Sunday, June 8, 2014

How To Hide Kale (or) The Best Chocolate Smoothie Ever

Kale is good for you.

Like, REALLY good.  Google "the benefits of kale" and you will want to shove a bag down your throat immediately.  Allow this graphic to educate you a bit if you don't know the benefits....


Holy. Moses.

But here's the thing.......kale tastes like dirt (I was trying to think of a more organic word than "crap") It's obviously a super dense green, so it kind of has a bitterness to it.  And ANYONE who says kale chips are amazing and taste "just like potato chips" is a gigantic LIAR.

True story:  I made kale  chips (basically, baked kale) once, ate them, and then practically had to do the Jim Carey mustard trick from Dumb and Dumber to get the taste out of my mouth.






But, I knew that I really should find a way of working this superfood into my diet.

Quick back story- my husband and I went "raw vegan" back in 2011.  Never felt better, never looked better, had energy to burn, yadda yadda.  I learned then a lot about making nutritious smoothies, and, more specifically, I learned that when you blend frozen banana with almond milk.....it tastes like soft serve ice cream.  No lie.

So, over the past couple of years I have perfected a delicious chocolate peanut butter smoothie that tastes just like a chocolate milkshake (I tried it on my dad, so it's true) and you can pretty much add whatever you want to it.....so why not kale?

One day I decided to throw some kale in my chocolate peanut butter perfection and BAM! No taste.  I saw myself put it in there so I KNEW it was in there, but when it got blended, that kale got pulverized and hence....no taste! Best of all, I'm consuming it raw so I'm getting the full benefits of it without cooking all the good stuff away.

So try it! Here's my recipe with some tips and tricks and optional throw-ins:

Creamy Chocolate Kale Smoothie

In a blender or blend cup, combine:
    - 1 cup unsweetened almond milk (I try to stay away from dairy, so I use almond milk. It has less calories and more protein than cow's milk, so give it a try)
    - approximately 1.5 bananas pre-cut and pre-frozen (I buy bunches at a time as if I own a monkey, and then cut them up at once and put freeze them in quart bags)
    -  1 scoop vanilla whey protein powder (you must include this or it won't be sweet.  Sometimes I put honey or agave nectar in if I'm out, but the protein powder will keep you fuller longer and obviously gives you.....protein!!!!!!!!!  My husband orders Gold Standard 100% Whey from ProSource.com in the Vanilla Ice Cream flavor.  It's cheaper to buy in bulk)


    - a couple of shakes to 1/4 cup of quick oats (do not put in steel cut...you will think you swallowed blades)
    - a couple of tablespoons of ground flaxseed meal.  I love Bob's Red Mill. This can be optional, but it adds Omega-3's, so git some!!
     

    -  any other powdered superfoods you want to try. I'm a fan of the Navitas brand that they sell at Wegman's and other health food stores near us.  They all have different benefits, so do some research.  Maca powder supposedly boosts your libido! HEY-O!
  
   - heaping tablespoon of peanut butter or almond butter or whatever nut butter you like
   - 1 tablespoon cocoa powder.  Cocoa powder alone is a great antioxidant, so yay for chocolate!
  - 1 handful of kale.  You can either use it fresh (pick off the dense stems) or freeze it in bunches like the bananas.  It crumbles apart when it's frozen and works just fine.

Blend that bad boy up.  Add more frozen bananas to make it more smooth, or add more milk to thin it (duh.)

Oh....about the frozen bananas.  Yes, they have to be frozen, and no, I do not recommend putting fresh bananas and ice cubes in to substitute.  I keep seeing recipes on Pinterest that claim to produce creamy shakes that way but
1) it doesn't work.......you just end up with ice chunks     and
2) You may destroy your blender doing this.  I tried it with my hand blender once and a piece of the plastic end broke off. whoops!

Enjoy those kale benefits!!! 


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