Indianapolis and the Green Smoothie Virgin!

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Wendy the Virgin Green Smoothie Maker and Kids

How can there be a green smoothie ingredient I don’t know?!

I’m just back from a speaking tour in Indianapolis, Milwaukee, and Chicago. In Indy, the cutest young blonde girl named Wendy wrote Coach Madeline volunteering to make the green smoothies for the lecture. She thought she was volunteering to make *a* green smoothie. Like, a glassful. She’d never made one before–a true green-smoothie virgin!

But did that slow her down? Nope. She borrowed someone’s Blendtec or Vitamix or something, and headed to the farmer’s market.

She made 4 gallons of green smoothie, as requested, for a couple hundred people. Kristin and I took the unused gallon on the road. We drank the entire thing in 48 hours, as we drove across a time zone, into Wisconsin and Illinois.

Wendy told me that at the farmer’s market, she was introduced to SORREL. Of course I came home and looked it up online. Check out the photos here.

Sorrel greens storesorrel leafWendy was told it was LEMONY–and it really did make a lovely green smoothie. Then GSG’s webmaster, Jason (we love him, and our other Milwaukee geek, Jamison!) who lives near Milwaukee, told me the same story. About lemony sorrel at farmer’s markets, growing everywhere.

I’m so embarrassed I don’t know this green! I’m jealous, since I’ve NEVER seen it here in Utah. It’s apparently very seasonal, so those of you in the Midwest, have you used this green? Lucky you.

Remember, the key to long-time green smoothie success, is VARIETY! Do chimpanzees eat a tree down to the nub? Nope, they GRAZE all day long, eating a variety of green foods. The only animal I know who eats very little variety is the zebra. I learned this when I went on safari in Africa. Zebras eat only about 7 grasses. Still, we’re complex creatures, so…….SPINACH ONLY?

So many greens to choose from!
So many greens to choose from!

That ain’t good enough. I talk to too many people who make green smoothies regularly, but spinach is all they use. Remember that all greens have different nutritional profiles. No one green covers all the bases. If you eat the same one, it’s possible that the anti-nutrient(s) in that specific green may build up in your tissues, a bit, and make you a little nauseous when you go to make and drink your greens.

Branch out!

Try SORREL if you’re lucky enough to have access to it. Beet greens, arugula, the leaves of any squash plant, grape leaves, kale (several varieties), collard greens, chard, the tops of strawberries, carrots and turnip greens are great choices. You can also use weeds like dandelion, lambsquarter, purslane  and or herbs like chamomile and lemon thyme. Try some sprout greens like pea or sunflower shoots, celery and sprouts like alfalfa, radish, fenugreek.

You don’t have to use ALL of them, all the time. But have several greens every week, at least. Use what’s IN SEASON and use what you can get organically. Grow a garden. Learn your wild edibles.

And, thank you WENDY!

4 thoughts on “Indianapolis and the Green Smoothie Virgin!

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  1. If you live in So. Calif. sorrel grows year round and is a perennial. My mom (89 yrs old) makes a green smoothie daily and uses it often for a lemony flavor. She tells me it is a very hardy plant and just keeps producing without a lot of care. She also uses it in salads with other greens. It grows to be a good sized plant with leaves about 4 inches long and rather soft stems so it all can be used. I often pick some when I’m at her house since she has so much from just one plant.

  2. I’ve been growing Sorrel up here in far northern CA, in Redding for several years now. The terrific thing about it, besides its delightful LEMONY flavor, is that the plant is PERRENIAL! (For you non-gardeners, that means it keeps growing, like forever. You just cut some and it grows right back.) it grows like a weed, with no care, and we haven’t had insect damage like with our kale and collards. We enjoy it all winter as well as the rest of the year. I just bought a WILD SORREL plant from a local wild foods farmer. (Wait, is that contradictory?) Can’t wait till it gets big enough to harvest, though the wild version grows slower. I put a few of its leaves on top of dishes for garnish. When I make our G. Smoothies, I put in a giant handful of Sorrel to perk up the flavor. Today’s greens were Sorrel, Lemon Verbena, Parsely, and Basil. Wow! Talk about a party in your mouth! Join in the fun. Get out of your Spinach rut and try all the other green leaves out there!

  3. I bought a couple of sorrel plants last year, and they were very healthy this spring. Now they have gone to seed, but I am told they come back every year. However, the flavor is about identical to the common wood sorrel that grows wild in everyone’s gardens around here. The leaves are heart shaped with a distinct fold in the center. They are only about a half inch across, so very small leaves. It takes a lot of gathering of these to get much substance, but they are delicious to munch on. They also have little yellow flowers that are also edible, and tiny green long pointy fruits, that taste like tiny lemons. Some may think these are clover, but they are actually wood sorrel. Here is a picture: http://www.google.com/imgres?imgurl=http://www.wildmanstevebrill.com/JPEG%27S/Plant%2520Web%2520Images/WoodSorrelInFlower.jpg&imgrefurl=http://www.wildmanstevebrill.com/Plants.Folder/Sorrel.html&h=428&w=570&sz=17&tbnid=nYsdW7_-rqyQgM:&tbnh=90&tbnw=120&zoom=1&usg=__JJKaQ3OO77HXX7mSQby4V6Ij16A=&docid=lHyTHRWj2xPI0M&sa=X&ei=cbzXUbeKPMiVyQGKkYHgBA&sqi=2&ved=0CE0Q9QEwBQ&dur=1338
    Arlis

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