Spinach is amazing.
Plant it in the fall, leave it be in an unheated hoop house, under a thin fabric covering, through weeks of below zero temperatures, and then one sunny day, pop back in for a harvest.
Seriously, I’m astounded.
Of course, we knew this would happen. We planned for it. And still, after months of winter, it feels miraculous that we’re harvesting anything, let alone tender greens.
We’ve all been told to eat our greens, but I’m telling you, they’re even better when you drink them.
You can turn any green into a smoothie: pea shoots, lettuce, kale, chard, spinach, what have you.
Organic spinach is my green of choice right now, not only for the juiciness of its leaves, but because we’re harvesting it from the hoop house. Spinach thrives in cool weather, and is one of the earliest greens of spring.
While there are many varieties to choose from, there’s a few that stand out when you’re making green drinks. When choosing spinach for juicing or pureeing into a smoothie, save the baby leaf for salads and look instead for large-leaf varieties that really bulk up—a pile of tender greens doesn’t seem so big once it goes in the blender.
Regiment F1 is ideal: it’s ready for harvest in just 37 days, and really packs on the weight. This is also a great variety for the transition from spring to summer, as it resists bolting.
Verdil is our favorite variety for overwintering. Also only 37 days to maturity, it holds beautifully through the cold winter months and comes on strong in the spring.
Giant Winter is another great choice for overwintering, and those huge spinach leaves are perfect for smoothies.
I LOVE SPINACH SMOOTHIES
And I’m here to tell you that you don’t need a fancy blender—for years we used my parents’ old one that likely dated back to the 80’s.
That is, until Edge accidentally knocked it over and it finally broke…and I cheered, because it meant we could legitimately get a new blender, which magically appeared on Christmas morning.
Last spring I finally got on the green drink train.
It’s a really good train—delicious, and so energizing. If you’re still waiting at the station, here’s your ticket. Don’t let old blender shame hold you back—as wonderful as a powerful new blender is, I made countless smoothies in the old standby.
Easy Spinach Smoothie Recipe for Any Blender:
1-2 cups water
a handful of ice cubes
1-2 frozen bananas
2 cups packed spinach
a spoonful of almond butter
Optional: a few slices of fresh ginger, a squeeze of lemon
Pack in the blender in the order above, and blend until smooth.
Do you have a favorite spring green or spinach variety? Favorite smoothie recipe? Let me know in the comments below 😉