Smoothies are a great way to sneak in some of those unfavorable but nutrient dense ingredients. Like cooked kale. Easy to digest and full of nutrients, this kale pineapple smoothie is a healthy blend of tropical and earthy tones.
Families across the world are getting ready for more structure and routine to their days with school starting. I know my family is. As much as I love the care-free days of summer, I realize that being the type-A person, I crave structure. It's back to early bedtimes, early rises, creamy hot oatmeal breakfasts, and smoothie snacks.
Afternoon eating is probably the most awkward time to eat.
Wouldn't you say? I mean, we just had a decent meal not too long ago and now is usually the time I begin to make dinner so making a snack isn't exactly on my list of things to do.
That's why I love this smoothie. Not only does it provide nutrients, it literally takes under 5 minutes to bring everything together. In fact, it's so easy, enlist your kids to make it. And make sure they wash the blender afterwards. Only fair. 🙂
Unlocking the Power of Kale
Before I go on, I have to mention that the kale used in this recipe is cooked. While it's no surprise that kale has been the sweetheart of superfoods, the truth is in order to get the most benefits out of this green power food, you need to heat it.
Cooking kale (among other vegetables) is crucial as it aids the digestion process without expending huge amounts of energy. It softens food and allows the nutrients to become more readily available. And even though you might hear raw foodists claim that you lose enzymes and nutrients by cooking it, that is simply not true.
The problem is that some foods have extraordinarily thick cell walls that make it hard for the body to digest, thus hindering the absorption of nutrients. The heat breaks down those cells and aids the body's uptake of some nutrients that are bound in those walls.
Making Kale Pucks
Steaming or boiling is the best method of cooking for nutrient retention. I usually steam a large batch of garden fresh kale and freeze them in little silicone baking cups for convenient use. Or flash freeze them on a parchment paper lined baking sheet and then break the pieces into a ziplock bag. However you do it, it makes sense to do it in a large batch so you have plenty of kale for easy smoothies.
Not everything is about Kale
A smoothie is a beautiful concoction of different flavors and textures so it's no wonder this smoothie goes beyond kale. Frozen banana gives it a creamy and thick consistency and the pineapple gives it just the right sweetness. Pineapple is also responsible for the vitamin C content, perfect for the winter ahead. Thinned out with kombucha for live probiotics, some good quality collagen for an extra source of protein; plus a spoonful of avocado oil for better nutrient assimilation (fat soluble vitamins require fat for proper absorption).
Nutrient-Dense Kale Pineapple Smoothie Recipe
- Put everything in blender and blend on high speed for 5 minutes or until desired consistency is reached.
- Pour into glasses. Enjoy immediately.