A few years ago I started making smoothies for breakfast, a quick snack, or a low-calorie dessert. At that time I was into matching different combinations of spices and herbs with the fruits and vegetables I was using. For instance, does basil enhance beets and can I add mint to grapefruit?
I was having a great time testing and tasting and then one day I thought I was just brilliant… I decided I could make my smoothies more healthy by adding fresh greens. No – I had not heard of “green smoothies” yet so I actually thought I invented them – silly me!
The best part of using greens in my smoothies was that it didn’t seem to matter which greens I used; none of them seemed to adversely affect the taste of the smoothie… until last year.
Something I added turned my favorite smoothie so bitter, I could barely drink it. I made a mental note to discover the name of that green, but promptly forgot.
Well – it happened again last week. I spied a neon lime, leafy green and quickly added it to my basket.
The next day I pulled it out of the fridge, marveled at the size of the leafs and added it to the Vitamix container. I blended and poured and marveled again at the beautiful color. After the shock of the first gulp I realized I had done it again. It was bitter or did it taste like my smoothie was full of pepper? Then I realized it tasted like one of my most hated condiments – horseradish!
I already had my daily addition of flaxseeds and green protein powder added to the smoothie, so I wasn’t about to pour it down the drain. I managed to drink it down to the last drop and quickly rinsed out my mouth.
A few days later I remembered to locate the green in the produce section of my favorite market and there it was – Mustard Greens. I had to go home and research what on earth a cook could do with mustard greens.
I was surprised to find they are related to kale and cabbage because I really love both of those. Evidently they lose some of the peppery taste when cooked and are frequently used in Chinese, Japanese, and Indian cooking. The recipes I found using cooked mustard greens really did make my mouth water, so I may try a few… some day.
For now, I can assure you I will never again make the mistake of purchasing mustard greens for any of the raw vegan recipes and smoothies I make.
P.S. I absolutely LOVE my Vitamix. I have used it every single day since I purchased it… best investment I ever made. Using a regular blender on green smoothies will leave you with small bits of leafy greens floating in your drink. The Vitamix blends it all; releasing the important nutrients inside the greens.
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