The Green Canteen Smoothie / by Christine Pedlar

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One of my best friends lives in Portland which is a great food city. When I visit, we get to catch up and eat. But man, that food can be rich. Tasty and Sons, Pine State Biscuits, I'm looking at you. So on a day when I had to seek out lunch solo, I set out to find some yin to this kind of yang and stumbled upon a vegan joint called Canteen. They make a mean walnut taco salad, and smoothie maker that I am, I fell in love with their Apple Ginger Greens. I went back the next day for another one and then set off to recreate this at home (with some embellishments). Now it's my go-to daily drinker and preferred reset button for overindulgent times. Hello, bright, fresh, photosynthesis in a glass. 

Notes: Smoothies are best when consumed immediately before ingredients start to separate. If that does happen, 'cause hey life, simply grab a spoon and stir. Just don't wait too long. There is a point at which the funk sets in, and no one wants to drink that. Trust me. 

Kid stuff: Smoothies are also a legit way to get healthy stuff into the bellies of the little people in your life. Smiles and yums are much more fun than having to deal with kids' grumbles and eww's as they push something green around their plates. You know they're hoping you step away from the table long enough that they can slip it to the dog or sneak it into the garbage disposal (my sister's signature move when we were little). If you get the kids involved in the smoothie making process, this only increases the chances of them loving what you've made together. Plus, bonding. So, blend, taste, experiment. Color outside the lines and blend again. Does it need more banana? More berries? Toss it in! And when you get them to sign off with a thumbs up and a nod, they've just entered into a contract with you. Yes, kid, now you've got to drink the whole glass. I'm a cunning aunty like that, and usually, I'm rewarded with grins and smoothie mustaches all around. 

For The Green Canteen, you'll want to either skip or go easy on the ginger until you know what their sensitive palettes are up for. Baby spinach is the mildest of greens and so the least noticeable. I'm a fan of the mixed bags of baby chard, baby kale, and baby spinach which are often marketed as “super greens” or “power greens.” Costco is a great place to source a nice big bag for a reasonable price. Play around, see what you like, then keep some on hand. 

Variations: For a cooler, thicker treat on a hot day, substitute 1 cup of frozen mango for the ice. You can also blend in some fresh mint leaves to add even more tropical summer flavor. And really, swapping in any frozen fruit can mix this up if you start to get bored.

Time: 10 minutes
Servings: 2 16 ounce glasses

Place ingredients in a blender going down this list in order, first to last. The layering order makes a difference. And yes, there's an infographic for that. 

1 cup unsweetened coconut milk or water (depending on if you want a creamier or lighter taste and texture) 
1 lemon, juiced
5 ounces greens
1 apple
1 inch piece of ginger
5 dates
2 tablespoons hemp seeds
1 ½ cups ice
Optional: ½ tbsp to 1 tbsp honey (if you or the kids need more sweetness). Add to blender after coconut milk or coconut water. 

Blend well. Enjoy!