Friday, April 16, 2010

Kale in a smoothie, take 2?

In my quest to be eating healthier (and thus do a better job of fueling for and recovering from runs), as a starting point I'm trying to add like... one good nutrition-packed thing to my day. I'm eager to get a juicer so that nutritious thing can be fresh juice, but for now, I'm stuck in smoothie-land.

You might recall that I once tried to make a kale-banana smoothie:
Verdict? It was pretty disgusting. For starters, I don't have a Vitamix or other high-powered blender (just a kitchenaid hand blender). This smoothie was from a recipe I got online and it had banana, kale, maple syrup, and ground flaxseed. It was so gross that it actually made me feel sick to my stomach after drinking about half of it, so I had to throw the rest away. Needless to say I haven't tried another kale smoothie since....well, until today.

I got a copy of The Raw Revolution Diet from the library and it has a section with smoothies, and for this one smoothie it has this nutrition note: "delivers 7 grams of protein plus more than 20% of your day's supply of calcium, magnesium, and potassium, and six B vitamins (folate, niacin, pantothenic acid, riboflavin, thiamin, and vitamin B6). Furthermore, it supplies your recommended intake of vitamins C and K and beta-carotene several times over." Then, the recipe cautions you to drink it out of a solid colored mug because its appearance will probably be off-putting. Perfect.

Ok, well, me being me, I'll eat pretty much anything if I'm first sold on it being "good for me," even if it's going to look like a vile cup of slime and even if the recipe itself says not to look while you drink it. So I busted out the hand blender and made this thing. It's called a Blue-Green Smoothie, and for it you blend together: 2-3 cups firmly packed chopped kale, 1 and 1/4 c. blueberries, 1 large ripe banana, 1 medium orange, and 1 cup purified water. I decided to be true to my kale-smoothie roots and once again give it the Evie test:

She's definitely more interested this time, but still slightly freaked out, kind of like me.

It's actually not too bad, though. I mean, it's drinkable so far. But it's kind of more of a "chewy" than a "smoothie"... it's not smooth in any sense of the word. It's full of teeny-tiny bits of kale and blueberry skins. It's going to take me some time to get this massive serving of goo down, and I'm drinking a lot of water with it. Incidentally I don't think I'd EVER be able to drink something like this before a run-- it's far too dense and heavy.

Note that this is the first time I've bought and peeled an orange. I know it's ridiculous that I'm a 28 year old vegan who's never peeled an orange before, but I find them so incredibly disgusting that I've never been able to make myself do it. I like orange juice, but oranges look so gross as you peel them... their texture makes me think of shrimp or something, and the sound they make as you tear the skin off... ughhhh. Anyway I survived (not without some cringing, though) and I'm not noticing the pulp in this drink because it's so chewy in the first place.

Score for trying new things.

Now back to your regularly-scheduled running posts.


  1. As an avid smoothie drinker...*I* would not drink that smoothie. Anyone I have ever introduced smoothies to I have suggested WAY less greens to start and more fruit. Kale is a VERY strong tasting green and not what I would advise for the first run with a smoothie, lol.

    Try this recipe:
    2c water(or enough to cover ingredients)
    1 banana
    1-2c spinach or swiss chard
    1c frozen pineapples
    1c frozen mangos
    1-2T sweetner of choice(honey, agave, rice syrup)
    Blend. Enjoy.

    Before I got my Vitamix, I used Oster blenders. They worked fairly well and MOSTLY ground up my smoothie ingredients. They are fairly inexpensive and you can get them pretty much anywhere.

    Oh, also, I use this smoothe for my runs- when I do ultras, I replace the water with coconut water for electrolytes and this is perfect ultra fuel! I get to the point where eating is pretty much impossible and this works perfectly for me. I always have a GS post-long-run as my recovery food as well. :)

  2. Ahh, thanks for the recipe. Definitely going to try it. Pineapple has been really cheap lately for some reason and it hadn't even occurred to me to put it in a smoothie. And the only leafy green I've ever tried in a smoothie is kale.

    Do you ever use any of those superfood powders in your smoothies? This book talks about how great they are, but they seem to be crazy expensive (and probably unnecessary..?) I just wondered.