I know plenty of people who rave about green smoothies and what they can do for your health, energy and wellbeing. Don’t get me wrong, I’m all for consuming more real, raw foods, but let’s face it: I don’t want to drink anything that tastes like grass.
The Tiny Kitchen Assistant — knowing that I hated my 12-year-old blender and swayed by a powerful marketing pitch at Costco — talked his father into getting me a fancy-pants blender for my birthday. Because it’s summer and fruit is plentiful, we’ve had plenty of opportunity to make smoothies of all kinds. And so, standing at the farmer’s market in front of a bunch of kale, I finally decided that it was time to give this whole green smoothie thing a try.
My first effort was on a day where I’d gone for a long, hilly hike. I was tired, sore and had heard about the benefits of tart cherry juice to fight inflammation and sore muscles. I started with a cup of 100% tart cherry juice, and limited my kale to about 1/2 cup, ribs removed. I blended the two together to liquefy the kale as much as possible prior to adding the fruit.
To the cherry-kale base, I added 1/2 cup nonfat Greek yogurt, 1/2 cup frozen banana and about 1.5 cups of a blend of frozen cherries and berries. The final blend was enough to fill a 16 ounce pint glass, plus about 6 additional ounces for the Tiny Kitchen Assistant to try when he got home.
At 16 ounces, the numbers roughly work out to about 300 calories, less than 0.5 grams of fat, 7 grams fiber and 10 grams protein. Next time around, I’d probably add more yogurt to boost the protein stats
It was definitely palatable. The berry mix included blackberries, so there were seeds and other bits in there that might have masked any remaining bits of kale. I’ll be making this one again, refining the mix to maximize the green leafies and protein without turning it into a calorie bomb.