Dandelion Greens Smoothie Cubes
I know greens are good for me…
I know I need to eat them daily…
But that doesn’t change the fact that, if given the choice between a brownie and a raw kale salad…
The brownie wins every.single.time.
So I’m always looking for quick and easy ways to get my greens in — ways that don’t require juicing.
That’s why I created my Hippie Juice, which I am still totally in love with!
In Chinese medicine, Spring is the time of year for liver detox.
Spring represents a new beginning and a time to refresh the mind and body.
TCM values the liver as one of the most important organs in the body. The main job of the liver is to spread and regulate QI (energy flow) throughout the rest of the body. This is why the liver is one of the organs emphasized for spring. The liver absorbs everything our body takes in and ingests, being the holder and detoxifier of blood that is circulated throughout the body. (Source.)
Because they contain chlorophyll (the stuff that makes plants green), greens are crucial for detoxing our entire bodies, especially our livers!
Chlorophyll binds to heavy metals and other carcinogens in our bodies and basically escorts them out the door via the urine and stool (source). Since our livers are a major storage port for these harmful substances, we can assist our liver’s detoxing abilities by consuming more chlorophyll-rich foods.
- dark, leafy greens, especially spinach and kale
- herbs like parsley and cilantro
- alfalfa leaf
- wheatgrass and barley grass
- spirulina and chlorella
- green veggies like peas, asparagus, and broccoli
- and, of course, dandelion greens!
But Why Dandelion Greens??? Can’t I Just Eat A Salad?
- They’re super high in Vitamin K, providing 535% of the recommended daily value of this vitamin that may be the most important plant source to strengthen bones and fight Alzheimer’s;
- They contain a flavonoid called zeaxanthin that protects the eyes and skin from UV rays;
- They’re high in fiber and help our bodies get rid of waste;
- They contain tons of B vitamins;
- They’re high in Vitamin C, so they’re excellent for the immune system and adrenal glands;
- They’ve got lots of minerals including potassium, calcium, magnesium, copper, and folate! (Source.)
Dandelion Greens Smoothie Cubes
In my efforts to make my greens as easy to consume as possible, I’ve created super concentrated, raw dandelion greens smoothie cubes.
They’re little ice cubes of raw dandelion greens and a bit of water that you can throw straight into a smoothie or Hippie Juice, like I do.
The bunches I purchased ended up being 3 packed cups. So for me, 1 bunch of dandelion greens yielded between 10-12 tablespoons of chlorophyll-rich green concentrate.
Dandelion greens also spoil quickly. These Dandelion greens smoothie cubes are a way to preserve your greens without taking up a lot of space in your freezer. This will take you less than 5 minutes, so you can do this as soon as you bring your greens home and they won’t go to waste!
Here’s what you need:
- 3 packed cups of raw, organic dandelion greens, washed well
- 1/2 cup filtered water
- a silicon ice cube tray or 2
Yields 10 to 12 smoothie cubes.
Here’s how to do it:
Begin by washing the greens well and removing any brown or slimy leaves. Add the greens to a high-powered blender, along with 1/2 cup of water. Pack the greens down.
Pulse the blender until the mixture begins to smooth into a thin paste. Be prepared for your nose to be filled with the smell of freshly mown grass as soon as you take the lid off your blender! 😉
Using a tablespoon to measure, transfer the pureed greens to a silicon ice cube tray, no more than 1 tablespoon per cube. Place in the freezer at least 4 to 6 hours, or until totally solid.
Sourcing Dandelion Greens
The dandelions are barely out where I live, so I found organic ones at the local health food co-op for less than $4 per bunch. Lots of health food stores will have dandelion greens this time of year.
If dandelions grow prolifically in your yard and you don’t use pesticides or herbicides, harvest those — they’re FREE!
Do not use dandelion greens that grow on busy roads or highways, because, car exhaust. And don’t forage in your neighbor’s yard unless you ask first and make sure he doesn’t use Round-up on his yard. Where I live, the electric company often sprays herbicides on the side of the road around electricity poles, so I stay away from foraging for anything around those areas and you should too.
Be aware of stuff like that — this is a DETOXIFYING food, you don’t want to add more toxins!