Many of us are members of St. Johns Food Share because our budget does not allow for personal trainers. However, we do have access to some very healthy food choices! How many times have you heard a fellow member bemoan, “I don’t know what to do with that?… I’ve never had that….I would, but that’s too much….I don’t really eat salads.” Let’s explore some interesting ways to use the food available to us in new interesting ways.
It seems every program about health I watch talks about fresh fruits AND vegetables. Fruits can be the easy part, but what about those tricky vegetables? Well – it’s simple according to the infomercials I am watching. I need an expensive “juicer.” Not true. I simply needed to dust off my blender. Do you have a blender that is sitting around bored and unloved? If not, how about asking if a friend might have a spare? It is really nice if you have a “smoothie” setting. Those have been around for decades.
Well dust it off, rinse it out and get ready. Today things are about to happen to help you take better care of yourself.
Veggies make a meal
Let’s go to St Johns Food Share, shall we? Today we will not shy away from foods known to be so very good for us. What a surprise, a whole bag of chia seeds, fresh mustard greens – this time in the bag, with baby greens, frozen spinach, frozen carrots, southwestern fresh salad, apples, oranges, lemons, apple cider, and also small boxes of juices for children with little to no additives. We have a plethora of fiber, nutrients and antioxidents here, but what do we do with them?
Take a handful of each of the greens, cut squash from a bag, frozen carrots too. If it is a bulb, we’ll have to shred it (aka beets, or turnips). Large leaf mustard greens need to be stripped of their course stems, but for their anti-inflammatory effects the effort is worth it. We better leave a quarter or more of the actual size of the blender empty- – give it room to BLEND.
Now, we can decide if there is room for fresh fruit or if we are going to use one of the fruit juices we picked up – or perhaps some delicious favorite tea that is cooled or cold, and we will pour the yummy fluid in, up to about two-thirds of the amount of vegetables and fruit we have put in our blender.
A “vintage blender” still does the job.
Before we blend, make certain the top is on, the center of the top is secure (some of these remove to add more). Check your settings and be sure you are set to low speed and begin blending on “smoothie” (or the closest setting you have). Oh – look at that juice develop right before your eyes!
Sure there is some pulp that’s the fiber that allows our guts to be healthy and digest all the nutrients. Now stop. Lift the lid.
Now is a good time to add those Chia seeds. Gather and add 6-8 cubes of ice. Put the lid back on, press the speed to High, and press “smoothie.” Oh my, the sound of those ice cubes being broken up! It made for a cold vegetable and fruit smoothie.
Drink from a straw – the pulp will rise to the top of the glass. Capture that nutrition, and/or add some juice and stir!
It is done when we say it’s done. I may need more than one container. Or perhaps I will make ice cubes with this and later freeze them in a bag for those quick “on the go” smoothies. Feel your body enjoying the good taste and the good health in the smoothie you just made all by yourself. And guess what – you’ve just ticked off a “to-do” on your New Year’s resolutions list. Bravo!
Next time, let’s explore the crock pot.
Dana Clearwood writes about health, nutrition, cooking best practices and eating well on a budget.