I absolutely love the beginning of the year. It’s always filled with such hopes and dreams and goals for the year ahead. Right now, anything and everything is possible. It’s time to turn over a new leaf and turn your dreams into goals and then into realities.
The biggest resolution that always seems to find it’s way onto people’s lists is getting healthier (or something along those lines). It makes sense though, seeing how the whole month of December is filled with cookies and chocolates and other sweet, decadent holiday indulgences. If you’re like me, your body has been lulled into a nutrient deficient food coma and is desperately wanting to wake up from it. I am ready for clean food again. Sustaining the body with nothing but cookies and chocolates never bodes well.
Healthy eating can be a bit daunting…and confusing for that matter. There are so many different “diets” out there that often contradict each other. It’s sometimes tricky to know where to start. Luckily, healthy eating isn’t very complicated. Eat whole foods (foods in their natural state) and your body will be very, very happy.
Let’s start healthy eating off with this Green Goodness Smoothie.
This smoothie is just the thing to nourish your body and set you on a healthy track. It’s jam packed with nutrients thanks to all the superfood goodness that goes into it. And it tastes delicious. It’s sweet and it’s tangy and you’ll be so happy when you remember that it’s made with nothing but healthy, wholesome ingredients.
I’m serious though. 4 cups of kale goes into making this beauty of a drink.
Let’s face it, although kale is one of the best foods for the body, it’s sometimes hard to get around to eat the green leafy stuff. That’s where your blender comes in as a clean eating angel.
La la la laaa, Vitamix blender to the rescue. A fancy, high speed blender isn’t necessary to make this Green Goodness Smoothie…but it will definitely effortlessly pulverize all your ingredients to a super smooth consistency (and in lightning speed to boot). It’s an investment, but it’s worth every penny.
One of my favourite ingredients to use in smoothies is kale. I love, love, love blending my greens! It’s a really easy way to consume them, and in fairly large quantities. Plus, by blending your greens, the cell walls get broken down, allowing the nutrients to be more bioavailable — aka more easily absorbed by your body. Awesome, eh?
I think so.
Nutrition Low Down
Kale is definitely the mega superstar of this smoothie, and for good reason. Kale is jam packed with calcium, iron, vitamin A and C, and vitamin K (good for bone-building). In addition, kale contains eye-health carotenoids and cancer fighting phytochemicals. And, for 2 cups of this leafy goodness, you get 4 g of protein and 3 g of fibre. Seriously, you can never go wrong with adding kale to your diet.
I used 4 large kale stalks for this smoothie (equal to about 4 cups of packed kale leaves), but if you’re new to kale, I suggest starting slowly and using only 1 cup or 1 large stalk of kale in the smoothie and then working your way up as your tastebud’s get accustomed (and start to crave) kale’s taste.
While kale pretty much takes center stage for the Green Goodness Smoothie, the other ingredients are no backup singers.
I add bananas to all of my smoothies. It gives the smoothie a nice touch of creaminess, plus lots of nutritional benefits. Everyone knows that bananas are a good source of potassium (needed to keep our cells healthy and our electrolytes in balance), but bananas also contain a little thing called fructoogliosaccharides.
Yep, this long complicated word is the food the good bacteria in our digestive system needs to thrive. Happy, healthy gut bacteria will make for a happy, healthy you.
Two other ingredients I always add to my smoothies are chia seeds and hemp hearts. They are the ultimate smoothie super booster! Hemp hearts and chia seeds both contain omega-3 and omega-6 fatty acids, protein, fibre, and a large handful of minerals. They’re also excellent sprinkled on yogurt, cereal, toast, you name it.
As my base for the Green Goodness Smoothie, I used a mix of homemade coconut milk and coconut water. These liquids provide a lovely sweetness to the movie, and tons of good nutrients. Coconut water is full of electrolytes, which control a long list of bodily functions. My favourite brand of coconut water is from Vita Coco. I’ve tried other brands, but I find that Vita Coco coconut water has the best taste.
And finally, frozen mango chunks. I love using frozen mango chunks in smoothies for a bit of tang and iciness (without the watering down that ice cubes seem to bring). Plus, mangos contains lots of potassium and Vitamin A, along with some vitamin C, vitamin K, calcium, phosphorus, and magnesium. They’re perfect little nutrient ice cubes if you ask me.
The recipe for my Green Goodness Smoothie does serve two as a breakfast smoothie or four as a snack-size smoothie…but I’ve been known to drink the whole recipe myself. What can I say? My body wants nutrients, I provide it nutrients.
And with this Green Goodness Smoothie, now you can too!
Green Goodness Smoothie
- leaves the from 4 large kale stalks (about 4 cups packed kale leaves)
- 1 banana
- 3 tablespoons chia seeds
- 3 tablespoons hemp hearts
- 1 1/2 cups coconut water
- 1 1/2 cups coconut milk
- 2 cups frozen mango chunks
Blend all your ingredients together until smooth.
Consume right away.
For lower powered blenders, you might need to add a bit more coconut milk or coconut water to get your smoothie blending.
Start with only 1 cup (or 1 large kale leaf) if you're just starting to use greens in smoothies. Build up to 4 cups (4 large kale leaves) as your tastebuds adjust to the taste of kale.
If you make this recipe, please share! Post it on Instagram with @thehappinesskitchen_ and #thehappinesskitchen in the caption.
Quote of the post:
“It is health that is the real wealth and not pieces of gold and silver.”
– Mahatma Gandhi
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