Green smoothies have enjoyed the spotlight for the past decade or so.
Not for everyone on account of the ‘green colour’. Yes, friends, family, and clients just couldn’t do it because ‘they’re green’ – hey, to each their own.
For those who don’t mind, smoothies are a great way to sneak in some green but in fairness, drinking your greens needs a little help. That’s where the mild flavor of banana and citrusy zing of blood oranges and a whole lime come in. They round out the bitterness that is part of kale’s flavor profile.
You might be thinking, what about all that sugar in the cranberry juice?
The recipe does call for 1.5 cups of juice. For some, it’s not a problem. For active growing adolescents, like those playing high school sports or other higher-level activities, getting enough calories in from solid food can be a challenge. For them, the added carbs from juice isn’t a problem.
Even adults who might be involved in higher volume training, ‘liquid calories’ can help with recovery and exercise.
Most juices have about 120 calories per 1 cup (250 ml) serving. Traditional cranberry cocktails are a blend of cranberry juice and other juices such as pear, apple, and grape. You can get cranberry concentrates with are concentrated juice. For a glass of juice, you’d mix 2 Tbsp (about 60 ml) into 1 cup of water. This serving would have about 80 calories; a little less than traditional cranberry ‘juices’.
For all the goodness of cranberry phytonutrients, you could experiment with a little concentrate and find your personal flavour or skip the cranberry juice and throw in a handful of frozen cranberries instead. One cup of chopped raw, fresh or frozen cranberries has about 50 calories.
At this point, kale kinda speaks for itself. Kale is a super nutritious crucifer vegetable.
Cruciferous vegetables, such as broccoli, cabbage, Brussels sprouts, cauliflower, collard greens, kohlrabi, bok choy, daikon, watercress and more, have several anti-cancer compounds shown to interrupt all stages of cancer development.
These superstar vegetables also have potent compounds that help your liver to detoxify chemicals and metabolic by-products.
Kale is also rich in lutein, a carotenoid that can help to reduce the leading cause of blindness in those aged 50 and older: macular degeneration. Smoothies are a great way to sneak vegetables into your diet without even tasting them.
Cranberry Kale Smoothie
- 2 cups kale
- 1 1/2 cups 100% pure cranberry juice unsweetened
- 1/2 cup water
- 1 banana
- 2 blood oranges peeled
- 1 whole lime not just the juice
- Blend kale and liquids together until completely blended. Add the remaining ingredients and blend again.