Friday, June 27, 2014

Almond joy coconut chocolate almond green smoothie

Almond joy coconut chocolate almond green smoothie 

I love green smoothies.  Let's face it - that's pretty much the only way I get any fruits and vegetables into my diet these days.  I'm not much of a cook so when I cook, you get an entree.  Side dishes to go along with it are usually beyond my capabilities unless it's a frozen bag of veggies or a bag of salad.

However, green smoothies are amazing!  It's a fruit smoothie with veggies thrown in, and I promise you will NEVER TASTE THEM if you do it right.  If you've never had a green smoothie before, try this and you'll be hooked. 

Best thing about this?  Every single ingredient in it is good for you!  Yes, even the chocolate.  I drink this for breakfast, or have it for dessert when I'm jonesing for chocolate.  I even add extra ice and make it into "ice cream" and give it to the kids.

Ingredients:

1 1/2 cup almond or coconut milk (or the new one that's a blend of each - my favorite!)
2-3 cups of kale - this is a superfood and is arguably one of the healthiest leafy greens out there.
1 1/2 bananas - makes it sweet and creamy 
1 tbsp coconut oil - unbelievably good for you!  And tastes great too.
1 tbsp almond butter - full of heart healthy fat.
3 tbsp raw unsweetened cacao powder - antioxidants galore.
2 tbsp unsweetened shredded coconut - yum, more coconut!



You'll need a high speed blender for this, such as my beloved VitaMix.  

Add the liquid first.  I used Silk Almond/Coconut milk blend, which was not unsweetened.  I wish it were but it's all I had on hand.  It adds just a bit of sweetness so because of that I didn't have to add any other sweetener.

I freeze all my kale because it goes bad so quickly.  If I don't cook it the day I buy it I remove the stalks, rip it into small pieces, and freeze it.  I also freeze my bananas once they are good and brown.  They're nice and sweet that way.


So toss in the kale.  If this is your first green smoothie just use a handful.  You'll see that you can't taste it so next time add more.  I can now add three huge handfuls of kale before it gets noticeable (and turns the drink green.)

Add all the other ingredients.  I had homemade almond butter (also from my beloved Vitamix - I cannot rave about this thing enough) but store bought is fine.  Just try to get an unsalted version.   I used this video to make mine.  https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=wSNdjR-QWRU

It has one ingredient - raw, unsalted almonds.  No oil, no seasonings, just almonds.  And it's sooooo good!  Here's what mine looked like.



The raw unsweetened cacao is ideal but if you can't find it, unsweetened cocoa powder (like your grandma used for baking when you were a kid) is the next best thing.  I buy mine off Amazon because I can't find it locally.  This is the one I bought and if I can keep my daughter from making hot cocoa with it, it lasts quite a while:

100% Natural Raw Cacao Powder From Latin America. Raw, Pure, Non-gmo, Vegan, Gluten-free

When it comes to coconut oil, try to get unrefined.  Refined isn't as good for you and it has no flavor.  Unrefined tastes like coconut.  Here's my baby licking the spoon after I tossed it into the blender.



Now blend it all up.  I turn it to high and let it run for about 45 seconds.  Enough to make it totally smooth but not too long or it will start to heat up.

Now taste it.  If it's not sweet enough add some dates (with the pits removed please!)  Maybe 2 or 3.  Raw honey or pure maple syrup would work too but I honestly don't think you need it.  If it's not cold enough, add a handful of ice cubes.  If it's too thick, add some more liquid or just plain water.

If you want some chunks in it toss it a bit more shredded coconut and a few raw almonds.  Then blend on low for 10 seconds.


And that's it!  It tastes like an Almond Joy because of the chocolate, coconut, and almonds but it has NO SUGAR and it's great for you!  I mean, HELLO!  You just had a decadent chocolate milkshake that had three cups of kale in it.  Kale’s health benefits are primarily linked to the high concentration and excellent source of antioxidant vitamins A, C, and K.  One cup of kale provides more than 100% of your daily requirement of these vitamins.  It has cancer-fighting phytonutrients, lowers cholesterol levels, helps reduce the risk of heart disease.

I often add ice and mix it till it's like ice cream and give it to my daughter for breakfast.  She goes to school and tells everyone she had ice cream for breakfast.  I'm waiting for her teacher to call me and say, "Do we need to have a little talk about proper nutrition?"  I'm kind of looking forward to that call!  ;)

If your kids are resistant to veggies, the following foods can be added to almost any smoothie and you'll never know they're in there:

raw zucchini or yellow squash
cabbage
carrots

Just add them in small amounts and work up to larger amounts over time.  If you're making a berry smoothie and it starts to turn green, just add more berries to keep it purple.

Do you drink green smoothies?  Share your favorite recipes as I'm always looking for new ones!



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