Most people eat from their garden. My wife, Nancy, and I drink from ours. We call it our smoothie garden.
It started about four years ago. We had been reading about the benefits of soy isoflavones and were looking for ways to get more soy into our diet, which isn't a hugely easy thing to do. Whole soybeans are tough to chew and even harder to digest. Soy powders are too expensive. Soy milk doesn't have enough isoflavones to make a difference. Tempeh and tofu are great sources, and we love them both, but there's a limit to how much tofu and tempeh you can eat in a day.
Then we started making smoothies for breakfast. We started with fruit smoothies, using fruit juice as a base, then tossing in a chunk of tofu, a banana, maybe some berries and yogurt.
They were tasty ... maybe too tasty. With a history of diabetes in my family, I started to worry about all that sugar every morning, so we started adding veggies to cut down on the sweetness. A carrot here, a cucumber there. Then came summer, when we were facing a horde of tomatoes, cucumbers and peppers. We had already canned, dried and frozen all we could handle, so we started throwing the surplus in the blender.
As our taste buds got used to veggie smoothies, we started throwing kale, collards and assorted salad greens into the mix. When winter cold season came on, we started adding a small piece — which later became bigger hunks — of raw ginger root for its potent medicinal benefits.
Over time, our smoothies became nutrient dumps. We add lecithin, essential-fatty-acid oils, ground flaxseeds and sesame seeds.
This spring we planted our garden with smoothies in mind, and we've been drinking from the ground ever since. Our current favorite starts with five or six tomatoes straight off the vine, a cucumber and a sweet red or yellow bell pepper. Some days we'll throw a raw beet in here. We almost always add collards or kale. Ginger, tofu and flaxseeds are standard. Next time I go to the store, I'm buying some chia seeds, which recently have been found to contain even more EFAs than flax.
It's almost become an addiction. With fall already here and winter coming, we're wondering where we'll get the produce we need. We might have to put up a smoothie greenhouse.