Grow Your Own Green Smoothie, Super Foods Garden This Fall

 

Todays breakfast next to our fall green smoothie garden. 

 

Lynette and I drink our breakfast 4-5 days a week, most of the year.  We do not buy expensive powdered green drink powders.  They are not fresh, plus they can contain additives, sweeteners and preservatives.

 

Rather, the majority of the ingredients for these super food morning concoctions are made from our garden, local weeds, or from the harvests of the farm CSA we belong to.  Here in Vermont (growing zone 5) you can grow or harvest raw veggies and fruits for super foods green drinks for more of the year than one imagines possible.

 

Why drink green smoothies?

Thats easy.  Healthy, vitamin and mineral rich nutrition, energy boost, convenient and inexpensive.  Smoothies include the whole vegetable–pulp, skin and seeds.  That gives us dietary fiber, which regulates digestion and blood sugar.  With processed foods everywhere we just have too little fiber in our diets.

The ingredients of green smoothies are not cooked, so their complete nutritional value is readily available.  Cooking foods, especially vegetables, reduces nutrients and natural enzymes.  These enzymes boost energy and help to fight chronic diseases like arthritis and diabetes. Plus meals dominated by high-fiber vegetables have been proven to help you lose weight.

 

There is no better bang for the bucknutritionally than green smoothies made from ingredients in your garden, yard and from local farms.  And, once you get the hang of the seasonal flow of local vegetables and common yet overlooked weeds these nutrition-packed breakfasts are easy to prepare.

Recipes from the garden

Our green smoothies are mostly raw leafy vegetables like kale, spinach, Swiss chard, beet greens, celery, and cabbage family greens, plus Lynettes secret ingredient: local weeds including dandelion greens, nettles, lambs quarters, milkweed shoots and purslane and sour grass.  These are so potent they get incorporated in small amounts. 

When herbs are available, they get added into the mix as well.  The rest of the smoothie is made of common and uncommon vegetables and fruits to add liquid and flavor, including carrots, beets, cucumbers, rhubarb, apples, berries, and melons.  Plus, spices like ginger, cinnamon, cardamom, mint and turmeric are added to boost flavor and to stimulate effective digestion.

Here is what Lynette relies on for our green smoothies she whips up in our VitaMix spring, summer and in the fall:

 

Spring: any and all greens that can be planted early or those that are springing up wild spinach, mustard and lettuce greens, stinging nettles, lambs quarters, young dandelion leaves, pea shoots, mild radishes and radish tops.

 

Summer: Just about every popular summer vegetable may be and does find its way into our smoothies.    Eggplant, okra and green beans and onion family veggies are the only ones she doesnt recommend.

 

Fall:  Many members of the brassica family (kale, cabbage, kohlrabi, collard greens) may all be used in smoothies. They are stronger in flavor, and these are best modulated with apples or pears that also come into season then. Swiss chard (good way to use the stems!), and newly seeded crops of spinach and lettuce also reappear and get emphasized in the fall.  And believe it or notall winter squashes are also unexpected and welcome inclusions.

 

 

Anyone can enjoy a green smoothie garden

 

Gardeners Supply offers a free guide to planning your green smoothie garden in a raised bed with the Kitchen Garden Planner

 

 

And for gardeners who want to get started fast this fall take a look at the new  instant gardens at www.seedsheet.com.  Two versions are especially good for green smoothie gardens:

1.   Greens Garden

2.   Smoothie Garden

 

 

In most of the US its not too late to start your Fall green smoothie garden.

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