Are you in the yay or nay category when it comes to greens in your smoothie? Up until a month or so ago, I wasn’t quite sure, but I had some extra kale on-hand so I tossed it into my morning smoothie. Verdict? It was good, no complaints from me or the hubby. The kale doesn’t alter the flavor as much as you might think. I mean, you can see the little green flecks in your smoothie, but it’s the berries and other goodies that take center stage here.
I used a combination of orange juice and almond milk for this smoothie, but you can use one or the other. If you choose all almond milk, increase the amount just a bit or add some extra water, since almond milk is quite thick (and luscious!). You don’t want a smoothie so thick you can barely drink it. Then again, I’ve been seeing smoothie bowls pop up left and right, so maybe you want a thick smoothie to eat with a spoon? Well then, by all means, make it thick and stick a spoon it in! Sounds alright by me.
For a bit of extra sweetness without adding sugar, I tossed in a few prunes. Cue the jokes (ha!). You think prunes, you think old people. But, I beg to differ. Prunes are just dried plums, and you know what? They’re sweet as candy and taste incredible! In fact, they’ve been helping to curb my sweet tooth lately. I promise you can’t eat just one! All jokes aside, prunes really are good for adding sweetness without reaching for the sugar jar. Dates will work too, if you prefer those to prunes. Or heck, even a mix, which is what I often do.
To bulk up this smoothie even more with healthy goodness, I added chia seeds, ground flax seed, a heaping spoonful of almond butter, nuts, and more seeds. This baby is jam-packed with all sorts of goodies to help keep you going.
Can we talk about chia seeds for just a moment? I think they are the most incredible little things, and I’m kind of obsessed. They are packed with fiber and healthy omega-3 fatty acids, which we all need in our diet. So, I add them to everything, including my Mixed Berry Greek Yogurt Parfait (my mid-morning snack), omelets, you name it. I’ll admit, they are pricey, but you can get a 20 oz. container at Wal-Mart for about ten bucks. So far, that one container has lasted about a month, and I use them every.single.day.
If you don’t have any kale at home, and you’re thinking of buying some to make this smoothie, let me tell you a little secret. You can freeze leftover kale for future smoothies. Pretty sweet, right?! Just pop it in a baggie and toss it in the freezer. Also, if kale is completely not your thing, then go ahead and substitute spinach. No judgment here. Dark greens are dark greens and we all know they’re good for us.
For me, the best thing about smoothies is that you can customize them to your liking. Add, omit, substitute, what have you—your smoothie will still be delicious! Have at it and enjoy.
Yields about 2 (16 oz.) smoothies
- 1/3 cup old-fashioned rolled oats + 2/3 water—cooked in the microwave for 2 minutes
- 1/3 cup each orange juice, unsweetened almond milk, & water (or use a combo)
- 1/3 cup vanilla Greek yogurt
- 4 prunes or dates
- 1-2 handfuls kale
- 1 banana
- 1 cup fresh or frozen strawberries
- 1 cup fresh or frozen mixed berries (raspberries, blueberries, blackberries)
- 1 heaping spoonful almond butter
- 1 tbsp. each chia seeds, ground flax seed, pumpkin seeds, & nuts
- 1½ cups ice
Add all ingredients to the blender and blend until smooth. Add more liquid if necessary to achieve a smooth consistency.
Serve immediately, or store in individual cups in the refrigerator. I always make my smoothies the night before so I can grab & go in the morning.