Wheat and Barley Grass

Pines Barley Grass and Wheat Grass. Pic by M.C.

Pines Wheat Grass is one of the staples my family has been buying since I was a teenager. I am going to talk about some basic tools in my kit this week. Wheatgrass is one of them. Barley grass is a little newer to my toolkit.

I prefer the powdered version, but I was only able to get the tablets at the health food store. I love the smell of wheatgrass. I think the powder smells like chocolate.

I eat a ton a veggies, but I still like to take Pines wheatgrass or barley grass. I put the powder in water when I need a pick me up. I have given it to my diabetic neighbor when her blood sugar was low. She really liked it. My dad has used it for years and it helps with his diabetes. He even grew some peach fuzz on his balding scalp. You’ll see on YouTube a lady growing streaks of blond hair after having a head of gray hair.

It’s also great stuff for those who don’t eat their veggies. Or it’s great for travel when you can’t eat fresh veggies. And in these uncertain times, it’s great to have this in your cupboard. You can survive on water and wheatgrass if you really have to.

Wheatgrass has antioxidant, antibacterial, and anti-inflammatory properties. It’s great for your immune system, heart health, and gut health. It has calcium, potassium, and manganese for muscle and energy production. There is a significant amount of vitamin A for the eyes, vitamin C to ward off colds, iron for getting oxygen to the muscles, and folate for red cell production and to fight anemia.

Barley grass provides a natural balance of protein, minerals, vitamins, dietary fiber, chlorophyll, and carotenoids. Some people prefer the taste over wheatgrass. Pines cuts their barley grass earlier than their competitors so you get all the nutrients at their height.

Both have chlorophyll and protein. Two potentially hot topics. Baby formula and veggie eaters getting their protein. Chlorophyll improves milk function in lactating mothers. Yep. (For those who have that option.) And veggies do have protein. With seven tablets of either grass you will get 1 gram of protein.

Pines’ grasses are gluten free, non-gmo, raw, and USDA organic. Yeah they are gluten free because they cut the grass low and early. They are packed in brown glass to preserve the product.

You can take seven tablets or one tablespoon of either to get a serving of deep green leafy vegetables. Wheatgrass or barley grass also is good in a smoothie. And I paid $18 for 250 tablets of Pines. I’m chewing on one right now. Yum!

Happy Vegan!

From blog of melissacrismon.com

Copyright 2022 Melissa Crismon

Smoothie Bowl

The Rise n’ Shine Smoothie Bowl and The Plant-Based Cookbook by Ashley Madden on a sunny California day. Pic by M.C.

If I could only take one thing to a deserted island it would be a Rise n’ Shine Smoothie Bowl by Ashley Madden.

The first time I had a pitaya smoothie bowl, or sometimes spelled pitahaya, I was in Johnson City, Tennessee at the Java Juice House watching a dusting of snow fall. Pitaya is a dragon fruit probably coming from Mexico to California in my area. You can buy frozen dragon fruit. The directions basically have you make a smoothie. Then Renaissance Man bought me The Plant-Based Cookbook: Vegan, Gluten-Free, Oil-Free Recipes for Lifelong Health by Ashley Madden B.Sc. (Pharm), ACPR, C.H.N. I made the Rise n’ Shine Smoothie Bowl from Madden’s cookbook. The recipe is just as good as my first pitaya if not better.

Here is Ashley Madden’s recipe and then my variations.

½ cup unsweetened almond milk
1 large frozen banana
1 heaping cup frozen mango or mixed berries
1 cup packed baby spinach
1 Tbsp. whole flax seeds
1 Tbsp. well-stirred almond butter
Pinch of cinnamon

Optional Toppings:
Chia seeds, goji berries, fresh berries, shredded coconut

Yield: 2 servings

Add all the smoothie ingredients to a blender. Then divide the smoothie between two bowls and garnish.

Smoothie with frozen berries. Pic by M.C.

The bowl with Wyman’s frozen triple berries comes out as a lavender or purple colored smoothie.

Smoothie with frozen passion fruit. Pic by M.C.

The light green smoothie is with frozen passion fruit.

Smoothie with frozen dragon fruit. Pic by M.C.

The medium green smoothie is from me taking a fresh pitaya, peeling, dicing, and then freezing it overnight. I buy a yellow fruit with white flesh, which you can see the spinach will dominate the color of the smoothie. Fresh dragon fruit is my favorite. It will come out tasting like frozen yogurt. I can really taste the almond milk and almond butter. Right now a fresh dragon fruit is $19.99 a pound at my health food store so be on the lookout for a better price. Or you can buy the more affordable frozen dragon fruit with the hot pink flesh which will give you a hot pink smoothie.

Making my own frozen dragon fruit. Pic by M.C.

All other smoothie bowls I have had at a restaurant put the nut butter on top. Simply blending it with the smoothie like Madden suggests makes a big yummy difference.

The toppings I usually use are a banana, blueberries, raspberries, dark chocolate chips, chia seeds, and coconut flakes. In the top photo I added agave syrup which is the old way I used to make the recipe. The recipe above doesn’t need any added sweetness, but sometimes I will add a Medjool date to the smoothie if I need to use the dates or just want the smoothie sweeter. Also, if I don’t have almond butter I use peanut butter. And I use flax seed meal since I can’t find the seeds.

I have collected healthy cookbooks through the years that capture the essence of a plant-based diet for a particular decade. Ashley Madden’s The Plant-Based Cookbook: Vegan, Gluten-Free, Oil-Free Recipes for Lifelong Health is the cookbook for our generation. Pick up her book at Amazon.

And if you’re in Tennessee check out Java Juice House.

Have fun making your smoothie bowl!

Happy Vegan!

Copyright 2022 Melissa Crismon