Friday, January 7, 2011

Turning a New Leaf

It's been too long since I last posted! Oh well - it's a new year so I can begin again with more resolve (and recipes) then ever.

I made many, many batches of delicious cookies for christmas. I even discovered a chocolate cookie that my mom says is THE BEST EVER. But sadly, that was then, and this is now. Or to be more precise: it's January! I've been trying very hard to put an end to the holiday overindulgences. Number 1 on the agenda is not to bake any cookies for at least the first week of January (mission accomplished!). Also, I am trying to eat more vegetables.
Which brings us to today's recipe: the Kale & Spinach Smoothie. I know, it sounds gross. Even my mom, who still claims that the awful tofu cake she made me for my worst birthday ever was edible, responded to my description of this green smoothie with a resounding "Ick." But please don't let that dissuade you from trying this at least once. It's fresh and filling and full of good things and the flavors of green apple, banana, and orange juice dominate. It's surprisingly fruity and not vegetable-y. Plus it feels great to start the day on such a very brightly healthy note. I feel like no matter what I do wrong for the rest of the day, at least I started off right.

Testimonial: My boyfriend was a little doubtful when I first brought it up. At first he thought I was joking (kale smoothie! HA!), but when I told him I wasn't he got a little worried. However, once I got all of the ingredients and confirmed that I was going to make it the very next morning for breakfast, he actually pulled me out of bed early to ensure that I would have enough time to make it before he left for work. He described it as "good, better than what you can get from the store" (ie. green machine superfood).

We've been having it for breakfast every morning since then.

I made some changes to the original recipe, which I found on Joy the Baker. I substituted orange juice for almond milk - I like both the taste and the idea of having some of my breakfast OJ in my breakfast smoothie (more vitamins!). A nice side affect of using the orange juice is that you no longer have to add any sweetener (honey). Also, I swapped green apples for the pear. Personally I find pears to be a little bit grainy sometimes, and also a little bit pricy. Again, I really like the fresh bright favor that the apple gives the smoothie.
Kale and Spinach Smoothie
Adapted from Joy the Baker
Serves two

1 cup (packed) kale leaves, roughly chopped or torn
1 cup (packed) spinach leaves, roughly chopped or torn
1 1/2 cups orange juice
1/2 green apple, peeled and cut into chunks
1 banana, peeled and sliced

Wash the spinach and kale really well to get rid of all the dirt, sand and bugs that might be clinging to them. Remove the stem from the kale and rip of chop the leaves. Pinch the stems off of the spinach leaves, and rip or chop them up. Blend the spinach and kale with the orange juice until the leaves are well processed (I use my immersion blender so mine stays chunkier than if you use a blender, in which case all of the little bits should be blasted away). Add the chopped up apple and banana and blend again until a uniform consistency is achieved.

Pour into two glasses and drink away!