In terms of greens, so far I’ve only described baby spinach in detail. Once you’ve gotten comfortable with baby spinach (which shouldn’t take long since it’s so mild), it’s worth branching out to other greens for the sake of variety (nutritional and taste), and also because they can be significantly cheaper. The other greens I use are kale, collard greens, swiss chard, and sometimes lettuce. I’ve read about people using other greens like dandelion and mustard, but I haven’t had them, and it sounds like their flavor is a lot sharper.
Raw kale and collards have a bitterness that certain other ingredients can balance out. So far I have used citrus and/or ginger to balance the bitterness. Some people add sweeteners, but I stick with whole fruits because I think it’s a healthier choice. One other thing is that your sense of taste will adapt over time, so you can get used to the stronger flavor of greens and add more of them as time goes on. Also, younger, smaller leaves are generally less bitter.
I wash the leaves carefully, and at the minimum I cut off the very bottom quarter inch of the stalks where they get dried out. Depending on how adventurous I’m feeling I’ll either add the rest of the whole stem, or remove some of it and compost it.
All this talk about greens, and it turns out that this week I bought purple kale that is not very green. I found it really cheap and fresh at the farmers market. The kale was on the young and tender side, so there was no question about including the entire stalks. This week I didn’t have any oranges, so I used half a lemon instead. I wanted to capitalize on the purpleness, so I added more blueberries than I normally do.
6 oz water
1 small persimmon (quartered)
1/2 lemon (peeled)
1 small apple (quartered and cored)
2 Tbsp chia seeds
2 large handfuls kale
very small piece of ginger
1 cup frozen blueberries
4 ice cubes