Category Archives: Juice

Sunshine Smoothie: Anti-Cancer Superhero

Sunshine SmoothieWhen it comes to smoothies it seems like green gets all of the attention.  Don’t get me wrong, I think a proper green smoothie is a sight to behold, but every once in a while, I want something lighter and brighter staring back at me in the morning.

This drink features one of my favorite smoothie ingredients: fresh turmeric.  Under a brown, papery skin, the root is a bright, deep orange and adds a distinctive yet subtle zing.  Turmeric to me had always been just that yellow powder that I added to tofu scramble and mac-n-cheese – for flavor, sure, but mostly to get some color.  Fresh turmeric has me hooked and though I have to go into OKC to the Asian market to get the fresh variety, it’s worth the trip and the price is right – $1 for about 10 root pieces.

To be sure, the rhizomes are homely little cusses, but they are cancer-fighting powerhouses.  The active ingredient in turmeric is the antioxidant curcumin that slows the replication of cancer cells and helps protect healthy cells from damage. Colon, prostate, lung and breast cancer rates are lower in India where turmeric is a part of the daily diet than here in the U.S.

In this drink, turmeric is joined by these powerful anti-cancer Super Friends:
Ginger: helps curb genetic mutations that transform normal cells into cancer cells
Grapefruit: detoxifying; contains naringenin which slows the growth of breast cancer cells; the peel contains d-limonene which may help in keeping pancreatic and colorectal cancers at bay.
Orange: detoxifying; contains cancer-inhibiting flavonoids; the peel contains d-limonene which may help in fighting pancreatic and colorectal cancers.
Carrots: rich in protective carotene that stimulates T-cell cytotoxic capabilities; protects the skin from sun damage; helps protect against lung, bladder, stomach, prostate and colon cancers.
Bananas: high in potassium and low in sodium, they help reduce blood pressure and equalize blood sugar levels; there is some debate whether or not very ripe bananas with brown skin contain properties that protect cells from mutation.  Better safe than sorry – eat your nanners.

For an extra cancer-bashing boost, replace the water with chilled green tea – and by all means – add some kale in there if you like.  I shared this recipe on Healthy Vegan Friday!

Sunshine Smoothie
Serves 3-4

1 cup water
2 oranges, mostly peeled, but leave a little bit
1 large grapefruit, mostly peeled, but leave a little bit
1 banana
1 mango, pitted & peeled
1″ chunk of fresh ginger, peeled
1/2 cup baby carrots
2-3″ piece of fresh turmeric, peeled
2 dates, optional


Add all ingredients to a blender and process until smooth.  Tastiest served chilled.

Smoothie with Toast

Sunshine Smoothie

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“I Survived the Green Smoothie Challenge” & Lunch in Las Vegan

Tropical Colada Smoothie

Tropical Colada Smoothie

Not only survived – thrived.  From January 7 through January 13, Kel and I joined Somer and lots of other folks in the first Green Smoothie Challenge of 2013.  This was a positive, healthy and delicious way to kick off the new year.  The hardest part of the Challenge?  Banning my much-loved carbohydrates: whole grain bread (slathered with almond butter), brown rice, potatoes, hot rolled grains in the morning and my evening snack of Cheerios or Weetabix.  (Actually, it wasn’t that hard.) The easiest part was not having to think about what I was preparing and eating and that’s because Somer did all of the work by providing recipes and detailed instructions.  And since she’s an incredible cook, I knew the recipes would be really delicious.  Throughout the Challenge I snapped photos with my phone and shared them via Instagram.  As you can see, we did not go hungry.

Kel and I went strong throughout (even bringing my Vitamix, soups and loads of greens, veggies and fruit on a road trip we took) but fell off the wagon in a spectacular way on the last day of the Challenge during a day trip to Las Vegas.  I’d heard that Vegas is a very vegan-friendly town and indeed, it offers a lot of plant-based dining options.  I call it Las Vegan now, as a matter of fact.  While I have ample will power to bypass the slots and gaming tables, I just didn’t have the strength to say no to lunch at 100% vegan bakery and bistro, Pura Vida.  Photos below.

Binge eating in Vegas aside – - there’s no need to wait for the next challenge  - – start one today!  Click here to get the information and all the recipes you’ll need.

Big salad for dinner.

Veggie-loaded, big salad for dinner.

Moroccan Lentil Soup, Hummus, Salsa, Raw Veggies

Moroccan Lentil Soup, Hummus, Salsa, Raw Veggies (a.k.a. Lunch!)

Blueberry Vanilla Smoothie

Blueberry Vanilla Smoothie in the Works.

Lunch at Pura Vida:

Whole Grain & Flaxseed Pancakes with Berry Compote & Bananas.

Whole Grain & Flaxseed Pancakes with Berry Compote & Bananas.

Tofu Scramble and Soyrizo Burrito.

Tofu Scramble and Soyrizo Burrito.

Green Salad & Chili.

Green Salad & Chili. Thanks, Kaylie, for letting me photograph your lunch! It was great meeting you!

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Sweet Potato Nachos & The Incredible Hulk: The Unprocessed Giveaway

The Incredible Hulk SmoothieThe Incredible Hulk (as a smoothie rather than a juice) and Sweet Potato Nachos from Unprocessed: How to Achieve Vibrant Health and Your Ideal Weight, by Chef AJ.  Today is your last chance to enter the giveaway – for details on how to add your name, see below.

Refried Beans


Here’s how I make refried beans:  rinse, drain and lightly mash two, 15-ounce cans of pinto beans.  Set aside.  Chop an onion and sauté in veggie broth or water until tender.  Stir in a couple of cloves of garlic (minced,) a 4-ounce can of mild green chiles, 5-6 slices of jarred jalapeño peppers (minced), cumin, coriander and chili powder to taste.  Stir and cook for a a couple of minutes.  Add the refried beans and a splash of Bragg Liquid Aminos.  Simmer for a few minutes.  Serve.

To make sweet potato “chips” (courtesy of Chef AJ):  peel and wash one sweet potato per person.  Slice about 1/4″ thick.  Place slices on baking sheets lined with parchment paper or Silpat.  Sprinkle with smoked paprika.  Bake in a 450F oven for 20 minutes, turn the slices and bake for another 5-10 minutes, checking to make sure the chips aren’t turning too brown.

To assemble nachos: divide sweet potato chips amongst plates, pile on the refried beans, chopped tomatoes, avocado, cilantro and anything else you love on your nachos.

To enter the giveaway, please leave a comment below or on any other Unprocessed blog post describing what you find most addicting: sugar, salt or oil.  Or, share your story of how you have cleaned up your diet and changed your life.  For additional entries you can also Like my Facebook pages, An Unrefined Vegan and/or Virtual Vegan Potluck.  The giveaway ends today!  I’ll announce the winner within the next day or two…

The Deets
Title: Unprocessed: How to Achieve Vibrant Health and Your Ideal Weight
Author: Chef AJ (aka Abbie Jaye) with Glen Merzer
Publication Date: 2011
Page Length: 178 pages including 100+ recipes
List Price: $19.95
Publisher: Hale to the Kale Publishing

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The Crowe Walk or Growing Wheatgrass

Wheatgrass in GlassToday I was going to post another shortbread recipe, but since I already sort of posted this one…sigh…it seemed like a better idea to make this one official.  One of these days I will stop accidentally publishing my drafts.  Shortbread recipe tomorrow – unless I click the Publish button today my mistake.

Do you remember the scene in The Gladiator where Russell Crowe is walking through a  field of tall, golden wheat, his fingers almost lovingly brushing against the heavy seeds?  Kel calls it The Crowe Walk.  It’s a mesmerizing and beautiful scene (I won’t mention the other scenes into which it cuts).  The soft, surreal serenity of the walk through the wheat – so peaceful.  Kel and I jokingly replay it in our fields when the grass is especially high.  What does that have to do with this post?  Not much, except that I’m growing wheat – wheatgrass, specifically – but mine will never get high enough to go to seed, let alone for me to stroll through.

I recently acquired a Vitamix, something that has been on my Wish List for a long, long time.  My old, cheap-o blender has been crying in the corner ever since.  I’ve used that Vitamix every day since it arrived, determined that Kel and I will have at least one green smoothie each day.

Wheatgrass Seeds

Along with my Vitamix, I ordered up a 5 lb. bag of wheatgrass seeds from from Todd’s Seeds via Amazon.  I planted my first batch not too long ago and watching them sprout and soar upwards – I can almost see them grow – has been a lot of fun.  At the time I decided we would be consuming at least one smoothie per day I also decided we needed to be drinking wheatgrass each day.  Wheatgrass, when harvested in its peak nutritional state (at about 7-11″ high) is loaded with chlorophyll.  Chlorophyll provides energy, helps normalize blood pressure and also helps alkalize the body.  According to some research, if the body is high in acidity (i.e., from eating meat for example), it is more susceptible to cancer.  Here’s a quick rundown on how I got started and what the process looks like.

Soak the wheatgrass seeds.
Rinse a handful of seeds and put them in a bowl or container and cover with water to about 2″ above seeds.  Soak them for 8-10 hours and then change the water and soak again.  I did a total of three overnight soaks.  At that point, tiny little roots began to appear on the ends of the seeds.

Container with Dirt

Day One.

Prepare your container. 
I used a window box because that’s what I had – but a larger, flat tray would be ideal.  You want something with drainage holes on the bottom.  (Todd’s Seeds provides instructions on their website.)  I filled my tray with a mixture of compost soil, peat and hummus.  Avoid soils with added chemicals.   I “mudded it in” real good (watered it) and sprinkled the wheatgrass over the top of the soil and then covered the seeds very lightly with additional peat and hummus.  Then I gently watered again.  It’s important to keep the soil moist, but not soggy.

Day 3

Day Three.

Day 5

Day Five.

Watch them grow – and water.
These suckers germinate and grow fast!  Be sure and keep the soil moist, but again, not soaked.  I kept my container out of direct sunlight; these guys are delicate.  Water 2-3 times per day using a spray bottle rather than a watering can.

Day 7

Day Seven.

Ready to cut and juice.
By the seventh day, my wheatgrass was ready to harvest.   Using sharp scissors, I cut a thick handful of the grass and put it in my Vitamix along with about 3/4 cups of filtered water.  There are wheatgrass juicers out there, but after shelling out for a Vitamix there was no way I was going to spend another $50 on a wheatgrass juicer.  YouTube is loaded with videos demonstrating how to juice wheatgrass.

Keep in mind this stuff is very fibrous – and you don’t want to drink/eat the fibers.  Good for cows, not so good for humans.  Once I processed the wheatgrass I poured the mess through a fine-meshed strainer.  Compost the fiber and either drink the juice straight-up, or combine it with fruit and make a delicious, tangy, super-healthy smoothie as in the recipe below.

I plan on getting 2-3 “harvests” from my wheatgrass before planting a new batch.

Wheatgrass in Hand

Green Fruit Smoothie with Wheatgrass Juice
Serves 2

1/2 cup wheatgrass juice
1/2 cup filtered water
1 bunch romaine lettuce, chopped
2 bananas, thickly sliced and frozen
1 cup strawberries, cut in half (frozen or fresh)
1-2 pitted dates, chopped, if desired

Place ingredients in Vitamix in the order shown.  Start on Variable speed 1 and slowly dial to 10, then flip to High.  Process for about 30 seconds.  Pour into glasses and serve.  (This can also be done in a regular blender.  Just make sure to stop the blender to move the fruit around if necessary.)

Smoothie Ingredients

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