Monsters are scary, eh? But when they're green, they're actually pretty nice - and good for you too! No need to hide under the covers from these bad boys (or girls). Green Monsters are smoothies made with green leaves (eg spinach or kale), fruit and liquids (such as a non-dairy milk) and their name was coined by the lovely Ange from one of my favourite blogs, Oh She Glows.
Green Monsters are so great, I wrote a column about them for Adventures in Food:
Adventures in Food: Green Monsters
By Aoife Barry
One of the best things about summer is the food – even if the weather here is grim, work is a pain or things feel less than cheery, feasting on the spoils of the summer crop is enough to brighten anyone’s mood.
Over the summer months, I will bring you recipes that use the best of this season’s fruit and vegetables, and to kick things off I have an unusual way for you to use summer berries. Every year I await the appearance of Irish strawberries with delight, knowing that they can be used in a multitude of ways. One of these is to include them in a smoothie.
Some years back, fruit smoothies became all the rage, with Irish people blending bananas, yogurt and berries together with abandon. While I am a fan of fruit-based smoothies, I recently started to create my own Green Monsters – smoothies with a green kick. These have been doing the rounds in health-food circles for some time, and are a prominent feature on health food blogs. One of these, Oh She Glows (www.ohsheglows.com) is run by the inspiring Angela Liddon, a Canadian vegan who runs Glo Bakery. She coined the phrase ‘Green Monster’ to describe these drinks, which typically include one serving (or more) of a green leafy vegetable as well as fruit, non-dairy milk and other ‘mix-ins’. She even has a website, www.greenmonstermovement.com dedicated to the drinks, where readers can swap recipes.
Below is the recipe for a basic Green Monster – I’ve also included a list of optional ‘mix-ins’ and some other fruits for you to try. Green Monsters are a great start to the day and it’s fun to experiment and see what fruit and vegetable combinations suit you best.
Some people include protein powder in their green smoothies, and some include supplements such as maca or spirulina. Others add a tablespoon of nut butter. This is all a matter of personal choice however and regardless of how simple your Green Monster is, if you include two fruits and at least one vegetable, you’re well on your way to your ‘five-a-day’. It’s certainly proof that some monsters aren’t scary at all.
Half a punnet of strawberries, washed and halved
1 ripe or very ripe banana, chopped in two
1 or 2 large handfuls of spinach/kale (raw or steamed)
50ml of non-dairy milk/skimmed milk or water
1. Add half of your liquid and strawberries to the blender. Blend.
2. Add the banana, and blend. Add the spinach, one of your optional mix-ins if desired, and blend, blend, blend. Add the remaining liquid, or more, if needed.
3. The smoothness of the drink will depend on how strong your blender is.
4. Drink immediately.
½ tbsp ground flaxseeds (you may need to add more liquid)
½ tbsp almond butter
1 handful sprouts (eg pea sprouts or sunflower sprouts)
Soya or dairy yogurt
Romaine lettuce (chopped)
Other soft fruits: pear, raspberries, blackberries, pineapple, papaya, mango, apples, kiwifruit