Eating Through a Straw: Green Smoothies for a Week


I’m a little weird about food and nutrition. I read cookbooks to pass the time. I study the list of ingredients on every item in the supermarket. When I procrastinate at work, I read up on health benefits of different spices. Considering that I started cooking when I was five years old, maybe I should’ve seen it coming.

Eating to me is not just a task to keep the hunger away, a way to spend time with friends and family or a thing to enjoy. It is also a source of endless fascination and a subject of many experiments. Over the years I have dabbled with numerous diets to see their effects on my life/well-being/athletic performance/street cred. In fact, curiosity was one of my main reasons to turn vegetarian. I thought I’d let you in on my latest trial: green smoothies.

The first one to mention them to me was Jan Bredack. He is the founder of the glorious veganz, which is every herbivores’s wet dream. When he mentioned living off of raw pureed produce for several weeks, green smoothies were immediately added to my mental list of dietary projects. Last week deutschlandistvegan’s raw diary brought them back to memory and I decided to make them my only sustenance for the next seven days.

Proponents of the drink ascribe all sorts of health benefits to it, ranging from weight loss, improved sleep, digestion and skin to reduced cravings for junk food, increased libido and more energy overall. Sounds like the holy grail of health. One thing that’s for certain is that green smoothies are chock-full of phytonutrients: antioxidants, enzymes, vitamins, minerals, fiber, to name just a few. Plus, grinding the ingredients to mush makes them easier to digest and absorb. This is especially useful if you are in the habit of inhaling rather than chewing food (guilty!).

How to make them: As a base I always use a banana (for texture) and an apple (for volume). Next up are the greens: fresh spinach, swiss chard, lamb’s lettuce, carrot greens, you name it. Wild and garden herbs are also an option. After that it’s up to your liking. Add any fruit, vegetable or superfood: mangos, berries, cucumbers, kiwis, carrots, avocados, algae, ginger, broccoli… Once it’s blended, nobody can judge you. And that is coming from a guy who has put sauerkraut into his smoothie before (wait until I tell you about probiotics before you point fingers).

Here’s the recipe to the picture above:

one banana (cut to pieces)
one apple (ditto)
a big handful of raw spinach
a small handful of blueberries
about one tablespoon of olive oil to boost the absorption of fat-soluble vitamins

Put all ingredients into a blender, add half a glass of water or a couple of ice cubes, blend until smooth. Enjoy!

My verdict is coming in a week.

(By the way here’s a little laundry gift of nutrients in this one batch: Vitamins A, B1, B2, B3, B6, C, E, K, Calcium, Manganese, Copper, Zinc, Selenium, Folate, Iron, Potassium, as well as polyphenols, flavonoids, fiber, omega-3 fatty acids. Not bad, right?)

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