extra ingredients for green smoothies [part 3 of 7]

 

 

On to more green smoothie ingredients!

Lemon peel

Lemon peel is another ingredient I add almost daily.   I often buy a large bag of lemons at Costco, or I bring them home from California or Arizona when I visit there.   I freeze the lemon juice in ice cube trays for use in guacamole, raw desserts, and homemade salad dressings.   (Many recipes are found in Ch. 3 and 11 of 12 Steps to Whole Foods on GreenSmoothieGirl.com.)   But I don’t throw the lemon peels away!   I cut them in eighths (having washed the lemons well, first) and freeze them.   Every day I get a piece of lemon peel out of the freezer and toss it in my smoothie.   It’s a bit bitter, so it’s best when stevia or raw, organic is added to the mix to offset the bitter.

With its potent flavanoids, lemon peel has been linked by research to preventing and killing skin cancers.   As a teenager and young adult, I laid out in the sun for hours, nearly daily, from April to October.   I was always brown, but only after burning many times.   I’m more careful now, but still love the sun and never use sunscreen.   The only reason I can explain why I look younger than I am and have no skin cancer, despite being a fair-skinned redhead, is my excellent nutrition and near-daily use of lemon peel!

Sprouts

Sprouts are such an easy thing to grow, and most people don’t eat them at all.   They are living things, and they are enzyme packed little powerhouses.   When the seed, nut, or legume sprouts, all the enzyme potential is unlocked to go into that burst of energy that becomes a plant.   You have the opportunity, at that unparalleled nutritional level, to steal that nutrition for yourself.   Sprouts have the capacity to dramatically reduce your reliance on the body’s need to manufacture enzymes and consequently steal from metabolic processes.   When you eat them, you are oxygenating your body–think of eating sprouts as the very opposite of eating sugar and other toxic foods that make your body a host for all kinds of immediate and future problems.

They’re great on sandwiches, and I add them to granola I serve my children every morning.   But many people have a hard time finding ways to sneak them into the diet, and blending them into a smoothie is easy and painless.   Just add them as part of the greens portion of the recipe.  

I would not use sprouted nuts or large seeds like pumpkin and sunflower in green smoothies (unless you’re using “greened” sunflower sprouts–when the seed is grown into greens).   I would stick to the smaller seeds like clover, alfalfa, and fenugreek for green smoothie ingredients.

another sprouted-almond recipe

This spicy variation on my sprouted, flavored  raw almond recipes for you comes from GreenSmoothieGirl.com reader Steve (and I wrote you back to say thanks, Steve, but emails always bounce back from you):

Spicy Almonds

10 cups raw almonds, soaked overnight and dehydrated at 105 degrees approx. 6 hours

½ cup dates

2 Tbs Himalayan Crystal Salt

2 Tbs agave

3 cloves garlic

2 tsp cayenne

3 habanero peppers

1 pasilla pepper

1 lime without skin

Enough water to blend

Blend all ingredients except almonds in BlendTec on high until smooth. Pour into a

bowl, add almonds and stir well. Let mixture sit for an hour to allow nuts to absorb

liquid, and then stir again. Spread nuts on teflex sheets in dehydrator. Dry at 105

degrees for about 16 hours. Place nuts on mesh sheets and dry again until crunchy

(about 10 hours).

Dehydrator Recipe . . . part 3 of 3

Sprouting (and dehydrating) is very frankly the most sophisticated nutrition principle I teach. For newbies, I start with lower level things: getting more fruits and vegetables in the diet, and eating whole grains, for instance. Most Americans are not prepared for the idea of sprouting and live foods. Some of my readers are so ambitious that they go ALL OUT and within weeks of leaving a processed diet, they’re already sprouting.

Others of you have been doing the first few steps in 12 Steps to Whole Foods. . . and you feel you’re in strange territory, but you’re ready to try.

If that’s you, ask for an Excalibur 3000 series dehydrator for Christmas to start making live snack foods from Chapter 7 (or the Crunchy Snacks recipe collection).

Here’s one of my favorite recipes for using the dehydrator to get get LIVE flaxseed in the diet. These crackers are easy to make, yummy, and filling.Remember with dehydrated foods to always drink water with them. (Otherwise they aggressively soak up all the liquids in your digestive tract, like stomach acids.)

Flax-Veggie crackers

  • Soak in 4 cups water for several hours:
  • 3 cups flax seeds (1/2 brown, ½ golden)
  • 1 cup raw sunflower seeds
  • Shred in food processor, or very finely dice
  • 1 red bell pepper
  • 2 carrots
  • Puree in Blend Tec:
  • 4 tomatoes
  • 2 stalks celery
  • 4 cloves garlic
  • 1/3 cup nama shoyu
  • 1 tsp. sea salt
  • 1 Tbsp. chili powder

Mix all all three mixtures together well, by hand, and spread on plastic dehydrator sheets, about ¼” thick.Cut into cracker shapes and dehydrate at 105 degrees until crackers are dry on top, about 24 hours.Turn over, take off teflex sheets, and finish drying until crackers are crispy.

Tip: We like to eat these plain, but we also often put slices of avocado on top.

Reflecting on nutrition, food storage, and hard economic times

What a year this has been.   The much-predicted failure of  American investment banking  has come to pass,  our nation’s net worth has plummeted precipitously, and we’ve started into what promises to be a long recession.   I just came across this quote by a wise man named Joseph Smith, from 175 years ago:

“Our nation, which possesses greater resources than any other, is rent, from center to circumference, with party strife, political intrigues, and sectional interest; our counselors are panic stricken, our legislators are astonished, and our senators are confounded, our merchants are paralyzed, our tradesmen are disheartened, our mechanics out of employ, our farmers distressed, and our poor crying for bread, our banks are broken, our credit ruined, and our states overwhelmed in debt, yet we are, and have been in peace.”

So, many other times in even the comparatively short history of the U.S., we have found ourselves in perilous times.   The more things change, the more they stay the same, right?

But we need not fear because we can do simple, inexpensive things to prepare.   People of the dominant religion where I live (Utah) are counselled to store a year’s supply of food.   Yet no matter how long this counsel is given, and how urgently, at any given time, only 15 percent of LDS (Mormon) people actually have a year’s supply.   At the moment, church leaders are pleading with the people to get a three-month supply in place in the immediate future.

This is a smart thing to do for anyone, not just LDS people.   You have observed how sensitive supply and demand is, for food.   (I mentioned in a blog comment recently that I cannot buy canning jars anywhere, because Kerr and Ball cannot keep up with the demand nationally.   You have seen the price of rice increase 250 percent.)   That’s all I’m going to say about that, because I frankly hate scare tactics.   (Love Mike Adams “The Health Ranger,” hate all the fear-mongering in his newsletters.)

Victoria Boutenko says she calculated once that her family of four could live for a year on one 50-lb. bag of wheat, by sprouting it.   I don’t know how that’s possible, unless she is calculating nutrients rather than caloric needs–but anyway, she said that.   The LDS Church has a calculator at lds.org, and one person needs 200 lbs. of grain per year.   (Of course,  50 lbs.  of sprouted grain has in some cases as much nutrition, plus lots of live enzymes, that 200 lbs. of dry grain does!)

Thus, my family of six has stored 1,200 lbs. of grain: wheat, quinoa, rye, rolled oats and oat groats, popcorn, Kamut, and spelt.   That may sound like an obscene quantity, but when you add it up, people eat a lot of food!   We also store 400 lbs. of legumes (lentils, split peas, beans) and lots of other items like coconut oil, olive oil, agave, honey, and sea salt.   I do more than that, but if all the rest will be overwhelming to you for now, just start with a three-month supply of those basics.   When you’ve got those inexpensive bases covered, consider storing bottles of VitaMineral Green for your greens; cans of Ultimate Meal for easy, optimal nutrition; nuts and seeds (frozen in Ziplocs where possible); and spices, herbs, and condiments.

The point is, when your food storage is a bunch of white flour, white sugar, canned powdered milk, canned turkey, and macaroni (the staples of most Mormon one-year supplies), you might not end up hungry, but you’re going to end up sick.

Store whole grains, and know how to use them.   What I am teaching you in Step 9 isn’t just for good nutrition–it’s for good emergency preparedness!   When you know how to sprout as I teach in Step 7, you have the invaluable skill to use dry, long-term storage foods (like any grain) and make it live food that will keep your family healthy–not just alive.

My European immigrant ancestors came across the plains from the East Coast to Utah, with handcarts, and some of them were caught in winter storms.   Their nutrition was sometimes reduced, in the winter, to small rations of cornmeal fried in lard, day after day.   Some of them died of starvation, as well as exposure.   Some became ill with typhoid, malaria, scurvy, and smallpox.

We have the ability to spend very little but have the peace of mind to be prepared well, by storing whole foods.   I hope you’re getting a year’s supply of RAW ALMONDS in the current group buy–yet another way to eat well now AND buy very inexpensive insurance against emergencies.   It’s the kind of insurance that doesn’t need the backing of our virtually bankrupt federal government.   It’s the kind of insurance that pays no premiums to a huge company teetering on the edge of bankruptcy, being robbed by its executives.

Good, Better, Best . . . Part II

GRAINS

Good: eat whole grains and quit eating white flour.

Better: eat soaked whole grains (this requires planning a little ahead, as my cousin noted).

Best: eat sprouted, raw nuts, seeds, and grains.

SWEETENERS

(Note, that I am uneasy about fructose, xylitol, “organic sugar,” or dehydrated cane juice crystals—ways to spend extra money on refined options that really aren’t much better.   They’re maybe a 2 on a scale of 1 to 10, whereas sugar/corn syrup are a 1.   So I don’t even include them in the “good” category.)

Good (4 on a 1-10 scale): use Sucanat and honey  and real maple syrup instead of refined sugar and corn syrup.   They have a high glycemic index but also good nutrients and are not terribly acidic like refined sugars.

Better (7 on a 1-10 scale): use raw agave and stevia and molasses.   They have higher nutrition and  lower impact on blood sugar.

Best (10 on a 1-10 scale): use little or no concentrated sweeteners, just fruit and dates as treats or sweeteners.   They are high in fiber, lower in sugar, and highest in nutrition.

Your body and spirit will tell you when you’re ready to transition to the next level. If everything in you is resisting the “best” levels, then start with “good” and congratulate yourself, for now, rather than anguishing or beating yourself up.

Phytates . . . part III

When making baked goods, get in the habit of putting the flour in the blender or bowl with the liquids (with a bit of a fermented dairy product like kefir), and just leaving it all day (or night) before completing the recipe.   You’ll also find that your baked goods are lighter, with a lovely texture, as you take this additional step that creates natural leavening.   You can often cut by half or even leave the baking powder out when you have presoaked flour with kefir/yogurt added.

This extra step of soaking grains or flour, while requiring you to think ahead, doesn’t add time to your preparation, since the dish is then ready, or nearly ready, when breakfast or dinner is served.

You don’t always have to make soaked-grain breads and grain products from scratch.   At your health food store, you can buy sprouted-grain tortillas, English muffins, and manna bread with several varieties like sunflower seed, carrot-raisin, and more.

Don’t be frustrated if you just learned about phytates for the first time and now wonder if whole grains are good for you!   If you’re stumped about whether eating whole grains (even unsoaked) is better than white flour, the answer is a definitive yes!

First of all, white flour robs your body of minerals, too, at a faster rate–and is virtually devoid of fiber and nutrition.   Second, remember that literally hundreds of studies document the link between whole grains and blood sugar control, among many other health benefits.   That one benefit alone–that fiber dramatically slows the release of sugars into your bloodstream–is critically important to your future.

Third, the phytate issue, while worth discussing here, is by no means settled science.   In fact, Reddy and Sathe published a book in 2001 called Food Phytates that surveys the growing body of research on phytates.   They claim that phytates are free-radical scavenging antioxidants that may reduce blood glucose as well as risk for high cholesterol and cardiovascular disease, kidney stones, and some forms of cancer.

So, the jury is still out on the precise role of phytates.   Whether or not they are friend or foe remains a hotly debated controversy, so perhaps the best strategy is to soak, sprout, or ferment wherever possible, and enjoy eating unsoaked grains sometimes, too