‘Queen of Greens’ Energy Smoothie

• 1-2 cups of washed and torn raw kale with stems removed
• ½ a large ripened frozen banana
• 1 cup of frozen mango chunks
• 1 tsp of chopped ginger root (optional, or to taste)
• ¼ cup fat free, plain yogurt
• ½ cup plain almond milk (but you can use whatever type of   milk you prefer)
• 3-4 ice cubes (optional)

Place all the ingredients in a blender and start by using the ice chopping function to break down the frozen banana and mango. Then after the blender sounds “different”, hit the blend button for 30 seconds. If you have a “liquefy” button, hit that for another minute or until you have a smooth and thick consistency that looks like this.

Sweetener can be added if you wish, but I think the ripe banana and mango sweeten it naturally enough and mask the kale. Smoothies are a quick and easy way to get in your 5-9 servings of fruits and veggies in your daily diet so why not try one? The Queen of the Green has about 250 calories or 1 point on the Weight Watchers Points Plus program.

I felt a little silly dedicating an entire post to a smoothie but not only does this taste awesome (in my opinion) but it made me feel AMAZING! Fortunately, you can’t really taste the kale. If I had to describe it, I would say it’s sweet, creamy, tart, spicy and fresh tasting.

J and I have been trying to take a break from coffee this week, and although black cardamom tea has been successful in deterring my head from pounding, I just don’t walk into work with a bounce in my step without my coffee. I made this smoothie after a tiring day at work and I immediately felt so full of energy. A happy, hydrated and alert sort of energy, not a jittery energy like with coffee. Maybe I’ll try it in the morning instead of the early evening next time.

I guess I shouldn’t have been surprised to feel good after drinking it, kale is one of the best sources of calcium, beta-carotene and folic acid found in nature. The Vitamin K in kale also protects bones. The bananas and mangoes used in this smoothie are full of potassium, which is an electrolyte (a replenisher like Gatorade — but way more natural). And its filling too. Best part is that you can’t even taste the kale!