Friday, 12 October 2012

Green Smoothie

They're all the rage and I've bee convinced to get on the green train.

I'm a bit of a greeny as it is so it only makes sense (joke at my grandmother and mother's birthdays: 'Don't touch the bottom or you'll get green babies! Oh wait - you already have them!').

I came across green smoothies after having a horrid nightmare about having ovarian cancer (creepy? you have no idea). I couldn't get it off my mind and turned to google.. always dangerous. I googled dreams about/causes/symptoms (which, of course, made me certain that I had it) and came across a post on my favourite blog: Anti-Ovarian Cancer "Green" Smoothie. It passes on a heap of brilliant information including the results of studies that have shown that regularly eating endive can decrease your risk of ovarian cancer by 75%!!! I had to get me some of that! And so the green smoothie was created.

Last mother's day I cooked kale for the first time (see my post here for the delicious Paprika Braised Chickpea and Kale recipe) and loved it. Kale comes in a number of varieties with 'curly' and 'dino' (or tuscan) seeming to be the most available (recently I've noticed larger supermarket chains selling dino kale in bags, similar to spinach/other salad mixes). Both varieties are quite bitter and capsicum is fantastic to accompany it.. but that's another conversation.

Why is kale so great? It's green! It's also another cancer-fighting veg (packed with over 40 flavonoids), contains loads of vitamin K (really important for bone health and blood clotting) as well as vitamins A and C. I have kale in all of my smoothies (unless I run out - then I have spinach), and in salads a few times a week.

Back to the smoothies. I did a bit of googling to see what everyone puts in their smoothies and the variety is endless, I suggest you do your own experimenting to find something that suits you.
I wanted fruit and veg and low calorie. I tried adding coconut milk and decided it didn't make much difference. Tried adding flax meal to add more protein but decided it wasn't worth it (didn't make much flavour difference, and doesn't add much protein, really). I haven't tried it, but if you're wanting something sweet pineapple juice might be the way to go, and cinnamon doesn't seem to make any difference at all. It took a few goes to get it just right, but now I've found a mix that suits me there's no way I'm going back!

I have this smoothie around three times a week for breakfast after the gym and it leaves me feeling revitalised for the day ahead:

Ally's Green Power Smoothie
50g of Kale
1/4 head of endive (when I don't make it to the farmer's market I replace this with more kale)
50g blueberries
1 small banana
1 apple (usually a small pink lady, but anything goes)
1-2 cups of water (not sure exactly, I find runnier is better)

Another, sweeter combination that I love:
30g Kale (or thereabouts)
60g Spinach (or thereabouts, more spinach than kale)
50-100g Strawberries (frozen work great if you find a lot on super special!)
1 small banana
1 apple (golden delicious is best here)
1-2 cups of water

Blend them up with a stick mixer and drink up!
(180 - 200cal per smoothie, makes about 800ml)

Go on, you know you want to ;)

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