It can be easy being green
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, 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 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 combinations suit you best.
Some people include protein powder in their green smoothies, supplements such as maca or spirulina or nut butter. This is a matter of choice, however, and 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.