Why the focus on a definitively, bitter-tasting vegetable like kale? Simply because that deep green, chewy, biting, leafy vegetable is one of the healthiest foods you can consume. Enjoy it raw or cooked and reap the benefits of its powerhouse of antioxidants that act as cancer inhibitors and protect against age-related macular degeneration. The antioxidants of the kale family include carotenoids, flavonoids, lutein and zeaxanthin. Kale is also high in vitamin K, the vitamin that not only helps with blood clotting, but also plays a role in bone formation.
The kale incorporated in these three smoothies is raw, but you may not actually taste its bitterness or experience its chewy nature. When the beverages are well blended and pleasingly seasoned, the bitter flavor of kale completely disappears. The Sweet & Creamy Green Smoothie offers the perfect antidote to bitterness with the sweetness of fresh or frozen fruits, while the Tangy & Savory Green Smoothie relies on lime juice, maple syrup, and a touch of salt to do the undercover work. South Pacific Green Smoothie enjoys the magic of coconut milk and almond butter for its ultra-richness and nothing more than bananas to contribute delicate sweetness.
I'm well aware that everyone's taste preferences vary, so you may need to make small adjustments in the seasoning measurements to balance the flavors to your taste.
GREEN SMOOTHIE TRIO
Yield: 2 to 3 servings
Sweet & Creamy Green Smoothie
2 cups (480 ml) water
1 cup (240 ml) fresh or frozen grapes
1 cup (240 ml) frozen banana chunks
1/2 cup (120 ml) soymilk, rice milk, or nut milk
Combine all the ingredients in a blender and process until smooth and creamy. Taste for sweetness and add more grapes if not sweet enough.
2 cups (480 ml) water
3 1 1/2 to 2 tablespoons maple syrup to 4 tablespoons lime juice 1 teaspoon nutritional yeast flakes
1/2 to 3/4 teaspoon salt
1/4 teaspoon smoked paprika (optional)
Combine all the ingredients in a blender and process until smooth and creamy. Adjust seasonings if needed.
1 14-ounce (335g) can light coconut milk
3/4 cup (180 ml) water
1/3 cup (80 ml) almond butter 2 1/2 cups (600 ml) frozen banana chunks