I had quite the productive weekend! I didn’t get much baby stuff done (oops), but I did do a lot in the kitchen so hopefully that counts for something.
I’ve mentioned before that we have a lot of vegetables goin’ on in the garden. A few that are currently out of control are kale, beets, and zucchini. So, yes, the recipes I tried this weekend involved all three actually. First up: kale.
I’ve been making kale chips on a regular basis recently and although they’re good, I want to try kale in other ways too. I’ve had kale before in smoothies so I know it will work…you just have to make sure to blend it with the right stuff!
I’ve called this smoothie a “superfood” smoothie because it contains, in my opinion, 2 foods that are all-stars: kale and avocado.
I’m sure by now, most of you have heard good things about kale in the nutrition department, but here are some facts about this super leafy green:
- 1 cup of kale contains only 36 calories, 5 grams of fiber, and 15% of the daily requirement of calcium and vitamin B6 (pyridoxine), 40% of magnesium, 180% of vitamin A, 200% of vitamin C, and 1,020% of vitamin K.
- Kale is high in carotenoids and flavonoids- both antioxidants associated with fighting/preventing cancer
- The high fiber content helps lower blood cholesterol levels (fiber content of cruciferous kale binds bile acids and helps lower blood cholesterol levels and reduce the risk of heart disease) (source)
The other superfood I blended up with kale is avocado. Avocado is getting a better rep these days because it contains healthy fats (like olive oil) among other things:
- Avocados provide all 18 essential amino acids which are necessary for the body to form a complete protein.
- Since avocados provide good fats, they help increase your levels of HDLs (good cholesterol).
- Like kale, avocados are a good source of the antioxidant carotenoids.
- They’re a great anti-inflammatory: Avocadoes’ combination of Vitamins C and E, carotenoids, selenium, zinc, phytosterols and omega-3 fatty acids helps guard against inflammation. (source)
So, basically, avocados and kale are really good for you. Definitely keep in mind though that since avocados are high in fat, they’re also high in calories so if that’s a concern for you, eat them wisely!
Here’s the recipe I tried this weekend:
Superfood (Green) Smoothie
- 6 leaves of kale
- half an avocado (I think next time I’ll use less)
- 1 banana
- 1 cup of water
- 3 tbsp of unsweetened applesauce
Originally, I tried this with no applesauce but it needed more sweetness. I actually tasted the avocado more than the kale, which is ok, but I wanted a somewhat sweet smoothie (that’s why I think next time I’ll use less avocado).
So, I realize this combination sounds really scary, but I swear it works! The key to these green smoothies is finding the right sweetness (AKA fruit) to add to the combo otherwise you’ll be choking down blended up kale….mmm. Usually, bananas work perfectly! I’ve seen other smoothies too where people use apples-hence my addition of applesauce to this smoothie-great sweetener!
Such a pretty color! I think that’s one of the main reasons I like making green smoothies :).
Have you tried kale or avocado in a smoothie? Did you like it?