Monday, January 30, 2012

Kale Smoothie!

This smoothie is for all of you out there who leave angry comments on my posts about burgers and cake.  Somehow, the collective consciousness of America has decided that red meat, sugar and, well, anything the least bit tasty is unhealthy, and the idea of a dietitian enjoying dead cow with bacon and bleu cheese (yum!) appalls you.  So I'm going to throw you a bone.

First, I agree that the Standard American diet ("SAD") needs help, and I don't propose eating burgers and fries every day.  I'm not a fan of extreme diets in general, like raw foods or the paleo diet.  Moderation, my friends, is the name of the game.

Which brings me to smoothies.  I'm not a huge smoothie fan because they usually contain a significant amount of added sugar and too many calories.  I don't consider them a good meal replacement because our body treats liquids and solids differently.  If you drink a smoothie for a meal, your body is going to be looking for more calories very quickly because fluid doesn't translate into satiety--liquids don't keep you feeling full.

The other issue I have with smoothies is that they lack protein and they give you a giant hit of sugar. Even pure fruit sugar can be disruptive to blood glucose regulation.  Yes, as a new vegetarian in high school I made smoothies with protein powder, and that can do the job, but between the chalky consistency and sour aftertaste, I wrote them off for many years.

Fast forward to January 2012, when all I want is a damn smoothie!  And cole slaw.  And beets.  And fish.  No, I'm not pregnant.  My body just thinks it's spring and is determined to get some fresh food!

For my first foray into smoothie making I consulted my fabulous friend Angie, who also happens to be a dietitian.  She's not nearly as squeamish about pureed food as I am, and offered some lovely suggestions.  This smoothie isn't a meal or even a snack.  Drink this (or eat it with a spoon) with some protein!  I've been having a bit of smoothie in the morning with my poached egg and muesli, and it's been delicious.  And yes, I'm undeniably proud of getting some fruit AND veggies with my breakfast!

Kale Smoothie!  I used my food processor because my blender doesn't, well... blend.

Kale Smoothie

1 bunch kale, stemmed and roughly chopped
1 apple
1 banana
1 Satsuma orange, peeled
1/2 tsp fresh grated ginger
1/2 cup almond milk (or any type you enjoy)
~ 1 tsp coconut butter or flax oil (optional)

  1. Boil water and blanch kale for 5-7 minutes, depending on toughness of leaf.  Plunge into ice water or run under cold water until chilled.  Squeeze out excess liquid.
  2. In food processor, blender, or Vitamix, combine apple, banana, satsuma, and ginger.  Blend until roughly chopped and then slowly add almond milk.  If you prefer a thinner consistency, add more  milk.
  3. If you'd like to add fat, I recommend flax oil or coconut butter (Angie says it's delicious, but I've never tried it).


  1. A poached egg sounds absolutely lovely! I need to get out my egg poacher and go to town on that; it will definitely change up the smoothie/peanut butter toast thing that I've got going on right now.

  2. You know, I've always failed at using an egg poacher. My MIL got me a beautiful one and I think I melted it. Oops! I've always done mine in water with a little vinegar. Let me know how yours turn out!

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  5. i started drinking smoothies a week ago. My skin improved after 2 days! Everyone should drink them, I feel like a have more energie than ever.

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