Pesto is incredibly versatile and can provide both colour and flavour to your meals. This silverbeet based pesto is vibrant in both colour and flavour and is free of gluten, dairy and sugar.
Most pesto’s have lots of garlic in them but l haven’t put any in this recipe as l react badly to it, but if you love garlic add a clove or two.
Three large silverbeet leaves
A handful of fresh flat leaf parsley
1/4 cup extra virgin olive oil (use more or less depending on the consistency you want)
1 dessertspoon organic apple cider vinegar.
1/2 cup raw cashews
Juice of a small lime or 1/2 a large lime (or all of it if you love lime)
Spring onion green tops( 1 or 2 pieces chopped depending on their size)
Pink rock salt and black pepper (season to taste)
Give it all a whiz in the food processor until well chopped and blended. Have a taste and see if any adjustments need to be made such as more oil or seasonings. I served it with both hot and cold meals and it was so delicious and added a real zing to the meal.
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Mental and practical roadblocks people use to not have a green smoothie in their life.
It it scary to drink a green smoothie
I don’t want to drink vegetables, especially green ones
There are things in there l won’t like
I’ve never had a chia seed
I don’t have a blender
The ingredients are expensive
It will taste awful
I’d rather have a normal fruit smoothie
Do any of these sound familiar? They can all be overcome if you can think out side of your comfort zone. If you don’t have a blender they can be purchased very cheaply or you can borrow one, and if you grow your own green leafy vegetables that is another one crossed off the list.
Take the plunge and try a simple recipe for your first smoothie that is guaranteed to be delicious. You can even leave the chia seeds out.
Cos lettuce (fill up half the blender with this, but make sure it is well washed), one small banana, one navel orange, 1 tablespoon chia seeds (optional), some fresh mint and enough plain coconut water to give a good consistency to drink or you can eat it with a spoon.
A green smoothie is different to a green juice. A juice has most of the fibre removed and is much lighter to drink and digest. When l was very unwell last year l loved having a green juice as the nutrients were quickly and easily broken down and absorbed for use in the body, whereas a smoothie was too heavy for me and l just couldn’t digest them.
Part of the joy of drinking a green smoothie is that it is green!
A green smoothie can quickly turn a not so nice colour if you add certain ingredients to it such as raspberries, blueberries or blackberries. It could go a brown colour and will taste great, but won’t look so appetising.
Choosing your ingredients:
1. Start by picking your choice of greens. You can have just the one such as cos lettuce, kale, spinach or silverbeet or a mixture. Cos lettuce is so sweet and lovely and l love the smaller green spinach leaves.
2. What liquid are you going to have in your juice? I would advise either plain coconut water or filtered water.
3. Choose the fruit you are going to add. This could be banana, apple, peach, apricot, pear, mango, pineapple, orange and mandarin as examples. Citrus is wonderful as it will help your body absorb the iron from the greens.
4. Add a few interesting things to your smoothie. Limes and lemon’s with the skin on will give the smoothie a kick, while fresh ginger and herbs such as parsley and mint will help to enhance the flavour.
5. Add additional nutrients such as chia seeds, green powders or nuts.
A way to combine a green smoothie with a more colourful ingredients and still have it looking good is to have some fun putting it together as in the one below. Both the green and pink sections tasted wonderful, but when mixed together were a not so nice brown colour.
The green section is cos lettuce, banana, green apple and coconut water. The pink layer is strawberries, blueberries, acai berry powder, chia seeds, banana and coconut water. I make the green part first and pour it into two glasses and wash the blender, then make the pink part. The decorative pointy bits l do with a stainless steel straw and it looks nice to drink!
A smoothie can easily be a meal if you add in good sources of protein such as chia seeds and nuts. I drink them slowly as it is a lot of liquid going into the stomach all at once and adding the nuts and chia seeds make it a bit heavier and thicker as well as slowing down the digestion of the sugars in the drink. Sometimes l have a handful of nuts with the smoothie if it has a lot of fruit in it and this balances out the snack.
The best way to get started on your smoothie adventure is to fill up your fridge with lots of healthy fresh food. Here is a quick snapshot of my fridge as it looks most of the time.
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I have been experimenting with my smoothies lately and it has been great fun. I am alternating the smoothies with juices and love how the flavours change with the addition of a different ingredient and am amazed at the colours that can be produced from using fruits such as berries or vegetables like Bok Choy. I like to use the fruits and vegetables which are in season and l only add filtered water to my smoothies as l don’t drink any kind of milk.
I have been layering my smoothies to make them look more attractive and experimenting with different ingredient combinations. The smoothie above has three layers that l mixed around with the straw. The red layer is frozen raspberries and water, the green layer is cos lettuce, pineapple, green apple, banana, black chia seeds and water. The yellow layer is cantelope and mandarin. All of the layers were really nice.
The ingredients in this one are spinach, cos lettuce, pineapple, banana, green apple, black chia seeds, mint and filtered water.
This smoothie needed to be mixed to drink, but the layers added some fun to it. The green layer is cos lettuce, spinach, mint, green apple and water, while the yellow layer is mandarin, black chia seeds and water.
This smoothie was so much fun to make and l had to mix this one to drink it also. The green layer is cos lettuce, green apple, mint and water. The yellow layer is orange, banana, chia seeds and water, and the top layer is cherries, raspberries and water.
I made this smoothie today and it was a joy to drink as both of the colour combinations had a divine flavour. The green half is cos lettuce, green apple, parsley, banana and water. The red half is blueberries, blackberries, pineapple, black chia seeds and water.
Have some fun with your smoothies and experiment with different flavours. Add in fresh ginger, herbs from the garden, lemons and limes. They are filled with so many nutrients and lots of fibre. Try to have a mix of green vegetables and fruit so the sugar load isn’t so great and just one glass is a good amount. Enjoy!
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Take the juicer out of the cupboard, borrow one or buy one and put making a juice on top of your list of things to do this weekend!
Which juicer to buy is another blog which l have already done, but whether it is a centrifugal juicer or a cold pressed juicer, you can make a delicious refreshing and nutritious juice that will liven up your day. You can experiment with ingredients and use whatever suits. Don’t be afraid to add in vegetables such as beetroot, cos lettuce, spinach, kale, sweet potato or broccoli. You can make this a fun activity to share with family members or challenge yourself to try new and interesting flavours. Juices can literally be the colours of the rainbow!
The first step in making a juice is to get all of your ingredients ready. If you have a centrifugal juicer then it is a matter of washing them, peeling and a bit of chopping. A cold pressed juicer required more preparation, but it is very good for leafy greens and retains more nutrients.
Have all the fruit and vegetables ready to go!
The pulp is most of the fibre from the fruit. You could compost it or use it for some baking.
Once your juice is finished it is time to wash your machine parts. Don’t wait until you have finished your juice as this is a job that needs to be done as soon as possible. The filter is a delicate piece of equipment in any juicer and can become blocked. Clean this first with warm water and the little brush that comes with the juicer.
I find it hard to just make enough juice for one person and usually have some to share. This morning’s juice was very sweet and just what l needed for an early start to the day. One glass of a sweet juice is enough for me and l would have it with a protein to balance my blood sugar levels and for me this will be my morning healthy pancake.
The main thing is to enjoy your juicing. If you put too much fruit in it and find it doesn’t agree with you, then add in some more greens or other vegetables. Everyone’s taste buds are different. Try adding ginger or herbs to the mix and see how wonderful the flavours can be. This is a way to get the whole family involved and living a healthier life.
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Live & eat mindfully. Gluten & dairy free recipes.