There is spinach and kale… And there is more than spinach and kale.
Fresh smoothies are a great way to (re)fuel morning, lunch, evening and any time in between. And judging by the number of blog posts and pictures on the blogospheres and instaspheres, they are *very* popular. And very colorful.
There are a lot of great ways and options for making them, including fruit juices, dairies or non-dairy liquid bases, protein powders, and an array of smoothie-friendly fruits. And veggies, which add fibers and nutrients. I have been using greens in my smoothies for some time now, and until recently I had been mostly using the usual suspects: spinach and kale, which have become the de facto go-to greens all around.
Then, at a Farmers Market run a few months ago, I decided to purchase some purslane. I was looking around for inspiration on what to do with it, and I came across Clotilde Dusoulier's great post on 45 ways to use purslane, in which she mentioned smoothies. I gave it a try, and got hooked.
I have not entirely ditched the spinach and kale either, rather I have focused on less traditional types, including New-Zealand spinach which has a great flavor and is also rich in mineral, Red Russian kale and Siberian kale in addition to the usual dino and curly kales.
In fact, all these “non-traditional” greens, which, for some are sometimes considered weeds and can be foraged, are true nutritional wonders, providing not only minerals and vitamins but antioxidants and/or omega-3 acids.
Some of these greens impart a definite taste but if too strong, that taste can be moderated with raw cocoa powder, vanilla and the right combination of fruits. At this point, an all time favorite is this simple basic green smoothie: almond milk, banana, greens, vanilla extract, and, optionally: 1/2 date or maple syrup for extra sweetness, said cocoa powder, frozen berries, gluten-free oats, nuts (walnuts in particular) and/or protein powder.
So hale to kale, but there is definitely a smoothie life after it. :)
By the way:
- In NYC, there are great vendors for all the listed green at Union Square Green Market, a few other Green Markets, including, among other great ones, Lani’s and Bodhitree. Monkshood nursery, an organic vendor, is present at some Green Markets. In the Bay Area, vendors that provide great organic greens include Marin Roots at CUESA and Three Sisters farm at CUESA and Berkeley’s Farmers Market. This list will be updated!
- Smoothies are naturally gluten-free and can be made dairy free and low in FODMAP with low FODMAP fruits and sweeteners.