A cool, creamy, sweet vegan green smoothie with banana, peanut butter, kale, chia seeds, cinnamon and almond milk. There is no better way to start your day!
Kale.. it’s a superfood. Anybody who has stepped out of their house even 1x in the last year knows that. It’s low in calories, high in fiber, contains no fat, makes you glow from the inside out… yada yada yada.
I’m going to level with you, the stuff intimidates me. It’s tough, leafy and perhaps most off putting.. it’s very very green.
The first time I bought it, I felt healthier just for putting it in my shopping cart. I had grand plans of homemade green juices and kale salads loaded with swanky health food ingredients. I just knew that kale was going to change everything. I had visions of Joe and I running together while pushing matching jogging strollers, mountain biking through scenic trails and dominating the CrossFit Games. It didn’t matter that we don’t own jogging strollers, Joe’s bike tire has been flat for going on 2 years, and that neither of us have stepped foot into a CrossFit gym…ever. Kale was going to change our lives. Anything was possible. After all, it’s a superfood.
You guys, the kale wilted up and rotted in the crisper drawer of my refrigerator, and along with it, my visions of family fitness domination?.
Que Smoothies (and the resurrection of my dreams).
If you are new to kale or even “superfoods” in general, smoothies are the best place to start. It is mind boggling how much “good for you stuff” can be hidden within cold creamy goodness.
Now you get pretty crazy with smoothies and their ingredients. Recently Gwyneth Paltrow posted a recipe for a smoothie made from vanilla mushroom protein powder, mac, ashwaganda, ho shou wu, cordyceps, and moon dust of choice. I’m sure it’s delightful, but let’s be serious, I can think of about 1,345, 983 other things that I would rather do than hunt down ho show wu (<– what??????) and moon dust. Not to mention, if the internet rumors are true, Gwyneth’s smoothies cost in the neighborhood of $50 each?!
If you’ve been a reader around here for any amount of time you know that I’m less into fancy and more into simple. I want my smoothie to contain nutrient dense ingredients, but they’ve got to be affordable and obtainable.
There are a billion smoothies on the web.
I have tried LOTS of them.
This one is fits the bill PERFECTLY, and.. my kids like it. (tip.. you can freeze the smoothie in a popsicle mold and pass them off for dessert #sneakymommy)
Let’s get specific about the health benefits of THIS green smoothie.
Almond Milk: First of all, it’s SO rich and creamy?. It’s heart healthy, containing no cholesterol or saturated fat. It’s also low in sodium and high in healthy fats which helps prevent high blood pressure and heart disease.
Kale: Kale is low in calories, high in fiber and doesn’t contain any fat. It aids in digestion, improves complexion and is filled with many nutrients and vitamins.
Banana: Bananas contain lots of nutrients (think potassium, B6 and vitamin C). They help to moderate blood sugar levels, improve digestive health, contain antioxidants (keep ya young), and help keep you feeling full.
Almond Butter: Almonds contain lots of healthy fats, fiber, protein, magnesium and vitamin E. They lower blood sugar levels, reduce blood pressure and lower cholesterol. They also keep you full which can help with weight loss. Since almonds are the sole ingredient in almond butter.. the benefits apply!
Chia Seeds: Chia Seeds deliver a massive amount of nutrients with few calories. They are loaded with antioxidants and high in quality protein. They are also high in omega-3 fatty acids (it contains more than salmon gram for gram).
Time Saving Tips and Tricks:
Prep: The bananas MUST be frozen for this smoothie. I like to purchase 1 bunch of bananas, peel them, wrap them in plastic and store them in the freezer. This way, when I need a banana that is frozen I’m good to go.
Make Ahead: Smoothies will keep in the refrigerator for up to 2 days when sealed in a mason jar.
Freezer: The classic green monster smoothie can be assembled as a smoothie pack and stored for up to a month in the refrigerator. I usually make 5-10 at a time. Keep in mind that each bag will make 2 servings. Directions: In a gallon Ziplock bag add kale, banana (broken into pieces), ice cubes, nut butter of choice, chia/flax seeds, vanilla, and cinnamon. Using a permanent marker label the bag “Classic Green Monster” and write the date. Remove all air, and seal the bag. When you are ready for a smoothie, dump the bag into your blender. Add 1 cup of almond milk and a splash of vanilla. Hit Blend. Done.
Smoothies that have been blended can be stored in the freezer as well. I use mason jars that are labeled “can or freeze.” They can be stored for up to 2 weeks. The night before you want the smoothie just remove it from the freezer and put it into the refrigerator. It will be perfectly thawed in time for breakfast.
- 1 cup almond milk (or other milk)
- 1 cup destemmed kale leaves, roughly chopped
- 1 frozen banana, roughly chopped
- 2-3 ice cubes
- 1 TBS almond butter or peanut butter
- 1 TBS of pure chia seeds
- ¼ tsp pure vanilla extract
- Pinch of ground cinnamon
- Add all ingredients to blender and blend until combined.
- If you are new to green smoothies you may not adore the taste of kale. Try replacing it with spinach… it tastes better. Once you begin to drink green smoothies consistently you can make the switch to Kale!
- I like to use almond milk to make my smoothies. It gives them a rich creaminess that I like. If you don’t have any sitting around you can definitely swap it out for the milk of your choosing.
- I use a high speed blender (Blendtec) to make my smoothies, if you do not have access to one you may need to chop the frozen banana a little extra and/or run the blender through several cycles before your smoothie has a creamy texture.
Looking for more healthy whole-food recipes? Check out Simply Sissom on Pinterest. If you like it, follow! New pins are added daily from my favorite bloggers from around the web!
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