Friday, March 16, 2012

Not Green Green Smoothie

Right after Christmas, I borrowed a juicer (which I broke) because I wanted to see if I liked juicing. I did, and Graham loved helping to put all the veggies in there and tasting what came out. I liked the idea of getting the nutrients of huge amounts of kale and carrots in a little glass of goodness. And, I liked the way it tasted. What I didn't love about it (other than owing my bro-in-law payment for a broken juicer) was all of the waste. I mean, huge bowl fulls of pulp for a tiny bit of juice. To me, all of that pulp means fiber. And, I happen to know fiber is pretty important. More recently, I've heard friends talk about adding kale to their smoothies, and I even tested a vegan smoothie recipe with kale for The Chubby Vegetarian (they have all kinds of recipes!). So, Graham and I have whipped up our own kale inspired smoothie a few mornings this week.

1 1/2 cups frozen berries (I use a blueberry, raspberry, blackberry blend)
2 cups kale
1 1/2 cup plain Greek yogurt
1 banana
1/2 cup to 1 cup orange juice, or milk

Place everything in the blender and blend until smooth. The trick is, don't put the kale on the very top, or the very bottom, or it won't "catch" right. I do have to stop a lot to scrape the sides down and get it going. Add more or less liquid to help it incorporate. Honey or agave could be added to sweeten it up.

It actually doesn't turn out green. The berries keep it a very pleasant color. It has all of the nutrients of juice, but also fiber, not as much fiber as just eating a cup of raw kale, but who wants to do that? The kale doesn't really taste strong, but it does change the texture a bit. It also has protein and calcium from the Greek yogurt.  And, weirdly, Graham loves it.

*This smoothie contains both soluble and insoluble fiber. Soluble fibers attract water and form a gel which slow down digestion, help make you feel full, and have a helpful effect on insulin sensitivity. It can also lower LDL (bad) cholesterol. Blueberries, strawberries, oats, lentils and apples are all sources of soluble fiber. Insoluble fibers are not fully digested and pass through the digestive tract mostly intact. These are the fibers that keep everything moving along "regularly", speeding up the passage of food through the gut and preventing constipation. Insoluble fiber is found in whole grains like wheat, brown rice and bulgur, as well as raisins, grapes, and dark leafy greens, like kale.

4 comments:

  1. what a cute photo of G3!

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  2. Smoothies are very good for health and they are very easy to make so that should be a perfect lunch idea for me.

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  3. Love the smoothie and I think they are so easy to make yet so healthy.Thanks for the lovely recipes.

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  4. Thanks Dionne! He's a good subject. ;)
    Hope you enjoy, EMR!

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