It was a rather unsettling start to the morning: A noisy whirr coming from our kitchen at barely seven a.m. I tentatively made my way downstairs to find my 10-year old daughter, Rosie, at the helm of our industrial blender, a pile of leafy greens on the kitchen counter. Inspired by the “green drink” one of her favorite teachers carts to school each day, Rosie had set to work concocting a vegetable smoothie of her own.
I’ve always encouraged my kids to be independent in the kitchen, but that usually translates to decadent baking projects, not kale smoothies. At any rate, Rosie has been making her “green drink” ever since, a beverage my oldest daughter refers to as “the swamp”.
We make a lot of smoothies in our house. And while most of them are actually not green, they are a nutritious answer to quick weekday breakfasts and snacks. The key, of course, is what goes into them. I always include fruits and/or vegetables, a protein/calcium source (milk, soy milk, almond milk, yogurt, kefir, and so on), and other healthy add-ins such as almonds, sunflower seeds, oats, and flax meal.
Having assorted frozen and fresh seasonal fruits and vegetables on hands makes for effortless smoothies. I keep a bag of bananas in the freezer since they do wonders for a smoothie’s texture, regardless of flavor. When the bananas in my fruit bowl start to go brown, I peel them first and into the freezer bag they go.
If you don’t feel confident enough to create your own smoothies, invest in a good smoothie cookbook such as the ones put out by the lovely Corpening sisters, or search the internet where there are a gazillion recipes.
For the adventurous among you, below is the recipe for Rosie’s green drink. For those not interested in trying “the swamp”, I’ve also included a recipe for a creamy, berry smoothie that’s hard not to love.
Next week I will post tips for ordering smoothies on the road, so stay tuned.
ROSIE’S “GREEN DRINK
- 1 cup loosely packed chopped kale, stems removed
- 1/3 cup loosely packed parsley leaves
- 2 small apples, cored and roughly chopped
- 2/3 cup apple juice
- 1 tablespoon fresh lemon juice
Put all of the ingredients into a blender and blend until smooth.
Makes 1 to 2 servings
PASSION BERRY BLISS
- ½ cup passion-fruit juice*
- ½ cup low-fat vanilla yogurt
- 1 fresh ripe banana
- 1 cup frozen strawberries
- ½ cup frozen raspberries
- 1 tablespoon agave nectar
Combine the passion-fruit juice and yogurt in a blender. Add the banana, strawberries, raspberries, and agave nectar. Blend until smooth. Taste and add more agave nectar if you like.
* If you can’t find passion fruit juice, this recipe is also delicious with pineapple juice.
Makes 2 servings