Monday, October 27, 2014

How To Make Magic Green Smoothie Art

Recently I fell into a way of making little designs on the surface of our green smoothies.

We aren't 100% raw right now.  We've been busy and we are more like 30 to 50% raw.  As a friend said so well recently, things go in cycles sometimes.  Right now I have so many other things going on that it's hard to be high-raw every day.  I'm sure we'll go back to being fully raw for a while sometime, but I like being flexible.  To each his own.

No matter how much raw food we eat, the green smoothie habit has stayed with us.

I've been filling 3 quart jars every morning.  It involves filling 2 Vitamix pitchers at least 3/4 full to make enough smoothie to fill 3 jars.
So I make one pitcher of smoothie of one color, (usually green or purple) and fill all 3 jars about half-full.  Then I make another pitcher of smoothie in a contrasting color and pour it into the center of each jar.  I find that if I get the smoothie just the right consistency, the first color rises up the sides of the jar, while the second color forms a blob in the middle.  If you want a purple smoothie with a green leaf on top, pour the purple first.  If you want a green smoothie with a purple heart on top, pour the green smoothie first.

By pulling the end of a spoon through the "blob" all sorts of interesting patterns can be made.  I've made hearts, leaves, apples, bunches of grapes, and yin-yang symbols.  Just use your imagination to try to see what the blob already sort of looks like, and then see what happens when you pull a table knife or spoon handle through it.
If you don't want your design messed up by bubbles in the smoothie, gently tap the bottom of the jar on a surface and be patient.  Most of the bubbles will dissipate in a minute or two.  Often, we are too thirsty to wait.

Here are the approximate proportions.  You can do it any way you like.  In order to make the designs, you want the right consistency, and two bright, contrasting colors of smoothie.  Basically you want about half of it fresh and half of it frozen, with a good balance of juicy and fleshy fruits.  If it's too thin and runny, it will just mix together when you pour it, and then it will turn out looking like a swirl in the glass, with no center blob to play with.  If it's too thick, which happens sometimes when too much frozen fruit is added in proportion to the fresh fruit, one layer will lay on top of the other, it won't form a "blob" in the center, and the texture will be more like a sorbet than a smoothie.

Green half:

about one half of a fresh pineapple, husk removed
about 3 oranges, peeled, with seeds and most of the pith removed
(or three large peaches, pits removed, or a cucumber)
about 3 cups of frozen baby kale or other greens, (such as spinach, chard, dandelion greens, etc.,) crushed
3 frozen bananas

Chop the fruit and blend it in a high speed blender until smooth and creamy. 

Purple half:

about a pint and a half of of strawberries,  or purple, red or black grapes, or plums with the pits removed.  (Basically you want about a half a blender of chopped purple fruit.)
about 3 cups of frozen baby kale or other greens, crushed
about 3 to 4 cups of frozen blue berries, cherries, and/or raspberries

Chop the fruit and blend in a high speed blender until smooth and creamy

German Chocolate Cake For My Husband's Birthday Dinner

My husband's favorite type of cake is German chocolate, so I made him a raw one for his birthday.  I found the recipe here. 

I didn't use the Irish moss paste, so it didn't come out light and fluffy, but my husband didn't mind.  It was necessary to make a double batch of date paste in order to finish the recipe, and then we had a good amount of date paste left over, which was excellent in oat and nut mylks.

Instead of spring-form, I used a silicone cake pan, which worked just as well for easy un-molding.  Possibly because I didn't use Irish moss, it was a dense cake.  What I found worked was to make the layers by dividing the "cake batter" into three portions, then making each one into a ball, flattening it into a thick, level cake, using the pan as a guide.  Once each layer has been made, it was gently placed in the pan and frosted.  Because the cake batter was so dense, it wouldn't be possible to smash it into a layer shape without pressing too hard on the frosted layer below.  The top layer rose above the lip of the pan, but it didn't matter, because it had been shaped before placing it on the cake.

It was a lot of work but everyone loved it.  I would definitely do it again. 

For his birthday dinner, he also chose this Raw Sesame Vegetable Stir Fry with Celeriac Garlic Rice.  Or you can find it published here.  I'm sorry we didn't take pictures.  We ate it before we could get the camera out.  Celeriac makes an unusual but extremely tasty "rice."  This one will also be a dinnertime staple.

My birthday is coming up, and I'm asking for a raw Indian meal and this cake.

I'll let you know how it goes.