There’s a point, usually in March, when the monochrome winter landscape officially loses its appeal. This often coincides with the first patches of warmer weather that happen around this time, when the snow begins to recede a little, teasing us with glimpses of exposed ground or a whiff of damp soil thawing in the sun. Whether it’s this or the looming excitement of spring vacations — the lure of tropical climates and the sobering awareness of the existence of color elsewhere in the world — I find myself suddenly craving the taste and site of green with the ravenous intensity that only long winters can inspire.

The problem is, that unless I’m very lucky and/or happen to have booked a vacation somewhere far south of here, I probably won’t be seeing much green for another month at least. So if I want green in my life, I’m going to have to find some other way to introduce it.

Enter the Green Smoothie. It’s undeniably and robustly green — and full of the fresh, warm-weather flavors and vital nutrients that my sunlight starved body demands. The look, the taste, the sensation of mounting vitality I feel with each additional sip — all help to bolster me through to the official return of green to the landscape in late April — or let’s face it — probably early May. It’s a real life-saver and revitalizer and the closest I’m going to get to green leaves and strong sunbeams on a gloomy winter’s day in the middle of March. Here’s two of my favorite recipes. Hope they’ll help to infuse your days with a bit of green as well.

Tropical Green Smoothie

This is the smoothie I make almost every day of the week. The pineapple or mango (or both!) and strong note of lime lend it an exotic, tropical note that seems well suited to the vibrant green color — and the hemp and nut butter add protein and healthy fats that make this substantial enough to have for breakfast.  If you want your smoothie slightly less sweet or don’t tolerate bananas, you can use avocado instead.

Serves 2

Ingredients:

  • 1 cup ripe pineapple and / or mango
  • 1 banana or 1/2 small avocado
  • 1.5 cups packed spinach
  • 1 stalk celery
  • 3 tablespoons hemp seeds
  • 1 tablespoon nut butter (optional)
  • 1 tsp fresh ginger, grated (optional)
  • ¼ lime (rind and all)
  • 1 ¾ cup water or coconut water

Instructions:

  1. Place everything in the blender and blitz until completely blended and smooth.

Green Ginger Soother

This is a light, easy-to-digest smoothie with a gentle sweetness that I find well suited to days when my appetite and digestion aren’t quite on point or when I just want to give my digestion a little rest.

Serves 2

Ingredients:

  • 1 ripe pear or apple
  • 1/4 avocado
  • 4 cups fresh or frozen spinach
  • thumb-sized piece of fresh ginger
  • 1 tbsp chia seeds
  • juice of 1/2 a lemon
  • 1 1/2 cups water or coconut water

Instructions:

  1. Remove the seeds and stem from the pear or apple and slice into large chunks.
  2. Add the pear or apple to the blender with the remaining ingredients and process on high until the mixture is completely smooth, about 2 minutes.
  3. Divide between 2 glasses and enjoy.

Writer Danielle Charles Davies holds a Bsc in Herbal Science from Bastyr University and completed the two-year clinical training program at the Vermont Center for Integrative Herbalism in Montpelier, VT. Her writing has appeared in Taproot, The Journal of the American Herbalist Guild, and Kindred Magazine, among others. She lives in Northern Michigan with her husband, two dogs and eight ducks. She blogs at www.bluemoonkitchen.com.

For educational purposes only. This information has not been evaluated by the Food and Drug Administration. This information is not intended to diagnose, treat, cure, or prevent any disease, or sell any product.