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I first learned about “blended salad” from Dr. Joel Fuhrman.  If you don’t know who Dr. Fuhrman is, be sure to click the link!  In my opinion, his book “Eat to Live” is one of the best books on nutrition.  I love his “nutritarian” approach to health.  It’s all about nutrient density.

A blended salad is basically another type of green smoothie.  My morning green smoothie contains a lot of fruit.  My evening blended salad contains mostly vegetables.

Here’s what I put in my blended salad last night (serves 2):

Parsley, spinach, zucchini, carrot, cucumber, apple, red pepper and lemon juice (frozen).

Blended Salad Ingredients - IMG_2216

PREPARATION

These are tips for preparing lots of vegetables ahead of time.  This cuts down on the amount of work involved.  If it’s too much work, then you probably won’t make blended salads regularly.  Not good!

1.  Buy several bunches of parsley.  Discard the thickest stems. (I don’t need that much fiber!)  Rinse, spin dry, and freeze on parchment paper.  Store in a freezer container.

2.  Have dark leafy greens in your fridge at ALL times.  Rotate through kale, spinach, chard, collards, etc.  Rinse the leaves and remove the tough stem.  Most of the time I throw the stem away, but sometimes I mince it up for soup.

3.  Buy a large variety of vegetables and apples.  Wash, chop (2″ pieces) and freeze most of it.  Always save some of everything for the fridge.  Don’t forget about tomatoes, celery, and avocado.  Keep the tomatoes and avocado fresh.

4.  Use a citrus reamer to juice a whole bunch of lemons at once.  Freeze the juice in ice cube trays.

5.  If you have a juicer, you can also juice some of the vegetables and freeze the juice in ice cube trays.  Using some vegetable juice instead of all whole veggies will cut down on some of the fiber (if getting too much fiber is an issue.)  Save your carrot pulp for other uses (like these muffins).

5.  Blend everything in a high-powered blender like a Vitamix.  Add at least a cup of water per serving.

Blended Salad - IMG_2218

It’s interesting to read nutrition charts showing the percentage of protein, carbohydrate, and fat found in fruits and vegetables.  People are surprised to learn that fruits contain protein and vegetables contain fat.

Please repeat after me:

ALL PLANTS CONTAIN PROTEIN.

PARSLEY:  27% protein, 57% carb, 16% fat

SPINACH:  39% protein, 49% carb, 12% fat

ZUCCHINI:  25% protein, 67% carb, 8% fat

CARROT:  8% protein, 87% carb, 5% fat

CUCUMBER:  19% protein, 69% carb, 12% fat

APPLE:  2% protein, 95% carb, 3% fat

RED PEPPER:  13% protein, 78% carb, 9% fat

LEMON:  7% protein, 90% carb, 3% fat

(Protein, carb, and fat percentages are from the book, “Becoming Raw:  The Essential Guide to Raw Vegan Diets,” by Brenda Davis and Vesanto Melina.  This is another excellent book on nutrition.  You don’t need to be “raw” to read it.)

Happy blending!

Smiling Veg - IMG_9118

Milk a bean, milk a grain, milk a nut, milk a seed, milk a drupe (yes, a drupe!), but please don’t milk an animal.  When people consume milk from lactating animals, the first thing you should ponder is what is baby cow– baby goat– baby sheep– drinking?  What happens to the baby animals?  What happens to momma cow– momma goat– momma sheep when her overworked reproductive system stops being “profitable”?  The bad news is that the answers aren’t pretty.

The good news is that non-dairy milk options are plentiful.  It’s easier than you might think to wean off animal milk.  There is no nutritional need for animal milk in the human diet!

Go to the non-dairy milk section of your local store and you’ll notice an ever-increasing array of plant milks:  Soy milk, rice milk, oat milk, almond milk, hazelnut milk, hemp milk, coconut milk..even flax milk!  There are different brands of each type of milk.  There are different varieties within the types of plant milks..like plain, vanilla, chocolate, unsweetened, fortified.  If you don’t like one, try another.  Find your favorite!


Holiday flavors (YUM!) – Pumpkin Spice, Chocolate Peppermint, Nog


Make your “own” milk:  it’s easy to do and you needn’t endure a long pregnancy and painful delivery.  It’s also less expensive than packaged milk and more eco-friendly.  Personally, I don’t like the aftertaste of packaged almond milks but I love homemade almond milk.  I encourage you to make your own nut and rice milks.  Here’s how I do it…

First, make sure you have a batch of cooked short grain brown rice on hand.  I make up a batch and freeze portions in 1/2 cup glass jam jars.  One cup (dried) rice will make enough for 7 batches of milk.

You must use short grain rice!  You don’t want your milk to have a gritty sediment, do you?  What’s the difference between long and short grains?  The answer is in the percentage of the starches amylose and amylopectin.  (I first learned about them from chef Alton Brown…thanks, A.B.!)

Long grain rice has a higher percentage of amylose.  Amylose makes the rice cook up dry, firm and separate.  Amylose is insoluble in water.  Rice milk made from long grains has more of a “gritty” sediment.  The resulting milk is more watery, less creamy = not good!

Short grain rice has a higher percentage of amylopectin.  It releases starch when cooking, resulting in a moist, soft and sticky grain.  The resulting milk will be creamy without a gritty sediment = good!

On to the nuts…pick your favorite raw nut.  I like to use Brazil nuts, but sometimes I mix it up and use cashews, almonds, or hazelnuts.

Nut Rice Milk (my own creation):

Soak 1/3 cup raw nuts and 2 pitted dates into 4 cups water for 4-8 hours.  Blend the water, nuts and dates with 1/2 cup cooked short grain rice and 1 teaspoon vanilla extract in a VitaMix blender or other “sporty” blender.  (I don’t know if it would work with a wimpy blender!)  Frothy, healthy, affordable and delicious!  I don’t strain my milk.  I simply shake, then pour.

My personal favorite is mixing my homemade nut rice milk with packaged soy milk in a 50-50 ratio.  That’s just me!  You do what you gotta do…as long as you leave the animals alone!

"There are those who are appalled because I am so vocal about injustice, yet I am equally appalled by their silence." Lujene Clark

“Every time you purchase animal products you pay assassins to murder sentient beings for you.”

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"My purpose is not to offend you, it is to provoke you to think." Unknown

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