Tuesday, August 12, 2014

Green Protein Smoothie


For me, green smoothies are all about packing good stuff into my diet, things that I might not get around to eating otherwise.  Dark, leafy greens such as kale, spinach, swiss chard and collard greens are loaded with vitamins A and C, while also being very high in calcium and iron, not to mention fiber, phytonutrients, and digestion-enhancing enzymes.  Fruits and berries (common smoothie ingredients) are also great for you, but I personally never have a hard time working them into my diet.  It’s easy to toss back a few handfuls of blueberries, less easy to throw down a couple cups of kale. 

That said, green smoothie making isn't as straight-forward as fruit smoothie making.  Throw fruit in a blender and, 9 times out of 10, you’re going to be pleased with the results.  Throw lettuce in a blender, however, and you might end up wondering why you’re choking down a pureed salad.

It helps to have a couple of tips.  

I find that the key to creating a tasty green smoothie is the addition of some healthy fat, soft fruit, or both.  My favorite green-smoothie fats are avocado, almond butter, cold-pressed flax seed oil, and occasionally, coconut oil.  As to soft fruits, I opt for avocado or frozen banana.  Adding these elements will help to homogenize your smoothie and give it a creamy mouthfeel.   Having a high-power blender, like a Vitamix or a Blendtec makes an enormous difference as well.

Now onto the recipe.

In addition to the nutrients mentioned above, this particular green smoothie is loaded with protein, vitamin E, and healthy fats.  It’s very low in sugar which makes it, for me, the perfect meal to start the day.  It’s not short on calories (having about 450) and keeps me full and energized until lunch.  Usually :)

INGREDIENTS

1.5 cups kale - washed and rough chopped
1/4 avocado
2 tbsp almond butter
3/4 cup unsweetened soy milk
A handful of ice
Stevia, or other sweetener to taste 

Optional:  1 Tbsp raw cocoa powder
  • Place all ingredients in a high-powered blender and blend until smooth!

Nutrition Facts
Serving Size 367 g
Amount Per Serving
Calories 
454
Calories from Fat 
280
% Daily Value*
Total Fat 
31.1g
48%
Saturated Fat 
4.1g
21%
Trans Fat 
0.0g
Cholesterol 
0mg
0%
Sodium 
140mg
6%
Potassium 
1197mg
34%
Total Carbohydrates 
32.0g
11%
Dietary Fiber 
7.2g
29%
Sugars 
7.6g
Protein 
16.7g
Vitamin A 311%Vitamin C 210%
Calcium 27%Iron 24%
Nutrition Grade A-
* Based on a 2000 calorie diet


 

  Nutritional AnalysisGood points

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