Welcome to my new food obsession: Kale smoothies
Until recently, I knew of only one way to prepare kale. That was to braise it with some pork fat until it became soft. It’s actually one of my favorite braised greens.
Kale is one of the superfoods. It’s a cruciferous vegetable from the Brassica food family that also includes cabbage, collard greens, Brussels sprouts and broccoli. Kale, which is also known as borecole, is so chocked full of vitamins and minerals that it is considered to be one of the healthiest vegetables on the planet.
It has significant health benefits, including cancer protection and lowered cholesterol. Plus, everytime I have one of these kale smoothies, I swear I feel a burst of energy.
Oh, did I mention that it is delicious? When used raw — such as in these smoothies or chopped fine for salads — it has a rich, sweet flavor, unlike the slightly bitter taste it takes on when braised.
Finally, it’s extremely affordable. And because it will grow even in cooler temperatures, it’s available year round.
Here’s how healthy kale is for you: One cup of kale contains 36 calories, 5 grams of fiber, and 15 percent of the daily requirement of calcium and vitamin B6, 40 percent of magnesium, 180 percent of vitamin A, 200 percent of vitamin C, and 1,020 percent of vitamin K. It is also a good source of minerals, including copper, potassium, iron, manganese, and phosphorus.
Kale’s health benefits are primarily linked to the high concentration and excellent source of antioxidant vitamins A, C, and K — and sulphur-containing phytonutrients.
It’s also rich in carotenoids and flavonoids — which are anti-cancer antioxidants — as well as lutein and zeaxanthin compounds, which promote good sight. Plus, the fiber content of cruciferous kale binds bile acids and helps lower blood cholesterol levels and reduce the risk of heart disease.
Kale is a great addition to any smoothie recipe. This weekend alone I made this watermelon-kale smoothie and strawberry-banana-kale smoothies. It’s also goes well with apples and pineapples, especially super-sweet pineapples on the turn.
Some people like to add a little fresh lemon juice to add some zing. I’m going to try that next time.
These watermelon kale smoothies are fast, simple, affordable and delicious. They instantly made me feel energized and healthier and are perfect for a post-workout pick-me-up!
1 cup Watermelon, seedless or seeds removed
1 cup Green Kale
1 cup Water
1 cup Ice Cubes
1. Pull the tough stalk out of the center of each kale leaf and discard. Combine the kale, watermelon, water and ice cubes in a blender or food processor and pulse until combined, then run the blender on the highest speed until the smoothie is completely blended, about 2 minutes.
2. Pour into chilled glass, garnish with a watermelon slice and serve.
Be sure to blend the smoothie completely. The first time I made these, I didn’t blend it long enough and ended up with little specks of kale in my teeth for awhile.