If you were to bump into me at the farmers’ market, then you’d surely see me with at least two or three bunches of kale in my arms. I’ll usually try to get one of each variety that is stocked at my favorite stand – curly, lacinato, red monarch, etc. Each has their own flavor, texture, & quality. Some varieties are better for salads, kale chips & smoothies (think green curly kale), while others are better in soups, stews & stir-fries – (think lacinato kale). No matter what the variety, recipe or method I love it, & I know I’m not alone. Seems that many would agree, we just can’t get enough of kale.
July is likely to be the month of KALE here on Vegenista, as I have BUNCHES of it in my crisper & tons of fun plans for it. I recently made a Kale, Basil & Walnut Pesto that I am excited to share & tonight I will be making a Kale & Lemon Risotto! I am also planning on recreating a version of a scrumptious kale salad I had at a restaurant recently.
And then there’s the kale smoothie. One of my absolute favorite ways to begin the day is with a vibrant, nutritious, vitamin rich & tasty kale smoothie. As mornings tend to be tight, I can get habitual with my quick-fix breakfast menu. I was on an “over night oats” kick for a while, & now I’m back to green smoothies. I am also a bit a habitual in what I put in said smoothie. When I find a ratio & flavor profile that works for me & I stick with it, at least until tastebud boredom sets in. So for now it’s this mixture: coconut water, banana, vanilla hemp protein powder, frozen mango & you guessed it KALE. During my last green smoothie kick, I would often take it on the go. The reaction of my co-workers was always the same…“What the heck is that & how could you drink something that is such an awful color?” Well, as Kermit sang, guess “It’s Not Easy Bein’ Green!” All I can say is 1. Don’t knock until you try it. 2. What’s so awful about green? I’m happy to say I’ve turned many naysayers into new found green smoothie fanatics & they all say the same thing…you can’t even taste the kale. Precisely.
- 1 cup coconut water
- 2-4 Tbsp. of vanilla flavored organic hemp protein powder
- ½ a banana
- Handful of chopped kale
- ¾ cup frozen mango chunks
- If you have a VitaMix: put all contents in a blender, turn on, switch it to high speed & turn the knob up to 10. Blend until smooth. If using a regular blender, I’ve found it works best to put the kale & liquid in first & blend until the greens are broken down, then add the rest of the ingredients & blend until smooth.
I will say that the texture of the protein powder is something to get used to. It can be a bit grainy/chalky. I’ve tried several different brands & they all yield the same results. I’ve settled on the Trader Joe’s brand as it is the best price. Why hemp over soy or other vegan protein powders? Hemp is naturally high in Omega-3, fatty acids, & dietary fiber. Per serving (4 tbsp.) the TJ’s brand has 9 grams of protein per serving, 500 mgs of Omega 3, 10 essential amino acids, & 11 grams of fiber. They also make a chocolate flavor that I’ve yet to try. Mmmm….chocolate berry kale smoothie? Maybe that will be my next habit!