Nine times out of ten, I don’t want to just have oatmeal for breakfast.
I know there’s about a thousand ways to make oatmeal more interesting, but that doesn’t mean that everyone in my family will consume and enjoy each and every way I attempt to prepare it. So I usually end up making something like muffins or pancakes (the norm around these parts).
Still, I get complaints like “I’m still hungry” or “feed me, woman” and even “I’m starving, give me more NOW!”. I don’t know about you, but when it’s 7:30 in the morning, my first instinct is the urge to smack someone upside the head. My conscience usually restrains me from making that decision though.
Anyways, I don’t think it’s a good idea for growing children to fill up on bread-y foods. It seems the only logical option would be to include a side dish to things like muffins or pancakes. Revolutionary, I know.
But when fresh fruits and most vegetables aren’t in season locally, it’s hard to make any side dish that isn’t eggs, right? That’s what I was thinking yesterday when I made whole wheat pancakes.
Well, recently, we purchased the Ninja Mega Kitchen System, which came with a nifty little recipe book. In it were tons of smoothie recipes. TONS. Like half of the recipes in the dang thing were smoothies.
Even though most of them were summer smoothies, using ingredients like fresh strawberries and zucchini , it got me thinking. I looked at what I had in the house—fresh kale, a few frozen bananas, and a lot of frozen blueberries. So naturally I looked up a recipe for a kale, banana, and blueberry smoothie. Makes sense.
The recipe I found was perfect. I had everything I needed for it (duh) and the recipe was really healthy. Refined sugar free, gluten free, and dairy free. Like I said, perfect.
My family tries to cut down on our dairy intake, so the fact that the recipe uses rice milk is a big plus. You can certainly use almond milk (which would make the smoothie so much creamier), but we used rice milk because some people in my house are allergic to tree nuts and because it was what we had on hand.
Another thing I think you’ll love about this smoothie is that it can be a stand-alone breakfast, a side dish for breakfast, a pre-workout snack, or a mid-afternoon snack. The taste will satisfy anyone, picky eater or not. It’s always a joy to see little ones wiping their finger on the inside of the cup trying to get the very last bit of smoothie.
For more delicious smoothie recipes, check out The Loop 21.
What’s so healthy about this green smoothie?
Kale is one of the healthiest vegetables on the planet. Kale is also super high in iron and vitamin K. Per calorie, kale has more iron than beef and eating a diet high in Vitamin K can help protect against various cancers. Blueberries are phytonutrient superstars. They contain significant amounts of anthocyanadins, antioxidant compounds that give blue, purple and red colors to fruits and vegetables (source).
Bananas are one of our best sources of potassium, an essential mineral for maintaining normal blood pressure and heart function (source).
Chia seeds are obviously an amazing superfood that contains calcium, manganese, and phosphorus, and is a great source of healthy omega-3 fats. Spirulina is a natural “algae” powder that is incredible high in protein and nutrients.
So basically, this smoothie is a powerhouse of nutrients, antioxidants, and deliciousness. Plain and simple. I love how easy it is to whip up. It only takes me about 10 minutes to make 10 medium smoothies (I make the recipe 5 times for breakfast for the whole family).
I know you’re ready to make a kale blueberry and banana smoothie.
Here’s the recipe:
- 1½ cups organic rice milk
- 1 heaping cup raw kale, center ribs and stems removed
- ¾ cup fresh or frozen blueberries
- 1 frozen banana, halved
- 2 dates, pitted
- 1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
- 1 tablespoon chia seeds (where to buy)
- ½ teaspoon spirulina, optional
- Add all ingredients to a blender and blend until smooth, about 1 to 2 minutes.
- Serve with a meal or all by itself.