Life is an adventure. To make my journey as fulfilling as it can be I have partnered up with some experts in fitness and nutrition and hope to share some useful and practical tips with you. And trust me, this journey will not be a theoretical one. I will be right there in the thick of it. Struggles and all.
My only regret is that I did not take a photo when I discovered my kale had gone completely limp in my fridge. Not only was the kale nice and fresh when I bought it, but it was a local crop too. Life got too busy and I didn't get to it until it was too late. I could have cried. Then I thought of what my brother would do to resurrect flowers and plants. His advice would be to drench them in water after trimming off the stems. It couldn't hurt, so I gave it a try and what do you know, fresh plump leaves ready for my smoothies and a welcome little bit of green in my kitchen. I glance at the grey and dreary wet day outside and my kale makes me smile.
Can you believe that this is the same kale that I almost threw out?
So what's all the fuss about Kale?
You might be asking what the big deal is about Kale. Kale is high in Vitamin A and C. What many don't know that Kale trumps the banana in being a source of Vitamin K any day and Potassium per gram. So bear that in mind, it is per gram. Kale also has the B Vitamins which help to keep our nerves healthy, particularly if you are stressed.You can check out the nutrient tables for this unassuming leaf by clicking here. One cup of Kale actually has 2.2 g of protein in it.
I admit that I have never gotten the hang of Kale "chips" but if you can do it, you know how delicious they are. I think that Kale chips sprinkled with Chipotle spices and would be even better.
So what do I do with this beautiful leaf then? Primarily I saute these leaves with onion and garlic or more commonly I use it in my smoothies to counteract the natural sugars in the fruit or beets that I use in my smoothies. I also occasionally juice these leaves, one word of warning, it takes many leaves and stems to get just a little bit of dark green juice.
Here are some smoothie recipes that use Kale and I posted them before in the Merits of Mint post. One thing I learnt is that Kale gets bitter if they are exposed to hot weather, so this time of year is perfect to get nice non-butter Kale. Here is my Dark Chocolate Smoothie Recipe.
Bear in mind that your smoothies are a great source of fuel for your body and you really have to be intentional about what you put in them. Think about whether your smoothie is pre or post workout. Smoothies can be a breakfast or a dinner. Sometimes I just don't feel like eating dinner and a smoothie does the trick. Particularly if the rest of the family are eating something that my sugar-free, gluten free diet does not allow for.
Remember that adding mint, basil leaves or cacao nibs to your smoothie can add an unexpected zing.
If your kids are having a pizza night you can supplement their diet by making a smoothie loaded with fruit and veggies as a trade off.
Do you need a special smoothie maker? No, I use a blender and it works. When my blender is being used for something else and I want a smoothie, I have used my hand held wand blender. You don't have to get fancy.
What is your favourite smoothie recipe?
By Melony Teague
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