Thursday, April 26, 2012

Green Smoothie


Looking for a way to add more green veggies into your diet? This recipe sneakily packs 2 cups of healthy fresh greens into a tasty smoothie! I promise that aside from the bright green colour, you won't be able to detect the taste of the kale or spinach. Enjoy for breakfast, before or after a workout, or to cool off in the warm spring and summer weather ahead! 

Ingredients:

2 cups kale (de-stemmed) or spinach
1 ripe banana - Use a frozen banana for a super thick and creamy smoothie
1 cup ice cubes
1 cup almond, soy, or dairy milk
1/2 tsp. vanilla extract
Other optional add-ins: 1/2 cup fresh or frozen berries, 1 small peeled orange, 1 Tbsp. flax or chia seeds, 1 scoop protein powder, 1 Tbsp. peanut or almond butter, 1 tsp. cinnamon, 1 Tbsp. honey or agave

Directions:


In your blender, layer the kale or spinach, banana, ice cubes, almond milk, and vanilla extract. Putting the banana and ice cubes on top of the kale or spinach weighs it down and ensures it gets blended smoothly. If you are including any of the optional add-ins then put those at the bottom of the blender as well.


Blend on high for 2-3 minutes, until smooth and no whole pieces of kale or spinach remain. Pour into a large glass and serve chilled.

*Recipe by Brooke McMillan

Curious about kale? Here are some of its nutritional information and amazing health benefits:

1 cup of kale has 36 calories, 0 grams of fat, and contains nearly 20% of the RDA for dietary fiber, which promotes regular digestion, slows absorption of sugar into the blood, lowers cholesterol, and keeps you full longer!

1 cup contains over 192% of the RDA for Vitamin A, which is an antioxidant that boosts immunity and maintains healthy bones and teeth. It also contains over 88% of the RDA for Vitamin C, another antioxidant that lowers blood pressure, boosts immunity, and promotes optical health.

1 cup also contains over 1300% of the RDA for Vitamin K, which promotes bone strength, nervous system health, and prevents calcium build-up in tissues that can lead to blocked blood vessels, cardiovascular disease, and stroke.

It contains antioxidants in the form of carotenoids and flavonoids that help defend your body from free radicals (bad cells that cause oxidative stress on the body and can be cancerous).

It is a source of cancer fighting compounds called glucosinolates, which have been shown to protect your body from many forms of cancer.

It contains omega-3 fatty acids which prevent inflammation in the body and promote heart health.

Kale is also a very good source of copper, calcium, Vitamin B6, and potassium.

You can enjoy kale in a variety of ways! Try it raw in salads or smoothies, steamed or sauteed (like collard greens or spinach), or baked into kale chips. Find it by the lettuce and other greens or in the frozen vegetable section in any grocery store. 

Here are some of my other recipes with kale:

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