March 21, 2015
Happy second day of spring! It even looks like spring here in Manitoba, which is unusual for March. And I can’t think of a better way of celebrating spring than with a green smoothie.
I have been on a green smoothie craze for almost 2 years now (1 year, 11 months to be exact). I consume about a litre of green smoothie almost every day and am more convinced than ever on the importance of a plentitude of leafy greens in our diet. The best resource on information on green smoothies can be found in the Raw Family blog. It is this blog that convinced me to add green smoothies to my diet and also to use wild greens. I am anxiously awaiting the first green shoots and can’t wait for the dandelion, nettle and sorrel to appear. But in the meantime, there is fennel.
I am a newcomer to using fennel. I had never eaten it until about a month ago when a friend made me a fennel salad. It was so delicious, I pretty much consumed the whole bulb myself. The salad was simply sliced fennel bulb tossed with a small amount of olive oil. That’s it. Thank you Shirley. The best things in life are simple.
When grocery shopping this week, I spied fennel. I bought one to recreate that Fennel and Olive Oil Salad. When I got home I began wondering whether the rest of the plant was edible or not – all those luscious ferny greens couldn’t just be compost. Google came to the rescue, and I was thrilled to discover the entire plant is edible. The thicker stems we ate (more like devoured) like celery. They have a delicious mild licorice taste. And the delicate ferny leaves and smaller stems, I chopped up for a green smoothie.
This smoothie is so delicious, you will want to save it for dessert. Or add chia seeds to it and make a green pudding for a perfect spring pudding.
- 3 oranges, peeled and sliced
- 1 cup frozen mango cubes
- 1 banana, peeled and sliced
- zest of 1 orange (optional)
- 2 cups fennel leaves
- 2 cups water
Strip the green ferny leaves and some of the smaller stems from a large fennel bulb. Wash, dry and chop roughly. In a blender, combine all the ingredients and blend until smooth. Serve chilled.
FENNEL GREEN PUDDING
- 1 1/2 cup fennel smoothie
- 3 tablespoons chia seeds
- shredded unsweetened coconut (optional)
Mix the fennel smoothie and chia seeds well and place in the refrigerator for 1 to 2 hours, or until the chia seeds have softened and the pudding is set. Top with a sprinkling of unsweetened shredded coconut.
Either as a smoothie or a pudding, the mild anise flavor of fennel makes it a perfect end to a meal. Just 4 days to late for St. Patrick’s Day.