The world is a different place these days. And I am in a different place in this world today. This year a major personal milestone came and went for me. Twenty-three years have passed since I took my student loan, quit university, bought my first commercial juicer, and went mobile with my travelling juice bar and vegan café, evolving and growing eventually into Fresh, since 1999.
Back then I was 25 and full of evangelistic good intentions for the planet and all creatures, big and small. During those early years, I explored improving my health by way of macrobiotic, raw food and vegan diets, juice fasting and food allergy testing. Going vegan and eliminating the offending foods, allergies and bad habits coincided with the emergence of a new "me" in glowing good health, along with an energetic sense of wellbeing.
I discovered my "fountain of youth" in juicing. With juice bars popping up all over the place it might be tempting to think that juicing is a new trend. But it's really just the latest manifestation of a centuries-old practice. And in this new age of genetically modified over-refined chemical laden foods the rediscovery and rising popularity of juicing has never been more timely.
Jumping on the bandwagon, the celebrity-driven media has helped our industry immensely by highlighting our pop-culture role models, shiny and glowing, imbibing fresh juices, smoothies and shakes made with the latest "hot" and "trendy" ingredients. It's sexy to be healthy now.
Modern research has also caught up and now consistently supports the theory that people who eat the greatest quantity of fruits and vegetables are about half as likely to develop cancer or many other modern diseases as those who eat little or no fresh fruits and vegetables.
The Fruity Green Smoothie
Broccoli has gotten a bad reputation as being one of the most dreaded vegetables for kids and even many grown-ups. Although I can't be certain, I suspect it might be because broccoli is a member of the cabbage family and is closely related to the cauliflower. Being a lover of broccoli, I set out to see if I could find a delicious way to sneak this highly nutritious and unloved vegetable into our customer's tummies.
I discovered that, when juicing raw broccoli, as when cooking it, the relationship to the cabbage family in taste and texture is accentuated. Taking a risk, I threw it in the blender and found that blending it with other fruits hid the broccoli and delivered the nutritional goodness I was seeking. Feeling brazen and subversive, I then reached for the leafy raw spinach, the second-most unloved kids' vegetable after broccoli, and found my fruity concoction hid that too!
Broccoli provides a high amount of vitamin C, which aids iron absorption in the body. It is also rich in fiber and contains a good amount of folic acid, potassium and calcium. Spinach is a very nutrient dense food and is an excellent source of vitamins A, E, K, C, B2 and B6. It also provides magnesium, folate, iron, calcium, zinc, potassium and even the omaga-3 fatty acid!
Now on the menus at Fresh, we are happy to find that both kids and their proud smiling parents love this combination!
4 slices pineapple
3 oz. water
4 florets broccoli, raw
1 handful spinach
8 oz. bottled mango juice
1 banana, peeled frozen
Juice the pineapples first. Flush through with the water and oranges. Transfer the juice to the blender with the rest of the ingredients. Start on a low setting and switch to a higher setting for about a minute. Pour into a tall glass. Sip with love. Enjoy.