Roasted beetroot and kale are combined to create a magnificent dish which will add colour and flavour to your meals. There is a delicious sweetness provided by the beetroot and a powerful selection of ingredients to add nutrition to your meals.
The most important aspect of any dish is fresh ingredients. This dish requires fresh kale (any variety), a large whole beetroot, 1/4 cup home made stock, 1/2 a red onion, pink rock salt and black pepper (to taste).
Chop the ends off the beetroot and peel or wash well. Chop into smallish pieces and roast with some olive oil until soft.
Kale needs to be organic if possible and washed very well as it is mentioned on the Environmental Working group’s 2015 list of vegetables high in pesticide contamination. I can understand why it is sprayed as the cabbage moths are very damaging to the crops, but it is better to have kale with a few holes in it than to be looking perfect.
Place the roasted beetroot in the food processor when just out of the oven and then the rest of the ingredients as the heat will steam them. Process until not quite a puree. Chunky is good. Serve asap with your meal.
So simple but a side dish that can be used over several days. It re-heats well in a saucepan and is a colour sensation which will excite your taste buds.
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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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