One of the easiest take-aways from my experience at the Wild Food Retreat with Katrina Blair was the practice of drinking 2 green juices a day.
Before I eat my breakfast I have a simple, quick green juice and again later while I am preparing dinner. I always made drinking a green beverage so complicated by packing the blender full of produce, herbs and whatever I had on had considered healthy like coconut oil, flax-seed, aloe vera etc. I don’t think this is a bad idea, especially if I happened to eat something that was tasty at the time but later regretted… Consequently, the flavor isn’t always appealing and most often difficult to swallow. When Katrina shared this lifelong practice that her Mother, Pat Blair introduced when she was a young girl, I realized that incorporating this ritual into my day would be an easy modification to my diet. Not to mention how surprised I was at the flavor. Nothing complicated, just the basics. It is so easy, quick and actually very delicious. The idea is to incorporate more of the nutritious wild “weeds” available in abundance and free, but it can be assembled with any fresh greens that you may have on hand. The concept is that less is more. You don’t need to jam everything into one drink, when you can have a simple green juice a couple of times a day to supplement an all around healthy diet of fruits and vegetables.
For example, you can harvest a handful of highly nutritious dandelion leaves from your backyard (considering you have not applied fertilizers, pesticides or herbicides within the area) by simply plucking or clipping them and shaking off any residue. If you have good, clean soil void of harmful chemicals, having a little bit of mineral rich, and healthy microbials from the earth a.k.a. DIRT is actually beneficial for our bodies. So, you don’t necessarily need to wash the greens unless you find critters on them or they are very dirty. In other words, a little dirt doesn’t hurt. Tear or cut the greens into large chunks, (this makes blending easier) put them in the blender with 1 whole apple cut into chunks and clean water filled to the desired amount of juice you would like. Blend until the consistency is completely smooth with no pieces visible. Pour into a glass and enjoy. It is very satisfying. For a fresh zip, add a couple of mint leaves before blending. To sweeten you can add a little honey before blending. This easy green drink is incredible with wheat grass or thistle leaves. Harvesting thistle leaves is a delicate process. It is advisable to wear garden gloves and use small shears to clip the leaves. I personally prefer young thistle leaves while they are a fabulous forest green color, thick and juicy. After blending thistle and wheat grass you MUST strain out the pulp. Our stomachs have a difficult time digesting the cellulose and it would not be appetizing to eat the prickles from the thistle leaves. The pulp can be added to your compost or you can mix it with your dog’s food. Mine love thistle and wheat grass pulp.
These examples of green juices are full of many vitamins, minerals, phytonutrients, chlorophyll, antioxidants and many more amazing nutrients our bodies crave. Adding this drink to your day only takes minutes and will take years off your age. In many cases, it is nearly free – if you harvest your greens from your wild backyard. A word of caution: be confident in the identification of the plant greens you use. Dandelions are notorious and easily identifiable, but do not use any greens from the wild that you aren’t sure of the species. In some upcoming posts, I will discuss in greater depth the medicinal and nutritional benefits of some individual plants from the wild that we call “weeds”.