I like to keep things interesting by writing about the ingredients and preparations that I try for the first time. While I enjoy reading other people’s daily food blogs, writing about oatmeal every day just isn’t my cup of tea. This is not the first time I have used kale, and it is not the first time I have made a smoothie.
But it is the first time I’ve put kale in my smoothie, so let’s talk about it!
Kale is a super ingredient that is great for your health. It is a descendant of the wild cabbage, which originated in Asia and is thought to have been brought to Europe around 600 B.C., where it was a popular food among peasants. Kale is an excellent source of vitamins K, A, and C. One cup of kale contains over 85% of your recommended daily value of each of these vitamins. It is also a great source of calcium, fiber, and iron. I found some great information about the health benefits of kale at this site: World’s Healthiest Foods.
I have used kale in stir-fry alongside ginger marinated tofu atop brown rice, and in potato and kale soup. I hear it is the cabbage of choice for use in Colcannon, an Irish dish that incorporates cabbage, potatoes, and sausage. I’ve been meaning to make a vegetarian version but right now it’s just too hot for that. There are three popular varieties of kale: curly, ornamental, and dinosaur. They are all slightly different, and most of my experience is with curly kale.
I used just one large leaf of curly kale for two smoothies. One leaf yielded about a cup of kale, and each cup packed plenty of vitamins and other nutrients for my healthy little smoothie for two. Here’s how it went down.
I added to my blender: one cup of frozen sliced bananas, one cup of frozen pineapple chunks, one leaf of kale (torn, stem removed), and one cup of vanilla soy milk (to sneak in a little more calcium, and because I was out of juice).
Yes, that is a wine glass in the background. It was Saturday morning, post-farmers’ market and pre-dishwashing. There is an empty wine glass (or two) on my kitchen counter after almost every Friday night. This is a fact of life which I am okay with and you should be too.
I blended this for a few minutes, and added a little more banana for consistency and a little more pineapple for flavor, then poured myself a large glass and Kyle a small taste. I wasn’t sure how he would feel about the grassy green concoction. Turned out he loved it, so he enjoyed a large glass too.
I think I’ll try this one again with pineapple or orange juice. It was delicious the first time around, but I would have liked a little more fruit flavor to mask the kale. The pineapple chunks did a great job infusing the smoothie with fruitiness so I’ll punch up the citrus next time for an even more enjoyable jolly green smoothie.
I wonder what will go in my smoothie next?