Saturday, October 20, 2012

Purple Kale and Berry Smoothie

Growing up, I was a notoriously picky eater. Vegetables were by far my least favorite kind of food, and I could only stomach a measly few. In fact, carrots, lettuce, and corn were the only vegetables I would tolerate. My poor mother tried her best to introduce new foods to me, but what can I say... I was a very obstinate child.

Luckily, somewhere along the line, I became tired and somewhat embarrassed of my pickiness, and I started to branch out and eat a wider variety of foods. As a result of my new mentality, I've found that I really do like so many foods that I previously dismissed. Just last year, I discovered my love of kale. Whether it is sauteed, thrown into a pasta dish, or baked into chips, I just can't get enough of the curly green vegetable!

This past week when I was at the grocery store, I saw a purple variety of kale. I had to try it! It was so pretty that I felt I should do something special with it. The next morning, when I was trying to decide what to have for breakfast, inspiration struck: I would blend my purple kale into a smoothie! I'd seen many recipes for green smoothies that feature spinach, so I figured why not (purple) kale?

Just as I anticipated, the resulting smoothie was a beautiful purple color, but it was also creamy and smooth with no hint of the kale at all. Instead, I only tasted the natural sweetness of the fruit I put into it. This smoothie is really great for picky eaters (or recovering picky eaters like myself) since it has all the nutrition of a green smoothie without the visual "ickiness" of one!
 Purple Kale and Berry Smoothie
Note: Keep in mind that smoothies are really very versatile and forgiving. Feel free to play around with the ingredients in order to include your favorite fruit. If you like your smoothies very sweet,  you could swap out the milk for a fruit juice to bump up the sweetness or just drizzle a little honey into it.
Yield: One very large smoothie (could easily be shared by two)
4 kale leaves, stems removed and torn into bite size pieces (about 1 1/2 to 2 cups)
8 ounces frozen berries of choice (I used strawberries and blackberries)
1 medium banana, broken into pieces
4 ounces plain, nonfat Greek yogurt
4 ounces skim milk
1 tablespoon flax seeds
Place all ingredients into a blender and blend on highest setting for a couple of minutes. If you're like me and don't have a very powerful blender, you will probably need to stop the blender and stir the ingredients around once or twice to help get them going. You know your smoothie is done when a vortex forms in the middle, and you see the mixture flowing evenly throughout the machine.
Pour the smoothie into a  tall glass (or glasses if sharing) and enjoy right away!
Nutritional Information: Servings: 1 Calories: 396, Fat: 4 g, Carbs: 71 g,
Protein: 22 g, Fiber: 17 g, Sugar: 36 g, Sodium: 151 mg, Potassium: 1647 mg
It also provides 314% of Vitamin A, 340% Vitamin C, and 51% of Calcium based on Daily Recommended Values.

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