Today I’m giving you my recipe for deliciously sweet green smoothie with home-made grape juice and kale. The grapes that I used for the juice were very tiny red fruits, with seeds (lots of them!), and very sweet — and they came from my parent’s garden (more about this later), so technically they were self-grown (if not by me personally, but by my mom).
You’ll find the recipe below, but first let me ask you – how would you like to grow your own grapes – to make juices, smoothies or perhaps even your own wine? Doesn’t it sound like fun? If it does, why don’t you?
Few people in the U.S. use their land for anything more than lawns, but in the parts of Europe where I live now, the concept of growing your own food is very popular. In Poland, the institution of ‘działka’, which is a small parcel of land that people use for planting gardens — mostly fruits and vegetables, but also flowers, and recently more and more commonly — just grass- is still very much alive and very common. The land is usually not owned, but just leased for long-term use. It’s different from a regular garden in your backyard, because it’s usually not where you live – so you may be living in an apartment in the center of town, and have a działka in another part of town, with just a shed or small summer house. Działkas used to be very popular years back with people who wanted to save money by growing their own food – and they still are today.
[As a side note –
I cannot help but wonder how much of the current health and environmental crisis is due to the fact that so many of us are so detached from where our food comes from and how it’s grown – caring only about how much it costs and how quickly it can be served and consumed – usually in between or during other activities, rarely do we give it enough time – cooking and loving preparation, as well as slow, relaxed consumption, not to even mention PLANTING IT, WATCHING IT GROW and HARVESTING.
And I’m not even talking about knowing things like where milk comes from (many people, even grown-up and educated adults believe that cows just ‘give milk’ and are completely ignorant about the whole process — I know because I used to be one of them). No, I’m talking even fruits and vegetables — and children having the experience of witnessing the food GROWING, and being HARVESTED — not just bought in bright packaging from a supermarket — I know it’s revolutionary, right!
End of side note. ]
My dad, who passed away a couple of years back, loved growing all kinds of fruits and veggies on his parcel. Located in the opposite part of Warsaw, its major drawback is that it takes about 30 minutes to get there from where my parent’s apartment. My mom is not as passionate about gardening work (to put it mildly), but some of the trees and shrubs – such as raspberries, red and black currants, sour cherries and gooseberries – HARDLY REQUIRE ANY WORK AT ALL, and JUST KEEP GIVING FRUIT – and plenty of it -despite tough love and very dry summer – perhaps one of the driest in this century. They practically grow and give bountiful fruits all by themselves, no hard work required.
So that’s what I have – a działka inherited from my dad.
And now, come September and October – there were grapes! Lots of them!
Green and red, albeit tiny, very sweet and really delicious.
I really wonder why more people don’t grow fruits and veggies in their backyards in the U.S. more. It’s so easy and so much fun! I know some people do it, but really it’s a tiny percentage.
Considering that so much time is spent mowing the lawns, and so much water to keep them green – why not have some culinary enjoyment instead of simply a good looking – but totally useless – piece of land. It’s a great way to make what’s inherently super-inefficient — consuming time, resources (water!) and polluting the environment — into your own little paradise and garden of Eden ;-).
So, back to the recipe – after the last visit from działka (in October), I came home with three large baskets full of deliciously sweet dark grapes.
Eating them was certainly an option; but they were really small and each had seeds, which I don’t particularly like to chew on and swallow. My husband suggested making wine – and it’s something you may consider, but I’m not a big fan of letting perfectly good grape juice go bad (or, as some call it, ferment), so started experimenting with various juicing and smoothie recipes.
Here is the green smoothie I made using those grapes:
Green Smoothie with Grape Juice Recipe
3 cups grapes
3 kale leaves, without stem
1 large cucumber, peeled if not organic, cut into pieces
1 banana (optional)
1 cup water
Remove stems and blend grapes with water on high settings in your blender. Pour the mixture through the strainer to remove the seeds. Rinse the blender container.
Blend all ingredients with the juice on high until very smooth, pour into glasses and enjoy!
To your health,
PS. Why not make growing your own favorite fruits and veggies into your own family tradition and ritual? For more about challenging the existing traditions, and creating new ones – join me in my Challenging Traditions challenge (coming soon)– sign up HERE … sign up here to receive notification about when it starts, as well as about other programs that I’m running.
PPS. I love drinking green smoothies and juices – and I hope you do too! They are not just delicious, but provide many health benefits as well.
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