You graduated Green Smoothie 101 with honors, and you're ready for some fresh ideas to elevate your morning beauty drink. While you've probably been encouraged to start acquiring exotic powders and superfood berries to take your smoothies to a new level, I have a different suggestion: rethink what you throw in the trash.
When it comes to veggies, one person's trash is another person's smoothie base! Now, don't get all grossed out on me. I just want you to consider that the odds & ends that you usually put down the garbage disposal or in the compost might actually be blendable beauty nutrition that's going to waste. Here are the powerful smoothie components that you might be tossing out by accident:
- Stalks. What happens when you only want to use the pretty broccoli florets in your salad? The stalks get tossed out with the trash. Next time, cut off any tough spots with a paring knife and blend broccoli stalks up in your smoothie- they're mild, sweet and delicious, and one of my favorite smoothie additions.
- Tops. You use radishes in your salad, but you throw away the greens. Or you roast beets or turnips and leave the greens to wilt in the fridge. You even toss the (edible) leaves on your celery. Instead, make them prime smoothie material.
- Stems. You wouldn't serve the stems of parsley or dandelion greens in your salad, for example, but there's no reason to throw them in the trash. Toss the stems of your herbs (not woody herbs like rosemary and thyme, use only soft stems like those of cilantro, mint and parsley) and the stems of greens in your smoothies for major beauty nutrition.
- Peels. If you're using organic fruits and vegetables in your kitchen, there's no reason to let the peels (often where the nutrition is most concentrated) go to waste. Blend up the organic peels of organic apple, carrots and celery, and include pieces of organic lemon peel as well—they are packed with skin-strengthening bioflavonoids.
- Leaves. Outer leaves, that is. The outer leaves of lettuce and cabbage are often bruised and torn, so they don't look great in your salads. But as long as they're not spoiled, they make excellent additions to a smoothie. Once they're in the blender, you'll never know that they weren't picture perfect.
See how these forgotten bits of fruits and veggies can really take your smoothie nutrition to a new level? I often fill the blender with veggie pieces while I'm cooking dinner, top it off with my fresh greens, and have a fresh smoothie ready for breakfast before sitting down to my evening meal.
Do you have any other ideas for odds & ends that make great smoothie material? I'd love to hear them!
Peels photo by Lenore Edman