Green Zinger 1 of 2 by child grower Annita Woz

connorfeetCan you say Kombuchi?

Couscous, hummus, fermentation, natural probiotics and words like gut flora are swirling around my head.

I imagine how I am going to explain tossing a seaweed leaf or two into my next pot of stew.

“But do you still love to cook?” is my big question to the well informed woman who leads our group of six on a Nourishing Food Tour through the isles of the Willy Street Co-op  on a beautiful summer evening.

The instructor’s goal is to introduce us to unprocessed, fresh, local food that will not poison our bodies with added chemicals or preservatives. We are sticking to primarily to the fresh section which is labeled with name of the farm that supplies the produce.  Information about vitamins, and which body part is most nourished by eating it is also posted.  

At the end of the tour we get to taste some of the items featured on the walk through  and I have just popped into my mouth some mustard made with apple cider vinegar layered beneath some sprouts that look like the unluckiest four leaf clovers to ever grace the top of a gluten free cracker. 

It wasn’t bad.

But it was also something I knew that I would never eat again.

While taking notes as my good humored friend tries each new conconction that is introduced and then passes mine to me.  I sip something very green and zippy from a tiny glass.  This is kombuchi.  Now say Kombuchi three times fast.  It’s kind of catchy. As a name.  I am told that this fermented beverage aids digestion.

Feeling as though I’m in an way off-broadway show imitating Wicked, I reach for another green liquid making the rounds.  The ingredients are simple: green kale, some enzymes, some juiced apple and  the label says Green Zinger.  

We are not prepared for the green Kombuchi and gasp! we have never juiced a veggie, either.    We have never tried a Green Zinger!  The rest of the group silently scoots their chairs another inch away from us.  We are foreigners in a foreign land. 

The puzzled look on my friend’s face has been replaced with a slap to her forehead.  Maybe we need a juicer!  Better head to Walmart – er some east side eco friendly store- and get one on the way back to suburbia.  The rest of the class stares at us.

Eat fruit for breakfast is the advice the group gives for an alternative breakfast.  They can no longer enjoy pancakes, muffins, waffles, cereal, even the cholesterol busting oatmeal is off the table. We learned earlier many of them have celiac’s, gluten allergies and digestion issues that have led them to better, evidently greener food. 

I snap back to attention when I hear about throwing some chia seed (for protein) into the blender with the juice. 

Did the instructor just recommend chia seeds for our morning smoothie?  Yes, think chia pets featured on  late night commercials where people grow grass hair on clay-shaped heads. 

My good friend Theresa raises her eyebrows and stops mid-taste of the green beverage to contemplate the merits of eating a chia pet pre-race. While the green liquid rolls around on her tongue, she imagines running the half-marathon fueled on the green concoction. She is in training and I can see that she isn’t going for it.  Carb loading is what she knows she needs and she isn’t recognizing any on tonight’s tasting menu.

She keeps leaning into my shoulder and tilting her head to the side but won’t squeak out a protest for fear of offending the group who is paying rapt attention to our speaker.  They are here to feel better, not to entertain the two of us.

Theresa and I love to go to classes and programs and free lectures to learn new things.  If there is a class related to health, exercise, nutrition, cooking, we are there.  We’ve taken many cooking classes together- stews, breads, Laotian food, Pakistani preparation, we are Orange Tree Import cooking class junkies.   

We’ve attended fairs for holistic healing, thought about getting our palms read, had some discussion about magnetic bracelets and balancing our chakras.  We think acupuncture is interesting, yoga is centering but beyond that, we know tonight we are like kindergarteners using our finger to trace under the lines of  Jane and Spot Lose Their Cookies.  

We aren’t paying close attention but suddenly we know the talk is changing and there is an emphasis on cleansing, unmentionables flowing from the body and moving quickly and easily thru the system and we are picking up the not so subtle message that we are some of the worst convenience food consumers in the tri-state area. 

And we don’t know beans.  Kidney beans, we learn,  clean the kidney and uric system because, look,  they are shaped like kidneys to help the uninformed recognize real food’s purpose.  Oh, we need a good cleanse all right. Tsk Tsk! We have been eating all the wrong food. Shame. Shame.

Seriously, we are learning a lot from this class.  And we have a lot to unlearn.

I have been lecturing my tasting buddy for a few months about purging her cupboards of high fructose corn syrup and she has been calling me the Corn Queen in protest.  I think I can now call her Kombuchi Girl and I will make time to choreograph a little dance routine where we can say kombuchi over and over as we dance around a fire.

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part 1 of 2 by child grower Annita Woz.

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4 Responses

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  2. You did a fabulous job of on this article! I laughed so hard reading it and was able to go right back to that a very night as I read each paragraph. I’m grateful we stick our toes out there and explore these amazing places.
    What is our next adventure?

    Theresa

  3. I took an vegetarian cooking course once and the instructor said that if you soak the kidney beans, then dump that water a couple of times, it helps get rid of the gas punch that comes along with the protein. (Not that I’m assuming you have that problem!)

    Two of my grandsons go to a new “green” school with natural light in all the classrooms, allergy-free materials, and an organic roof garden where the kids grow vegetables in raised beds and they’re used in the cafeteria. (they supplement with produce from an organic farm.) I don’t think chia is one of the crops.

    Enjoyed this very much!

  4. merrilymarylee- yes! the subject of gas came up for everyone in the class but me…har! I think you should give chia pets to your sons classroom and let them go (and grow!) wild. I heard big hair is in again…

    T- yes, what IS our next adventure??? ORANGE TREE_ lets get signed up.

    Thanks for reading Zinger, girlz. Have a great week.

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