A master class in smoothies

  • Rachel Gonzalez of Rachel’s Everlasting Farm calls her four-quart Vitamix blender “the Cadillac of all blenders.”  Staff Photos/Dan Little

  • Gonzalez’s Purple Sunrise smoothie contains a dozen ingredients, including banana, pinapple and ginger. The color comes from red cabbage and blueberries. Staff Photo/Dan Little

  • The Purple Sunrise calls for water instead of milk, but for extra creaminess, Gonzalez suggests adding coconut or coconut milk in place of some of the water.  Staff Photo/Dan Little

  • Rachel Gonzalez switched from making juices to smoothies because the latter take less time and don’t produce as much waste.  Staff Photo/Dan Little

  • Gonzalez’s Purple Sunrise smoothie contains a dozen ingredients, including banana, pinapple and ginger. The color comes from red cabbage and blueberries. Staff Photo/Dan Little

Staff Writer
Published: 5/31/2019 3:36:01 PM
Modified: 5/31/2019 3:35:51 PM

Making smoothies is an art, and no two drinks are ever exactly the same. 

But there’s also a science to tinkering with the ratios of fruits, vegetables and spices. 

“My favorite? I don’t have a favorite. It’s like picking my favorite kid,” said Rachel Gonzalez of Rachel’s Everlasting Farm, which is based out of Mission Covenant Church on Pleasant Street in Orange.

Since founding her business in 2012, Gonzalez has sold her smoothies at the Orange Farmers’ Market, the North Quabbin Garlic & Arts Festival, the Mutton & Mead Festival in Montague and the Westminster Farmers’ Market.

“They are different every time,” Gonzalez said, plucking a large pineapple from her bowl of assorted fruits. She sliced the fruit, placing the pieces in the bottom of her blender, added banana and apple, and topped everything off with a handful of grapes, which tumbled into crevices created by the other fruits. Then came the kale. The bottom half of the blender was a hodgepodge of yellows, greens and reds, soon to be blended into a pale green liquid with the click of a button. 

Gonzalez doesn’t measure the ingredients in her smoothies. She starts by putting the large fruits — like pineapple, banana, apple — in a four-quart Vitamix blender, which she calls “the Cadillac of all blenders.” 

“One thing I’ve learned: stick with what works,” Gonzalez said while preparing a batch of her “Purple Sunrise,” a recipe that contains red cabbage and ginger, in addition to more typical ingredients like blueberries. The reactions from people who take a sip of the sweet, tangy smoothie have told her she’s on to something. 

“When coming up with this, I thought, ‘What can go with the blueberries?’ ” Gonzalez said. 

Despite seeming like an unlikely ingredient, the cabbage is mostly undetectable in the “Purple Sunrise” and blends well with the apples, pineapple and grapes in the smoothie, she noted. 

“Red cabbage also has a lot of fiber in it, and it’s a great way to get nutrients in your body,” Gonzalez said. 

When everything is in the blender, Gonzalez adds water incrementally, blending the fruit and veggies periodically before adding more water to achieve her desired thickness. All of Gonzalez’s smoothies are made without milk or dairy. This way, Gonzalez says, she doesn’t have to worry about lactose intolerance. Additionally, the smoothies are lower in calories, and with the right ingredients, Gonzalez says lactose-free smoothies can be just as tasty as those made with milk.

For those who want more creaminess in their smoothies, Gonzalez suggests adding coconut or coconut milk in place of some of the water. 

Over the years, one thing Gonzalez says she has learned about making water-based smoothies is their taste is very dependent on the quality of water that’s used. When she first started making smoothies, Gonalez says she used unfiltered tap water. But Gonzalez says she noticed the chlorine in Orange’s municipal water was affecting the taste of her smoothies. 

Because of this, Gonzalez suggests using filtered water to smoothies, so as to not interfere with the tastes of the fruits and vegetables in the drinks. It makes a difference, she said.

Before she started her business, Gonzalez says she made juices at home. She switched to making smoothies after reading “Green for Life” by Victoria Boutenko and realizing that she could make them in a much shorter time — without producing as much waste as juice. 

“I thought that this is so cool, feeling healthy and using all these fibers and greens like kale,” Gonzalez said. “It’s raw. It’s alkaline and we need more alkaline. All our cooked food, it’s acidic, so this is a great way to get chlorophyll and enzymes.” 

Green Hawaiian Paradise 

“I put a wedge of lemon in there whenever I’m using something like kale because it cuts the greens nicely,” says Gonzalez. 

Ingredients (experiment with ratios to change the flavor):

Kale

Pineapple

Banana

Apple

Grapes

Papaya

Almonds

Lemon

Celery

Water

The larger items — pineapple, banana, apple and papaya — are sliced and added to the bottom of the blender, followed by kale and the smaller items — almonds and grapes.

A small amount of water should be added to the blender first, followed by blending, which will result in a thicker smoothie. Water should continue to be added, alternating with blending, until the desired consistency is reached.  

Purple Sunrise

Ingredients:

Pineapple

Banana

Apple

Red cabbage

Grapes

Blueberries

Orange

Papaya

Almonds

Ginger

Lemon

Celery

Water

Larger fruits, including pineapple, banana, apple, papaya and orange, should be sliced and added to the bottom of the blender.

A few sliced pieces of red cabbage may be added on top of the fruits along with the grapes, blueberries and almonds.

Water should be added, followed by blending, incrementally to achieve one’s desired smoothie thickness. The ginger in the smoothie may also be added incrementally throughout the process to achieve the right amount of ginger taste. 




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