I know I mentioned this smoothie on Friday, but I still hesitated for a little bit before really deciding to buckle down and actually post it. Mostly I think that’s because green smoothies are everywhere these days and when it comes to healthy eating I feel like the conversation can sound a bit kale kale kale all the time.
It seems like people are always talking about how good their green smoothies taste. Well, I love vegetables and as much as I eat them and love them, I’ve found a lot of the green smoothies out there just taste like bitterness and despair with a lot of vitamins inside. This isn’t one of those smoothies. This is more like Intro to Green Smoothies 101.
This vanilla kale smoothie is creamy and rich, thanks to the cashews and bananas. The vanilla and the hint of maple give it an almost cookie-dough taste. Please note: I am not saying “kale = cookie dough” because, similarly I would never tell you that beets are strawberry ice cream. However, I am telling you that this is incredibly toddler-friendly and a really good beginner’s green smoothie.
Milo is surprisingly open to green smoothies, so long as they don’t taste very strong, and he just loved it. He ate three little bowls the first time I made it, and two the second time (we ran out because Sophie also had seconds). Sophie is VERY texture sensitive and notices any irregularities in her food, and she has had second helpings of this smoothie ever since she gave it a try. We’ve made it a few more times since then, and Michael approves too. It’s a good one, folks!
A few notes on the recipe:
- Have children in your house scared of eating something green? Call it Jedi Juice, Shrek Shake, Ninja Turtle Smoothie, or anything else you can think of. Sophie calls it Green Banana Swirl, and we go with it. Sometimes a bit of marketing can do the trick. Worst case scenario, top it with a few mini chocolate chips. Yum.
- Don’t have a high-speed blender? You can still make this smoothie.You’ll want to be sure you’ve soaked your cashews well (overnight, if you remember), and you might want to tear up your kale a bit before adding it to your blender. Lastly, you’ll need to be patient. Scrape down the sides of your blender regularly (turn it off first, please), and you may need to add just a little more almond milk to keep things moving smoothly. Still not sure you can get your kale smooth enough? Feel free to use spinach instead. I find spinach blends much more easily.
Soaking the cashews ahead of time will help make the cashews more easily digestible and will lend itself to that velvety texture you’re looking for here. If you don’t have a high speed blender, you can still make this smoothie. You’ll just need to be patient, and scrape down the sides of your blender regularly. If you do have a high speed blender, you don’t *have* to soak the cashews, but I still recommend it if you have time.
- 1/2–3/4c almond milk (more, if needed)
- 2–3 tsp pure maple syrup
- 1 tsp vanilla extract
- 1/2 cup raw cashews, soaked 30 mintues-8 hours if possible
- 1 cup kale leaves, tough stems and ribs removed (or spinach, if you prefer)
- 2 frozen bananas, sliced
- Place all ingredients in blender in the order listed. Blend until smooth and creamy, scraping down the sides of your blender and adding additional almond milk as needed. When mixture is very smooth, taste and add additional syrup if needed.
- Makes 2 servings (or up to 4 small child-sized ones)