I bought fresh locally grown figs and tatsoi at the Farmer’s Market yesterday so I am using these today-tatsoi is also called rosette bokchoy, spinach mustard, spoon mustard and Chinese flat cabbage. I have always called it tatsoi because the local growers where I buy it from call it by the Japanese name.
It looks like a skinny greener longer bokchoy. It’s a member of the brassica family so it has potent anti-viral, anti-bacterial properties and anti-cancer phytochemicals. If you can’t find tatsoi substitute with baby bokchoy (similiar mild taste) or baby spinach.
I remember a summer when I was 18 living in a house with a fig tree growing in the back garden-my first fresh fig…Ancient Egyptians celebrated figs in poetry and in paintings on tomb walls and left them in baskets in tombs to provide food in the afterlife. Likened to a womb, they were also the symbol for re-birth of the dead. The sycamore fig was closely associated with Isis for this reason and with Hathor, who was called Lady of the Sycamore. One of my favourite poems from Love Poems Of Ancient Egypt- Garden Songs describes the fig tree
The branches bend with plump fruit
Redder than the blood-red jasper,
Leaves like malachite.
That’s another reason why green smoothies are so great because the more brassica’s we eat raw (kale, chard, choy sum, Chinese broccoli, collard greens, broccoli, kai-lan also known as Chinese kale or Chinese mustard greens, bokchoy, komatsuna (Japanese mustard spinach), mizuna, tatsoi, rocket, cress etc) means we decrease our cancer /disease risks.
Interesting how many greens in the brassica family are Asian (and with different names-confusing!) and used extensively in Asian cooking AND non-Westernised Asians have one of the lowest cancer rates in the world. I grew up eating Chinese then also Thai/Vietnamese/Japanese/Indonesian food so if we can eat these brassica greens raw in green smoothies they will retain more of their powerful anti-cancer properties. Mum was always trying to get us to eat our boiled/steamed broccoli, mushy brussels sprouts and crunchy coleslaw because they were “anti-cancer”.
So today’s smoothie had water, tatsoi and spinach in blender /frozen bananas/5 fresh figs/ ginger/lemon/lime and a handful of frozen mixed berries. You can always chop and freeze over-ripe figs to use. Experiment with your green smoothies and all the different greens and fruits you can find!