Dr. Greger in the Kitchen: My New Favorite Beverage

Dr. Greger in the Kitchen: My New Favorite Beverage
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Dr. Greger blends up a vegetable smoothie inspired by a recipe in his How Not to Die Cookbook.

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Below is an approximation of this video’s audio content. To see any graphs, charts, graphics, images, and quotes to which Dr. Greger may be referring, watch the above video.

This is “Dr. Greger in the Kitchen,” where I take the science, and put it into practice. Today, I’m going to share with you my new favorite beverage: a vegetable smoothie. I know it sounds kind of gross, but bear with me. 

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. Mmm!

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, add 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.

Ideally, drink it with, while munching on some walnuts, pumpkin seeds, maybe a little avocado in there or something; some form of fat to help you maximize the absorption of all those fat-soluble carotenoid nutrients in there, as well.

If you want more recipes like this, incorporating some of the healthiest foods on the planet, check out my new cookbook, the How Not to Die Cookbook, now available for pre-order. It’ll be out this December, right in time for the holidays. I would say it’s a good stocking stuffer, but it’s actually kind of big. So, your friends and family have to have really big feet, but it makes a great New Year/new you-type gift. All the proceeds I receive from all my books, DVDs, and speaking engagements all go to charity. I just want you to be healthier!

Please consider volunteering to help out on the site.

Below is an approximation of this video’s audio content. To see any graphs, charts, graphics, images, and quotes to which Dr. Greger may be referring, watch the above video.

This is “Dr. Greger in the Kitchen,” where I take the science, and put it into practice. Today, I’m going to share with you my new favorite beverage: a vegetable smoothie. I know it sounds kind of gross, but bear with me. 

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. Mmm!

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, add 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.

Ideally, drink it with, while munching on some walnuts, pumpkin seeds, maybe a little avocado in there or something; some form of fat to help you maximize the absorption of all those fat-soluble carotenoid nutrients in there, as well.

If you want more recipes like this, incorporating some of the healthiest foods on the planet, check out my new cookbook, the How Not to Die Cookbook, now available for pre-order. It’ll be out this December, right in time for the holidays. I would say it’s a good stocking stuffer, but it’s actually kind of big. So, your friends and family have to have really big feet, but it makes a great New Year/new you-type gift. All the proceeds I receive from all my books, DVDs, and speaking engagements all go to charity. I just want you to be healthier!

Please consider volunteering to help out on the site.

Videography by Grant Peacock

Doctor's Note

I’m so excited about my new all-whole-foods How Not to Die Cookbook. You can order it here. As with all my books, DVDs, and speaking engagements, all proceeds I receive go to charity.

This is quite a departure from the typical NutritionFacts.org video that focuses exclusively on the science, but as long-time fans will know by now, I like mixing it up from time to time. Let me know if you appreciated this video. If folks really like it, I’ll do more!

Ready to make a version of this smoothie for yourself? Get the recipe right here.

Also, check out Dr. Greger in the Kitchen: My New Favorite Dessert for a treat! 

If you haven’t yet, you can subscribe to my videos for free by clicking here.

PS: Special thanks to Grant Peacock for his mad videography skills!

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