Trade in your green beer for a green smoothie this St. Patrick’s Day!
I was a skeptic of drinking my greens until recently, and now I’m hooked. For the fellow skeptics, start with just a few greens and then slowly add more each time. We’ve been aiming for a ratio of half vegetables and half fruits, with most of the vegetables being leafy greens. Many people ask, “Why smoothies instead of juice?” I have two main related reasons: less waste and easier clean-up. I like knowing that I’m getting all the nutritional benefits of the whole fruit and vegetable. Also, I hate cleaning up. The vitamix blender I use has a clean setting, so all I have to do is rinse out the soap at the end. Any variation of this smoothie makes for a very filling breakfast or snack.
Today’s smoothie included the following ingredients, many of which were available at this morning’s farmer’s market. It’s fun and healthy to vary the ingredients daily, and pretty much any combination is good.
- 1 cup kale (assorted)
- 1/4 cup vitamin greens
- 1 carrot
- 1 green apple, peeled and cut into quarters
- 1/2 cup frozen peaches
- 1 banana, chopped
- Blend 2 cups of water with the kale and vitamin greens until you have a gorgeous green water.
- Put the rest of the ingredients in the blender and blend until smooth.
- Drink right away, or put some in the fridge for later or the next day.
Do you ever have extra herbs that just rot in your fridge? Here’s one solution…drink them! These two herb-inspired cocktails are perfect for a summertime party.
Vodka Thyme Lemonade
- 2 fresh thyme sprigs
- 4 slices lemon
- 2 ounces vodka
- 3 tablespoons sugar or simple syrup (Click here to learn how to make simple syrup)
- Ice and club soda to fill glass
- Remove thyme leaves from stems and place in glass. Add lemon and sugar. Muddle lightly to release essential oils of herbs and lemon rind, and juices from the pulp.
- Add ice, vodka, and enough club soda to fill glass.
- Toss to mix and serve in a chilled glass with a rim of sugar if desired. Garnish with thyme sprig and lemon slice. Enjoy!
Variations: If you want to get fancy, you can infuse a few thyme springs when you make the simple syrup, so you will have thyme-flavored simple syrup, and then you can skip the part about removing thyme from the stems and placing directly in the glass. This will avoid getting bits-o-thyme in your mouth while sipping the cocktail. You also can make as suggested in the original recipe , and strain prior to serving.
- 1/4 cup (2 ounces) Pimm’s No. 1
- 6 tablespoons (3 ounces) ginger beer or ginger ale
- 1 cucumber slice
- 1 sprig fresh mint (5 to 6 leaves)
1. Fill glass with ice.
2. Add Pimm’s, and then top with ginger beer.
3. Garnish with cucumber slice and mint sprig, and serve.