Kale happens to be the second most nutrient dense food in the WORLD (and my favorite vegetable)! It's chock full of antioxidant vitamins, minerals (lots of iron and calcium), fiber, amino acids, and the ever important omega 3 and 6 fatty acids. It's readily available at supermarkets, and definitely abundant at farmer's markets (my personal preference) where you'll get the freshest crop and therefore the highest nutrient content. It can be bought in bulk at a more than reasonable price at farmer's markets and can be frozen for year round use.
Berries, like strawberries, blueberries, and raspberries, also rank very high in nutrition content, being one of the top ten nutrient dense foods on earth. They're loaded with powerful antioxidants, phytochemicals, dietary fiber, and minerals. Berries also have the lowest carbohydrate content of all fresh fruits. They're commonly available at supermarkets and farmer's markets, and, just like kale, berries can be bought in bulk and frozen for year round use. Frozen berries are also available year round in supermarkets, being a great choice because they're picked at peak ripeness and then quickly frozen, preserving nutrient content. For the best price and quality, I prefer Trader Joe's organic frozen fruit. Nature's Promise and Cascadian Farms also market organic frozen fruits which are a little more expensive, but still very good.
I tend not to measure my smoothies by methods other than handfuls, palmfuls, and pinches, even when following recipes that call for it. I prefer to throw things together quickly and experiment with different ingredients each time I make something. The ingredients for this smoothie are pretty basic, and at the bottom of the recipe you'll see suggestions for adding a little flair if you prefer, which I alwasy do. Enjoy!
KaleBerry Smoothie Recipe
Yeild: 4 servings
(all organic highly recommended)
2 large kale leaves, or 1 handful of chopped kale**
1 heaping handful of blueberries**
1 heaping handful of strawberries**
1 heaping handful of raspberries** (these best mask the kale flavor)
enough water (unsweetened rice or almond milk work nicely, too) to cover about 3/4 of blender ingredients
**More can be added once blending has commenced, depending on what will fit in your blender and what consistency you like. The more the merrier!
- Add kale to blender and then add fruit on top.
- If using fresh fruit, add a few ice cubes to the mix and use very cold water.
- If using frozen fruit, skip the ice, and use warm water.
- Blend on high until desired consistency is reached.
- If blender gets stuck, turn blender off, mix contents with a spoon, a bit more liquid, and blend again. Repeat if needed.
- Substitute half or all the water with nut or seed milk for a creamier tasting smoothie
- Add 1 heaping spoonful of unrefined, extra virgin coconut oil to aid absorption of fat soluble vitamins and boost omega fatty acid content
- Add 1 palmful of raw chia seeds for a nutrient boost
- Add 1 palmful of raw cacao beans for a nutrient boost (and a hint of yummy chocolate flavor)
- If you eat FRESH, raw, organic egg yolks from a healthy farm, add one yolk to the smoothie for a nutrient boost. I strongly recommend NOT using factory farmed/conventional eggs as they're quite filthy. A good yolk is a rich golden orange color; not pale yellow.
- I have found that what blends best is a mix of both fresh and frozen ingredients. For instance, fresh kale and frozen fruit. Letting frozen strawberries thaw part way aids in blending.
- If you have a less than powerful blender that leaves smoothies very fibrous, you may cut/remove stems from kale before blending for a smoother product. Blenders that are marketed as smoothie machines tend to make fibrous smoothies.
- Pause during blending, taste test, and experiment with ingredient amounts! If you love kale, add more. If you don't want to taste the kale at all, add more berries. If kids may be freaked out by a smoothie with a little bit of brown hue, add kale in small amounts at a time and keep an eye on the color. Blueberries and raspberries mask the color of kale best, and raspberries seem to best mask he flavor.
- Any smoothie works best in a Vitamix blender. They're the gold standard and will blend anything fiberous to liquid with no problem. They're not cheap, but they are worth the investment. They can be bought used on eBay to save money.