Why liquefy good food? And a green smoothie recipe

Strawberry-Kale Smoothie

Strawberry-kale smoothie, May 2012

Until I decided to get serious about weight loss recently, I considered smoothies a waste of good food that would be more attractive and enjoyable eaten in its natural form. But I’m finding that a creamy, blended drink can be a delicious, low-calorie, but satisfying way to replace a meal without decreasing nutrition.

This recipe is for a unique smoothie that’s green from several handfuls of kale. If you don’t like the idea of a green drink, just add less kale so that the smoothie is not quite green. However, you barely taste the kale even with the full amount—the sweetness of the bananas and strawberries remains and the pungency of the greens fades into the background.

In case you’re concerned about digestibility of the fruit and vegetable combination, not one but two nutritionists I consulted assured me that for most people with normal digestion, it’s A-OK and a good way to bump up your nutrition. If your digestion is touchy, try the yogurt version.

This drink uses protein powder/meal replacer or vanilla yogurt. The yogurt option adds valuable probiotics, the helpful intestinal bacteria. I love Kalona Super Natural organic vanilla yogurt. The company is based in my home town, and their products are in many stores throughout the United States.

For the meal replacement powder, my favorite and in my opinion the tastiest is Nutrimeal, which is gluten-free (but not dairy-free) and is available to order online from Usana.com (to order, select Login then First Time Logging In and sign up as a Preferred Customer) or Amazon.com. Another alternative is Essential Meal from Marilyn Farms Company, which also tastes good in the smoothie. It has less sugar and is gluten- and dairy-free. This company is also based near my home town (in a farmhouse!). They’re committed to helping people achieve good health. Their products, which I’ve used for years, are of excellent quality and carefully selected.

Strawberry-Kale Green Smoothie
5.0 from 1 reviews
Recipe type: Beverage
Prep time:
Total time:
Serves: 2
  • 8 ounces fresh strawberries (about 2 cups)
  • 1 banana
  • 3 ounces kale (about 4 cups loosely packed)
  • 4 ounces water and 4 tablespoons vanilla protein powder OR 4 ounces (1/2 cup) vanilla yogurt
  • 1 cup ice cubes
  1. Place strawberries, banana, and water or yogurt in blender. Blend until combined, stopping and rearranging ingredients with a rubber spatula if necessary.
  2. Add kale a leaf or two at a time, then protein powder, if using. Puree, then add ice and puree until smooth. Drink immediately.
Serving size: about 12 ounces. Calories: 190; Fat: 9g; Saturated fat: 0g; Unsaturated fat: 0g; Carbohydrates: 38g; Sugar: 25g; Fiber: 7g; Protein: 8g; Cholesterol: 0mg.

Special thanks to nutritionists Jessica Stamm, MS, CCN, of Stamm Nutrition, and Elizabeth Wagner, RD, CCN, of Functional Nutrition Therapy, who helped with the information about food combining.


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4 Responses to “Why liquefy good food? And a green smoothie recipe”

  1. Miachel says:

    Love it! 🙂 You read my mind…With beautiful but dehydrating summer coming, I want to drink more. Great idea.

    I’d heard about the mixing of vegetables and fruit as a no-no, but thanks for clearing that up.

    • Eileen Beran says:

      A lot of my friends around here are nutritionally aware, and I knew they would ask the question about combining fruits and veggies. It was fun to find out from my nutritionist contacts that it’s perfectly fine!

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