Smoothies and green smoothies are great drinks to enjoy year-round. I love using my Blendtec blender to make all kinds of delicious smoothies. YUM! Even better is when I can make my smoothies from produce I've grown in my own garden.
Springtime in the Rockies is always a tease. Just when you think the snow is over, another storm hits. Snow in May and frost in June are common. So in January, my family pores over seed catalogs, huddled by the fire. At the end of February, we plant seeds indoors and eagerly await the warmth of the sun to thaw the frozen soil.
Whether you start your garden indoors or wait until after the danger of frost is over and start your garden outside, selecting what to include in your smoothie garden is simple. Just ask yourself one question: “What do I like in my smoothies?” Here at Blendtec, we particularly like spinach, carrots, kale, parsley, strawberries, and raspberries. Some of these fruits and vegetables are simple to start growing inside, but for others (like raspberries) it's best to wait until it's warm enough to plant outside. And don't forget fruit trees. If you're just planting them now, you'll have to wait a while before reaping the tasty benefits, but apples, apricots, cherries, nectarines, and peaches add delicious variety to your smoothie menu. Alfalfa sprouts are another great addition to smoothies.
If you have children, involve them in preparing and maintaining the smoothie garden. Have your kids look through seed catalogs and circle their favorite seeds. Then have contests to see who can grow the biggest or the most of a fruit or vegetable. You could even tell your children that you'll buy the fruits and veggies they grow. Your children may spend more time weeding and tending the garden if they have the incentive of earning a few greenbacks.
Just a few more notes: If a few of your plants get nipped by a late frost, just start over or sprout seeds. After you pick spinach from your garden, immediately put the leaves in a zip-top bag and then store them in the freezer. When you're ready for a green smoothie, simply take some of the spinach leaves from the freezer and put them in your blender jar. You can do the same thing with other produce that you have too much of to use right away.
The Blendtec Recipes page has a lot of smoothie ideas, but don't be afraid to get creative with the produce from your garden—you just might find a new favorite combo. Just remember to follow the ingredient order explained in "Blending 101: How to Load a Jar." What does your smoothie garden look like?