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Sunday, January 31, 2010

Not your ordinary smoothie: highly nutritious fruit and vegetable smoothie

Leafy greens are amazing for you. From pregnant women to healthy adults and children, every time we turn around we seem to find another study touting their benefits. Women's Health Magazine recently reported, "A study in the journal Neurology reports that getting two-plus servings per day of veggies--especially leafy green ones like kale--slows cognitive decline by 40 percent."

So if we know they are so good for us, why do so many Americans fail to get the leafy greens we need?

Probably because those same amazing leafy greens have a solid reputation for being "yucky."

While I was pregnant the diet I was given to follow included getting at least a cup of dark leafy greens daily...and I had an immutable food aversion to salad. I just couldn't stomach it without feel queasy. So what's a girl to do?

One weekend I was visiting my parents and my step-father proudly proclaimed that he would make me a kale smoothie. I laughed, but he was seriously. I'm sure I made some sort of twisted facial expression that went past skeptical and straight into judgement: I won't like it. But he assured me I would. And he was right: if he hadn't TOLD me there was kale in it, I never would have known or believed it.

Since then I've repeated the experiment with a number of friends and each time it is the same: skepticism melts into disbelief and pretty soon they are crooning about how tasty the smoothie is. So do me a favor and just trust me on this one. It really really is delicious.

Kale and Pear Smoothie

Source: Vitamix Cookbook

1 cup green grapes
1 orange, peeled
1/2 Bartlett pear (or green apple)
1 banana (fresh or frozen)
1 cup kale
1/2 cup water
2 cups ice cubes

Wash fruits and vegetables. Combine and blend. Be mindful of your blender's abilities. A vitamix seems to be powered by something just short of a jet engine. If your blender is a mere mortal, you might want to chop some of the fruits into pieces in advance, or add the ice in stages. If using a frozen banana, allow it to sit on the counter for 10-15 minutes first before blending.


The Musician said...

Is this fresh kale? Or the powdered stuff like wheatgrass? I'm game!

M Smith said...

Sadly, the one ingredient that helps to makes the taste of butter greens is the one ingredient I am allergic to: Banana.

And it seems to be everywhere. Every smoothie shop uses banana as the 'frother' or 'thickener' as part of their standard smoothie base.

Erin said...

Musician: it is fresh kale. I like to buy the bag of pre-washed and chopped stuff cause I'm a little lazy about greens.

Smith: no worries. omit the banana. You can either: 1) increase the pear or 2) increase the pear and add a little yogurt (plain or vanilla) for creaminess. I know I have had it before without bananas and it worked just fine. Unfortunately I cant remember the exact proportions we used for substitution because it was a while ago. but I know it works!

M Smith said...

Thanks! (sorry for the typos. lacking coffee.)

dining table said...

This is great for breakfast. Thanks for this. Is it okay if I add some other fruits?

Erin said...

dining table: other fruits? I will be inspecting your breakfast table regularly and if I catch any other fruits in there... No just kidding. You can add any other fruits you like, but you will have to trust your own inner smoothie-guru sense because i cannot claim to have a good suggestion for what other flavors would meld well. My step-dad is a sort of zen master of the smoothie improv, but I am just a lowly grasshopper.

If you come up with other additions that seem to taste good to you, please come back and share with us!

Tay said...

Okay, that's a little scary. I'm not sure I'm that brave. Then again, I have had the V8 fruit fusion and it wasn't so bad. Still...I don't exactly think I can do it. Maybe I'll make one and have my mother try it first. I won't tell her what she's trying though :).

Janet said...

Is this just one serving, or several, out of curiosity? Also... can leftovers be refrigerated or frozen? Thanks!

Erin said...

Tay: Be brave!

Janet: I believe it is 3-4 servings and I have no idea if it freezes because it never lasts that long in our house!

Anonymous said...

Awesome. Thanks!

Mary Joy said...

Great and healthy recipe! Thanks for sharing.

Anonymous said...

Can you do this with frozen greens too? Is it as healthy? I couldn't find Kale so did it with frozen collard greens. Taste was good, but I wonder about the nutrients? What do you think?

Annette said...

Great recipe! I love your site...good for my vege tastes too! Thanks :)

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