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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

Does anything say “healthy” better than fresh fruit and vegetable juice?  I don’t think so!  It’s only been a month since I got back into a regular juicing habit, despite that I bought my “new” juicer at least 2 years ago.

I was re-inspired by listening to the Raw Vegan Radio podcast episode 0125:  “School of Juicing with Jay and Linda Kordich.”  Now that I’m loving juicing again, I said to myself…

What took me so long!?

I’ve vowed to keep this habit going at least several times a week.  (The last time I juiced regularly was about 20 years ago, when I got a Juiceman.  I enjoyed it, but unfortunately I let my juicing habit fall by the wayside.)

I initially bought my Omega 8003 Nutrition Center Juicer when I set out to do a short– 3 day– juice fast.  I wanted to replace my old centripetal juicer with one that would afford me the option to juice wheatgrass and leafy greens.

I chose the Omega because it’s a masticating juicer.  Using the blank plate also allows you to make frozen fruit “soft serve” desserts, among other food preparation options.  The one drawback of the Omega 8003 is that the food chute is only 1 1/2 inches in diameter, which means you have to cut the food pieces to fit down the chute.  But it’s a snap to assemble and to clean.  I timed the process:  25 minutes to wash, cut, and juice the fruits/vegetables and clean up the juicer parts.

So what took me so long to get back into juicing?  Self-reflection revealed that I had become a bit of a smoothie snob.  Ever since I bought my Vitamix blender, I was in love…In love with the Vitamix…In love with the green smoothie.

Even though I’d bought the new juicer, I’d done the juice fast, and I knew on an intellectual level that there are good reasons to blend your fruits/vegetables and to juice them, I still wasn’t doing both.  I was stuck in the mindset of picking just one.  “Don’t remove the fiber!” said my inner voice.  Yet, by choosing sides, I was missing out on all the added benefits of juicing.  By juicing, you pack an awful lot of goodness in one glass!

 

Now I share my love with my blender and juicer.  Like a plural marriage, I have room in my heart for more than one!

My “go-to” green smoothie is orange/tangerine, frozen banana and kale.  My “standby” juice is carrot, celery, cucumber, apple and lemon.  To this basic juice formula I mix it up by adding in beet or parsley.  Soon I’ll cycle in some fresh ginger.

One thing’s for sure…I’m going to keep juicing!

"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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