When I interviewed the legendary pop artist, vegan, and animal rights activist Peter Max for the March issue of Vegetarian Times, he shared that he has been drinking two glasses of Dr. Fuhrman’s Green Longevity Drink every morning for the past 12 years. I thought to myself, Wow! Every morning for the past 12 years…I’ve got to try this drink!
Realize: this is no ordinary green juice. Rather, it’s a “blended salad”—a combination of raw, leafy greens and other whole foods blended into a creamy consistency. According to its creator, Joel Fuhrman, MD, a board-certified family physician who specializes in preventing and reversing disease through nutrition, “When we simply chew a salad, about 70 to 90 percent of the [plant] cells are not broken open. As a result, most of the valuable nutrients contained within those cells never enter our bloodstream.” So, while Fuhrman is still a huge fan of “chewed salads,” he thinks blended salads are a “powerful and delicious way to maximize your intake of nutrients.”
To experience the full benefits of this powerful drink loaded with vitamins, antioxidants, and phytochemicals, Fuhrman suggests drinking two glasses daily. “The prescription is nutrition,” he says.
I was so intrigued by the idea of a blended salad that I had to give it a go. It had been a while since I used my VitaMix for anything other than the cashew- and tofu- based filling for my go-to vegan crème brûlée recipe. I had fallen victim to the expensive but convenient habit of picking up vegetable and fruit juices and smoothies from my local juice bar and was looking forward to revamping my morning ritual.
The ingredients were all available at my local supermarket, except mustard or turnip greens, so I subbed in kale. Oh, and I totally forgot to buy the blueberries. I did have some blueberry sorbet in my freezer that I thought about using, but I decided against it. With so many antioxidant-rich foods already in mix, I figured I could skate by without them.
After I thoroughly bathed all my fruits and veggies and laid them out side-by-side, they were so striking that they looked like they were posing for a still-life painting. Then, one-by-one, I squashed them into my VitaMix until the entire list reduced to a pitcher of blended salad.
One major benefit of blended salads over chopped salads (for the lazy chef, at least) is that there’s a lot less chopping involved since most items can go right into the blender whole if you are using a VitaMix or other high powered blender or food processor. One tip: if it takes you as long as it took me to get all the ingredients into the blender, the smoothie will start to heat up from the friction of the blender. So, either hurry it up, or rather than adding water in step 3 (below), add ice while blending to cool the mixture down.
So, how does the creamy green tonic taste? It’s certainly earthy tasting, yet surprisingly sweet and creamy too! What a way to start your morning, by toasting to health and longevity!
P.S. Fuhrman designed this recipe for Max and others who want to take a “super-healthy longevity drink,” but he says, “I wouldn't expect most people to want to drink something as healthy as that.” Fuhrman’s book Eat For Health includes other great smoothie recipes (with shorter ingredient lists) that he enjoys regularly that are a little less healthy but a bit more tasty.
Dr. Fuhrman’s Green Longevity Drink
Makes 4 cups
1 large head romaine lettuce
1 1/2 cups spinach
2 sprigs parsley
1 cup broccoli florets
2 leaves mustard greens or turnip greens
3 collard leaves
1/2 cup watercress
1/8 tsp. oregano
1 banana, peeled
3 large strawberries
1 cup frozen or fresh blueberries
1/2 papaya or mango
1 1/2 tsp. flax seeds
1 1/2 tsp. sunflower seeds
1 1/2 tsp. sesame seeds
1. Place 1/2 cup water into blender, adding ingredients, one by one, and blending until liquefied.
2. Pour 1 cup of Dr. Fuhrman’s Green Longevity Drink into glass, adding water and stirring until desired consistency is reached. Store remainder in an airtight container and refrigerate.