Green smoothies don't look particularly appetizing on television, mainly because, well, they're green.
That had always been Elzora Sanders' impression, anyway -- until she saw local students handing them out Sunday at the Haggin Oaks Farmers Market.
She decided to take a chance.
"I was a little leery about it, but it's delicious," said Sanders, who at age 70 needs "all the energy builders I can get."
Score one for Team Fresh.
As part of a yearlong student leadership program called Dream Builders, the team of eight high school seniors is staffing a booth at the farmers market every Sunday this month to promote a healthy lifestyle through nutrition and exercise.
"We're trying to get people actually doing their New Year's resolutions," said Team Fresh member Annie Bardet, a Centennial High senior who joined her teammates in blending fruits and vegetables and handing out recipes and exercise tips to passersby.
Her team and three others are engaging with the local community through various volunteer efforts. One team is renovating part of a local retirement center, while another helps middle school students transition to high school. Another is creating a "memory book" for local World War II veterans who traveled to Washington, D.C. on a trip dubbed the Honor Flight.
Founded by the Jim Burke Education Foundation, Dream Builders is co-sponsored by Aera Energy LLC, Bank of the Sierra, Bright House Networks and Dignity Health. Representatives of each company work with the students to carry out the initiatives.
Typically the programs have focused on youth, senior citizens or veterans. But Team Fresh thought it was time to reach a wider audience: busy people who may not realize how quick and easy it can be to take good care of their bodies.
So the team put together a list of recipes, including the green smoothies, and printed them out on sheets the size of index card, the idea being that the ingredients could be combined and prepared in 15 minutes or less. The team also recommended some basic exercises that could also be done in a quarter of an hour to maintain health.
"That's what healthy should be. It should be fun. It should be easy," said another Team Fresh member, Ridgeview High senior Harmaneet Gill.
Dream Builders organizer Mikie Hay, director of community affairs at Jim Burke Ford, said she was proud of how Team Fresh interacted with the community Sunday.
She called the students, who went through a detailed selection process, "the best of the best."
For her part, Bardet was just happy to see people drinking the green smoothies, which contained vegetables such as kale, carrots and broccoli -- but also bananas and apples for sweetness.
Although passersby who dared to taste one were generally pleased with the flavor, she said taking the first sip tended to be a big step for some.
"People are put off by the color," she said.