Green Smoothies // Book Review
Green Smoothies, a product of Ten Speed Press, did not make me a smoothie addict. It’s 66 recipes and 7-day detox plan made this a comprehensive treatment of the subject but the book failed to change the paradigm in my kitchen.
The recipes are easy to use. Each has pictures of the approximate amount of ingredients included in the smoothie or juice. The ingredients lists include general descriptions like “2 handfuls arugula” and “half a cucumber.” The book argues that when making a smoothie, the proportions can be adjusted to the taste of the cook. Still, I found it a little vague standing in the grocery store looking at gigantic cucumbers thinking that half a cucumber was way too much. Each recipe also contains a picture of how the final product should look. This was helpful because it adjusted my expectations. After all, the title is pretty clear on the color of the final product. The different shades of green did help me broker the right amount of ingredients.
When I first received this cookbook, I went to the local Albert Heijn to pick up enough ingredients for a week of smoothies. This found my vegetable drawer chock full of hearty, leafy greens and fruits. I should have done a better job choosing recipes since I needed to pick up lots of berries which weren’t in season. There were also a few greens not commonly stocked in Dutch grocery stores. I just made a few substitutes to solve this problem. One ingredient I just couldn’t wrap my head around were the dandelion greens. I just have a hard time wanting to put those into my body. Incidentally, I once tasted dandelion wine and will never think it’s a good idea again. This was a good argument against the dandelion smoothie.
All of the recipes flopped with my smoothie-loving four-year-old. He has a knack for labeling tastes and could immediately tell me that one of the smoothies tasted like cucumber, so he wouldn’t drink it. Another tasted “spicy,” so he wouldn’t drink it (it was ginger). Granted, he is pretty used to fruit+yogurt smoothies, so I bet if I gave it some time, he’d probably enjoy the green smoothies a bit more.
For me, I got the idea of the recipes. If you’re making “Healer” or “Digestivo” and you’re putting radishes and bok choy into your body every morning, you win. But with a couple of boys eager to help with the smoothie fun, I need to be producing something the kiddos can enjoy. This is a subjective problem since the book never claims to appeal to children. The option of preparing, bottling and chilling the smoothies for only myself just didn’t seem to fit into my schedule.
We don’t own a juicer and about half the book contains juicing recipes. To give Green Smoothies a fair shot, I handed the review copy over to an expat friend who does have a juicer. And boy, she’s an avid juicer too. She made the Summer Fresh juice and lamented the overly citrus taste. “Where’s the mint, basil or ginger,” she mused. Her kiddo didn’t seem to turn up her nose at the taste, but also didn’t drink it down.
On the positive side for this book, I enjoyed reading about the 7-day juice detox. I enjoy reading about food and have not done much reading about detox diets, so this was perfect. The book covered the topic with just enough technical language to make me feel like I learned a bit about the topic but not too much as to overwhelm me. I didn’t borrow a juicer to try the detox diet because a nurse practitioner friend warned of the gastrointestinal side effects. And that, like the dandelion greens, scared me! Maybe it’ll feel like a better idea in the coming months, but this spring just wasn’t the right time.
Green Smoothies: Recipes for Smoothies, Juices, Nut Milks, and Tonics to Detox, Lose Weight, and Promote Whole-Body Health by Fern Green. For more information on the book from the publisher check here. To learn more about the author, Fern Green, click here.
I received this book for free from Blogging for Books in exchange for this review. All opinions are my own, except those thoughts shared by an expat friend.