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The Green Kitchen: Delicious and Healthy Vegetarian Recipes for Every Day Hardcover – April 1, 2013
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About the Author
A collection of healthy family recipes from the inspiring Green Kitchen Stories blog.
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Top Customer Reviews
I'm going to start with the things I did like about this book first, and then discuss what I didn't.
So far I've made the goji-mango-turmeric, upside-down breakfast, greens for all, and blueberry power smoothies. They were all delicious and the recipe made plenty for myself plus another serving. I absolutely loved the goji, mango, and turmeric smoothie - it tasted so refreshing and different from any smoothie I've ever seen or made. [I liked it a lot more before I added the chia seeds - once I did that and chilled it before going to work, one of my co-workers told me it looked like I was eating marinara sauce.] The others were also excellent - very refreshing, flavorful, filling, and nutritious.
Breakfast, before or after workouts, dessert, and snack time are all well-represented. Every recipe is accompanied by a picture, so you know what the end result will look like. There's an incredible amount of variety here, and any reader should be able to find some really interesting recipes to add to their repertoire. There are green smoothie options, fruit-only smoothies, nut butter based smoothies, and a variety of non-smoothie recipes as well. Many of the recipes are vegan and many of them look like something even a picky eater (kid, other adult, whomever) would enjoy. They're naturally sweetened with fruit - a few call for dates, but many rely on the natural flavors of the ripe produce.
It's billed as a book about smoothies, but 2 of the 6 chapters deal with making nut milks and juicing. I get the nut milk recipes, as many of the smoothies rely on nut or rice milks. Plus, the recipe for making crackers out of the leftover nut pulp is a lovely touch. But the juicing chapter irks me because I don't have a juicer, don't intend on buying a juicer, and wish I had known that 7 of the 59 recipes would be about juicing, another 7 would involve nut milks, 5 would be for nut butter, chia pudding, popsicles, muesli, and granola. That's almost 33% of the book that isn't about smoothies.
Another issue is the lack of advice, anywhere I could see, about how long to chill the smoothies before serving. The instructions just say "serve" or "serve chilled" generally. Smoothies should be consumed reasonably quickly after making them, and there's a particular time window that you'll want to follow when making the recipes that call for chia seeds. Smoothies with chia seeds ought to sit about 15 minutes, but let them sit too long and they become gelatinous, jiggly puddings, which isn't what I want out of my morning smoothie. There aren't very many recipes that use chia seeds (or linseeds), but there are about 10.
All in all, I'm pretty happy with this book. I do wish they'd titled it differently, or focused more on smoothies, but the smoothies I have made have been terrific and I'm excited to continue trying their healthy and tasty concoctions.
I think it’s an important disclosure for anyone considering purchasing this that the title “Green Kitchen Smoothies” suggests this is a book about – and perhaps exclusively about smoothies, which is not quite the case. Though this is the main premise and most dishes center on the basic concept in some way -the book takes things step further exploring nut butters, granolas (things that you could use on top of a smoothie bowl) nut milks, desserts such as ice pops and semi fredo; and pudding bowls.
For those that own their prior book; it was exciting to see this one chock full of new recipes which are divided up into basic recipes, simply smoothies, showstoppers (think toppings, creating layering and simply stunning beautiful concoctions), nut milks, juices and desserts.
The book beings with looking at how best to utilize this book -which usefully contains advice for diabetics or those looking to lower even natural sugar content with substitutions; a look at the smoothies vs juice debate, suggestions about building a smoothie friendly pantry and most useful for me, a how to guide which explores tips on making the perfect smoothie with the ideal components and way to layer in the blender. As a girl who has taken a big gulp of my green smoothie only to ingest a soggy wet leaf from improper blending, this was a neat guide.
The recipes are simple and well thought out: Basic recipes features ideas such as nut butters, granola sand muesli, and then we go into the actual smoothies. There we have ideas for a kids green smoothie, or an adult version, a mocha for use caffeine lovers, a night time smoothie that incorporate chamomile and some great post workout ideas which have ingredients that optimize recovery or performance. I loved this as I workout each morning and am always looking for that perfect post workout food.
The show stopper chapter is my favorite with STUNNING drinks, that though beautiful and quite complex looking, are simple to make. I should also point out that this book, unlike many of its competitors does not require a trip to a special and expensive health food store to procure ingredients, as for the most part, its fruits, Chia seeds, dates and I was excited to have all the ingredients at hand to make their vision of an Acai bowl (pictures to follow). The only things you do need on hand are a blender and should you want to use the juice section -a good juicer.
I love this book for all the creative, beautiful and varied recipes that are not a rehash of other recipes I have seen and cannot wait to work though all the recipes! The beautiful smoothies are also an easy and creative way to sneak more healthful foods into kid’s diets so there is truly something for everyone!
And the photography! Stunning. Honestly, it is difficult to photograph smoothies creatively but once again, the authors have achieved this.
My friend and I have been using this book religiously since we both got it - we come home from school during lunch always hungry and looking forward to making an energy replenishing smoothie that satiates us for the rest of the day. Lovely, lovely, lovely!