Smooth Operator


I have always been attracted to Martha Rose Shulman's health food column on New York Times. I would read her articles with diligence and then wander away to Melissa Clark's videos, to find a heartier alternative (guilty!). Although I am a vegetarian (at home and when not entertaining), I do get the sense of being overwhelmed by too many healthy recipes. Last week, Martha's article on green smoothies managed to persuade me to take that step forward and giving her recipes a go! (perhaps because of her choice of pineapples, basil , and arugula as ingredients in her smoothies recipe?)

I juice every morning, but it takes the moon to turn blue for me to happily include kale in my juicing routine! So Martha's green smoothies seem a more viable and palatable alternative to juicing kale, brocoli, and cabbage! I tried all 6 of her recipes and hey surprisingly they all tasted great, intimidating at first but delicious nonetheless!

So as the summer is arriving, I thought it would be great to share three of my tried and tested favourites from Martha Rose Shulman's green smoothies recipes that are healthy and yet filling. They would make perfect meal alternatives when the rising temperature wilts away our appetite and the temptation to reach our for a ice cold soda or tea is strong...bring out the greens and start blending!

*Note: All recipes and images are from Martha Rose Shulman food column on New York Times.

Green Smoothie With Cucumber and Cumin: This refreshing smoothie tastes like lassi and if you are a lassi lover, go to your local grocer now because you so have to try this. If Kefir is hard to find, I would substitute with low fat yoghurt. For the weak at heart, I suggest skipping or reducing the amount of kale. Being naughty, I also added a pinch of salt.

  Cucumber Cumin Kefir
  • 1 cup kefir
  • ½cup chopped celery
  • 1 cup chopped cucumber (seedless) (about 5 ounces)
  • 2 tablespoons chopped flat-leaf parsley
  • 1 tablespoon fresh mint leaves
  • ½cup, tightly packed, greens such as kale, chard, spinach
  • 1 quarter-size slice ginger, peeled
  • ½ teaspoon chia seeds
  • ½ teaspoon lightly toasted cumin seeds
  • 2 teaspoons fresh lemon juice
  • 1 pinch of cayenne (more to taste)
Pineapple and Basil When unsure, add pineapples! Being born in a tropical country, my love for pineapples (and papayas) is inate. Pineapples is my favourite fruit for juicing (try it with lemon grass!) Yoghurt, as always is a decent substitute for Kefir. I may also skip the chia seeds...and wait, I may just chilled my ingredients rather than to add ice cubes as well. Pineapple Basil  
  • ¼ cup, tightly packed, basil leaves
  • ¼ ripe pineapple, peeled, cored and cut into chunks (about 6 ounces)
  • ¾ cup plain kefir or yogurt
  • 1 teaspoon honey
  • 1 heaped tablespoon pistachios
  • ½teaspoon chia seeds
  • 2 or 3 ice cubes

Pear Smoothie With Spinach, Celery and Ginger

Pear and spinach, as unlikely as it may seem, are two ingredients that are perfect for each other. Through in the ginger for a palatable spike and some celery for body, you will have all health foodies green with envy on how could one make such a delicious green juice!! Pear Spinach Ginger
  • ½cup washed spinach leaves (baby or bunch)
  • 1ripe pear, peeled, quartered, cored and cut in chunks
  • 1cup chopped celery
  • 1quarter-size slice fresh ginger, peeled
  • 1a handful of baby arugula
  • 2to 2 tablespoons mint leaves (to taste)
  • ½teaspoon chia seeds
  • ½banana (50 g), frozen if possible, sliced
  • 1teaspoon fresh lemon juice
  • 1teaspoon honey or agave nectar
  • 1cup plain kefir or yogurt
  • 1or 2 ice cubes

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