by Kale Smith
Urban Athlete’s MIGHTY KALE Smoothie Recipe!
Alright, we all know we should be eating more green, leafy, fibrous vegetables right? After all, we all know green veggies are packed full of micronutrients, quality fiber and an abundance of other health promoting, disease fighting antioxidants and phytonutrients such as carotenoids, flavonoids and glucosinolates (to name a few). Ingredients that are shown to have a near endless list of incredible health benefits – from blocking many forms of early stage cancer, promoting heart health and brain health / function, reduce insulin and glucose resistance, reduce inflammation and provide a measure of relief from many inflammatory conditions. And I’m just scratching the surface here…
Green leafy vegetables can also have a massive impact on our fat reserves and are a key ally in any quality body fat loss nutrition program. Not only are they low in calories, while being relatively filling (due their fiber content), this fiber also bulks up and thickens the viscosity of the stomach mixture, slowing digestive enzyme function. You can literally dampen / lessen the impact of a higher glycemic meal simply by consuming a healthy portion of green leafy vegetables with that meal (tip – start with the green veggies for that meal). Green leafy vegetables also help dampen / minimize insulin spikes as well and extend the release of carbohydrates (and ultimately glucose) into the blood stream, giving you longer lasting, more balanced energy levels.
As you’ll learn next month in Nicole’s ‘Getting Alkaline” article, green leafy vegetables also promote a more alkaline environment within the body, which contributes to everything to increased energy levels to disease prevention.
Ok, enough about WHY we should all eat more green leafy vegetables. You know this stuff, right? Lets talk about the hard part. How!?
Maybe you’re one of those lucky people out there who actually ENJOY the taste of a mouth full of green leaf kale, or who get excited at the prospect of a broccoli casserole. A slightly jealous hats off to you! Unfortunately for me, enjoying the taste of vegetables has never come naturally to me and that seems to be the case for many of the people I’ve conducted nutrition consults with in the past as well. I still add them into my diet anywhere I can but I always seem to struggle getting enough, and I know I’m not alone.
So a few years ago I began experimenting with making green leafy vegetable shakes. I won’t lie, many of the early versions were virtually undrinkable and I felt like I’d mowed the front lawn with my teeth for several hours afterward. I was determined however. I was confident that there had to be a way to make a smoothie that could be packed full of the most antioxidant rich vegetables available and STILL taste great.
It took me a long time to figure it out and perfect it, but perfect it I did! And now I want to share this recipe with you! If you like the flavour of chocolate, you will LOVE this shake, and I guarantee you won’t even taste all the vegetables inside it. Trust me, from 1 non-vegetable lover to another!
So here’s the recipe. It so happens that this is the EXACT same recipe as the “Mighty Kale” smoothie we’ve been serving at our smoothie bar these past several months and its become one of our top sellers.
Give it a try a few times to perfect it – this makes a GREAT breakfast shake! Have 1 of these shakes in the morning and fill your body full of health promoting, disease fighting antioxidants, carotenoids and phytonutrients before you even leave your house for work. It will change your whole day.
Here’s your ingredient list
- Green or black leaf kale
- Carrot (the carrot is optional and is not in our front desk version of the Mighty Kale. But for the additional health benefits, I’d throw in a ¼ of a carrot each day).
- Coconut oil
- Cacao powder (that is Cacao powder c-a-c-A-o; not Cocoa powder c-a-c-O-o. Big difference. Cacao powder has one of the highest ORAC concentrations of any food on the planet).
- Almond milk (low fat, low sugar kind. 30 – 40 cal/ serving)
That’s it! Here’s how you make it.
Combine the following in a blender:
- 350 (ish) ml of almond milk
- 1/3 of an avocado
- Handful of washed spinach
- 1-2 stalks of washed kale
- Finger length of carrot
- 1 tsp coconut oil (its solid at room temperature so if you heat up your spoon under a hot tap for a few seconds, it will slide off the spoon more easily).
Cover and blend on high for at least half a minute. Make sure its blended to a very fine / smooth consistency before continuing. Don’t worry about over blending.
- 1 heaping tablespoon of Cacao powder
- 1 full scoop of Chocolate Vega Sport Protein Powder
Blend again until smooth. If your protein powder sticks to the side of the blender just scrape it into the centre with a spatula or table knife (turn off the blender first obviously!)
Enjoy! Optional – add ice cubes.
Once you’ve finished blending, the smoothie is ready! But its also warm at this point. I typically add 4 ice cubes and blend for another 15 seconds or so at this point to make it nice and cold. This is how we serve the Mighty Kale at Urban Athlete as well.
That’s it! This is a super simple recipe that can help everyone easily add to their daily intake of healthy, green leafy vegetables! Don’t be afraid to experiment with other veggies as well. For example I often will add broccoli as well if I happen to have some. You won’t even taste it.
Give it a try and let us know what you think!!