Friday, November 5, 2010

Green Smoothie Revolution - Victoria Boutenko

Summary:  Raw food pioneer Victoria Boutenko takes the chore out of eating your greens with this simple and powerful solution to the ongoing struggle for proper nutrition.

Thanks to consuming processed and fast foods, being overworked, and feeling stressed while eating on the fly, few of us in the modern rat race eat anywhere near a balanced diet.  Even if we are not obviously sick, we may suffer from lack of focus, insomnia, sluggishness, or any host of symptoms caused by nutritional deficiency.  Green Smoothie Revolution takes aim at this silent epidemic by restoring balance to out-of-whack diets.

Boutenko's answer is the mouth-watering and nutrition-packed green smoothie.  Requiring little prep time, the green smoothie is the easy way to introduce long-neglected fruits, vegetables, and greens back into our diet.  Featuring 200 recipes, Green Smoothie Revolution offers simplicity, enough variety to keep taste buds happy, and raw food ingredients that give us the nutrition our bodies crave and need.   (Summary from inside book cover.  Image from  http://blogs.kcls.org/librarytalk/.  Book given free for review.)

My Review:  I kept hearing about a smoothie revolution and wanted to know more about it.  I think I got more than I bargained for when I picked up this book.  I'd never made a successful smoothie--meaning one I'd want to drink and one I felt tasted good.  After reading this book I'm thinking that taste isn't always the point.  Over time, according to the book, your taste buds acclimatize to the new flavors.  While I'd like to pretend this would be the case for me, I'm not sure it will.  I'm afraid I'd need to throw in some sugar to make some of these smoothies palatable.  That's not to say you will though.  This is more a reflection of me (and all my picky-ness) than about this book.

Rather interesting, but very random assertion of the book:  green smoothies are good for pets as well.  I'm not a pet-person, so I wouldn't know if this is surprising or not.  Still, it's interesting to be making smoothies for your cat or dog.

I did try four of the recipes.  The first one was off the Smoothies for Kids menu.  I know: I wimped out.  Still, I wanted to give it a try and not disgust myself from trying any others.  My smoothie consisted of one pear, two bananas, three large sticks of celery, two cups of strawberries, and a cup of water.  It was...ok.  It wasn't green in color, so it wasn't hard to drink.  The flavor is what, at times, was difficult.  That, and the frothy foam on top.  I could taste the celery.  While I like celery, I prefer my strawberry banana smoothies to be only those flavors.  I think next time I'm going to make the smoothie the same but instead of blending the celery, I'm going to eat the three sticks while I drink my fruit smoothie.

The second smoothie I tried was a smoothie for beginners.  I decided to modify it a bit because my pear wasn't quite ripe.  I put in this smoothie one cup of blueberries, one cup of strawberries, two bananas, a handful of ice cubes, a cup of spinach, and (this is where I improvised) a single serving Tillamook Vanilla Bean yogurt.  This smoothie was fantastic!  I had no problems drinking the entire thing and it wasn't hardly frothy.  I could do this kind of smoothie again and again.

My third smoothie included two cups strawberries, one banana, one cup blueberries, one pear, water, and two cups spinach. This one was great.  I think I actually prefer it without the yogurt.  It was too thick with the yogurt, whereas this one was much more palatable.  I think I could keep up this smoothie regimen if I continue with fruit as the base. 

The fourth smoothie contained one pear, one banana, 2 cups of strawberries, and 2 cups of kale.   Bad idea with that much kale.  It has a very bitter taste.  I should have worked my way up to that much kale.  It was SUPER bitter and very hard to swallow.  I was very tempted to put some sugar in it to make it palatable.  I'm still working on finishing up the last of that batch.  Perfecting the green smoothie for a picky eater might be a long process for me!

I do want to keep trying to incorporate more greens, becoming more adventurous in my ingredients, making this a more regular part of my diet.  I can't say I'm going to go hard core and I don't think I'll ever try a super green smoothie or green pudding (that just sounds so gross to me), but I do want to try and eat more fruits and greens.  This might actually work.

Rating: 3.5 stars--I'm not sure how realistic this would be for everyone.  It asks for a lot of change.

Sum it up:  A earthy, health enthusiast, informational collection of eating your veggies, greens, and fruits through smoothies.

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