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Thursday, June 18, 2015

Vegan Organic Green Kale Smoothies

OK, so here's my favourite smoothie, and a step-by-step methodology for making it perfect.

First, a brief overview of the ingredients:

Organic Green Kale.

The star of this smoothie, Kale provides most of the good nutrition-power behind this mix.

Organic Almond Milk.

I like to get the unsweetened, unflavoured kind.  Really almond milk is kinda delicious all on its own.  We like this brand, of those commercial varieties readily available to us here, not just because it is tasty, but also because it is one of the few that does not contain carrageenan.

Organic Bananas

Part of the trick in getting away with not adding any sugar or sweeteners to something with this much bitter kale in it, is using bananas.  Bananas, particularly ripe ones, are really high in naturally occurring fructose, and more than balance the kale.

Organic Berries (Red Raspberries and Wild Blueberries)

Raspberries might just be my favourite food, but I certainly don't need an incentive to eat blueberries, especially wild blueberries.  Wild blueberries seem to have a sweeter flavour despite being actually a little more nutritive than their domestic cousins.
We like the PC Organics frozen bags.  They seem to be the best value (price/quantity) of all the organic berries we've seen around.  At least for now.

Organic Sprouted Flaxseed

This stuff is so good for you.  Like ridiculously good for you.  I don't include it for flavour (although it it pleasant and mild) but simply because it is really, really, really high in nutrients.  The sprouted variety is, actually, much higher in nutrients than just regular flaxseed powder.

That's it.

I could tell you more about how healthy this is, and how many nutrients are in this, but if you're interested I say just do some research yourself.  It's good.


So, I'll just get right to the mixing of it!

Firstly, the whole smoothie can be ruined if the kale is not properly and sufficiently puréed.  So that's what needs to happen first.

Measure out 5 cups (compressed) of kale.

In case you're curious as to what that looks like uncompressed:

That's a lot of kale!

That gets pressed down (firmly, but ever-so-carefully!) below the levels of the blades of the blender.

This is important in order to ensure that the kale gets nice and chopped.

Add to that 3 cups of almond milk.

Also a lot, but it's the only liquid in here, and besides, it's good for you.

And then add 8 (heaping) tablespoons of the flaxseed powder. Yup, eight.  It seems like a lot, but because this pitcher makes 8 servings, that's pretty much exactly one tbsp per serving.

That's good enough for the first round of mixing.

I like to scrape the sides of the pitcher after blending, just to re-incorporate anything that might have sprayed up too high.

To this add 4 medium bananas, the riper the better.

This is where most of the sweetness of the smoothie comes from, so ripe really is necessary.  Do not try to do this recipe unless you have 4 medium or 3 large bananas that have naturally ripened to a nice mottled brown and yellow.  I say 'naturally ripened' because I've tried those tricks to hasten the ripening of bananas (bake in oven, or place in a paper bag) and don't recommend them.  The first (baking in an oven) actually really affected the flavour of the bananas, and the second (paper bag) just didn't seem to work fast enough.

Anyway, purée that on its own, and then measure out, and add, 2 cups each (4 cups total) of the raspberries and blueberries.


By now, if your blender is anything like mine, it is likely as full as you'd like it to be.

Blend generously at this point, for a good 30 seconds or so, increasing the speed incrementally higher if needed.

As a final step, I like to take the 'top blades' out of my blender (carefully scraping all the good stuff off of them) and then giving the whole thing another good mix using just the bottom blades.  It helps make the whole mixture nice and uniform in texture.


So that should make just about exactly 2L of smoothie.

I actually went out and bought two pitchers JUST for smoothies.  One for me and one for the wife (she likes a slightly different smoothie).

Incidentally, these Sistema pitchers are excellent.  I looked hard for something that had a slim profile, small footprint, but could still hold 2L of liquid.  Plus they are BPA free, and completely dishwasher safe.

So... basically perfect.  If you're using them for liquids a touch more viscous than smoothie, the lid and spout work great and are vented so as to eliminate chug-and-glug pouring if you know what I mean.


Anyway, I can fit BOTH side by side, almost perfectly in my fridge between the crispers:

Anyway, you can drink as much smoothie as you like, but I found 8 servings @ 250ml (1 cup) per serving to be a great portion.


Anyway, this is not only a very healthy smoothie, but it is actually really, really tasty.  If you're new to kale smoothies, I recommend this, or at least some variety including bananas, as they really do complement (I hesitantly say, cover) the kale flavour beautifully.

Anyway... this is my favourite smoothie, but if you're into smoothies, (the healthy kind, nothing with dairy or sweeteners or anything, please) I would love to hear your favourite smoothies!

So please let me know!