Banana-free Green Smoothie

My new favorite green smoothie these days does not contain bananas. I’ve read recently about all the methods that are applied in food industry to bananas to ripen them – they are picked green, transported for a long time and then to speed up ripening process they are treated with gas. And all that not mentioning the pesticide intensive cultivation process of bananas. So unless I have access to absolutely reliable as organic as possible source of nanas, I choose to opt out.

When all of a sudden I’m out of bananas, I figured I can absolutely substitute without much sacrifice in taste. Organic oranges is an amazing replacement, and if you have local apples then your smoothie is going to be divine! Here’s my feast today of a nana-free green smoothie and delicious beautiful berries.

Banana-free Green Smoothie

Banana-free Green Smoothie recipe

Ingredients:

  • 2 cups spinach
  • 1 medium orange
  • 1 red apple (I used Macintosh)
  • 1 tbsp flax oil
  • 3 tbsp water

Instructions:

Blend all ingredients up in your Vitamix and enjoy! If using a different blender, make sure to chop up apple and orange into small pieces before blending.

 

First Peppermint Harvest

Yesterday, despite of juice fasting, I was so energetic that I drove all the way to Home Depot in horrid traffic to buy some more flowers to plant before the rain starts again. And also couldn’t stop myself from buying some amazing veggies and greens for the planter that I ordered on Amazon. Home depot already has tons of amazing fresh little plants for your garden! They’re all so cute and irresistible, so I grabbed couple parsley plants, some onions, yellow tomatoes and delicious looking mix of lettuces. All that along with some flowers to finish up the flower bed in our front yard – daisy, violas, couple hostas and an Iceland poppy! I never had poppies before, so really excited for this one. Not even sure which color it is going to be as the label didn’t say and I didn’t care much, so it will be a surprise.

First Peppermint Harvest

Ohh this gardening is such an addiction and such a vortex for money. Before planting all of these beauties I had to make a hard decision to eradicate peppermint which went viral on the flower bed and probably spent an hour doing that. Which gave me a batch of first peppermint harvest of the year! Of course the peppermint was not killed but will be carefully replanted to small containers that would restrict its crazy growth. And while moving it, I harvested some of its fresh beautiful leaves. So now I have a whole box of wonderful fresh peppermint for my tea and smoothies! Plus the house smells minty now as well, as an added benefit 🙂 Happy St. Patty’s Day!

First Peppermint Harvest

Mono Eating

Continuing eating mono again – only one type of fruit/veggie at a time with a minimum 2 hour break in between meals. Today’s choice is a wonderful ripe organic melon, oranges and blackberries. And a herbal tea at night with fresh peppermint from our garden. So nice…Feeling light and bright all day 🙂

Mono Eating

Beet Juice

Decided to start the week with an energizing concoction and had this fantastic beet juice. Freshly squeezed beet juice is considered to be very strong because it is exceptionally high in antioxidants and nutrients, especially iron, and has blood and liver purifying qualities. The high concentration of iron in beetroot aids in regeneration and reactivation of red blood cells hence supplying more oxygen to the body. Which in turn makes beetroot juice also effective in treating anemia, lowering high blood pressure and increasing stamina. Because beetroot juice is so potent it’s very important to start drinking it in small amounts ideally mixing with juices of other fruits and veggies, especially for those with kidney stones problem.

Today I have added orange, lemon and celery to this amazing beetroot juice.

Beet Juice

Beet Juice recipe

Ingredients:

  • 1 large red beetroot
  • 1/2 lemon
  • 1 medium orange
  • 2 stalks celery

Instructions:

Wash, peel and cut everything into small pieces. Then juice all your fruits and veggies using a masticating juicer.

Beet Juice

Storm!

Rainy and stormy weekend continues, and me munching on strawberries and blackberries here. After the water/juice fasting last week I’ve noticed how I now have much more affinity towards mono-meals than to any mixes. And I’m very glad for this change, because mono-meals are much easier on our digestive system and hence are a much healthier option. So eating all of a sudden became super easy and only involves washing whatever berries/fruits I want and then devouring them. Very suitable for such a lazy rainy day.

Despite of crazy stormy weather, we couldn’t keep ourselves at home and went to Alki Beach. OMG, was it rainy and windy there. We were probably the only ones on the whole walkway which is usually filled with people. But it was so awesome for a change to have Alki Beach all to ourselves. Seattle on the other side of Elliott Bay kept disappearing behind clouds are reappearing back again. Love the moody weather today and the absolutely crazy clouds! The stroll ended pretty fast with us running to the car soaked with rain and emergently driving back home to dry. Short but sweet little outing 😉

Storm!

Carrot Cleanse Salad

Such a rainy morning today…Finally it feels like Seattle again 🙂 Everything is back to how it should be. Also good for plants and for myself. The thing is, for the last couple months I’ve been trying to give my digestive system a break and to fast one day per week – either water fast or a juice fast for 36 hours. I figured the best days for this is Thursday or Friday, and this week I even did a water fast Thursday and a juice Friday, because I felt kinda overfed on kale chips and raw macaroons. It’s amazing how the water fast day is always tiring, but the juice fast days are always..well, fast lol. I feel unbelievably energetic on cold pressed freshly squeezed juices and seeing these amazing results I’m planning to continue this pattern of fasts. But another interesting thing is that coming out of juice fast always makes me pretty tired for the first day, so I’m glad it’s such a rainy sleepy weather today, making me feel totally happy to stay in for now.
For lunch I made this amazing broom salad – as I mentioned in my previous post about juice fasts, I find it best to come out of fasts onto root vegetables and salads with them. So here goes…

Carrot Cleanse Salad

Carrot Cleanse Salad recipe

Ingredients:

  • 1 large carrot
  • 1 cup white cabbage (or 1/8 or a small cabbage head)
  • 1 large tomato
  • 1 heaping cup parsley
  • 1/2 avocado
  • 1 small garlic clove
  • 1/2 Meyer lemon juice

Instructions:

Chop up the carrot and cabbage in a food processor/Vitamix (on low speed). Slice tomato, chop up parsley, crush garlic, chop avocado. Mix everything, drizzle with lemon juice, salt to taste if needed. Enjoy the healthy raw vegan amazingness!

Kirkland in bloom!

Sakura is everywhere these couple weeks! The city dressed up in white and pink, Spring is officially here 🙂 Can’t wait for the farmers markets to open up again! Although I did order a planter myself, so planning to grow some kale, greens and tomatoes this year too. So looking forward to it!
And for now, sharing some of our local wonder with you…

Kirkland in bloom!

Kirkland in bloom!

Kirkland in bloom!

Kale Emerald City Salad

I think I’ve already tried pretty much all raw vegan salads from PCC deli. All of them are very good, but the best and absolute best for me is always the Emerald City salad. I bought fennel before to use in my salads, but wasn’t particularly impressed. However this salad opened up the idea of how awesome can fennel be in salads and how great it pairs with deep collard greens and lime juice. So thanks to PCC, this is now my major go-to salad – I sometimes even make a huge container of it for a few days ahead and keep in the fridge as it refrigerates wonderfully and only gets better. The original recipe from PCC also calls for red bell pepper, swiss chard and cooked wild rice (which always falls to the bottom of the container anyways making it easy to avoid cooked ingredient when buying from the store). I usually also add the pepper and chard, except for this time there was none left. As for the cooked rice I of course replace it with hemp and sesame seeds. Despite of not having bell pepper and chard this time, I must say I didn’t notice much difference and the main ingredients are definitely any collard greens, parsley, fennel and lime/lemon juice. Quite decadent and yet very inexpensive!

Kale Emerald City Salad

Kale Emerald City Salad recipe

Ingredients:

  • 3 large leaves dino kale
  • 1 cup parsley
  • about 2″ long English cucumber
  • 2 tbsp finely shaved fennel
  • 1 tbsp hemp seeds
  • 1 tsp white sesame seeds
  • juice of 1/4 lime
  • dash of salt

Instructions:

Cut kale and parsley into small pieces, cube the cucumber, then mix all ingredients and pour lime juice on top.

This salad is extremely light yet filling, that’s why it also is my absolute favourite lunch when at work.

Kale Emerald City Salad

Skagit Valley and Grazing Swans

This past weekend we managed to finally drive up to Skagit Valley as I’ve read somewhere that the daffodils are in full bloom already! Yay, definitely a reason for a little road trip. This Springter season had been kind of strange as last year at this time it was raining buckets non-stop for weeks, and now all that we see here in Seattle is clear sky and sunshine. Kinda worrying, but at the same time oh so awesome. Hopefully it’ll pour enough water for all of the trees and other happy plants later on, but now we’re all just enjoying the amazing atypical weather and soaking up the sun!

For those of you folks that don’t know what is Skagit Valley – it’s a farming area in the valley of Skagit river near Mt. Vernon, and it’s also the location of annual Tulip Festival. The fest officially doesn’t kick off until 1st of April, but this year they’re expected to start much earlier. Which also means many more trips to there, so get ready for tulip pics. And for now, here’s what we saw when we got there:

Skagit Valley and Grazing Swans

Fields and fields of fantastic yellow my most favorite flowers! And all this beauty surrounded by mountains. This pic has the Cascade range foothills and Mt. Baker behind it. Honestly, it’s even hard to believe such beauty exists. After a year living in Washington the views still catch me off-guard every time and make me gasp at the beauty all around us here.

After probably an hour spent with the daffodils we finally took off and went to explore for more stuff. And immediately noticed some large white birds in the fields. Not just “some birds”, but literally herds of these birds! Hundreds. They looked as large as Canadian geese, but were completely white. Swans? But that’s impossible! But as google told us, those were in fact Trumpeter Swans migrating from Alaska to Skagit Valley for the Winter. Oh my…… It felt like magic! I’ve never ever seen so many swans altogether peacefully grazing in the fields like cows 🙂 The #PNWonderland indeed. Here’s what The Nature Conservancy website tells us:

“Swans migrate from Alaska down to Washington every year. Two kinds of swans make this annual journey: trumpeter swans and tundra swans. Both can be seen at places like western Washington’s Skagit Delta, where they may mingle together. They don’t travel in massive flocks like snow geese (see below), but their big, white bodies are easy to spot in area farm fields.
Our over-wintering swans forage for food in farm fields, but also feed on other local fare. Several years ago I watched a group of swans land gracefully on mud flats at the Conservancy’s Port Susan Bay Preserve. The tide was out and there were many acres of mud. The surface looked rather dull, but underneath were many roots and rhizomes of the plants that burst forth in the spring and create a thriving home for young salmon and lots of other marine life. The swans had come for these roots and, after posing majestically for a few moments, they shoved their entire heads and necks into the mud in search of yummy eats – temporarily dirtying their usually snow-white plumage.”

Skagit Valley and Grazing Swans

Unbelievable and so rad.

Cranberry Mango Smoothie

I’ve been keeping a package of fresh cranberries in my fridge since forever not really sure what to use them for. Until realizing that a smoothie doesn’t always have to be banana&spinach based and can contain virtually any fruits, berries and other goodness. As I also had a nice ripe mango that I hadn’t been wanting for some reason (yup, sometimes I just don’t crave overly sugary tropical fruits and hang around with the more local gang of apples & blueberries) and it was already about to go overripe, so I threw the mango into my blender as well. Also utilizing other things remaining in my fridge that needed to be used up – 5 strawberries remaining in a package, last couple branches of fresh peppermint and a slice of lime. Vitamixed all these and the taste was…yummm… Not overly sweet, but rather slightly tart and minty. In other words, if you guys like cranberry water then this smoothie is definitely for ya!

Cranberry Mango Smoothie

Cranberry Mango Smoothie recipe

Ingredients:

  • 1.5 cups fresh cranberries
  • 2 small branches of fresh peppermint
  • 5 large strawberries
  • 1 large mango
  • juice of 1/4 lime

Instructions:

Blend in Vitamix. No water is needed! If you find it a bit too tart, you can always add some real maple syrup.