Saturday, September 15, 2012

Eat your greens....

My newest "go-to food" these days is a green smoothie.  I love that I can get a big whack of protein and veggies quickly.  It's also a perfect way to start the day if I'm in a hurry or a good way to refuel after my strength training.
Generally I do 1-2 scoops of protein powder (MRM brand is my current choice), plain nonfat greek yogurt, 2 Tbsp of ground flax seed and 1/2 c frozen berries plus as much spinach as I can shove in my blender (usually about 6 cups).  Of course there are variations to the above recipe, but this is the basic rundown.
Anyway, somewhere along the way, while researching green smoothie recipes, I read that it's important to rotate your greens.  Meaning, you shouldn't use the same veggies for extended periods of time in your smoothies as it can lead to a buildup of the natural toxins plants use as a defense mechanism.  There's a good explanation  HERE.
Since I can go through a 2.5 lb bag of spinach in a week, I figured that it was time to vary things a bit.  I was definitely getting in a rut with my veggies.  Carrots and sugar snap peas are easy, as is the spinach, because I can buy them in bulk at Costco.  So that was what I was eating every day.  But variety, as stated in the article, is important.

This week at Costco I changed it up and got baby kale for my smoothies. And, when I went off to the grocery store I bought a few additions to my norm, like celery and cucumber. I also decided it was time to try a new green leafy veg, since there are plenty to choose from.
I stood there for a while, trying to decide what to buy.  In the end I bought..... dandelion greens.
While they don't make a great addition to smoothies, they are a bit too bitter, they are tasty in salads or in my sauteed veggie medley at breakfast.  Next week I'm thinking perhaps I'll try rainbow chard or beet greens.
Sometimes I have to remind myself that it's good to try new fruits and veggies (you'd think I would've learned that by now lol).  I've discovered quite a few "new" things I love just by stretching outside my normal comfort zone, brussel sprouts, beets and sweet potatoes to name a few.

What's your favorite green leafy vegetable?  Have you tried green smoothies? Do tell :)



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