Over winter Joe and I fell in love with kale. Because it is more of a cooler climate crop it was easy to find and very inexpensive in the fall/winter months. Kale has become a little harder for us to find as spring has been approaching, meaning it’s not always at our local produce markets. So what we have been doing is grabbing several bunches of it every time it’s available and freezing whatever we can’t use fresh. We cut and prepare the kale in pieces (remove the stem), blanch it for a minute or two, cool it down quickly with cold water and/or ice cubes and let it air dry. Shove it in a baggy to freeze. It becomes surprisingly condensed as well when you squeeze air our of the bag. The first time we did this I was worried that it would all stick together and be difficult to use later, but that wasn’t a problem at all. All of the pieces pulled apart without struggle. Using it once frozen is practically like using it fresh, except all of the work of cutting it up has already been done! Yesss! Do it!
One of our favorite things to do with it is to make kale smoothies. I know it’s not unheard of, but people who have not tried it before might scoff at it thinking it would taste gross. It’s actually extremely delicious and anything but gross. To start, the color of it is an amazing and bright green, & who doesn’t like ingesting beautifully healthy food?
We make the basic kale smoothie with a few simple ingredients :: kale, banana, orange juice, & flax seed.
We use about 2 cups of kale, 1 cup of orange juice, a tablespoon of flax seeds, and 1 banana per smoothie. Add a bit of honey for sweetness and a heaping teaspoon of nutritional yeast for an extra boost of nutrients. Adding nutritional yeast to the smoothie does give it a bit of the flavor which I don’t mind, but it doesn’t necessarily make it taste better. (I think Joe would prefer to leave it out ;)
Instructions :: blend all of the ingredients together. Add more orange juice if you like it thinner. We use our Magic Bullet which was an awesome gift given to me by my buddy Dave a few years ago — thanks Dave! Still using it regularly, it’s a great little tool for smoothies and sauces, but a regular old blender would do the trick just fine ;) I don’t think the Magic Bullet airs infomercials anymore, but I’m sure many of you remember them — “it’s as easy as ooooone, twooooo, threeee” as if it has magically made your meal. Extend the twooo about another hundred oo’s. Also, it suggests you can make a lovely diced pico de gallo; not true. This thing pulverizes everything and dices nothing, which is fine with me because I don’t know how to pulverize with a knife! Plus I love to dice my own vegetables. It’s perfect and extremely convenient for smoothies, dips, and sauces. It’s super easy to use and clean — I love it and use it often!
As usual we make a lot of variations of this smoothie, you can add just about any fruit to the mix. Frozen blueberries are one of our favorite fruits to include — it’s delicious but turns the beautiful green into a drab grayish purple…. mmmm purple!