Fresh Take

Adding plant-based choices to your diet boosts health and well­ness

ZOOMER Magazine - - CONTENTS - By Tara Losin­ski

eMMAKNIGHT doesn’t want eat­ing healthy to be a a chore. “It should never taste like you’re do­ing your home­work. If it does, then it’s not sus­tain­able. Peo­ple won’t do it every day,” she says. Knight is one part of the team be­hind Toronto’s Green­house Juice Co. and co-au­thor of The Green­house Cook­book: Plant­based Eat­ing and DIY Juic­ing.

Knight, who em­bod­ies the sunny, green ethos – to wit, she uses words like “au­tomag­i­cally” – also doesn’t be­lieve you have to do “su­per healthy” 100 per cent of the time. “You do you. If that’s a glass of red wine at the end of the day, don’t give that up,” she says. “Our hope is to give peo­ple a sense of how plea­sur­able it can be to live in a way that is good for your body over the long term.”

Juic­ing is back. In the early 20th cen­tury, it was used as ther­apy for pa­tients who needed a nu­tri­ent boost – the sheer quan­tity of pro­duce used means more vi­ta­mins and min­er­als. Juic­ing at home took hold in the ’60s, and the prac­tice of drink­ing raw juices seems to swell in pop­u­lar­ity every decade or so. And no won­der: it’s a so­lu­tion to slow or com­pro­mised di­ges­tion – is­sues that can come with ag­ing and cer­tain med­i­ca­tions. Plus, eat­ing raw seems to have its beauty ben­e­fits – look no fur­ther for proof than fa­mous raw devo­tee Carol Alt who ap­pears to be re­verse-ag­ing.

It had be­come a cog in the wheel of work-life bal­ance for Knight (di­rec­tor of brand and mar­ket­ing) and com­pany part­ners An­thony Green (CEO) and Hana James (di­rec­tor of com­mu­nity) when they started Green­house, sell­ing cold-pressed juice back in 2013. The blends are fresh, which means no preser­va­tives – there’s noth­ing in them but or­ganic pro­duce, su­per­foods and fa­mil­iars alike, with the guilti­est in­gre­di­ent be­ing the odd pinch of sea salt. Vir­tu­ously named, The Good (left) is the staff favourite. Go to www.ev­ery­thing­zoomer.com/recipe-green­house-juice for the recipe. “What we started to no­tice in our­selves, by just in­clud­ing green juice – with­out chang­ing any­thing else – you feel this kind of sus­tain­able en­ergy.”

They also found juic­ing to be gate­way fare. En­ter the book’s ed­i­bles – not all raw but all-ve­gan. A study has shown that eat­ing even a 70 per cent plant-based diet re­duced the risk of dy­ing from heart at­tack or stroke by 20 per cent. And increasing plant con­sump­tion while re­duc­ing that of meat has been found to re­duce the risk of heart dis­ease, in­flam­ma­tory dis­eases and Type 2 di­a­betes.

The meal recipes were de­vel­oped specif­i­cally for the book, and Knight kept her dad in mind dur­ing the process. “He loves cook­ing. And for him, it is all about joy and en­joy­ment. It’s not about, ‘Oh, how many omega-3s am I go­ing to get from this?’” she ex­plains. But if you do want to know, the book’s Plant Pantry lists nu­tri­tional ben­e­fits of some of the team’s favourite in­gre­di­ents. Knight ac­tu­ally bor­rowed the salad on the cover from her fa­ther. His ver­sion fea­tures pecorino cheese – al­though not ve­gan, it’s a vari­a­tion she was happy to in­clude.

The book con­tains 50 food recipes (try our pick, be­low) and 50 liq­uid recipes – all of Green­house’s juices, smooth­ies, nut milks and ton­ics. Of the drink­ables, Knight says, “You feel this kind of high, for lack of a bet­ter term, that in our cases would gen­tly mo­ti­vate us in think­ing about it and mak­ing a health­ier din­ner.” green­house­juice.com

KALE SALAD WITH ROASTED BEETS AND AV­O­CADO

Serves 4 (side) or 2 as a main This salad finds sweet­ness from roasted beets, salti­ness from black olives (we use wrinkly Moroc­cans), rich­ness from

toasted pine nuts and av­o­cado, fresh­ness from pars­ley and ex­cite­ment from raw gar­lic – mean­ing that it has enough go­ing for it to stand up as a meal and to hold your at­ten­tion to the bot­tom of the bowl. “Mas­sag­ing” vinai­grette into torn pieces of kale is a great way to soften this no­to­ri­ously brawny leaf and make it more palat­able in its raw form.

Vinai­grette

(makes twice what you need for the salad; save the other half in a jar in the fridge) ⅓ cup vir­gin olive oil ¼ cup freshly squeezed le­mon juice 2 tbsp Di­jon mus­tard (pale yel­low, not grainy) 1 clove gar­lic, minced Plenty of ground pep­per (4 or 5 grinds)

Salad

1 bunch green or red kale (about 4 cups) 3 small or 2 medium beets 2 tbsp vir­gin olive oil ½ tsp sea salt ¼ cup pine nuts 2 tbsp finely torn or chopped pars­ley ½ cup black olives, pit­ted and sliced in half ½ ripe av­o­cado, pit­ted and sliced

Pre­heat the oven to 400°F. Line a bak­ing sheet with parch­ment pa­per and set aside.

To make the vinai­grette, whisk to­gether the olive oil, le­mon juice, mus­tard, minced gar­lic and pep­per.

To make the salad, strip the kale leaves from their stems by hold­ing them up­side down and pulling the leaves down­ward. Tear them into bite-sized pieces. Place kale in a large salad bowl and set aside.

Slice off the ends of your beets. (Save the greens; they’re yummy steamed or sautéed in a bit of olive oil with salt.)

Peel the beets and chop them into some­what uni­form ½-inch pieces. Toss the beet pieces in the olive oil and salt. Spread in a sin­gle layer on the pre­pared bak­ing sheet. Roast for 20 to 22 min­utes or un­til ten­der with a bit of crispi­ness (but be care­ful not to dry them out). About 15 min­utes in, shuf­fle the beets around with a wooden spoon or spat­ula to help them roast evenly. Re­move from the oven and let cool.

In a small skil­let on the stove, toast the pine nuts for 5 to 6 min­utes, shak­ing the pan to toast evenly. Re­move from skil­let and let cool.

Pour half of the vinai­grette over the kale, mas­sag­ing it into the leaves with your hands. For op­ti­mal kale tex­ture and vinai­grette ab­sorp­tion, you re­ally have to rub it in. Add the chopped pars­ley and pit­ted and sliced olives to the kale. When you’re ready to serve, scat­ter the beets and pine nuts onto the salad and top with slices of av­o­cado.

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