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Vegan for the Holidays

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Vegetarians in Paradise
 Vegetarian Cooking with Zel

Go green this summer with not one, but three delicious and uniquely different green smoothies that offer two excellent benefits--a delicious way to add natural antioxidants to your daily regimen and an opportunity to enjoy a refreshing beverage that turns to kale for its intense green color.

Kale Smoothie 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.


Yield: 2 to 3 servings

Sweet & Creamy Green Smoothie

    4 cups (1 liter) gently packed kale pieces, stems discarded
    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.

Tangy & Savory Green Smoothie

    4 cups (1 lilter) lightly packed kale pieces, stems discarded
    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.

South Pacific Green Smoothie

    1 large bunch kale, stems discarded
    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
Combine the kale, coconut milk, water, and almond butter in the blender and process until smooth. With the machine running, add the frozen bananas a little at a time until well incorporated.

When bananas begin to turn speckled and lose their appeal, it's time to peel them and cut them into chunks. Put them on a dish and tuck them into the freezer until frozen. Transfer the frozen banana chunks to a heavy-duty ziplock bag and keep them frozen until you're ready for a luscious, antioxidant-rich green smoothie. Other fruits can also be frozen for future smoothies

Click here for past cookingwithzel@home.comeonin recipes

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