Greens: An All Encompassing Color for a Healthy Energetic Lifestyle by Ashlé Nouveau

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An Ode to St. Patty and the leprechaun’s pot of gold

As an ode to St. Patty’s and the leprechaun’s pot of gold, I am dedicating  my first blog to the color, taste, and overall value of foods with the hue of green.  Rich in vitamins, minerals and fiber, foods in this hue will help maintain and strengthen your immune system. Reminded of the saying, “You are what you eat.”  Well, I wanna be GREEN!

So… the question is how do we fit more of these foods into our busy lifestyles?  Especially in the winter when salads are not so appealing and our immune systems need a boost?  Warming, nurturing, and potently dense foods are the most healthful during the cold season; food to keep our temperature balanced and our bodies easily digesting so that we can fight off any unfriendly foe.

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Here are a few ideas from my kitchen to yours..

Remember, if some of these ideas seem to far fetched just stick to the ones that you can slowly begin to add into your diet.  Always reach a little farther… My Motto “Try everything at least once!”

SIMPLE SOUP – A Mineral and Vitamin Rich Soup

I love soup in the winter time.  Its easy.  You can make a big pot and have meals throughout the week or you can freeze it for later. Remember to cook on “LOW” heat so that most of the nutritents are retained. Don’t forget,  soup always tastes better the “next” day…

Pick some of your favorite veggies:
(Hardy Ones First)
Onions
Garlic
Ginger
Celery
Carrots
Sweet potato
Squash
Any herbs
etc

Either using water or veggie stock (see below) fill a large pot and add your veggies. Allow this to simmer on a low heat (try not to boil) for about 20 mins.

Next add the leafy veggies:
Broccoli
Cauliflower
Kale
Spinach

And allow the soup to simmer for 5-10 more minutes.

At this time, I add salt, pepper, a pinch of cayenne and my oil.  I usually use coconut oil or hemp and flax oil (the combination of the two has the highest omega benefit) 2-4 T depending on your taste and amount of soup made.  Soup’s Done!

When putting your soup in a bowl feel, free to put a handful of fresh spinach in before ladling the soup on top and adding nutritional yeast containing beneficial B-vitamins or gomashio (a sesame seed condiment) that’s rich in calcium. If you have cooked beans or a grain, add that to your bowl as well.  Quinoa and adzuki beans are my favorite proteins to add.

**Simple Mineral Soup Stock

For those adventurous-types:  Wondering what to do with leftover veggie scraps ?(onions and garlic peels, celery and carrot pieces, broccoli stems, potato peelings, etc.) Begin by collecting them in a bowl in your fridge, any hearty shaving/ peeling or not quite fresh enough veggie.  Get a good size bowl going.  Fill a large pot with water and add the leftovers (just enough water to cover). Then set the stove to a low simmer and leave it for at least an hour.  When its done strain the liquid from the veggies (which may now be truly composted) and save the stock for future soup making (you can freeze it or use as a substitute for water in making rice, soup, tea, etc).
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GARLICKY GREENS “OH MY”

Boost your immune system with plenty of garlic, just don’t breath on anyone!

Choose your desired hearty leafy greens (try them all at some point, each has a different flavor and texture):
Rainbow/Red Swiss Chard
Mustard Green
Dino/Lacinto Kale
Collard Greens

Get your cast iron skillet out..  And chop a lot of garlic 1/2 bulb per head of greens.  Heat some oil in your pan (coconut/sesame/or grapeseed) and add the garlic. Toast it a little brown then add the chopped greens. Keep an eye on them, stir them until them are still bright green and cooked all the way through.  Feel free to add salt and pepper, rice wine vinegar or balsamic (a dash) and braggs or tamari while cooking.  Eat and enjoy!
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GREEN GODDESS SMOOTHIE

MMmmm.. a sweet treat as the weather begins to warm or after a heart pounding yoga class.  Rich in raw vitamins and minerals, this meal is easily digestible and so very healthy.

Again, choose your guns…your greens:
Spinach
Arugala
Romaine
Kale
Parsley
Cilantro

and choose your base:
Coconut water
Filtered Water
Nutmilk (almond, rice, hemp)

Pick your flavor:
Coconut meat
Banana
Frozen Fruit (peaches, raspberries)
Avocado
Mango

My favorite recipe is simple and not too sweet..

Put a few leaves of kale, some spinach, coconut water (either from the box or from a real coconut), 1/2 an avocado, 1/2 banana, a dash of sea salt, some ice  and Viola!  Some may need more fruit to make it sweeter or add some stevia.

The ratio of fruit to greens is usually 70/30 so start off with more and as you grow more accustomed to the taste begin adding more veggies.
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VEGGIE JUICES

These require a juicer to make at home. If you don’t have your own juicer try and find a juice bar in your area. Juicing green vegetables is an easy way to get nutrients and energy quickly into your system; no fat content, low in calories and highly recommended if the winter (or post-winter) blues hit.

Also, if you happen to have a VitaMix or higher powered blender, you can make your own juice with that.

Just choose your veggies:
(my fave recipe)

2 Carrots
4 pieces of Kale
1/2 Cucumber
3 Stalks Celery
1/2 Apple
Lemon
Ginger

Roughly chop them up and put them into your blender, adding water to blend.  Once you have blended your veggies, pour the container into a nutmilk bag.

Squeeze the liquid into a container and Viola! you have veggie juice…  Save the pulp for raw crackers or compost.
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SEXY SUPERFOODS

Please feel free to add, SUPERFOODS, to your smoothies and your diet.  One tablespoon in a glass of apple juice, coconut water, or spring water will have you springing to action quicker than a cup of coffee (and staying there!). Green Superfoods are packed with readily available nutrients and all you need is a spoonful a day!  Did you know a 1 oz. shot of wheatgrass constitutes 1 lb. of vegetables?  So, if you are short on time go to the juice bar for a double shot of wheat grass..

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Remember, you are what you eat… so choose for your body and for your “self”.  We only have this lifetime Beautifuls, so let’s do it right!

Jen MurphyComment