I am not a green juice person, I tried a green juice for the first time, when we began our whole foods journey a decade back, consulting Anju Venkat of The Health Awareness Centre in Mumbai and attending the peas vs pills session by Nandita Shah of SHARAN. I almost puked, not a great beginning or encouraging and I abandoned green juices after a few attempts.

However, while living in The Hague a friend of mine who ran an organic vegan venture introduced me to her smoothies. They were wonderful, I  had them every week while visiting the organic farmer’s market for our weekly shopping. Once I moved to Cbe, I forgot smoothies again till I had to deal with excess bunches of paalak and bottle gourd( dudhi or surakkai). I was debating a salad or a sabji. That’s when I remembered my friend’s enticing, healthy smoothies. Her secret ingredient was a ripe banana or two for that tinge of sweetness. My naturopath will not like it that I am mixing fruits and veggies….

And my smoothie recipe

I began putting together my own smoothie recipe! Chopped up one bunch organic paalak, a 6-8 inch piece of bottle gourd peeled and deseeded ( I didn’t throw out the fleshy part in the middle but removed the seeds by hand). Beat these up in the blender and tasted it, eeks! It just tasted green! Added some pepper to give it a zing, realized that some rock salt would help and threw in some cumin as well. Then I remembered the bananas. As usual, we had a few overripe karpooravallai ( chara poovan) bananas. I added four bananas. Blended it again and tasted it. The number of bananas will have to depend on whether you like it sweet or tangy.

Organic green smoothie
Organic green smoothie

We loved it and did the taste test on our young team at  Bio basics. I guess it worked because when I made it again two days later no one refused it. So now I am motivated to try smoothies with different leftover gourds and greens ( of course with a couple of bananas thrown in)! Smoothies are a great way to pump in some green veggies. The same smoothie formula can be used replacing bottle gourd with ash gourd.

... and spread the good word!

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