Sunday, June 28, 2015

Kale in my Smoothie


Kale Avocado Smoothie
At one of our recent potlucks, the topic of smoothies came up. A friend of mine mentioned that he tried a kale smoothie and how he did not like it (to put it mildly).  He was attempting to be healthy but it did not end too well. He had an almost green juice with kale, spinach and a bunch of other nice healthy greens, but it did not meet his expectations. Poor thing.

I mentioned to him that I also am not quite ready to make the green juice plunge yet. I know greens are really healthy for me, but I prefer munching on my veggies. I must be part rabbit. However, I do love kale. In addition to that, in spite of my affinity for greens, I feel that I still do not get enough veggies daily. I did find a yummy way to sneak (i.e. hide) it in my smoothie and happily shared secret with him.

Just a brief background, I started switching to smoothies because I wanted a more natural booster in the morning. Also, coffee on an empty stomach is starting to give me some issues and my chai mix can be loaded with sugar. A smoothie seems to be a good alternative. Plus, I get nutrients which I don’t normally get in my cup of java. 

Here’s what I shared with my friend. As far as I know, he has not tried it yet, but I love it. Hope you enjoy!


Mad Gourmet’s Avocado-Banana-Kale Smoothie
Serves 1

Ingredients

  • 1/2 medium avocado
  • 1 banana (sliced, preferably frozen)
  • 1 cup of milk (I use almond milk)
  • 1 cup of kale
  • 1 tsp of honey or agave (if you want it vegan)
  • 4 ice cubes
  • Chia seeds (optional, for garnish or to add to the blend)


Directions
  • Place milk, ice and frozen banana in a blender. Chop. (I have an older blender, so I do this in batches)
  • Add kale and avocado and chop.
  • Stir until smooth.
  • Pour into a glass, garnish with chia seeds. Serve immediately.



Verdict

I love this smoothie in the morning. The almond milk gives me the protein boost, Avocado for the healthy fats, banana for the potassium and other vitamins, and kale for more vitamins and fiber. I can hardly taste the kale but that distinct texture is still there and frankly, the texture contrast makes the smoothie more interesting (although it’s not that smooth).

Kale Smoothie To Go
Half of my serving for later... 'gater!
I have just recently been using local honey to help with my seasonal allergies. I can vouch that this works (for me - look ma, no sneezes). However, if you want to have a truly vegan meal, agave is my choice of sweetener. For an added Omega-3 boost, I would sprinkle some chia seeds on top or blend it with the smoothie.

Sometimes, I would vary the milk and use coconut milk or a blend. This is primarily because I feel a bit guilty about using too much almonds given the drought situation in California. I figure routinely switching my almond milk up helps in its own (little) way. I do love almond milk though.

Also, to minimize my dishwashing and help with the drought, I use my measuring cup as my smoothie bowl. Don't worry, it gets washed in hot water in the dishwasher.

Lastly, I admit that I still like a solid breakfast. Since I am in a rush in the morning, I would have half of my smoothie almost first thing (after my lemon water, which I do have first thing). Around mid-morning, when things more or less settle down, I’ll have a small serving of oatmeal (usually overnight oats) with nuts and fruits or a small (often healthy) muffin. This routine works for me and keeps my energy up in the morning. Added bonus: I have another smoothie for the next day (it also keeps well in the fridge). 

I almost… almost replaced my coffee with this routine. Now, it's my just my occasional afternoon java boost.

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