quick and healthy smoothie with berries, almond milk, and kale
If I had known breakfast could taste like a berry-vanilla milkshake, I would never have become a Pop-Tarts fanatic in elementary and middle school or a Cocoa Krispies junkie in high school or a leftover-pizza-for-breakfast snarfer in college.
And that’s not even taking into account how quick and easy this smoothie is, much less the fact that it is incredibly healthy and full of vitamins (thank you, leafy green kale). Check out the nutrition facts listed at the end of this post if you don’t believe me.
But to find out whether this good-for-you, quick-to-make-and-consume smoothie actually tastes like a berry-vanilla milkshake, you’re just going to have to make it yourself. And I’ll tell you a little secret: you can’t even taste the leafy green veggie. Just make sure to use a very ripe banana, and the natural sweetness will completely mask the kale. (So you have no reason to fear the kale, even if you normally dislike it; but if you can’t find it at your market, you can substitute spinach.)
However, I’d highly recommend kicking your reservations aside when it comes to kale and giving it a try because kale brings so many more vitamins to the table than spinach. No offense, spinach – I love you too (especially sauteed, creamed, or as a base for strawberry-feta salads), but I’m also a big fan of efficiency, whether it comes to drafting contracts correctly the first time or getting as many vitamins-per-calorie in my breakfast.
And so, for this particular dessert-tasting, healthily deceptive breakfast treat, I choose kale. Join the elite green-veggies-for-breakfast group, and a non-caffeinated energy boost earlier in the day as a bonus. And did I mention that it’s especially good to drink before a Bar Method class or a multi-mile run? The blended milkshakey goodness digests easily and puts extra bounce in your step. Amazing. Can’t wait to have another tomorrow – my fourth this week!
Quick and Healthy Berries, Almond Milk, and Kale Smoothie
Makes 2 1/2 cups (enough for 2 10-oz. glasses)
To make this vegan, skip the whey protein powder, and add ground flax seed instead.
1 c. almond milk (I used Blue Diamond Natural’s Almond Breeze Original)
1 c. frozen mixed berries (I used 365′s blueberry/strawberry/raspberry/blackberry mix)
1 c. kale, packed, tough stem removed (fold each leaf in half, tear leaves off from bottom up)
1 small, preferably very ripe banana (approximately 1/2 c.)
1 small scoop vanilla-flavored whey protein powder (scoop is in the canister) (optional)
Combine everything in blender, and blend until smooth. Make sure to blend for a bit longer than your average smoothie to really pulverize the heck out of the very leafy kale, otherwise you might end up with an icky salad texture in your drink. Kale should only be visible as very itty bitty flecks of green.
Nutrition Facts for full recipe:
314 calories (32 from fat); 3g fat; 170mg sodium; 886mg potassium; 57g carbs (10g fiber; 31g sugars); 14g protein; 217% vit. A; 194% vit C; 50% calcium; 13% iron; 25% vit. D; 51% vit. E; 684% vit. K; 19% vit. B6; 20% magnesium; 20% manganese … and lower percentages of many other vitamins thanks to kale