At this time of the year, a lot of people give up the sauce for a month after the port and gin festive excesses. Some go on diets, or give up meat for a month, and some even try to pack in the fags. I’ve done none of these things, mainly because I’m cursed with an addictive personality and have the determination and procrastinatory powers of a caned sloth.
But one thing I have been doing is drinking. Nothing unusual there I hear you say. But I’m talking about drinking – or should that be eating? – a thick, raw food smoothie every morning.
It was sparked by a raw food course I went on (it’s a long story, but basically I turned right rather than left at the end of the corridor, and instead of the ‘how to build a cider press workshop’ found myself on a vegan ‘living in the raw’ course – I should have known really from the pompous, sniffy looks and the lack of beards and scrumpy tans, well there were some impressive beards in there, but anyway one good thing did come of it, and that was the discovery of the green smoothie…)
Now I can’t pretend to like them, but it does mean I get pretty much all the vitamins I need for the day in one hit, and can spend the rest of the day smoking fags and drinking beer – relatively guilt-free.
The tutor explained the “current thinking” that eating five portions of fruit or veg a day was actually the bare minimum for good health, and the required amount should be nearer nine.
I have to admit to a mild panic attack at that point. I looked back on my diet over the previous few months: if you counted the white cabbage in my kebab, I’d be lucky to hit two a day. Something had to be done. And for lazy, single buggers like me who enjoy cooking for others but rarely cook for themselves, the raw food smoothie seemed to be the answer.
“A green smoothie is the perfect way to start the day,” preached the tutor. “Indeed if there was just one new thing you introduced into your diet a day, beside raw chocolate (she got a laugh at that point – I was the only bloke in there) then this should definitely be it. Yuck I hear you say! But believe it or not green smoothies can not only be delicious, but also addictive.”
Now, I wouldn’t go as far as that. Nowhere near in fact. But after you’ve downed a couple, and that really is the only way to eat – or is it drink? – them, they do have an odd, slightly moreish quality. In my case, it’s probably the satisfaction of knowing that I can order my kebab later without having to ask for extra salad.
The following is a recipe I’ve tinkered with that produces a lovely, earthy-coloured smoothie (see photo above). Try it – it’s not that bad. And it does make you feel a lot better. But don’t drink it before a long journey…
Lennie Nash’s Wonderful Earth Smoothie
4 young kale leaves (or spinach)
1 eating apple, cored
1 small carrot, peeled
2 sticks celery, peeled
Good squeeze of fresh lemon to taste
2 tsps pumpkin seeds
2 tsps sunflower seeds
2 tsps linseed
Sprinkle ground cinnamon
½ tsp chorella
1 tbsp fresh or frozen berries (blackberries, strawberries or blueberries)
1 tsp organic honey
1 pint water
Soak the seeds overnight in a cup full of water and drain. Then put all the ingredients into a blender (a Vita-Mix 5000 is brilliant for this) and whiz until smooth. Add more water if it is too thick. Pour into two glasses and gulp (quickly).