Does this scare you? A little?
It’s OK; it scared me at first, too. My mom saw it and, well, I don’t think I should share this part publicly, but you know how good I am with keeping a tight lid on things that should remain private. She stared as I sipped it—eyes wide—then immediately turned away and covered her mouth, gagging at what she’d just witnessed. “Andrea it looks like…” Stop.there.
But honestly, it’s not toxic sludge, even if that’s the impression you got. I’m really selling it, aren’t I?
Let me start by telling what it is: a [harmless] green smoothie. Frozen banana, almond milk, yogurt, and kale—the ingredient that imparts that lovely Hulk-green hue.
*To freeze a banana for your smoothie, peel it, break it into chunks, seal it in a small plastic baggie or an airtight container, and toss it in the freezer until you’re ready to blend.
I also added chia seeds because I recently bought a wacky amount of them on Amazon after reading so many of their amazing health benefits online (among other virtues, they’re a fantastic source of omega-3 fatty acids). I really enjoy the crunch they add to my oatmeal and smoothies lately, but I chose not to include them in the recipe because I do not expect anyone to run out and purchase such a pricey ingredient only to use one tablespoon in a single-serving smoothie.
*Hassle: my Magic Bullet won’t blend my kale? I’ve been popping it in my food processor first, then add it to the rest of the smoothie ingredients in the Bullet. Does this happen to anyone else?
Here’s what I love about this drink—a shake, if you’ll indulge me: it’s essentially good health in a glass. So many nutrients, so little time to consume them. We’ve all heard about what a superfood kale is. It’s THE most popular of vegetables right now. Kale salads, kale chips, kale juice…all kale, all the time. But for most of us, unless we’re cooking this tough, slightly bitter green, or massaging the leaves to break down it’s cellulose structure (essentially wilting it), it’s rather hard to consume it truly raw, or at least—in large quantities. So blending a few generous handfuls into a smoothie makes ingesting this superfood a cinch. It also adds bulk to the drink, making it feel more substantial, and a low-glycemic dose of fiber, making for slower digestion and more even blood sugar levels than using banana alone.
Things to keep in mind: this is not sweet. Trust that I will not be the health zealot who swears to you it tastes “just like a milkshake!” Because it does not. It tastes good, yes, and satisfying in that wholesome kind of way that eating well always does, yes, but it’s also a bit earthy in flavor, too. And it’s even got some grit to it. But I have to venture a guess that if you’re indeed going ahead and making this smoothie, you’re likely OK with these things.
If you do, however, find yourself needing some sugar (and don’t we all?) ain’t no shame in adding a teaspoon or two of sugar or a few drops of stevia, if that’s your thing. I just found liquid stevia at Trader Joe’s, obviously impulse bought it, and this week I sampled it for the first time. Initial thoughts? Not bad.
- 1 medium banana (freezing it beforehand is optional)
- 2 cups kale, stemmed and roughly torn into pieces
- 1 cup nonfat Greek yogurt
- 1 cup almond milk
- 1 teaspoon sugar or sweetener of choice (optional)
- If frozen, add the banana to the blender first and pulse until smooth.
- Add the kale, yogurt, almond milk, and optional sugar to the blender. If your banana is not frozen, add it to the blender now. Blend until all ingredients are well combined and the mixture is smooth and light green in color. Serve immediately.
Nutrition Information for 1 Smoothie (Entire Recipe, Not Including Optional Sugar/Sweetener): Calories 300, Total Fat 4.9 g, Total Carbohydrate 49.6 g, Dietary Fiber 9.3 g, Sugars 23.7 g, Protein 22.2 g