August 29, 2011

Green Smoothies

All your life you've been dreaming of drinking something this green. Right?

I promised you a recipe for the leftover kale from Kale Chips!

When I first read about green smoothies, I was a little skepical. Lettuce? In my smoothie? Won't that taste weird? What about chunks? I don't want to have to chew my drink...

My first attempt, in the spring, was awful. We had a head of romaine lettuce in the fridge that I fed into the blender with some fruit. I offered to share with the Bup but he looked at me like I was crazy.

I forced it down (I can't stand wasting food!) but there was a lot of chewing and plenty of green pieces stuck in my teeth. Not quite what I was going for and definitely not a drink to bring along to work for a mid morning snack.

I figured I needed a crazy expensive VitaMix and therefore would never have a green smoothie. Then I read a tip on Ashley's blog about pre-mixing the greens before adding the other ingredients. I tried again, and now even the Bup can't stop drinking them!

We have a Ninja Master Prep, which works as both a food processor and blender. It comes with 3 different sized containers to blend in, which is perfect for multiple kitchen projects. It's also great when you just want to mix/chop something small because the little one only holds 2 cups. For a smoothie to serve both of us, I use the mid-sized container.

The key to a super smooth smoothie is to blend the greens + milk first. Blend them until it looks smooth and then blend a little longer, just to be sure. You really don't want chunks of kale in your smoothie.

It looks about like this when you're done. See how much less appears in the blender than when we started? I can see a blade!

Add the fruit, juice, and whatever else and blend again. Then it looks like this. That bright green just screams healthy and it tastes delicious!

It goes without saying that all the leafy greens are nutritious. This is a perfect way to get more of them in your diet without feeling like you have to eat salads for every meal. No one wants salad for breakfast but almost everyone would say yes to a smoothie!

Breakfast doesn't seem filling to me if I don't chew something, so I usually have this with peanut butter toast or later as a mid-morning snack. Because of that, I try to keep it between 200-300 calories. If I want it to be more filling & keep away hunger longer, I add nut butter or coconut, which are optional in my recipe below.

Stick in a straw and slurp away. No chunks involved. Only smooth deliciousness.

That is a word, right? ;-)

Kale Green Smoothies
Serves 2

3 c kale, torn
1 c unsweetened almond milk (any flavor)
2 bananas, frozen
1 1/2 c fruit (mango, apple, strawberries, etc.)
1/4-3/4 c liquid (any flavor juice or milk)
1 1/2 T nut butter or shredded coconut, optional

Tear kale leaves into pieces. Add to blender with milk. Process until mixture looks smooth, and then process for another 30 seconds. Add bananas, your choice of fruit, and 1/4 c juice or milk. Blend until smooth. If mixture is too thick, add more liquid. Pour and enjoy! Smoothie will keep overnight in the refrigerator but may have a thinner consistency than when fresh.

Some of my favorite flavor combinations are:

Strawbery Banana
Fruit: frozen strawberries
Liquid: Unsweetened Vanilla Almond Milk

Coconut Mango Pineapple
Fruit: frozen mango chunks
Liquid: pineapple juice
Add: shredded coconut

Vanilla Almond Pineapple
Fruit: pineapple chunks
Liquid: Unsweetened Vanilla Almond Milk
Add: almond butter

Question:  What flavor combinations would you put together?

1 comment:

  1. also try out a Hawaiian Green Smoothie...
    coconut water



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