Summer Herb and Fruit Smoothies

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After an amazing 3 weeks in India it feels good to be back home! Catching up on many things again and getting back into the swing of things for now. Before I left however I worked on another fantastic project with the Th├╝ringen Tourism Board at a great location. My heroes were the magnificent wild herbs and flowers that are found in many of the forests in this region and not only did I develop and shoot 3 fun and healthy summer smoothies, I also got to visit and shoot at a stunning location.

Located just under an hour’s drive from Weimar is the very quaint village of Paulinzella. A place so small I would have driven right through it without realizing what a treasure this places hides. Tucked away between trees are the impressive ruins of the Paulinzella Romanesque monastery. From a distance these ruins beckon with a stately aura, but as you walk down the path towards the little stream at the back of the monastery you will eventually come to the beautiful herb garden, which is open to the public throughout the year. This was my destination for the day!

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I was meeting Mrs. Wallnisch, my herb specialist who runs the garden and cares for the herbs throughout the year. With her friendly disposition, we became acquainted fairly quickly and started the morning with a little hike along what is the Luther pilgrim trail as she tells me. We are armed with baskets and every now and then we stop by the path and she bends down to pluck a few leaves. I am rather surprised at the number of edible herbs that grow on an ordinary path there are a few I know and recognize but there are many I would never have thought of putting in my basket.

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Clivers for instance. Usually they are stuck to my jeans after I have been on a hike. What I did not know was that besides being a wonder herb to treat many health issues, the leaves and flowers can be used to infuse refreshing drinks or teas and also used in salads and soups.

“Pine tips .. “ says Mrs. Wallnisch “are also great in cream cheese or quark!” I get that typical soapy pine-y kind of aftertaste in my mouth. “But you need to pick the small budding green tips not the mature ones. They have a lighter flavor!” she continues.

She then bends down and plucks a few leaves and gives them to me “Rub it between your thumb and finger until it almost falls apart!” As I do, the aroma of garlic penetrates my nostrils. I am intrigued when she tells me it is garlic mustard also known as “poor man’s mustard.” Although taste wise it is similar to wild garlic it is milder and not as peppery. The other benefit is that these are available all year round and the leaves, seeds, flowers and the roots are all edible.

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We make our way back to the herb garden and once again I am impressed at the monumental sight of the ruins as they come into our view. Walking into the herb garden with this as a backdrop is so stimulating.

The herb garden boasts of 27 raised beds all sitting at the foot of the monastery ruins. It is a lovely day, and the perfect setting. The bees busy on the many blooming herbs and the gentle sway of the breeze lifts a perfumed mix of lavender, mint and chamomile into the air as we walk past the beds. There are so many different varieties of mint and I instantly fall in love with the pineapple mint, which has light notes of pineapple and of course the chocolate mint – slightly cocoa-y towards the end.

We continue to fill our basket with more herbs and edible flowers as Mrs. Walnisch plans to create a few dishes using the herbs we collected. There is no cooking involved just a few good chopping knives and wooden boards and we are ready. While we chop those pine tips, Indian cress or nasturtium rose and hollyhock petals she tells me a little about herself.

In 2012 Claudia Wallnisch and her husband planted the herb garden at the Paulinzella Monastery ruins. It was a part of her qualification in garden therapy while she was working for an alternative practitioner in Erfurt. The project helped the passionate gardener to deepen her knowledge about herbs. Since then, Mrs. Wallnisch has been offering courses on a variety of themes in the garden and leads hiking tours in the region all specializing in herbs. She also runs a herbal studio and garden in her private residence.  She is most passionate about sharing her knowledge with the children of the many school classes that attend her course.

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She is a lovely, quiet lady and when I ask her what are her future goals she laughs and says “I hope that everything runs as it has been the past years. They have been good!”

I can understand that as I look at the scenery around me – it is healing and relaxing to be in this environment.

Over the course of the day we make piquant cream cheese balls coated with chopped pine tips, which I loved by the way, hollyhock and rose petals. We whip fresh butter, adding a variety of herbs and petals, like marigold petals, Cuban mint, hollyhock, and Thyme. There are fresh strawberries drizzled in dandelion flower honey and sprinkled with lavender and chocolate mint and beautiful strawberry tarts dressed with candied rose petals.

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Coming back home I was very motivated by the colors, the aromas and all the different flavors of the herbs. Mrs. Wallnish gave me a lot to think about and I was keen on creating refreshing recipes highlighting several of the wild herbs that grow in Thuringia.

Today’s recipes bring all the fresh flavors of fruity summer in bottles. These three smoothies are perfect for breakfast or a refreshing afternoon kick. The herbs I use in each smoothie pairs perfectly with the fruit.

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Recipe: Summer Herb and Fruit Smoothies

By

Smoothie 1: Strawberry Vanilla Soy Milk Wild Rocket and Sorrel Smoothie
Prep Time:
Total Time:
Serves: 2

 

Ingredients

  • 250ml soy milk
  • 1 vanilla bean – seeds scraped
  • 120g strawberries
  • small handful of wild rocket leaves
  • a few sorrel leaves
  • 100ml apple juice
  • ice cubes


Method

  1. Place all of the ingredients in a blender and blend until thick and smooth. Pour into glasses and enjoy straight away or transfer to bottles and keep in the refrigerator for up to 1 day.
Smoothie 2: Mango Pineapple Hollyhock and Mint Smoothie
Prep Time:
Total Time:
Serves: 2

 

Ingredients

  • 200g frozen mango cubes
  • 200g pineapple chunks
  • Juice of 1 lime
  • handful of pineapple mint (or regular mint)
  • 2-3 hollyhock leaves


Method

  1. Place all of the ingredients in a blender and blend until thick and smooth. Pour into glasses and enjoy straight away or transfer to bottles and keep in the refrigerator for up to 1 day.
Carrot Ginger Orange and Fennel Smoothie
Prep Time:
Total Time:
Yields: 2

Ingredients

  • 200ml carrot juice
  • small piece of ginger
  • 150ml orange juice
  • 80g plain yogurt
  • good handful fennel fronds
  • 10 peppermint leaves


Method

  1. Place all of the ingredients in a blender and blend until thick and smooth. Pour into glasses and enjoy straight away or transfer to bottles and keep in the refrigerator for up to 1 day.

Verdict

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All three of these smoothies rely on the natural sweetness of the fruit and the flavors of the herbs. The recipes above are only a guideline and you can make this fruitier or add more herbs as you like. If you prefer your smoothie sweeter add some raw honey or maple syrup or even dandelion flower honey instead of sugar.

I hope you all are having a great summer so far and I am sure my smoothies will help you refresh, energize and give you new energy each day.

Photography & Styling Workshops

More details on the upcoming and past workshops here.

Upcoming this Fall are two awesome workshops in stunning Sintra, Portugal and the annual Dubai, UAE. I hope I can tempt you to join me at one of these!

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SINTRA, Portugal
11th - 12th September 2015

Details & Registrations!
DUBAI, UAE
7th - 8th October 2015

Details & Registrations!

If you liked my fruity smoothie recipes I am sure you will like these lassies, shakes and smoothies from my friends:



All photographs and written content on What's For Lunch, Honey? © 2006-2015 Meeta Khurana Wolff unless otherwise indicated. | All rights reserved | Please Ask First

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8 comments:

  1. A lovely post. Those are great smoothies! Refreshing, healthy and delicious.

    Cheers,

    Rosa

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  2. The photos and post are so lovely Meeta! I missed your gorgeous posts and pictures :) Welcome back.

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  3. Hi Meeta! Beautiful pictures, as usual ;) As much as I love herbs...your post was very inspiring! Thanks for sharing your exciting experience at the herb garden! LG, Rosa

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  4. Edible flowers and herbs are just some of the most amazing things that nature has to offer I always think. The lady we have our monthly workshops has a wonderful garden too with lots of edible goodies. I never would have thought you could eat those but they are in fact delicious!

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  5. Oh what a lovely way to spend a day! Sounds quite similar to the wild food foraging course that Andrew and I both went on (separately, sadly!) in Provence. Love the sound of your smoothies - so fresh and summery!

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  6. What a gorgeous place. How wonderful to spend the day there - peaceful. The smoothies look sensational as well.

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  7. First, the smoothies are looking amazing. But everything else is looking more than amazing. So peaceful, beautiful and charming. I want to live there...

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Thank you for visiting What's For Lunch, Honey? and taking time to browse through my recipes, listen to my ramblings and enjoy my photographs. I appreciate all your comments, feedback and input. I will answer your questions to my best knowledge and respond to your comments as soon as possible.

In the meantime I hope you enjoy your stay here and that I was able to make this an experience for your senses.

Hugs
Meeta