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the green drink


The first time I went camping, in my whole life, was only two short years ago. Our family holidays always saw us on a beach or at an amusement park in the winter because summertime was just too busy with gardening, work and being happy with the sun-dappled walls and rich soils of home. I had been with my man for almost a year when he proposed a little canoe + camping jaunt for a weekend in the summer. I was coming off of about 6 years in the city at that point. I didn’t really know if I was a wilderness enthusiast/type yet, but when I started to think about wood-fired breakfasts, the sheer density of trees, and when Mark mentioned offhand that the whole thing would be pretty romantic, I was all in.

I bought some hippie-dip s’mores fixins, some cheap-o water shoes at Mark’s recommendation, worried about staying hydrated, made up little batches of homespun instant oatmeal, packed a Malcolm Gladwell book for extra lightness and some other things. We woke up way before the sun to start on the 5 hour drive. There were road stops. I drank a coffee (rarely, if ever, drank coffee back then). I ate a doughnut (same rarity of occurrence–went for sprinkles, duh). I couldn’t believe that even the little Tim Hortons shops were surrounded by conifer-draped cliffs. All the rough trucker dudes just having their first coffee were probably weirded out by the wide-eyed, jorts-clad little lady in the parking lot taking pictures of everything. We weren’t even close to the park yet.

We eventually got to the park entrance. The little shop that sold firewood also had a particularly rich selection of bear figurines and bacon. We set the canoe in at the launching point. The water was shallow, clear and cold. There were two mountainous hills covered in foliage straight ahead. Mark had told me that the 3 hour canoe trip we were about to embark on was pretty much rookie-level. I got a quick tutorial on paddling technique, but I mean I had prepared by doing some dry strokes at my desk informed by Wikipedia, so was basically pro at that point. Once we had been going for a bit and had separated from the other boats, this comment just spontaneously came out of my mouth: “It smells like mulch everywhere!”

So my initial brush with wilderness had me comparing its overall atmospheric greatness to that pre-bagged shredded business that you can buy for your garden to keep the moisture in (and the weeds out, HOLLA). Totally normal.

I was hooked after that trip though. The quiet, the simpler mode of living, the romance of it, the warm glow of fire for hours at night, the growing optimistic hunch that maybe the whole world could be covered in trees. The experience and mindset wouldn’t have even entered my realm of possibility if Mark hadn’t (handsomely) strolled right into my life. I always bust out that crucial chorus from the 90’s Salt ‘N’ Pepa CLASSIC “Whatta Man” when he does something particularly great, but actually? He is kinda mighty(, mighty) good.

This green drink isn’t exactly optimal camping food, BUT. It’s been keeping me energetic while I sort out and check off what I need for our little wilderness jaunt this weekend (!!!). I go in phases where I absolutely love this stuff for breakfast. It’s green, sure, but it’s also minty, punctuated with a nice hit of lime, cold from frozen peaches/mango and lightly sweet. Sometimes I’ll tote one to work if I haven’t had enough time to rustle up a little meal pre-shift and it most definitely hits the spot. Anyway, I know there’s a lot of green drinks and smoothie recipes out there, kale is the new beef, for your health!, yadda yadda–but this one is my favourite because it really does taste great and I feel like a million bucks once I finish up that last sip. Whatta drink, whatta drink, whatta drink, what a mighty good draaaank. (Had to.)

the green drink recipe
serves: 1
notes: I generally aim for milder greens here. I love kale, but it can be a touch strong in this particular application. Chard, spinach, romaine and beet greens are preferable, friends. If you’re opting for filtered water instead of coconut water, I would add some more frozen fruit to make up the extra sweetness.

1 1/4 cup cold coconut water or filtered water
juice of 1 lime
1 1/2 cups rough chopped greens, lightly packed
handful flat leaf parsley, cilantro or mint leaves, or a combination (mint + parsley is my fave)
1/2 an English cucumber, rough dice
1 small apple, cored and rough diced
1/2 cup frozen + diced peaches or mango
little piece of peeled ginger (optional)

Combine all of the ingredients in the blender in the order specified and blend on high for a minute or so. Once the greens are fully incorporated/non-chunky, you’re good. Drink it up!

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Sophie01/08/2013 - 6:05 am

I love green smoothies! Your photos are absolutely gorgeous.

Emma Galloway01/08/2013 - 8:51 am

We LOVE green smoothies in this house :-)

Amanda01/08/2013 - 9:07 am

I am a lover of green smoothies and this looks like an amazing combination. I have everything in my kitchen to whip one of these bad boys up, it will make the perfect post-yoga refresher. And make up for the bagel and cream cheese I just inhaled. Oops!

michelle01/08/2013 - 9:09 am

hey there pretty lady!

Blaine Arin01/08/2013 - 9:26 am

What a mighty might good drink indeed! Just looking at it makes me feel all healthy and virtuous.

Your wilderness jaunt sounds crazy fun, I haven’t done something like that since camping out in a Texas state park when I was a freshman in high school. There’s definitely sumpthin’ about it!

Have an amazing jaunt!

carey01/08/2013 - 9:59 am

Heck yes green drink! I resisted greens in drinks for a while (which I’m sure is something most people can say), but I got past it pretty quickly when J began running the cafe/juice/smoothie bar at the natural foods market in town. I have yet to try parsley in a drink though, and I don’t know how that’s possible. Needs to happen asap-like.

Steph @ stephsapartmentkitchen01/08/2013 - 10:08 am

I love green smoothies! Your comment about the peaches / mangos is so important. I’ve found that adding just a few slices gives the smoothie a really creamy consistency, and makes it so sweet and delicious!

tara01/08/2013 - 10:46 am

You’re adorable. And really, you can’t go wrong with a Niagara peach.

Lindsay Frélot01/08/2013 - 12:10 pm

Beautiful recipe! I always like new ideas when it comes to green drinks! Haven’t tried peaches yet and it sounds delightful! Thanks! Lindsay

I do love green smothies, drink them quite often and I do love your story. Camping is in my blood, I just have to do it.

Courtney01/08/2013 - 3:09 pm

Why have I never thought to put peaches in my green smoothies?! Going to have to try this soon. Oh, and I totally have that salt ‘n’ pepa song stuck in my head now :)

Amanda @ Once Upon a Recipe01/08/2013 - 5:36 pm

This smoothie it totally the answer to my desire to incorporate more greens into my life. Perfection!
PS. Have a wonderful adventure!

Tianna01/08/2013 - 6:32 pm

this sounds lovely! I’m a huge fan of green drinks and smoothies thanks for sharing your recpe ♥

Jaimie01/08/2013 - 10:30 pm

Ok. You’re too cute. That first photo is SO HAPPY! I am in love. This green drink sounds lovely.. glad you didn’t use kale.. I totally agree that it isn’t really suited for this type of beverage. Question: do you need to strain?

e / dig in hobart01/08/2013 - 11:36 pm

it sure is green! i feel healthier and energised just looking at your photos. looks like the perfect summer treat.

Laura Wright02/08/2013 - 12:20 am

Hey Jaimie!
Thanks for your sweet comment. I have a high powered blender, so I never strain. There might be a tiny bit of “chew” involved if you’re doing this in a regular blender. See what it’s like. A strain might not be a bad idea!
-L

Kiran @ KiranTarun.com02/08/2013 - 1:30 am

Divine! This is one of my favorite green juice combo!!

Julia02/08/2013 - 8:31 am

i love everything about this smoothie!!!! thx :)

[...] I’ve felt so much more energetic this week getting back into my green smoothies [...]

Kathryn02/08/2013 - 5:21 pm

I’ve never actually been camping which I’ve never regretted until now and after reading this all I can think about is how much I want to go out there and explore the wilderness (so long as there are s’mores involved of course). Have an adventure-filled weekend of fun : )

hungryandfrozen02/08/2013 - 9:45 pm

I love that there’s no banana in this! Frozen peach is much more fun.

My family went camping at this one spot every year since I was a baby (they still do!) and even though I’ve never been the wilderness type, I do love it. All the reading and cosiness and sunburn and mosquito bites and uncomfortable beds and why do I love it again?

Also thanks for getting that song in my head :)

Brandon @ Kitchen Konfidence03/08/2013 - 5:28 pm

Now THAT is one green smoothie. Looks so delicious.

SARAH03/08/2013 - 5:30 pm

Love this so much! The recipe, of course, which looks delicious (and sooo much better than the typical kale-celery-kelp concoction!), but also the writing. I have been craving nature in a very serious way lately, as many city-folk tend to do this glorious time of year. Thank you for yet another gorgeous and inspiring post!

Stephanie @ Eat My Tortes04/08/2013 - 10:24 am

your photos are gorgeous! green smoothie with no banana–can’t wait to try!

linda jaseck05/08/2013 - 10:27 am

this is so beautiful, i really can’t stand it. i’m making this today.
thank you for your beautiful, inspiring posts. please never stop.
this really made my day. i lovelove your stories and everything that you write pre-recipe. truly inspiring & sweet. x

sarah05/08/2013 - 5:26 pm

I so, super-duper love that photo of you. You are the cutest. And! I just found out my Naked green juice has all kinds of crap in it, boo. So, I need to make this! xo

Jessina07/08/2013 - 10:12 am

Love love love your site. I just found your Vimeo page and watched your Summer Panzanella video…I want more! Ok, I just can’t get enough of The First Mess posts. Love love.

Yum, We Love . . .09/08/2013 - 7:05 am

[…] from The First Mess and her incredibly healthy recipes. I mean, check out the ingredients for her Green Drink pictured below . . . if this doesn’t cure me, I don’t know what […]

Sol10/08/2013 - 3:50 pm

I feel in love with his smoothie from the first time I tried it. I find myself craving it for a light snack or my meal after a heavy brunch. I tried to replace the apple for a banana once and it was not so great, so I will stick to the main combination for now. I’m using green chard, mint-parsley and peaches. Thanks!

Shelly12/08/2013 - 8:28 pm

I love the shapes and colors of your green smoothie pre-blending! So gorgeous!

[…] The second was a green smoothie recipe- http://www.thefirstmess.com/2013/08/01/the-green-drink/ […]

Benji15/08/2013 - 3:40 pm

I’m just looking at your picture of Kale it looks like Chard????????

Benji15/08/2013 - 3:44 pm

Please ignore my previous comment it’s amazing what happens when you read fyrther…:-D

[…] ♔ I’m not always 100% on board with green smoothies, but this one seems indulgent AND healthy. Score! The Green Drink […]

Wednesday Bites! | Sous Style11/09/2013 - 10:07 am

[…] Kitchy Kitchen 4. Gruyere and Prosciutto Croissant, Alexandra Cooks 5. The Green Drink, The First Mess 6. Caprese Crostini with Pesto, Pinch & Swirl 7. Kale Grapefruit Salad GymRa 8. Mushroom […]

Claudia03/03/2014 - 4:56 pm

Love your advice on greenies =)

Grace12/08/2014 - 12:04 pm

I have never had a better and more refreshing green drink in my life!!!! Thank you for your amazing culinary skills

Martine05/09/2014 - 7:08 pm

My go-to is blueberries, banana, almond milk, and almond butter. A new creation that I really like is frozen cranberries, a splash of cranberry juice, water or almond milk, and vanilla protein powder.

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