Lemongrass & Coconut Green Smoothie (gluten free, raw, vegan, ACD)

What a shocker, right? More green blended stuff in a jar. I think I eat something green and blended every day.  If you aren't into green blended things, this may not be the blog for you.

I'm not into thin, wimpy smoothies. No ma'am, I like my smoothies to be thick as sludge.  I want to be able to feel it in my mouth. I want to chew it.  This smoothie definitely fits the bill.  Drink it, or eat it with a spoon.  I like to eat it with a spoon, like soup, because it makes it last longer.  This smoothie tastes so good you'll want to make it last as long as possible!  

Craving something creamy last night, I put some cashews on to soak before I went to bed.  This morning I threw them in my Vita-Mix, along with chia for fiber, a bunch of veggies, a splash of water kefir, and then a blob of coconut butter, some dried lemongrass, and a little stevia.  If I would have had any fresh ginger, that would have really finished it off!  It is kind of like Thai food, in a smoothie.  Fresh, rich, and flavorful, it is low in carbs, a decent source of protein, and a great source of fiber and healthy fats, which will definitely fill you up all morning long without pesky blood-sugar crashes.  I normally have mid-morning munchies and I was barely hungry for lunch. Best yet, it makes enough for two servings, so you have leftovers for an afternoon snack.

With Spring on the horizon, I find myself craving smoothies again every morning.  I don't want as much of the warm breakfast porridges and cooked foods - I want vegetables again!  Raw ones!  Hooray! I love making smoothies for breakfast because they are ready in a flash - throw stuff in a blender, put it in a jar, and you're good to go.  I am not one of those people that is put together enough to eat breakfast at home; I end up eating breakfast at my desk a lot (boo!) and need convenience. Smoothies totally fit the bill!  I can drink off it all morning long while typing away at my keyboard.  See the keyboard there in the corner of my photo? Yes, ma'am, my smoothie is in it's native habitat: my office.  My coworkers all think I'm very funny for drinking these things; I often have to brush off good-natured joking comments about the colorful sludge in my rotating collection of Mason jars.  

Curious about the water kefir I mention above?  In a nutshell, it is water that has been cultured with kefir grains. Totally dairy-free, vegan, and loaded with beneficial bacteria.  Despite already taking loads of probiotics and eating a lot of probiotic food, all the antibiotics I'm on for my Lyme treatment were wreaking havoc on my digestive system and giving me some unfortunate yeast infection issues.  So I upped my intake of all those healthy bacteria.  More fermented vegetables and sauerkrauts, some Zukay salad dressings, miso, cultured seed cheeses, and locally made kombucha from Traditional Foods of Minnesota.  WIthin a week, I noticed a HUGE difference.  Better digestion, no more yeast infection. After I read this great article about it from the Nourished Kitchen about water kefir, I decided I needed to start brewing it, so I ordered some grains from Cultures for Health and started it off.  I'm still experimenting and testing the waters with the breweing, but once I get it down, I'll write up a post about how to make it!  It is fun to brew things at home. I also just received a kombucha SCOBY from a coworker and will be starting my own kombucha instead of having to buy it (YES!!!). I don't have enough counter space for all this fermenting and sprouting and soaking I do all the time, so I need to do a little rearranging.

Freshly brewed water kefir, ready to bottle.

Anyway, back to the smoothie. I think that with less stevia and a maybe some heat added (Thai chilis, perhaps?), this could make the base for a really excellent savory raw soup.  But I think it is also pretty darn good as a sweet coconutty smoothie, so I just decided to post it.  I plan to play with this idea more; if you get to it first, let me know!

Interested in getting a Vita-Mix of your own?  I just became a Vita-Mix associate!  I can get you FREE shipping on an online order of a Vita-Mix!  To get free shipping place an order through this link, or use my associate code (06-004943) at the time of checkout, and shipping costs will be deducted from your order.  That's a savings of $25 ($35 Canada).   

Lemongrass Coconut Green Smoothie

I use a Vita-Mix to blend, so I am able to get things perfectly smooth and can easily blend large chunks of vegetable.  If you do not have a Vita-Mix or other high powered blender, you may need to chop your vegetables smaller, and stop and scrape your blender frequently in order to get things fully processed.  

yield: 4 cups (2 servings) | active time: 5 minutes | total time: 4-6 hours soaking time + 5 minutes prep

1/3 cup raw cashews, soaked 4-6 hours or overnight (could substitute soaked almonds, sunflower seeds, or pumpkin seeds)

1 large carrot, coarsely chopped

3-4 large leaves romaine lettuce, coarsely chopped

2 celery stalks, coarsely chopped

1 cup water kefir or filtered water, plus more as needed

1/4 tsp dried lemongrass, crushed

1 Tbsp coconut butter

1 Tbsp chia seeds

1/8-1/4 tsp vitamin C crystals or a squeeze of lemon/lime juice

5-8 drops stevia liquid, to taste

optional: small knob fresh ginger root

optional: any other magical powders, potions, or superfoods you like to throw in your smoothies (I have to admit, I did add a little scoop of spirulina after hearing some positive spirulina arguments after my superfoods discussion a couple weeks back)

Soak cashews for 4-6 hours, or overnight, in 1-2 cups of fresh water.  Drain, rinse, and place in blender.Add vegetables to blender and water, and blend to break up.  If using a Vita-Mix, shove ingredients down using the tamper.  If using a regular blender, pulse a few times, stop and scrape, then blend again.  Blend until vegetables are mostly broken up.  Then add remaining ingredients and run on high until totally smooth, adding more liquid and scraping as necessary.

Transfer to glasses and serve, or place in a jar and refrigerate until ready to drink.

Approximate Nutritional Information (calculated through SparkRecipes Recipe Calculator)

1 serving (recipe yields 2 servings)

Calories: 237.7, Total Fat: 17.3 (Saturated Fat: 7.9, Polyunsaturated Fat: 1.9 g, Monounsaturated Fat: 0.0 g), Cholesterol: 0.0 g, Sodium: 97.1 mg, Potassium: 414.5 m, Total Carbohydrate: 16.8 g, Dietary Fiber: 7.7 g, Sugars: 4.3 g, Protein: 7.9 g

Excellent source of Vitamin A, Vitamin C, Folate, Calcium, and Manganese.