When living in San Diego, a beau introduced me to smoothies with leafy greens. I have to admit I was initially skeptical — that’s made of what?!
The resulting drink is really robust, not sweet (kale itself is bitter, and berries are a low-sugar fruit), and packed with Omega-3s, vitamins, and minerals. Don’t expect a Jamba Juice, sugary-syrup boosted smoothie. It is almost a savory dish, making a surprisingly filling and energizing start to one’s day, and is a quick way to get in some more summertime leafy greens. If you have more than you can drink at one sitting, stick it in the freezer, and defrost to drink later. Sometimes I’ll use the frozen leftovers as a sort of “starter” to my next day’s breakfast — except instead of sourdough, it’s a smoothie.
I like to layer everything in the blender: starting with the kale, weighed down by frozen fruits, then the fats (flax + nut butter) with the milk splashed on top. I blend on “frozen drink” mode, and usually have to stir things around a few times to get it all incorporated. Check out that amazing bright color in the right-hand photo — no enhancement there, just real green goodness!
After acquiring a taste for them, I’ve learned that kale smoothies made tasty, easy meals. If you use spinach (instead of kale), the resulting smoothie will have less bite, which can be nice. Adding more berries (blueberries have a nice, strong flavor) and a banana (the riper, the sweeter) can also tone down the green a little. If you need sweetness, a fruit juice (such as apple), can be splashed in. Some fresh lemon juice brightens up all the flavors. And of course, the ratios are not a set science — adjust as your palate and pantry sees fit. I am also a fan of the fruity-purply-smoothies that are a result of plenty of berries.
Kale Breakfast Smoothie
- Three leaves of organic kale, washed, torn into pieces, stems removed
- 1 1/2 cups frozen berries
- 1 1/2 cups almond milk
- 1 banana (you can freeze it if you want)
- 2 tablespoons ground flaxseed
- 1 tablespoon ground nut butter (I used sunflower)
- 1-3 ice cubes (optional, depending on the liquidity of the other ingredients)