Mason Jar Greens.

mason jar greens.jpg

Ah, smoothies...

In great hopes of continuing this ripple effect that my wellness warrior gurus have started, I'm making it a point to have my first MBakerWellness recipe be my Mason Jar Greens. It's slowly taking over TriBeCa, one coffee drinker at a time. At first I only shared it with one person, the ever beaming Sarah. I think I could go on record here and say it has changed her life a bit; her boyfriend has since become the smoothie master! With her inspiration I started sharing it with anyone who asked "whoa, what's that in your jar?" But no one ever dedicated themselves like she did. So, I stopped exerting my energy to share it with the world. It wasn't that I didn't want anyone else to be starting their day off as healthy as myself, I just felt like even when I did scribble down the recipe, no one was taking the next step to actually blend it all up. So disappointment and judgement (of themselves) started to fill the air, and no one ever wants those two knuckleheads mingling around.

Ta-dah! An a-ha moment; I decided that in order for me to share my recipe the person must own a blender, because obviously you cannot make the smoothie if you don't have a blender. The next customer to ask me for my recipe changed it all. I told him (yes, him - smoothies aren't just a chick thing fellas, lets get that clear from the beginning) that in order for me to share my recipe he must purchase a good quality blender (I'm sorry but the $30 plastic jug with a blade is just not going to cut it; seriously, the kale can be pretty tough). To my amazement, he actually followed through. What was even more shocking was that he also opted for the smaller latte option and cut back on the croissant ritual. I was now being greeted daily with a glowing grin proudly letting me know he had his smoothie that morning. I love it. This was all I needed to be convinced that I, too, am part of the ripple effect transforming the world (okay, slight exageration) one mason jar greens at a time.

Apart from the insane amount of nutrients, vitamins and minerals you are treating your body to (and believe me, it is bowing down to you for this) with each smoothie your are also pumping your temple full of fiber. Many of us are well aware that fiber makes us feel fuller longer (big bonus when trying to watch what we eat) but it also aids in digestion (cleaning out our pipes of all the nasty toxins - yes, you have officially been warned).

There are so many countless variations of the infamous green smoothie (aka. green machine, green goddess, glowing green) but I want to start you off with one that is simple, delicious and insanely good for you. Basically, one that I feel pretty confident that any health geek or smoothie virgin can scrounge up the ingredients for without feeling defeated by the produce section.

Lets talk ingredients...

Kale. Every green in the produce aisle wishes they were kale at the moment. This guy is one of the healthiest veggies on the planet! No wonder he is the main ingredient in most things nutritious now a days, he's loaded with calcium, fiber, vitamins B6, C, K and A. Not to mention he's bursting with minerals including copper, potassium, iron, manganese and phosphorus. Yeah, definitely not one you want to leave off the smoothie team.

Spinach. Popeye really was onto something with his can of spinach. This leafy-green (packed with iron and vitamins K, A and C) does wonders for your health, mood and the prevention of illness - and we all know most of us could use the mood boosting in the morning.

Cucumber. No, they aren't just for slicing and placing on your eyes for removing bags, though this does work. They are a great source of fiber, and although they only have 1g per cup, what makes them an excellent source is that they have the naturally occurring water that should accompany fiber intake (an increase of fiber without water can cause constipation and bind up the bowels - can't say that sounds like much fun).

Banana. Potassium. Potassium. Potassium. I have recently learned how vital this mineral is to have for the correct function of tissues, cells and organs (especially in the high sodium 'Western Diet') and bananas are a sweet treat and delicious way to help you get your daily dose.

Pear. Another tasty ingredient packed with health benefiting nutrients such as dietary fiber, anti-oxidants, minerals and vitamins (especially vitamin c).

h2o. three words: water cures all.

Now, unpack your blender (or yes, go out and purchase one), plug it in let the smoothie making begin...

Mason Jar Greens.

2 cups baby kale (or chopped kale)
2 cups baby spinach
1 pear, cored, chopped
1 banana, peeled
1 small cucumber, chopped  (peeled if not organic)
1 cup (approx.) filtered water*
juice of half a lemon (optional, but delicious)

--add the kale and spinach to the blender with the water and blend until completely broken down.

--turn blender off. Add pear, banana, cucumber and lemon juice (if using). Continue to blend until smooth and creamy!

*you can substitute all of part of the filtered water with coconut water occasionally

other delicious add-ins: (fresh or frozen, never canned)
avocado (discard pit and skin please)
mango (discard skin)
pineapple (discard skin and core)
ginger (peeled)
coconut meat

note: though I highly recommend that everything in the ingredients list be organic, I understand that one. this isn't always possible and two. my main goal is to get you to actually consume your veggies, we'll work on the organic part later.

blend on...

p.s. CHEW CHEW CHEW YOUR SMOOTHIE!!!! So many people gulp it down without actually taking a second to not only taste (it really is delicious!) but to chew their smoothie. The more you continue to break down the vegetables the more nutrients you are getting out of them, especially when mixing with your saliva. So c'mon now, chew up!