Terre Pruitt's Blog

In the realm of health, wellness, fitness, and the like, or whatever inspires me.

  • I teach Nia, yoga and stretch!

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    Yin Yoga: Mons at 11:30 am

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    Stretch: Thurs at 10:30 am

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Posts Tagged ‘beet greens’

More Smoothie Lessons

Posted by terrepruitt on January 3, 2013

I have been getting a lot of use out of my blender.  I use it almost every day.  There are additional lessons I have learned in the time I have been using it.  The blender shows how many times I have used it, according to the blender I have used it 168 times. I have tested it and the cleaning of the jar that I do after I use it does not get added to the count.  There might be a few extra counts because I’ve blended somethings twice, so the second blend might be added to that, but I haven’t done that often.  Some of the lessons I have learned are really additions to some of the things I have already shared.

In my first post about what I had learned I stated that kale in a smoothie is really bitter.  I thought about this every time I made a smoothie with kale.  It was so bitter.  I didn’t add more than two fruits because I didn’t want that much fruit in a smoothie, but I did put at least two, plus avocado and cucumber, but it still didn’t cut down on the bitter.  I kept thinking about how bitter it was.  I couldn’t understand why it was SO much less bitter when cooked, because when I cook it I don’t cook it THAT much.  I usually just kind of wilt it.  Well, after thinking and thinking all I could come up with was salt.  When I cook kale I cook it with salt and I believe that salt helps with any bitter flavor.  So I tried it in a kale smoothie and voila!  That did it.  By salt, I mean not even a whole shake, just like a little tip of the salt shaker.  I bet that I could count the grains that go into the smoothie.  I am not trying to add flavor but just take a little bitter out.  It works great.  I was so excited to figure this out because I like the idea of being able to “eat” a lot of kale.  I really couldn’t EAT as much kale as I can drink and kale is a great green to add to my diet.

Since I mentioned frozen banana and ice in my first post about lessons I do have some follow up information.  While a cold smoothie is better than a room temperature one sometimes adding FROZEN banana AND ice makes it way too cold.  Drinking freezing cold smoothies in the winter is not that great.  Using a banana that has not been frozen and ice is fine, but using both is sometimes too cold.

Beet greens make a smoothie red.  I used the leafy green part AND the entire stem and the smoothie came out red.  It was rather pretty.  I think it was actually perfect for the Christmas season.  That is when I learned this fact.

While I have not tried freezing a smoothie and then letting it defrost a bit and drinking it, I have let one sit a bit before drinking it, and I have let one sit in the fridge overnight and they do not taste as fresh.  I am sure that is a no brainer, but since I am sharing I thought I would mention it.  The smoothies that have sat out for a bit or in the fridge overnight were still good and totally drinkable, it was just not as fresh tasting!

So there you have it.  A few more things I have learned.  You?  Have you anything to add?

Posted in Smoothies | Tagged: , , , , , , , , | Leave a Comment »

The Greens Go Round And Round

Posted by terrepruitt on October 23, 2012

I love the grocery store that is near the facility in San Jose where I teach Nia on Tuesdays.  Right after Nia class I can easily stop by because it is literally on the way home.  It seems so new because it is fresh and clean!  They have a very large produce department.  Today I purchased some dandelions greens.  Yeah, I bought a weed.  You might know that I have mentioned that different plants fall into different botanical families and how we might think of it as a vegetable but it is really a fruit according to the world of botany.  I have shared how I cannot keep track of that.  Well, I am going to have to start at least when it comes to greens.  Apparently when you eat a lot of greens over an extended period of time you risk eat high level of toxin.  It is important to rotate the family of greens.

The science behind it is that plants, what we call greens have a survival mechanism where they contain small levels of toxins.  These toxins are contained in the plant in order to keep the entire crop from being depleted.  The toxins build up in the body and cause reactions.  So that keeps them from being eating in large quantities.  The toxins are specific to a family of greens.  Here are some families and the vegetables/greens that belong to them:

Plant Family:  Brassicaceae/Cruciferae (cruciferous vegetables) – kale, collards, arugula, cabbage, bok choy, radish greens, mustard greens, broccoli, Brussels sprouts, Chinese cabbage, cauliflower, turnip root greens, rutabaga, daikon

Plant Family:  Amaranthaceae/ Chenopodiacea Family (beet family) – beet greens, beet root, spinach, chard, beets

Plant Family:  Asteraceae – Romaine lettuce, dandelion greens, leaf lettuce, escarole

Plant Family:  Apiaceae (carrot family) – carrots, parsley, cilantro, anise, celery, chervil, cumin, dill, fennel, parsnip,

Plant Family:  Poaceae – wheatgrass

I’ve been mixing a bitter green, such as kale, with a mild green, such as baby bok choy or spinach.  Now according to the families it’s ok to mix the kale with the baby bok choy, but if I want to rotate my greens by doing it between the different families then I shouldn’t mix kale and spinach.  For me I think rotating between different families and keeping them separate will be easier than try to track two families then switch to another, but we will see.  I love spinach and baby bok choy so I think it would be better for me to keep them separate so that I can have one or the other more often.

I have yet to try lettuce in a smoothie.  As I mentioned, I just bought my dandelion greens and I have not used them because I have a large amount of spinach I want to try to make a dent in first.  I did read they are bitter so, maybe this will be an opportunity for me to try lettuce in a smoothie.  I feel that mixing a bitter green with a mild green cuts the bitter so that is what I have been doing.  The information I have seen said that spinach is mild and that is what people start with so I was using that as my “mixer”.  But now I will try to use something from the same family in order to keep with my plan of rotating between families.

I don’t know that I am really so concerned about these toxins building up to unsafe levels because I think I do a good job of switching, but this type of information gives me an extra push to really work to get the variety of greens in my smoothies.  I mean aside from wanting to have more greens I do think of my smoothies as a way to get nutrients from greens that I would not normally eat.  As an example, I eat spinach all the time so it is good to for me to “have” to branch out with some of these other greens.  A good variety of fruits and vegetables is how we get the most nutrients out of our food.

Also, having this information is good because if you do start feeling ill/off you could look to this information to see if you are consuming too much of one thing and it may be the cause.

Do you rotate your greens?  How do you do it?

Posted in Food, Vegetables | Tagged: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | 2 Comments »

 
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