I’ve read a lot of books in the last 20-odd weeks. Books on breastfeeding, on birthing, on French parenting…you name it, I’ve read it. (Except for the old classic, What to Expect. I can barely stand the tone of the website, and I’ve read that the book instills more fear than anything, so I’ve just avoided it altogether. #sorrynotsorry)
One book I skimmed through was Dr. William Sears’ The Healthy Pregnancy Book. I say skimmed, because I get in these moods where I’m simultaneously exhausted with reading about pregnancy and yet still wanting to read about pregnancy. In any case, a couple things caught my eye while flipping through: his 12 pregnancy superfoods, and his Pregnancy Smoothie recipe.
Okay, alright. The 12 superfoods are nothing magical: seafood, raw nuts, greens, avocados, eggs, yogurt, blueberries, beans and lentils, ground flaxseed, olive oil, tofu, and oatmeal. The smoothie, then — along with his wife’s salad recipe that’s also included — manages to include the bulk of those ingredients. His magic formula? Make the smoothie for sipping on all day, so you don’t overfill your stomach and suffer for it, and then eat the salad at night.
Me, I was intrigued. Was the idea of sipping on something day after day for the majority of meals really doable? And how did it taste?
For a number of reasons, I decided not to go the all-day-smoothie test route, but I did make one batch for sipping on through the week. And, guys…I have feelings about it. First, though, the recipe:
Dr. Bill and Martha’s Pregnancy Super-Smoothie
(From The Healthy Pregnancy Book and also Ask Dr. Sears)
8 oz. green vegetable juice
8 oz. carrot juice
8 oz. pomegranate juice or grape juice
1-2 cups Greek-style, organic, plain yogurt
1 cup blueberries (fresh or frozen)
1 cup other fruit (strawberries, papaya, mango, pineapple, etc.)
3 oz. tofu, organic firm
1/4 cup ground flaxseeds or 2 tbsp. flaxseed oil
1/4 cup wheat germ
1 tsp. cinnamon
1 tbsp. blackstrap molasses
Mix all ingredients in a blender. Smoothies taste best when they are fresh and still have that bubble milkshake consistency. Keep blender with unused pregnancy smoothie in the fridge for later sipping, and blend just a bit to refresh. Makes about 8 cups.
So, that’s the smoothie. You can see that it includes a lot of super fun ingredients like carrot juice and “green vegetable juice” which, let’s be honest, is actually impossible to buy at the store. Maybe if you have a juicer at the ready it will work for you, but what I ended up doing was pouring in a bottle of Bolthouse Farms’ Daily Greens. (Only after sipping it to see just how awful it was IRL. 8/10 on the Awful scale, which was slightly higher than the 7/10 that the carrot juice earned.)
Problem #1 that I encountered with making the smoothie was the sheer volume of the ingredients. I have a Ninja blender, and even still, I had to pour the smoothie into my 10-cup Pyrex liquid measuring cup to stir in the juices. On a related note, I wasn’t smart about my blending, so the smoothie is only 80% blended; each day, I pour my portion out and blend it with a stick blender. (Which is actually an okay thing, because I realized afterward that I forgot the tofu, and have been putting in a sixth of a portion each day. Writing this now I’m actually afraid I forgot the wheat germ too. Can I blame this on pregnancy brain?)
The taste, then? It’s. Well.
Here’s the thing. It’s not great. I can’t imagine drinking this day after day, with just a salad at night to change up the flavor. Also, isn’t it better to develop my fetus’s taste buds in the womb, DR. SEARS?! I mean, I know there was that carrot juice study and all, but do we have to take it so literally?
That said, it’s not entirely undrinkable. I don’t enjoy the flavor, but the smell, for some reason, manages to smell exactly like apple cider. No, not just apple cider. It smells like the apple cider bowl at these annual barn dances my church used to hold. It’s the weirdest thing, but if I make an effort to smell the smoothie as I’m drinking it down, I’m transported back there and everything is fine. I’m in my happy place.
Which, hmm…that brings up a good point. Maybe I should focus on that as my happy place during labor…
In any case, I’ll have the review of the salad up sooner or later. I have slightly better feelings about it. You know you’re excited.