Green Power Soups and Salads: Savory & Crunchy Alternative to Green Smoothies
Green smoothies are great, but they are sweet-tasting, and sometimes, for whatever reason, we want a more savory flavor.
Plus, the fruit content in many smoothie recipes may be a problem for some people with diabetes and blood sugar issues.
Also, the smoothies are really, …well… smooth (duh!)- almost like baby food – which is important for good assimilation of nutrients, especially if you add hard-to-chew greens, such as kale or collard greens. So, for variety, you may want to add some crunchiness to your meals from time to time.
Whatever the reason, I encourage to add some Green Power Soup and Salad Recipes to your blending repertoire :-).
Low-Calorie, Low-Sugar, Low-Fat Raw Blended Soups and Salads
Ingredients For Blended Soups: Green Power Soups are made of juicy vegetables and leafy greens. The idea is that you create a soup base first, by blending the tough ingredients with some water, and then add softer ingredients, such as tomatoes, cucumbers, spinach and zucchini and blend everything at low speed to add texture. The soup should have thick, creamy consistency with crunchy texture, and can be eaten from a bowl.
Best Ingredients for Blended Salads. Green Power Salads are made of primarily juicy vegetables and greens, that are blended at lower speeds than smoothies, for shorter times, WITHOUT ANY WATER. They have thicker consistency, crunchy texture, and can be eaten from a bowl like a soup or stew.
The best ingredients for blended salads include cucumbers, tomatoes, celery, peppers, and zucchini, with only delicate greens added, such as spinach or lettuce. The reason not to add hard and bitter greens such as kale is that you are only blending the mixture to a consistency of thick salsa or stew – and these ingredients would make it unpalatable.
Herbs, Sprouts and Condiments. You will want to add lots of herbs, such as basil, dill, parsley, cilantro, and other for outrageously delicious taste. Sprouts are also terrific to add to the blend or just sprinkle on top. If you don’t have fresh herbs, dried herbs are fine too. You may also experiment with other condiments, such as curry powder or hot sauce, onion or garlic.
Sweeteners. Even though this is supposed be a savory tasting recipe, adding some sweetness is really important. Of course, you may skip sweeteners altogether, but – unless you have strong reasons to do it – I really advise you to also add a little bit of sweetness for more yumminess. I like to add some sweet fruits, for example, a piece of a sweet pear, apple, a few strawberries, or grapes, but you may choose to add a little bit of honey, agave syrup, or some other sweetener to make the blended salad even more delicious.
Green Power Creamy Avocado Energy Soup
As I said, the only difference between soup and salad is just that you add a bit of liquid, such as water, to your soup; whereas salads require no added liquid – which makes them a little bit more tricky to do, especially if you don’t have a powerful blender (see the tips below).
So, let’s start with a soup recipe that I put together in a spur of the moment – my husband was coming home soon and I wanted to make a blended salad, but did not have the usual juicy ingredients in my kitchen that are required for salad, such as tomatoes and cucumbers.
I blended the tougher ingredients first – in this case celery with a piece of avocado and a bit of water to create a soup base, and then added other ingredients on low speed to create some texture.
Here are the ingredients that I used (just because I had them in my kitchen at the moment) – and the soup turned out quite tasty!
Ingredients for soup base:
1 large stalk celery
2 lettuce leaves
1/2 small avocado
Blend well on high speed. This will create a nice creamy base.
Ingredients for texture:
1 small zucchini
1/2 pear or a bit of agave (for sweetness)
fresh basil leaves to taste (from my window garden)
a small piece of green onion
Blend on lowest speed that will get the job done. Optionally, you may just chop these ingredients and mix them with the liquid. I also a pinch of salt.
Pour into a bowl and enjoy!
Live Avocado-Cucumber Soup
Here is another soup recipe from my soup ebook. This rich and creamy blend of avocados, cucumbers, and cilantro is luscious and satisfying. It is garnished with pieces of cucumber and cashew sour cream. (To make cashew sour cream simply blend a handful of cashews with water and add a splash of lemon juice.)
Simple and delicious!
How to Make a Blended Salad?
This is important.
Because you are not going to add any water to your salad, so it is important to start with ingredients that contain most water – tomatoes, cucumbers, etc. – so, cut them into pieces and put them into your blender FIRST. Switch your blender ON and keep it on the lowest speed that will get the job done. Next, gradually keep adding other ingredients – leafy greens and herbs. If adding honey or other sweetener, add it to the mix at the end, so it doesn’t just stick to the container.
This is important especially if you are using a regular blender to make the blended salad, and not VitaMix – which is the best blender on the market to make green smoothies and blended salads. It’s expensive, but totally worth it!
Low-Calorie, Fat-Free Blended Salad Recipe (No Salad Dressing Required!)
The problem with many salads is that the greens are soaked in fatty dressings with many unhealthy ingredients. Of course, you may make healthy low fat salad dressing yourself using a blender, like I describe in one of my other posts.
This Italian-flavored Green Power Salad requires no salad dressing whatsoever – and it still tastes delicious!
• 1 stalk celery
• 2 tomatoes
• 1 cucumber
• 2 scallions
• some fresh basil leaves (adjust quantity to taste)
• some fresh oregano (can substitute dried oregano)
• raw honey or raw agave nectar (adjust quantity to taste)
• optional jalapeno or other hot pepper
• 5 oz spinach
• optional toppings: handful sweet bell pepper, diced, 1 chopped celery stalk
Save 1/2 tomato and a piece of cucumber for garnish. Blend the remaining tomatoes, cucumber and celery in your blender.
Chop the remaining ingredients and add to your blender and blend on slow speed. If you don’t have a powerful blender, then you may want to add spinach gradually as you blend. Remember to use low speed. If you have a Vitamix, use the pusher to help do the job.
Pour the salad into a bowl. Chop remaining tomato and cucumber and sprinkle on top.
Questions? Comments? Suggestions?
If you have a favorite recipe, why not submit it here in the comment section of this smoothie recipes blog for others to enjoy too!
I also welcome any comments, questions and suggestions. Thanks!