Monday, March 11, 2013

Hail to Kale!

If you're like me, I have a hard time getting my minimum of 5 servings of fruits and vegetables every day.  And if I have to eat another salad, I think I will start to grow rabbit ears.  I just can’t do it!  I love food and consider myself well-versed around my kitchen but I have fallen short of finding new and exciting ways to eat kale, spinach, and all the other leafy greens that have been proven to be so good for us (and not to mention getting my two kids to eat them as well).  As a working mom and breast cancer survivor, I need something that will allow me to eat healthy foods in a way that's fast and easy.

So let me set the stage for you…I am at BJs for my monthly stock-up of the essentials.  You know, toilet paper, paper towels, laundry detergent, giant packages of socks – and pretty soon my shopping list becomes null and void because I just have to get the commercial size package of brownie mix and the 12-pack of marinara sauce.  My shopping habits beside the point, I head down the small appliance aisle for reasons unknown to me.  And there on the shelf, in all it’s blending beauty, is the Ninja.  It is like a blender on steroids.  It can chop, blend, and create things like no other regular blender can.  I had to get it!  This was the solution to all my dietary needs! 

All the ingredients for the "Green Monster" Smoothie
Now my shopping cart had to get filled some more.  I buy bananas, berries (organic of course), kale, spinach, cucumbers, all everything else I could think of that would work to make SMOOTHIES!  I check out and as soon as I get home, I unwrap the Ninja and create a fruit and veggie-packed, delicious, colorful smoothie.  It couldn’t have been easier.

I am a fan of smoothies over juicing.  My feeling is that we lose so much of the good stuff from the fruits and vegetables if we only juice them.  Making a smoothie keeps the nutrient packed skin on (not rinds) and retains more of the fiber from each fruit and vegetable to incorporate into the smoothie instead of being left behind in the juicer.  It fills you up and the combinations are endless.  My kids love them and I have gotten them to try some vegetables that they normally wouldn’t eat like spinach and kale.  They love the “Green Monster” smoothie I've created (hey, my kids love the Red Sox!).

The “Green Monster” Smoothie
* 1 Banana
* Handful of kale or spinach (or any other leafy green except lettuce)
* 1 Orange
* Handful of Blueberries
* A few Strawberries
* Coconut Milk or Almond Milk (enough to thin it out/milkshake-like)

Finshed Product
Ready to Blend
It isn't the prettiest of colors but is to SO good.  Again, you can combine basically anything to suit your taste.  Try adding mango or peaches.  Or try a citrus based one with grapefruit, oranges and a banana.  Smoothies are a super-easy and delicious way to “eat” your 5 servings of fruits and vegetables everyday.

For more great recipies, check these out: Engine 2 Diet
Eating Well Smoothies

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