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.
I love roasted butternut squash soup. This one stands out because of the other flavors involved: apples, hint of chili, rosemary, coriander, and of course cream. It’s also fairly easy because pretty much everything just roasts together for the same amount of time.
I altered this recipe from NPR, (which originally was a Jamie Oliver recipe) just a little bit. They suggested putting the pumpkin seeds in the oven alongside the vegetables for 10-15 minutes, but that resulted in black, smelly pumpkin seeds. Instead, I just toasted them on a skillet for a few minutes, stirring a few times to make sure they got evenly browned.
- 1 butternut squash, about 2 pounds, peeled, seeded and cut into 1-inch chunks
- 3 firm, sweet apples, such as Braeburn, Pink Lady or Jazz, peeled, cored and quartered–I used Honeycrisp from the Grand Army Plaza farmer’s market
- 1 large onion, peeled and roughly chopped
- 1 fresh hot red chili, seeded and finely chopped
- 4 cloves of garlic, unpeeled and crushed
- 1 teaspoon kosher salt
- 1 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
- 1/2 teaspoon coriander seeds
- 2 teaspoons finely chopped fresh rosemary
- 1/4 cup olive oil plus 1 teaspoon olive oil, separated
- 1/4 cup pumpkin seeds (the shelled kernels, sometimes called pepitas)
- 3 1/4 cups vegetable or chicken stock
- 2/3 cup light cream–I used a combination of half and half and heavy cream, and you can probably get away with less cream if you want to keep it light.
- Pumpkin seed oil, for garnish(I did not use this)
- Preheat oven to 400 degrees.
- Spread the squash, apples, onion, chili and garlic on a baking sheet. Sprinkle with the salt, pepper, coriander and rosemary. Drizzle with 1/4 cup olive oil and toss until well coated. Roast for 45 minutes to 1 hour, or until all the vegetables are cooked through and golden.
- Heat a skillet to medium-low, and toast pumpkin seeds, tossing occasionally, until evenly browned–about 5-10 minutes.
- Remove the vegetables from the oven. When they are cool enough to handle, squeeze the garlic from the peel. If you have an immersion blender, scrape the vegetables into a large pot. Deglaze the baking sheet with 1/4 cup boiling water, scraping at the burned-on bits to capture them. Add the water to the pot. Add the stock to the pot and puree, using the immersion blender.
- If you are using a countertop blender, deglaze the pan as above and pour into the blender. Add roughly 1/3 of the vegetables from the baking sheet and puree. Transfer puree to a large pot. Continue this process with the rest of the vegetables, using the stock.
- Once the vegetables are pureed in the pot, add the cream and bring to a simmer over medium-low heat. Simmer until the soup is warmed through and reaches your preferred consistency.
- To serve, divide into bowls. Drizzle with pumpkin seed oil (or not). Top with toasted pumpkin seeds.