Have you ever wondered if there’s a natural way to lower your high blood pressure, guard against Alzheimer's, lose weight, and feel better? Well as it turns out there is. Michael Greger, M.D. FACLM, founder of NutritionFacts.org, and author of the instant New York Times bestseller “How Not to Die” celebrates evidence-based nutrition to add years to our life and life to our years.

Dr. Greger in The Kitchen

Feel like some tasty matcha ice cream or an insanely healthy vegetable smoothie? How about some groatnola? You’ve come to the right place. This episode features audio from Dr. Greger in the Kitchen: Groatnola, Dr. Greger in the Kitchen: My New Favorite Dessert, and Dr. Greger in the Kitchen: My New Favorite Beverage. Visit the video pages for all sources and doctor’s notes related to this podcast.


You know the feeling you get – when you learn something new about a health problem you’ve been trying to reverse – maybe high blood pressure, diabetes, or heart disease. Well – there’s nothing I like better than bringing you the information that will help you do just that. Welcome to the NutritionFacts podcast. I’m your host – Dr. Michael Greger.

Now, I know what you’re thinking. How can you experience Dr. Greger in the Kitchen – on a podcast? Well, I can assure you that these recipes are so simple – and fabulous – that you can listen and make them along with me. 

First up – one of my fabulous new breakfast recipes. I call it – Groatnola.

Today, we’re going to be making “groatnola,” which arose out of my frustration with finding a healthy breakfast cereal. This is an SOS-free recipe with no salt, oil, or sugar, which is hard to find in the grocery store. There’s two last time I checked; one’s called Uncle Sam’s cereal, which is toasted, flattened wheat berries and flaxseeds. You get a little box; it’s super-expensive. And then, there’s some brands of muesli which don’t have any crap added, but I always find muesli kind of mushy. I love the breakfast cereal from my youth but just don’t want all that added garbage.

So, how about groatnola? Groats, of course, starting out with whole, intact grains, not just groats. Although we are actually not using a grain today at all, but buckwheat groats. Buckwheat, despite its name, has nothing to do with wheat; it’s not even a grain. It’s a starchy seed of a non-grass plant-family plant. So, we’re going to start by making some groats. These are just raw oat groats. We are going to cook a cup of them. If you have an Instant Pot, it’s one cup of buckwheat groats to a cup and a half of water, pressure cooked for five minutes. I don’t have an Instant Pot here; so, we’re just going to cook it on the stove, but it only takes ten minutes. Then, we are going to nuke a sweet potato—a nice big, juicy, round sweet potato. We’re going to microwave it. It depends on your microwave…five minutes to ten minutes until it’s nice and juicy and delicious inside. We’ll be right back. And while we wait…ah, ten minutes is too much for burpees. So, I’m sorry, no burpees this time.

Buckwheat is done. Throw that in a big mixing bowl. We have our sweet potato. Look at that beautiful color there. Don’t burn yourself. And then, use a potato masher or one of those a zigzag wire ones is a little easier, just to mash this together—the cooked buckwheat and the cooked sweet potato—until it all kind of is nice and homogeneous. Okay, and then, we are going to put a teaspoon of pumpkin pie spice and a teaspoon of just plain cinnamon. It’s already smelling good. And then, we are going to add 12 cups of rolled oats. If you like big chunks, you can add less of the rolled oats, and if you like it more like little crunchy bits, you can add more.

Now, if you have dogs at home, what I would do is wait to put the spices in until the end, and so then, you just have the three ingredients—the sweet potato, oats, and buckwheat, and you can roll them into little balls, and all four of my dogs love them. Of course, I don’t have any of my dogs here; so, I just added the spices early, which makes it a little more evenly distributed throughout the mix. So, you just want to mix this until it’s down to little clumps. Now, this is going to make about three cookie trays worth of groatnola. I like making a whole big batch; so, this is one sweet potato’s worth of groatnola.

Then, take a cookie tray and put about a third of it in there, and basically you want kind of a single layer. You kind of smush it down. And then, put it in the oven at a low temperature: 250°F for two and a half hours. If you have a convection setting and can get some air circulating, that’s even better but optional. I put that in, and I have a tray that’s already done.

Alright, here’s the finished batch. As you can see it’s all light, crispy, medium chunky. It has the sweetness of the sweet potato; it has the intact groats from the buckwheat, the oat goodness. And then, do whatever you want to do in terms of granola. You can put it on a smoothie bowl, sprinkle it on some frozen banana soft-serve ice cream that you make in a blender or something. I just treat it like regular breakfast cereal. So, I have a groatnola base with some berries, some pumpkin seeds, some walnuts, and then, some cocoa powder, just cause I like everything chocolatey. Put some unsweetened soy milk on there, and you are good to go. You will have weeks of groatnola to enjoy.

In our next story, I whip up some matcha ice cream.  It’s super-duper easy – and delicious.

Today, I’m going to share with you my new favorite dessert: matcha ice cream. 

Matcha is powdered green tea leaves. What’s so great about green tea? Its consumption is associated with lower rates of heart attacks, strokes, and premature death, proven in randomized, controlled trials to prevent precancerous colon polyps from developing, and precancerous prostate lesions from turning into full-blown cancer, and so anti-viral there’s an FDA-approved green tea compound ointment used to reverse warts caused by the HPV virus. That’s why, in my Daily Dozen checklist, it is one of the healthiest beverages, along with water and hibiscus tea.

Matcha is probably the healthiest way to drink green tea, since you’re drinking it as a whole food—whereas normally, you just make a hot water-green tea extract, and throw away the leaves. That’s like boiling some collard greens, and throwing away the greens, and just drinking the cooking water! Think what proportion of nutrition you’d be throwing away. The same thing, with tea leaves. Matcha allows you to drink tea whole.

That way, you’ll get all the nutrition, but also all of the potential contaminants. You know, China was late on the ban on leaded gasoline, resulting in higher-than-average lead levels in the soil on Chinese tea plantations. It gets taken up by the plant, but does not tend to leach out into the water when you just make tea the regular way. But if you eat the tea, like matcha, or if you throw tea leaves in a smoothie or something, I would recommend making sure your tea is sourced from Japan, rather than China. I have a video about the tolerable upper daily dose for kids, pregnant women, and other adults, depending on brewing method and source country.

Alright, now this stuff I have here is from Japan; so, that’s not a problem. The problem, however, with any matcha tea is the taste. Matcha has a strong grassy, earthy, mossy flavor. So, I figured, why not put it into ice cream? It could be the spoonful of sugar that helps the medicine go down. Of course, traditional ice cream has way more than a spoonful of sugar—not to mention the saturated butterfat. And, the dairy proteins can actually interfere with some of the beneficial effects of the green tea compounds. So, how about making a healthy matcha ice cream comprised entirely of whole foods—just two whole foods, to be exact.

Take two frozen super-ripe bananas, and put them in a food processor or blender alongside with a half-teaspoon of the matcha tea—now, more if you can stand it, but it’s pretty strong stuff; so, why don’t we start there. And, blend it up.

Blended frozen bananas take on this perfect, rich, creamy ice cream texture. Now, the more, the riper, the better. You want lots of little brown spots on there. Alright, I’m going to add a little, maybe a little mint garnish here.

The matcha actually makes the blended bananas taste better somehow. So, we’re talking just two whole plant foods—one a dark green leafy. Makes a gourmet decadent-tasting dessert. The more you eat, the healthier you are. That’s the way desserts should be.

Finally today, I make a vegetable smoothie inspired by a recipe in my “How Not to Die Cookbook.”

The idea for this came out of my research into nitrate-rich vegetables, like beetroot and spinach— shown to improve both oxygen delivery to our tissues (by opening our blood vessels), and, amazingly, oxygen efficiency, boosting the amount of power we can extract from each breath. That leads to all sorts of athletic performance-enhancing benefits, but, most importantly, improves lung function in emphysema, brings down high blood pressure, improves peripheral artery disease, boosts cognitive function, and may even enhance longevity by slowing our basal metabolic rate.

But, something like beet juice is perishable, hard-to-find. I was thinking maybe something like V8 would work, which lists both beet and spinach in the ingredient list—but evidently, so little that you’d have to drink 19 quarts a day to get the daily nitrate target dose that I recommend. So, I figured I’ll just make my own.

In my new cookbook, it’s called my V-12 Vegetable Blast, which is more involved, starts completely from scratch from fresh tomatoes, and is tweaked to fit more of a beginner’s palate. I want to show this version that I’ve actually been using whenever I happen to be in my favorite exotic locale—home, and not stuck in some airport food court somewhere.

It starts with five reusable bags, and a stalk of celery goes into each. All these vegetables are pre-washed. Then, one carrot in each bag. No need to peel them. You can just use kind of the back of a knife, and just scrape off some of the outermost bitter layer. Then a half of a red, orange, or yellow bell pepper in each. What do you do with the half you have left over? Dip it in some hummus, of course.

Next, one scallion in each, with the frilly little tips cut off. Then, one-fifth of a small beet in each (any more and it tastes really beety). Then, a fifth of a raw jalapeño pepper (which is totally optional, but, you know, I love things spicy). A quarter-inch of fresh turmeric root in each. If you can’t find it fresh locally, get it on eBay. Seriously. It kind of looks like a little turd, but then you snap it open, and the color inside is just gorgeous. 

Then, saving the best for last, the healthiest food on the planet? Greens. Now, as you probably guessed, what I’m doing is pre-prepping five days of smoothies here to make it as convenient as possible to eat as healthfully as possible. And so, even though something like arugula has even more nitrates—in fact, I think, the most nitrate-packed food there is—and I think is even tastier, there’s no way it’s going to last five days. It starts to turn yellow and get slimy. So, what I’ve been using is really hardy greens, like kale and curly parsley. Plus, kale has something spinach doesn’t have: it’s cruciferocious.

So, I’m going to put a cup of each one in each bag. Then, the bags all go into the fridge and wait their turn. Then, when you’re ready to rock and roll, here’s what you do:

In a high-speed blender, pour one cup of a no-salt-added vegetable juice blend, or no-salt-added tomato juice. Then, one cup of ice cubes, an eighth-teaspoon of freshly ground pepper. Then, a half-teaspoon of horseradish. Now, I’m actually using prepared horseradish here. But, you know, I’m realizing, you could probably grate it yourself, actually get horseradish root. I’ve never tried fresh. Or, you could actually chop up little pieces and put them in all the bags. So, if anyone tries that, let me know how it comes out. And then finally, the juice from a half of a lemon. For a bonus, you can actually zest that lemon. Then, cut and juice that half, and save the other half for tomorrow.

And, that’s all you have to do, day-to-day, right? So, just a couple minutes, and this last step is to just throw in, you know, one of your bags of veggies. Now, to save even more time, what you can actually do is kind of pre-prepare all those wet ingredients. So, this is about four cups. So, you could juice two lemons into here, two teaspoons of the horseradish, add enough of the black pepper. So then, there’s really only three things; three steps every day: a cup of the juice mixture, a cup of ice, and one of the bags of veggies, and then you’re all set for the day.

Okay; final step is to just blend, for ten burpees.

It fits into about one perfect Mason jar. Yeah, look at that. Then, you pop in a reusable straw and…cold, refreshing, zesty, whoo zesty!

And, think what’s in this thing. It’s just all vegetables. It’s like a mountain of nutrition, right? It’s hard to imagine a healthier beverage.

We would love it if you could share with us your stories about reinventing your health through evidence-based nutrition. Go to nutritionfacts.org/testimonials. We may share it on our social media to help inspire others.  To see any graphs, charts, graphics, images, or studies mentioned here, please go to the NutritionFacts podcast landing page. There, you’ll find all the detailed information you need, plus links to all of the sources we cite for each of these topics. 

My last two books are “How to Survive a Pandemic” and the “How Not to Diet Cookbook.” Stay tuned for Dec 5, 2023 for the launch of my one “How Not to Age.” And – of course – all the proceeds I receive from the sales of all my books go to charity. 

NutritionFacts.org is a non-profit, science-based public service where you can sign up for free daily updates – or the latest in nutrition research via bite-sized videos and articles. Everything on the website is free. There are no ads, no corporate sponsorship, no kickbacks. It’s strictly non-commercial. I’m not selling anything. I just put it up as a public service, as a labor of love, as a tribute to my grandmother, whose own life was saved with evidence-based nutrition.


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