the water and veges and still have room to spare, or use a slow cooker. Cover with cold water and the vinegar and leave to soak while you prepare the veges.
In a large skillet melt the butter over a medium heat without browning and add the veges. Sauté for 15 -20 minutes, stirring frequently until the veges are softened and beginning to caramelize. Add the veges (along with the peppercorns and herbs) to the chicken and bring the pot to a gentle simmer. It is very important that this should be a gentle roll rather than a vigorous boil as if it is too hot many of the vital nutrients will be damaged/destroyed. Skim off any scum that floats to the top as necessary. After 1 hour I like to get a couple of forks and remove the breast meat, and maybe the thigh meat and create a nice meal with this, or cool and use in a salad. This poached meat is beautifully flavoursome. Continue to cook the broth for 6-12 hours (and up to 24 hours, although I find this length of time unnecessary). Cool, strain and the broth is ready to consume, add to a dish or store.
Meryn Wakelin is a Naturopath, Medical Herbalist, Nutrition Consultant (and passionate cook of all good food) with clinics in Pukekohe and Parnell, Auckland, New Zealand.