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Coconut Kale Smoothie

Kale Smoothie 2

I love adding superfoods to my diet.  Just knowing they are labeled by important sciency/doctor type people as a superfood makes me feel really healthy and strong eating them.  Many superfoods, such as sweet potatoes, are incredibly easy to add to my diet since they are SO good, but then there are other superfoods, like kale, that are not so easy for me.  Kale often tastes bitter, although marinating the kale before eating it as a salad as well as adding fruit (my favorites are apples and oranges) does help diminish the awful bitterness found in every bite.  But, I don’t eat marinated kale salads everyday, because I like to switch up my salads.  I hate for food to become boring by eating the same things the same way every single day.  So, I decided to experiment with my daily smoothie and try creating a kale smoothie that didn’t have even a trace of bitterness to it.  I am proud to say, I was successful!  And it’s a good thing, too, because kale is one of those foods many doctors and nutritionists say people should consume on a daily basis.  It’s packed full of vitamins (the most notable being vitamins K, A, and C and manganese) and antioxidants.  The vast number of flavonoids and carotenoids found in kale have amazing anti-inflammatory and antioxidant powers that lower cholesterol levels and lower a person’s risk for cancer.  In addition, a major note to vegetarians who are continually told the only way to get omega-3’s are through fish:  100 calories of kale provides us with 25-35% of our daily omega 3 need.  That paired with the high vitamin K content of kale works as a major anti-inflammatory in the body, making kale an excellent detox food and vital for our daily consumption.  So, if you are like me and find it hard to swallow the bitter leaves of kale, then give this Coconut Kale Smoothie a try.

Ingredients

1 cup coconut milk (I use vanilla)

2 cups dinosaur kale

1 chopped apple (I use Red Delicious, but any kind is fine)

1 banana (preferably frozen)

2 Tbsp shredded coconut

2 Tbsp chia seeds

1 Tbsp coconut oil

4-6 ice cubes

Add all the ingredients to the blender, making sure to add the coconut milk first so it blends well.  Blend until smooth.  This recipe makes 2 servings.

Kale Smoothie

Sources: The World’s Healthiest Foods


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Chia Seeds, a Superfood

I read a great article on Natural News this morning titled “Chia Seeds are a Superfood Treasure”.  Many of you probably already eat chia seeds and know they are good for you.  They are so easy, because you just have to buy the bag and add them to smoothies, granola, etc., no grinding necessary.  We love chia seeds and put them in our vegan protein shake every morning.

First of all, per gram, chia seeds have 8x more omega 3 than salmon, which many people will tell you is the best source of omega 3 fatty acids.  So forget those fish oil supplements!  Vegans do not have to worry about where to get their omega 3’s from, because we have great sources in both flax seed and chia seeds.  In fact, according to Elisha McFarland over at Natural News, “The ALA (alpha linolenic fatty acid) that is in chia seeds is the only known essential omega-3 fatty acid that the body can’t produce on its own.” 

Omega 3 fatty acids aren’t the only benefit of chia seeds.  Chia seeds are also packed full of “vitamins A, B, E and D and minerals such as calcium, copper, iron, magnesium, manganese, molybdenum, niacin, phosphorous, potassium, silicon, sodium, sulphur, thiamine and zinc.”  In addition, chia seeds are full of protein (6x more than kidney beans per gram) and fiber (11 grams per ounce of chia seeds).  Take a look at the chart McFarland laid out in the article (this is all based on one gram of chia seeds):

• 8x more omega-3 than salmon

• 6x more calcium than milk

• 3x more iron than spinach

• 15x more magnesium than broccoli

• 2x more fiber than bran flakes

• 6x more protein than kidney beans

• 4x more phosphorous than whole milk

I think you can agree, if you’re not consuming chia seeds on a daily basis yet, I highly recommend you start making my vegan protein shake every morning or after you workout, or you should add 2 Tbsp of chia seeds to a daily smoothie, granola/cereal, or salad.  I also recommend you try these tropical cranberry chia seed bars for breakfast sometime.  They are divine and super healthy–no sugar, no gluten, and lots of fruit and chia seeds!  I know many vegans even use chia seeds as an egg substitute (1 Tbsp chia seeds mixed with 3 Tbsp water), but honestly I prefer flax eggs (1 Tbsp ground flax mixed with 3 Tbsp water). 
 
Do you eat chia seeds every day?  How do you like to add them to your diet?