Saturday January 26, 2013
Detox and mood-boosting smoothies from Paris juicing master.
ON any given day, outside Marc Grossman’s small, inconspicuous vegetarian juice bar in Paris, you will likely find a queue of young, stylish, svelte hipster foodies filing in and out of the café, often sipping on a deep berry, green or carrot-orange smoothie.
It would be no exaggeration to call Grossman, an American expat from Manhattan, the city’s juicing kingpin, a trend late in coming to the City of Light.
With a cult following among Paris’ health-conscious stylistas, artists and bohemians, Grossman has easily cornered the market for freshly-squeezed cleansing juices and smoothies almost as soon as he opened his first café, Bob’s Juice Bar, in the city’s east end in 2006.
Since then, Grossman has become the poster boy for clean eating and juice fasts in a gastronomic culture renowned for its love of butter, cream and animal fats.
At a time when Paris sits under a heavy grey winter sky, locals nurse post-holiday food comas and return to the everyday grind, Grossman, author of Smoothies: Cocktails de fruits et legumes d’un Américain à Paris (Fruit and vegetable cocktails from an American in Paris), shares a few helpful hints on how to fight the winter blues, stay on track with weight loss resolutions and start the new year with the corporal version of a spring cleaning: detoxed.
Grossman trumpets the health benefits of this hardy, leafy green vegetable and uses it as his “star ingredient” in his green cocktail, sweetened with apples and pears. Kale is high in folic acid, a nutrient which, when in short supply, can lead to fatigue and weakness. Though in season now, it can be replaced with spinach in the spring.
At Bob’s Kitchen, Grossman’s second Parisian outpost, the seasonal winter drink is a hot lemonade and ginger fusion. Lemon juice is a popular way to kick-start a cleanse programme for, proponents claim, its ability to flush out the toxins in the body. Also good for clearing congested, flu-y bodies of phlegm, Grossman adds.
Oranges and grapefruits
The long-held notion has been that oranges and grapefruits, which are packed with vitamin C, can help ward off the cold and flu. And while the jury’s out on whether or not this is actually scientifically true, winter is peak season for these citrus fruits, which are also high in fibre. Furthermore, vitamin C is a powerful antioxidant and essential for cell and tissue growth and repair.
Grossman’s latest infatuation has been a savoury, liquid dinner he calls the “blended salad”. It’s a meal replacement that’s become a typical dinner of late for the busy chef, restaurateur, and father, who says it allows him to get a good night’s sleep and wake up feeling light and energetic. The blended salad includes ingredients like avocado, salad leaves, parsley, garlic, lemon juice, olive oil and a date for a dash of sweetness.
Grossman acknowledges the controversy over the nutritional benefits of chocolate. Pure cocoa is known to be rich in antioxidants and has been shown to help increase the feel-good and antidepressant chemical serotonin in the brain.
However, other studies have pointed out that men and women eat more chocolate as depressive symptoms increase, suggesting the sweet confectionery runs the risk of becoming an instant – and ineffective – gratification for psychological woes.
But use good quality cacao in moderation, and it becomes, for the average person, a feel-good mood booster. Use it in a chocolate, almond milk and flax seed shake, he suggests.
Flax seeds are high in omega-3, a nutrient that’s also been shown to play a role in mood and depression. Studies have shown a link between low levels of omega-3 and an increased risk for depression. – Relaxnews
Marc Grossman’s Happy Winter Chocolate Shake
50g raw almonds
375ml filtered or mineral water (plus more to soak almonds overnight)
1 tbsp cacao powder
1/3 of the beans from a vanilla pod
125g frozen ripe banana
1 tbsp ground flax seed
1 pinch sea salt (non-iodised)
SOAK almonds in water overnight (at least eight hours) and rinse.
Mix almonds with 375ml of water in a blender until almonds are thoroughly crushed. Then, pour through a strainer, filtering out the pieces of almond from the milk.
Blend the filtered almond milk with the frozen bananas, cacao, flax seeds, vanilla beans, and sea salt until smooth.
Grossman tip: I keep a jar of ground flax seeds in my fridge and grind them with a coffee or spice grinder.