Sometimes I start the day feeling like the only way I can wake up properly is with a strong cup of Irish tea or dark coffee. This past week, however, I rediscovered the energizing power of green goodness, in the form of pulverized springtime weeds.
If you were my neighbor, you might have craned your neck several mornings in a row. My hair was a wild bun on top of my head while I wandered along the periphery of our property with my Fiskars scissors poised and ready for attack. I stayed in my long white bathrobe and donned a pair of hefty rubber gardening boots while skirting raindrops and keeping my eyes trained to the ground.
I chose three local varieties of rascally weeds for my spring smoothie: stinging nettles, horsetail shoots, and dandelion greens. I gathered these far away from our house and in areas where I felt certain of soil purity.
Now, if I were pregnant or nursing, I would have avoided the use of horsetail. It’s not recommended for new moms. Its ability to remove heavy metals from the blood offers powerful detoxification and anti-inflammatory benefits, as well as delivering heavy doses of minerals and nutrients, including silica. My research also stated that it’s best to only use horsetail in two-week increments; taking a two-week break is necessary due to the diuretic effects of the plant.
Dandelion greens offer a plethora of benefits, too. Dandelion is great for tummy and tonsil troubles, and it offers a helpful addition to this particular smoothie: loads of potassium. Because loss of potassium is often a concern when taking horsetail, it seemed a nice balance alongside my handful of horsetail shoots.
Lastly, a generous portion of stinging nettles offered yet another kidney-cleansing effect, while delivering high levels of energy-boosting iron. The medicinal benefits of nettle are so robust, I will leave you to your own research.
I piled my ingredients into my Vitamix, along with about 12 oz of purified water, 1-2 fresh Fuji apples, half of a lemon (including seeds and peel), and 1-2 rounded tablespoons of raw honey (I use Honey Gardens Apitherapy raw honey).
I blended it on progressively higher settings for 1-2 minutes, giving it plenty of time to turn into a light, frothy drink.
Maybe it is the mingling of such distinct flavors, or the scent of muddled wilderness on my tongue, but this smoothie has a decidedly different zing to it than any of the other green smoothies I’ve tried. (Don’t fear the sting of nettles, though; pulverizing the nettles removes this concern.) It feels deep-down good to eat food that is so readily available and seasonally appropriate.