This may be the wrong thing to admit to you, since I blog about nutritious food and you’re reading a post about drinking kale so you’re probably pretty close to Health Nut Extraordinaire status, but raw kale and I are still a little iffy. I’m not sure about our future together. We’re “talking” but not dating exclusively and meeting the parents, if you know what I mean.
It all started in 2009 when my sister told us about this completely amazing raw kale-pineapple chilled, blended soup. It is called Sunshine Joy! It is “chock-full of enzymes!” We dutifully made it (it was going to be completely amazing!) but got hung up when the recipe called for 3 leaves of kale. We’d bought our kale at Whole Foods and it was HUGE. “We are above average green-eaters, so it must be okay,” we guessed, and threw it in.
The resulting soup was pretty much inedible, to me at least. (Maybe the author uses smaller farmer’s market kale? Or has seriously healthy tastebuds?) I figured raw kale must just be my Kryptonite and I’d just have to eat more of the raw vegetables I found edible to compensate. I wonder how the soup would be if we made it now, after these years of smoothies and a raw kale salad or two at restaurants. I bet it might be more appealing. If we do try it again, I will definitely have an extra can of pineapple on hand this time. Just in case.
Anyway, this smoothie surprised me the other morning by being tastier than I thought it would be. Usually I feel like combining milk with juice is just against the rules, like I used to feel about mixing a black belt with brown shoes when I was in high school. But this turned out to have a light, green-but-not-too-green taste. I think the seeds and milk create a fuller, smoother taste than you’d get with a combination of only fruits and veggies. After a couple of attempts, I have discovered that the taste varies quite a bit depending on how big your banana is. If you’re using a particularly large one, you may want to use less blueberries and pomegranate juice so it doesn’t get too sweet, or start with fewer than called for and add more to taste.
Blueberry-Kale Green Smoothie
1 medium or medium-large banana
1 Tablespoon ground flax seed
1 Tablespoon hemp seeds
1 Tablespoon chia seeds
1/4 cup unsweetened vanilla almond milk
1/2 cup pomegranate juice (I think Pom tastes best)
1/2 to 2/3 cup frozen blueberries
3 big handfuls washed baby spinach (about 2.5 ounces, maybe 2 or 3 loosely-packed cups)
3 small handfuls of washed raw kale (between 1 and 1 and 1/2 cups)
Blend all ingredients in a blender until smooth and completely combined. Stop the motor and use a spoon or spatula to push things down if they need a little encouragement to blend. Add additional juice, water, or almond milk if the mixture doesn’t blend easily.
Serve immediately. Makes 1 large smoothie or 2 smaller.