GSG Goes Down In Flames in Smackdown, part 1 of 3

The smackdown. I didn’t even know what hit me. My opponent’s boss had warned me, whispering, “She is CRAZY! She manhandled my husband out of a chair at the company party–and that was just MUSICAL CHAIRS, for crying out loud!”

When she came in wearing combat boots and a gun belt, that should have been my first clue.

Team “G.I. Jillene” was out in force, wearing signs around their necks.

Kristin, my best friend and the sum total of Team GreenSmoothieGirl, sadly said, shaking her head as Jillene mixed up her Death Sludge: “Robyn, you are just WAY too nice for this contest.”

She’s right–I’m so straight-up I never even see devious people coming. Not even in the movies. While I threw some stuff in a bag last-minute and relied on none of it being frozen, and no sweetener, to gag her…..she and her co-workers were hatching evil plans for days.

They didn’t even use wheat grass juice. All my training was kid stuff. What she did would make a grown man FANTASIZE about wheat grass juice.

The two-fruit rule we agreed to? Jillene chose a HABANERO PEPPER and a whole lemon for her fruit! I had brought an orange and an apple.

I spent a copious amount of time afterward hanging over the toilet, trying not to throw up my almost-quart of:

1. HORSERADISH ROOT. A big, fat, six-inch long root.

2. Rhubarb. (I had to NEGOTIATE for this–beg the ref, really!–as an alternative for the habanero!)

3. Frozen radishes.

4. Dandelion stems.

5. The ENTIRE peel from a whole lemon.

6. I don’t even know. My mind went numb. I just saw scary green things goin’ in the blender. Thick and frozen.

You know what horseradish does in your mouth? It does the same thing in your STOMACH.

Funny, because I wasn’t even nervous going in. I have always had an iron stomach. Since the winter of garage-juicing the wheat grass juice, I’ve thrown up only once in the past 15 years.

The rest of the story tomorrow!

Edible weeds everywhere. Some are nasty. Find purslane!

So I checked my son Ten out early from school yesterday because he had a double header far from home. On the front step on the school is my favorite edible weed, purslane, see photo below.

It’s higher in iron than any other green I have ever found–cultivated or wild. If you’re anemic, find some and toss it in the blender. It’s also really mild-flavored. Most non-cultivated greens taste pretty strong.

I don’t see that much purslane in Utah. I saw a ton of it in Nebraska a few years ago, and it grows many places–very close to the ground, with small, fleshy leaves and stems, all of which is “food.”

No, I didn’t pick this from the school steps, for my green smoothies. I didn’t want to drink whatever is on the bottom of kids’ shoes! Don’t pick weeds on the side of busy roadways, near where weeds are sprayed, or where people walk.

I am going to try to locate enough wild edibles to do a video soon to help you identify them. I rode up the canyon today on my bike with my camera to take more photos. I mostly enjoyed the ride and forgot to look for greens.

But I did see a thistle and got off my bike to photograph it. I put a leaf in my mouth to chew it up and make sure it is what I thought it was. (That’s me taking one for the team: if I don’t get sick, it’s edible!)

All the squirrels went running as I gagged and choked. OMG. Worst thing that’s ever been in my mouth. It would take 20 pounds of fruit to neutralize that bitter-awful blech. Which I could still taste 20 minutes later, even though I then drank half my Camelbak of water.

I put thistles in my green smoothies a few times, years ago, but my younger daughter got an itchy throat from it, so I quit. So, um, maybe don’t eat those.

This time of year, a lot of the weeds are too tall and woody and bitter. They’re best in the spring. If you pick them in the heat of the late summer, find small, tender ones.

There’s another photo here of me YEARS ago eating one variety of lambsquarter from an empty lot in Provo. Lambsquarter is also abundant in Utah and great to toss in your blender. It’s good to know this stuff and start using wild greens, for emergency preparedness.

The verdict on Idaho

So here is our class in Idaho Falls. Turns out, people in Idaho DO care about good nutrition.

Tennyson is my helper in the photo. My favorite thing from this class was when I was asked if it’s expensive to incorporate whole-foods habits. I discussed my top two money-saving ideas (one, grow a garden; two, have a full-size freezer to store greens and fruit, nuts and seeds, when you can get them inexpensively).

Then I mentioned that I know the edible weeds, and I just get some out of my backyard sometimes for smoothies. Dandelions and morning glory, for instance. I freeze them for the winter, too. The whole audience burst out laughing and I wasn’t sure why, for a minute. Until I saw them looking at Tennyson.

Ten and I have been discussing his “poker face” or lack thereof. (It was a big problem, playing cards all weekend.)

His eyes were big and shocked and his mouth was hanging open.

Tip for those of you who would like to put weeds in your smoothies: don’t tell your kids. They wouldn’t understand.

more edibles, and the book tour

Did you know the leaves of your squash, cucumber, and cabbage plants are edible?   (You probably already knew the leaves of grape, radish, beet, turnip, strawberry, and carrot are edible.)   Toss them in the blender with fruit.   I’m going to do a little video shortly (be a YouTube GreenSmoothieGirl subscriber) showing and telling about 6-8 edible weeds in a field near my house where I run.

We’ve had lots of interest in my coming to your city with my book tour for The Green Smoothies Diet.   My assistant Jenni will give you a press release on the book, a script for talking to the health food store (or book store) near your house, and a sheet for them to fill out and fax to us.

Please write her at support123@greensmoothiegirl.com to get those things if you want to line up a couple of venues so I can teach a free green smoothie class/demo (with book signing) near you!   This will be fun!

Robyn

edible weeds

I told a friend a few days ago about how when I’m weeding, I bring the dandelion and morning glory in and throw them in my fridge or blender.I don’t love the weedy taste of morning glory, so I use it in minimal amounts.Did you know the ENTIRE dandelion plant is edible?Roots, flowers, anything.And wild plants have higher nutrient content than cultivated ones!

This year I’m going to try to learn to identify several new weeds to eat as part of my learning how to be prepared for emergencies.(When we can’t obtain cultivated greens, it will be nice to be one of the few who can gather non-cultivated greens.)I have the U.S. Army’s The Illustrated Guide to Edible Wild Plants.It’s an okay book–doesn’t include some plants I know to be edible, and doesn’t always say the greens are edible for a certain plant, when I know they are.But it has a checklist for how to test a new plant you want to eat but don’t know if it’s poisonous, to find out with very low risk if you will tolerate it.

Many of the plants in that very inexpensive book aren’t in my climate–some of you who might want to eat cactus or learn what grows in humid climates near water.

Here are some, from my studies, that grow commonly in my climate and are easy to find.The first three I already see in Utah and pick for my smoothies on a regular basis:

Purslane (this one tastes the best of all the weeds, I think)

Lambsquarter

Thistle

Pine needles (yep, you can eat pine needles)

Oak leaves (yep, the leaves from oak trees–this should be easy for you)

Wild dock and wild sorrel

Chicory

Burdock

Amaranth

Grape leaves (wild or cultivated)

Strawberry leaves (I need to thin mine anyway)

The way you test a new green is to first rub it inside your elbow or wrist, then you put it in your mouth (don’t chew), then you taste a tiny piece of it, then eat ¼ cup . . . all the while seeing if you have any negative reaction.

Hope you enjoy some wild plants this summer.They’re free, and they’re wildly nutritious.Another great way to reduce your carbon footprint.