Finally, … A keeper! This is one that I feel really good about sharing. Peaches and Lettuce with a hint of watermelon! Perfect. Green smoothies don’t get much better than this.
If you haven’t noticed, this winter and spring has driven me to using a lot of coconut milk (not raw from whole foods). It makes for a creamy heavier base that adds a little more umph to the smoothie. But what I really love is fresh juice. The oranges and apples this last winter weren’t all that great, but now that summer’s on (somewhere in the world) I’m starting to see melons showing up in the stores. Last weekend, I picked up two little watermelons.
One made this and more!
You can add the watermelon fruit directly into the smoothie, but I prefer just adding the juice – because I like drinking the juice straight up.
If you don’t have a juicer, I’ve been happy with my Breville JE900 Juice Fountain Professional Juice Extractor. I decided on that model after reading reviews on Amazon and seeing that this model got great reviews regarding cleanup. The cleanup is really simple. So simple in fact that you’ll actually use the machine!
And, as you can see from the picture above, it can take one little watermelon and make a lot of juice.
In any case, here’s what I used for the Peach, Lettuce, Watermelon smoothie:
As you can see, it was:
3 ripe white Peaches
1 bowl fresh garden lettuce
1 ½ cup fresh watermelon juice
3 little Deglet Noor dates
1 probiotic (optional)
That’s it! After it was all whipped up, I thought that the dates might have been a bit much. If the watermelon where a little closer to being in season, I’d drop the dates altogether.
I love how these white peaches stack up. And the garden lettuce is sweat all by itself. It’s almost too good to blend up into a smoothie. But hey, I’ve got Sooooo much this year that if I’m going to be grateful, the best way of doing that is by letting the lettuce experience being made into a smoothie!
And this one was so easy to drink. Unlike smoothies make with harsher greens, this one is worth savoring.
It’s peach season so get out and bring some home. Any Saturday market should also have a ton of fresh greens, so you have no excuse.
I’m pretty impressed. Turns out it’s really easy to make this version of home-made Hummus and it tastes good enough to eat! In fact, I got a couple comfortable nods just like Mike did in his video. It’s smooth – flavor wise – yet comforting. I’m sure I’m going to enjoy this the next couple days for lunch.
And thanks Marie for the query (See comment here), for when I found this video I felt inspired to sprout some garbanzo beans.
Making your own raw home-made hummus by Mike Blongiewicz:
I like how easy he laid out the ingredients. I only added two cloves garlic for I like it a bit more mild. The lemon I went heavier with for I like that tang. For the veggies, I just added one medium tomato, almost all of one large carrot and three stocks of celery. I like to figure that it’s close enough.
To all that, I added 36 hour old sprouted garbanzo beans. I like to wait until the roots are about as long as the bean.
Just like Mike, I added the liquid first.
When I powered on the blender, a swear I saw the lights flicker! This mixture sure did bog down that vita-mix. I’m sure if you’ve got a light duty blender, you’ll want to use a food processor instead.
After about 60 seconds, it was rolling like a vanilla shake (just like the video) so I figured it was done.
This made about 6 cups – or three lunches. I love how the basil flakes shine through. That big dip in the center was the taster. I’m absolutely positive that this will go well with carrot sticks and celery.
Overall, I’m thinking this is a really good raw hummus base. I’ll really know in a couple days when it’s all gone!
I know, I know, I didn’t learn the lesson from the first couple apricot smoothies and here I go again – making an apricot smoothie. So, I’ve got twenty lbs of these puppies and I’m trying to figure out a way that may make them taste a bit better.
So this time I added more dates and tried mango. In picture form, it looked like this:
8 of the ripest apricots I could find in the box
Some amazing garden fresh Swiss Chard! Wow!
1 Honey mango,
8 or 9 or so Deglet Noor Dates
1 ½ cup water
1 little probiotic (optional)
It looks great stacked in the blender.
But the part that I really wanted to show with this posting is how I peal mangos. If you remember back a few postings, I linked in a YouTube video on how to peal a mango (view my article here). The woman in the video cut and sliced her way into a real mess. I don’t see it as that bad – even with a really ripe mango!
So here is the picture sequence.
All it really takes is an apple peeler, a serrated knife and the ability to hold a ‘wet bar of soap’. The hardest part is lining up to cup along the seed. They are so flat that it shapes the fruit, so if you inspect it before cutting, you’ll slice right along the seed almost every time.
In the end, because I spent time picking out the ripest apricots from the collection, I ended up with something that was palatable.
But I still recommend avoiding apricots of you can help it. There are a ton of other choices that make it to market ripe.
Don’t let anyone tell you that all smoothies are created equal. It’s just not true. Some are really bad!
In my opinion, this one falters from the use of sub-prime apricots. Using ripe fruit is really important and, well, this time I guess I didn’t pick up ripe apricots. And I didn’t pick just a few, I picked nearly 40 lbs! I bought them over the phone for 25 bucks and, as it turns out, you get what you pay for.
In an effort to try to make them worthy for consumption, I let them age a little while. You know, how you might let a pineapple age or a banana age. Sometimes it works, other times the fruit is just too green and it doesn’t ripen much at all.
Armed with pounds of apricots, I went searching on the web to see if I could find the best apricot smoothie recipe around. I poked around a little and came across the Incredible Smoothies website. Looking a little deeper, I found a page that outlined their apricot smoothies. I thought to myself – ok, this looks as good as anything I’ve found, I’ll give it a go.
Aiming to make the Apricot-Banana smoothie this is what I mixed together:
I’ve got to say it all looks good.
1 cup water
8 little Aricots
7-8 Deglet Noor Dates
A bunch of fresh garden Spinach
And a probiotic for good measure (optional)
After slicing the apricots in half and tearing out the seeds (wasn’t easy for the fruit was still pretty green), I stacked it all up on the blender and gave it a spin for 60-70 seconds and ended up with this.
Have to tell you it looks great! Smooth and creamy, light and fragrant – but tart as H….eck. Dang, don’t like to swear much, but this one made me pucker up.
I think I’ve found a new fruit to avoid. I absolutely love raw peaches, but I have a hard time finding plums and apricots that have been picked anywhere near ripe. In a way, I wish I had a couple trees growing out back so I could pick my own 20 lbs – when they turned sweet and juicy. I guess I’ll just have to wait until we’re clearly into peach season or for when the pears come around.
But for now, avoid green apricots at any cost. Save your money for something a little sweeter!
How do we really see? That’s a simple question that has a fairly complicated scientific explanation that isn’t really complete. At least, what I’ve been able to discover seems technical enough, but it doesn’t really get to the root of it all leaving me with unanswered questions that allow for possibilities beyond the physical.
Ok, so as you’ve all noticed lately, I’ve been reading Hands of Light by Barbara Ann Brennan. This book is all about ‘seeing’ and how she’s developed her higher sensory perception to be able to see auras and light anomalies within and around the body. It’s a skill (or inherent gift) that I still don’t consciously observe (at this time). Yet I’m open minded for it’s clear to me that there is much that we (as humanity) have yet to ‘intellectualize’ that already exists.
Yet there was one phrase written in Hands of Light that caught my eye (no pun intended) on page 163 that I just haven’t been able to leave behind. The author states:
Light enters both through the third eye and through the physical eyes and flows along the optic nerves as shown in figure 18-6.
I wish that I had a digital image of figure 18-6, but I’ll do my best to describe it in just a few words. She’s got an artist’s rendition of a side profile cutaway image of a human head where the cutaway is of the human brain. It’s a middle of the brain slice so the artist drew in the glands that split the two larger lobs. Then, highlighted in a bold dotted line, it’s shows that light rays enter the eye and travel along the optic nerve to the pineal gland.
But the most interesting, more subjective part of the drawing is that the artist also shows another strong bolded line traveling from the center of the forehead through the brain to meet up with the Optic nerve before also arriving at the pineal gland. This path is labeled the ‘Paths of gold light’.
At this point, this is where science and this author differ. It’s also the point where I feel for the author and her attempt to explain the physical receptor of these light rays that she sees. This is also a point where I extend a ‘trust’ to the author accepting that she sees the light that’s talked about throughout the book, but that she has most likely accepted the idea that is not supported by science and just left it at that.
Actually, it’s a little disconcerting and that might be why I’m writing about it here.
Since I’m not really accepting her explanation on how she sees these lights, I figured I’d look into it a little deeper to see if I could find something that made sense. In the process of doing that, I’ve just opened a ‘can of worms’ with regards to the real concept of seeing.
Let’s start with Google. I asked “How humans see” and found 53 million results. It must be my lucky day for the first article that I clicked on did a really good job of summarizing the different parts of the eye and how they work. That article is:
It might be worth spending a few minutes going over that article for it outlines the basic parts of the eye and actually drills down to the Rod and Cone cells in the back of the eye that are the photo receptors.
If you’re into natural food, like I am, you’ll probably find the following side note interesting. From that article the author states:
It is now understood that the human body makes retinal from vitamin A. A picture of retinal and vitamin A is shown in Figure 5. Both the retinal and vitamin A molecules contain a long chain of double bonds. When retinal dissociates from opsin, some of the retinal is destroyed. To replenish the destroyed retinal, it is important to have a source of vitamin A in your diet. Without this source of vitamin A, night blindness can develop as the rods can not function effectively without sufficient sources of retinal.
From the Wikipedia, we find the following molecule for Vitamin A:
Looks pretty similar doesn’t it. This is one of the coolest things regarding organic compounds found in the foods that we eat. Like we saw between the Chlorophyll molecule and the Hemoglobin molecule in the article Is food another form of light, there are basic building blocks in primary atom clusters that are multifunctional in different life forms. I this case, Vitamin A and the molecule that’s used to detect light in our eyes are pretty darn close in their makeup.
Ok. Looking back at the original article, I find another paragraph very interesting.
It is the rhodopsin protein in the retina that absorbs the light that enters the eye. Specifically, it is known that the retinal molecule, which is embedded inside rhodopsin, undergoes photo-excitation by absorbing light. In the photo-excitation process, the rhodopsin absorbs light and is excited to a higher electronic state. Numerous studies have been carried out to try to understand what happens after the rhodopsin absorbs light. Research has shown that upon photo-excitation the retinal part of rhodopsin undergoes a twisting around one of its double bonds (see Figure 4). The retinal then dissociates from the opsin. The change in geometry initiates a series of events that eventually cause electrical impulses to be sent to the brain along the optic nerve. Further research is needed to fully understand this complex process. [Emphasis added]
The two things that I’d like to talk about before getting to the text that I italicized are:
Vision begins with the photoisomerization of retinal. When the 11-cis-retinal chromophore absorbs a photon it isomerizes from the 11-cis state to the all-trans state. The absorbance spectrum of the chromophore depends on its interactions with the opsin protein to which it is bound; different opsins produce different absorbance spectra.
So, as it turns out, scientists have discovered that the light sensitive molecule found in the eye ‘twists’ when it absorbs a photon. Thus a little light energy can excite this molecule to change.
That action would be related to the photo-excitation that the original article talks about. The Wikipedia talks about it like this:
Photoelectrochemical processes usually involve transforming light into other forms of energy. These processes apply to photochemistry, optically pumped lasers, sensitized solar cells, luminescence, and the effect of reversible change of color upon exposure to light. To the right photons are emitted in a coherent beam from a laser.
Electron excitation is the movement of an electron to a higher energy state. This can either be done by photoexcitation (PE), where the original electron absorbs the photon and gains all the photon’s energy or by electrical excitation (EE), where the original electron absorbs the energy of another, energetic electron. Within a semiconductor crystal lattice, thermal excitation is a process where lattice vibrations provide enough energy to move electrons to a higher energy band. When an excited electron falls back to a lower energy state again, it is called electron relaxation. This can be done by radiation of a photon or giving the energy to a third spectator particle as well
This electron movement into higher orbital’s looks just like what happens when plants absorb sunlight to make sugar. When the Chlorophyll molecule focuses sunlight to spin up carbon, hydrogen and oxygen atoms into higher energy states, these atoms readily combine together into sugars. It also seems related to covalent bonding for making different molecules out of existing molecules (I talked a bit about this in the posting The Breath of life (or energy).)
So, what can we summarize so far?
Well, we know that the molecule that senses light in our eyes is very much like Vitamin A. And, when the photon of light is added to this molecule, it spins up an atom in the molecule so as to change its form – it twists.
The change in geometry initiates a series of events that eventually cause electrical impulses to be sent to the brain along the optic nerve. Further research is needed to fully understand this complex process. [Emphasis added]
Now what? It’s great and all that the Vitamin A that we consume gets converted into the retina that’s a photo sensitive molecule that twists when light hits it, but, as it turns out, Paul Harvey doesn’t seem to have the rest of the story here.
How do we really see and why does Barbara Ann Brennan instruct us that these lights come in through the third eye?
It would seem that the act of seeing is not fully described by the process of light hitting the retina of the eye. But, rather, seeing might be a bit more related to how the human processes the light. As the author in the original article points out, “further research is needed” would indicate that no one can scientifically state how we see, yet they can state some of the mechanics of the situation.
This opens up possibilities!
Maybe seeing is more related to interpreting ‘information’ along the optic nerve. What if it’s more of a discernment process rather than a cut and dry one of a photon hitting a retina?
Thinking from the inside out, the brain has 12 main sensory pathways where the optic nerve is just one of them. Along all these different pathways, ‘information’ travels to the brain for processing. Sensory input can come in many different forms – one being visual light stimulating the retina of the eye.
What if there some other part of the central nervous system is able to sense non-visible light in one’s environment and transmit thoughts signals to the brain for processing? Might that be possible?
Now I’m full of even more questions.
How can a blind person learn to read brail? Can you? I’ve tried, but I can’t seem to make the connection. Just because I don’t have that sensitivity, it doesn’t mean that the blind person can’t do it.
Why is it that some people can clearly distinguish different odors when most seem to just blend together for me?
When we close our eyes how is it that we can ‘see’ things? Really. Everyone has the ability to ‘visualize’ things yet that ‘light’ is not coming from the eyes!
At this point, my take on it is that ‘seeing’ is not really done by the eyes, but rather by reading the information that travels through the nervous system. It may be that some people have developed a hyper-sensitivity to being able to understand that information so that the brain can actually process it. If the brain processes the input in a way that makes it appear visual, so be it.
Hopefully, these ideas may spark an understanding that you have that you’ll be willing to share with me. I would love to hear about your experiences ‘seeing’ things that other people don’t have the sensitivities to detect.
Retinal, also called retinaldehyde or vitamin A aldehyde, is one of the many forms of vitamin A (the number of which varies from species to species). Retinal is a polyenechromophore, and bound to proteins called opsins, is the chemical basis of animal vision. Bound to proteins called type 1 rhodopsins, retinal allows certain microorganisms to convert light into metabolic energy.