Drink green on St. Patrick’s Day — and I don’t mean beer

A few weekends ago I listened in to several free call-in webcasts, all part of a two-day Conscious Foods Summit. It was the description of the event that caught my interest:

“The Conscious Foods Summit sessions cover the physical, emotional, mental and – yes, spiritual – benefits of eating healthfully. If you’re like most people on a path of transformation, you’re always on the lookout for ways to create more vitality that are good for the planet, too.”

Yes, I am always looking for ways to be the best me I can be. I listened to several of the live sessions. It was time well spent.

One of my Facebook friends, Jill Nussinow, also known as The Veggie Queen, presented a session titled: Why Eating Plants Can Change Your Life. The registered dietitian and cooking instructor convinced me that I must  invest in a pressure cooker. I’m one of those people who has always been a little squeamish about pressure cookers — they can explode, after all. Well, that’s what I thought. Jill Nussinow said she has used pressure cookers in the classes she teaches at Santa Rosa Community College for more than 20 years, and there has never been an exploding pot. I guess I’ll start shopping for my own.

Nussinow also inspired me to experiment with green smoothies, blended concoctions of vegetables and fruits, nothing like the protein powder and berry drink I usually make for breakfast.

My pretty green smoothie came together after a recent dinner at True Food Kitchen in Phoenix, Arizona. A list of natural refreshments on the menu included Kale-Aid, a mixture of kale, apple, cucumber, celery, lemon and ginger. It sounded like one of those green smoothies Jill Nussinow recommended drinking. I may have tried the health drink, but at the time I spotted it, I was already sipping on an Acai Pomegranate Mojito — a different kind of health drink.

I’ve been concocting a green drink of my own and I think it’s good. It must be. I saved some of my last batch in the refrigerator. This afternoon, when I needed a boost of energy, I went right to the refrigerator to get my powerful green liquid. It had disappeared. This evening, my husband confessed to drinking up the potent elixir before he went to bed last night. And he liked it. What?? It must be good.

It makes sense to drink green on St. Patrick’s Day. When you think of all of the health benefits this drink delivers, it makes sense to drink it everyday. It’s a great way to get some fruits and vegetables into your daily diet.

Sparkling Green Power Juice

  • 1/2 to 1 cup water
  • Juice of 1 lemon
  • 1/2 of a seedless cucumber, unpeeled, cut into chunks
  • 1 apple, unpeeled, core removed, cut into chunks
  • 6 chunks crystallized ginger, or to taste
  • 2 kiwi, peeled
  • 2 large kale leaves
  • 1 handful baby spinach leaves
  • Sparkling water, for serving

Place ingredients, except sparkling water, in blender in order listed. Turn on blender and puree mixture until smooth.

Pour through a fine mesh sieve and allow to drain into a bowl or pitcher. Cover juice and put in refrigerator to chill.

At serving time, pour juice into glasses and top off with sparkling water. Makes about 2 cups green juice.

Tip from the cook

The pulp that remains in the sieve can be spooned into plastic trays and frozen. Transfer frozen cubes to freezer-strength zip-top bag. Seal tightly and store in freezer. The cubes are a great addition of chilled cucumber soup made with yogurt for summer meals. In fall and winter, add frozen cubes to soups and stews for additional flavor and nutrients.

2 thoughts on “Drink green on St. Patrick’s Day — and I don’t mean beer

  1. Great artilce Sue! Yes – we can all benefit from more fruits and veggies (especially green) in our diets and this is an especially creative and juicy way to get them:)! Happy Juicing.

  2. Pingback: Two Days Late Parade O’ Irish Food and Recipe Roundup « The Heavy Table – Minneapolis-St. Paul and Upper Midwest Food Magazine and Blog

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