Saturday, September 26, 2009

Green Smoothies

My friend Jules has been extolling the virtues of green smoothies for several years now and I finally caved and decided to try it. My first attempt was pretty bad. My blender wasn't powerful enough and had a hard time pureeing the kale and it just looked like a green swamp of a mess. The taste wasn't too bad, but it sure looked like something my garbage disposal spit up. The second time around, I modified the process and it worked much better.

Here are the ingredients: kale, flax seeds, frozen strawberries, ripe banana and water or fruit juice.

Here's what I do.

1. In my blender, I put a tablespoon of flax seeds and grind them. Flax seeds are another great source of omega 3's. But eating whole flax seeds aren't going to do anything, you have to grind them up otherwise it will just pass through your system without absorbing any of its beneficial nutrients. I just read that pregnant woman should avoid ground flax seeds - weird!

2. After you have the ground flax seeds, to that I add in half a cup of fruit juice. I had pomegranate on hand, but apple or something sweet would be good. I would be weary of using too much OJ b/c it's kind of acidic and you do need something sweet to balance out all this kale you are eating/drinking. To this mixture, I add about 3 kale leaves chopped up. Blend this together.

3. Once it's thoroughly blended, you can add half a banana and a handful of strawberries and some more water or juice if it's too thick. Jules says you should leave it in the fridge for awhile and let it sit. I did that once and it seems to kind of meld together and turn a brighter green. I was hungry this morning and couldn't wait so I just drank it. It tasted pretty good.

I have a hard time eating kale on a regular basis and this is a great and simple way to get more fibrous greens in your system. It's quick and easy and it tastes better than it looks.
My cousin asked for suggestions on incorporating more flax seeds into your diet. The easiest thing is to grind them up and put them in your smoothies or oatmeal in the morning. My friend will also grind them up with a mortar and pestle and sprinkle them over her salad. I also try to think of them as sesame seeds. I usually sprinkle some sesame seeds to my side dishes and so I try to use flax seeds in lieu of or in addition to the sesame seeds. I recommend buying whole flax seeds and just grinding them up yourself. It's really easy with a blender or a coffee grinder (with no coffee beans, of course) and apparently once it's ground, it oxidizes and loses its nutritional value pretty fast. I hope this helped D.


  1. omg i need to grind them right before eating each time? i dont even have a grinder!

    if i dont eat too many at a time, then wont chewing them in my mouth in a biteful of oatmeal or whatever break them down enough so that the nutrients will be absorbable? i cant remember if flax seeds are really hard and that is unrealistic?

  2. Flaxseeds are pretty hard and small, so I would probably just swallow them if I were just eating them. If you are better at chewing your food than I am, then it might be fine. In that sense, chia seeds are probably easier to eat and incorporate into your food.

    Good luck!

  3. what's the nutritional value of flaxseeds?

  4. According to my doctor, webmd, it's known to reduce your risk of heart disease, cancer, stroke and diabetes. It contains a lot of omega 3's fatty acids, fiber, and lignans (acts as antioxidants). I read somewhere else that this shouldn't be your only source of omega 3's, getting it from eating fish (like salmon) is better for you. So it's just one of those things that are good for you so might as well incorporate into your daily repertoire if you can.