Greens in a Cube
Yields: About 3 1/2- 4 cups Prep Time: 10 minutes Total Time: 4 hours (including freezing time)
Packed with folate, vitamins A, C and K, and loaded with powerful antioxidants and other phytonutrients (think plant power such as lutein and zeaxanthin, which help support eye health). These little cubes are a great way to save greens from going bad, as well as a way to add some powerful nutrients to smoothies or even to your water (if you don’t mind the taste)!
4 cups of loosely packed greens (I used kale, Swiss Chard and a few beet tops)
2 cups water (or coconut water)
1. In a high speed blender or food processor, add both the leafy greens and the water. Process until blended.
2. Pour into ice cube trays and freeze for 2-4 hours (or until frozen). Store in freezer.
*A note about the trays. I prefer to use baby food trays, as they come with covers, although there are some ice cube trays that also have covers. The ones I used were trays with 2 oz. cubes, which gives a decent dose of greens per smoothie, whether I use one or a few.
When I only had my first daughter, I used to juice a few times weekly and then blend that juice with some frozen fruit for her. Then, with my second and because I had a little less time, I used to freeze the juice and pop into smoothies for us later in the week.
Now, with three kiddos and even less time, many of the vegetables I buy with the intention to make into gourmet meals (or juice), end up creating more anxiety for me as I slowly watch them rot in the fridge. Especially when our garden is in full bloom with rows of lettuce, kale and Swiss chard, I feel the pressure to eat the homegrown bounty! So, having the option to not only save the greens before they go bad, but also have a quick cube of nutrients to pop into a smoothie, it’s a win-win!
Although pureeing the greens can degrade some of the nutrients, freezing can also preserve some of the nutrients otherwise lost. We pop one or two in a blender with a banana or other fruit, maybe some fresh pineapple or pear, coconut butter or avocado, coconut milk and an additional ice cube or two. I am less picky than the kiddos, so sometimes, I’ll just blend with some blueberries.
As far as ingredients to use in the green cube, spinach and kale work well, especially if you buy your greens in bulk. And yes, putting fruits and vegetables in a blender causes some degradation of nutrients and nutrient loss, yet, this helps me consume healthier foods when I may not otherwise have them.