Kale Breakfast Smoothie
The truth is, this previously underappreciated vegetable is getting a lot of attention for good reason: it’s extremely nutritious. Packed with anti-oxidants, and full of fiber, incorporating kale can be one of the best ways to improve your diet and what better way than with a Smoothie.
There are 3 types of Kale:
Curly kale: which has ruffled leaves and a fibrous stalk and is usually deep green in color. It has a lively pungent flavor with delicious bitter peppery qualities.
Ornamental kale is a more recently cultivated species that is often referred to as salad savoy. Its leaves may either be green, white, or purple and its stalks form a loosely knit head. Ornamental kale has a mellower flavor and tender texture.
Dinosaur kale is the common name for the kale variety known as Lacinato or Tuscan kale. It features dark blue-green leaves that have an embossed texture. It has a slightly sweeter and more delicate taste than curly kale, perfect if you don’t like a strong flavour. I like curly kale, which I believe to be the first. This variety was in use as far back as Roman times and were a staple amongst peasants in the middle ages.
In addition to conventional antioxidants like vitamin C, beta-carotene, and manganese, kale also provides us with at least 45 different recently discovered flavonoids, including kaempferol and quercetin. Many of the flavonoids in kale are also now known to function not only as antioxidants, but also as anti-inflammatory compounds.
Kale has been compared to beef because it’s known as a “go-to” food for iron, protein, and calcium. Kale’s anti-inflammatory capabilities are unrivaled among leafy greens. It’s Omega-fatty acids are called essential because your body needs them to remain healthy, but they need to come from sources outside the body; kale is an excellent source of these healthy fats.
Steam the Kale
There has been a little controversy surrounding the best way to gain the maximum nutritional value from Kale. Raw or Steamed…all very confusing. As I’m not a nutritionist, I did a huge amount of research to decipher which is best to use in Smoothies. Lightly steaming or blanching your kale can break down the cellular structure, potentially increasing its digestibility and your ability to absorb some of the kale’s nutrients. Some medical professionals are worried about raw greens negatively affecting people with thyroid conditions and steaming may help reduce this problem. But please proceed after professional advice. My solution to the experts is, I do both. Sometimes I use raw and other times I lightly steam let it cool down or I freeze for another time. It also means I have a really cold addition to my smoothie…..bonus.
3/4 cup chopped kale, ribs and thick stems removed
½ cup of frozen Mango
¼ cup frozen Raspberries
¼ cup frozen Blueberries
½ cup of Rolled Oats
1 tbl spoon Flax Seeds
Thaw frozen fruit for a few minutes. Peel and chop Banana. Add all ingredients to Nutribullet or blender add water to taste. If using a Nutribullet fill water to Max Line. Blast…
Smoothie in the garden on a gorgeous sunny morning. Perfect.
Photos: Karen Bryson