Blueberry, Banana and Kale Smoothie – Vegan + Gluten-free

by tastyyummies

Blueberry Banana and Kale Smoothie

I am back from a short, but very lovely trip to California for the wedding of our very good friends, Patrick and Summer. We got back home on Tuesday morning after flying a red-eye out of LAX Monday night and I am still trying to readjust to being back home. It was a great trip, but we crammed a lot of celebrating into just a couple of days. My body was definitely hurting when I woke up yesterday morning. Between eating a little bit different than I normally would, getting way less sleep and doing less yoga than normal and OK maybe there was lots of wine, a few chocolates and even a cigar or two. I feel pretty beat up, but it was definitely worth it.

First thing I decided I would do to get back on track, was a 3 day cleanse. Lots of fruit and vegetables, juices and smoothies, tons of water, etc. And of course, lots of yoga. My everyday diet has evolved so much that this really isn’t a massive difference from my usual daily eating, but for the next couple of days I am actively avoiding any and all sugar or sweeteners of any kind (including my usual maple syrup or honey), no caffeine, no alcohol, no meat, no eggs, no grains and of course, the usual no gluten and no dairy. My body just needs a break. Summertime can be a bit rough, even when I think I am being careful and mindful, only indulging a little here and there, the little celebrations that I allow myself, happen a bit too often in the summer. Next thing you know, I am feeling worn out, sluggish and all of those other yucky things. I actually got a migraine yesterday for the first time in many, many months, and it was a bad one. I am sure my body was angry at the excessive amount of travel, lack of fruits and veggies, lack of water and all of that wine.

Our bodies definitely can only take so much. When you are always treating your body with love and care being very mindful of every little thing going into it, even just a few days of “letting go”, can affect you.

I normally have a smoothie or juice in the morning after yoga anyways, but this week I am really trying to load the smoothies up with tons of fruit and veggies. Today I put a big, tightly packed cup of organic kale into my smoothie and it was perfect. I know I have shared kale’s many benefits with you before, but here it is again in case you had forgotten: One cup of kale contains 36 calories, 5 grams of fiber, and 15% of the daily requirement of calcium and vitamin B6 (pyridoxine), 40% of magnesium, 180% of vitamin A, 200% of vitamin C, and 1,020% of vitamin K. It is also a good source of minerals copper, potassium, iron, manganese, and phosphorus. Kale, as with broccoli and other brassicas, contains sulforaphane (particularly when chopped or minced), a chemical with potent anti-cancer properties. Read more about kale here.

Blueberries rank as having one of the highest antioxidant capacities among all fruits, vegetables, spices and seasonings. Additionally blueberries are an amazing source for vitamins and minerals and they are high in fiber. Blueberries are also beneficial for your brain. On a test tube level, blueberry antioxidants activate two brain-protective enzymes, catalase and superoxide dismutase. These are the enzymes that keep neurons from being “deactivated” after they are attacked by free radicals. You can read more about the many benefits of blueberries here.

Bananas are one of our best sources of potassium, an essential mineral for maintaining normal blood pressure and heart function. Since the average banana contains a whopping 467 mg of potassium and only 1 mg of sodium, a banana a day may help to prevent high blood pressure and protect against atherosclerosis. Bananas are also great for digestive issues, replenishing your body of much needed electrolytes after a bout of diarrhea. Additionally, bananas contain pectin, a soluble fiber (called a hydrocolloid) that can help normalize movement through the digestive tract and ease constipation. You can read more about bananas many great benefits here.

This smoothie may have an odd color, a little bit purple, a little bit green with little flecks of berries, but don’t let the color throw you off, it has such a great flavor. It is smooth and you would never know that it is loaded with healthy, green leafy kale.

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{ 9 comments… read them below or add one }

1 Gabby @ the veggie nook July 19, 2012 at 6:23 pm

I can totally relate to being thrown off even after a couple days of eating different. I kind of take it as a good sign though! Means we must eat very cleanly normally to be craving fruits and veggies ;)

Smoothie looks delicious! Love that combo of ingredients.

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2 Courtney December 12, 2012 at 6:56 pm

Just made this as my first smoothie ever! Absolutely DELICIOUS!!!! Thank you!

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3 Ellen January 27, 2013 at 8:26 am

This is delicious! I used organic unsweetened vanilla soy milk. I’ve been off sugar for a while, and found this sweet enough without dates or any other added sweetener.

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4 Emma Taylor February 7, 2013 at 11:05 am

I just made one this morning. This is sweet enough without the dates. I used soymilk and omitted the ice cubes. Can’t even taste the kale, this is rich and refreshing.

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5 Timothy March 15, 2013 at 2:14 am

Great recipe! made my first smoothie ever! The colour was interesting, but tasted great. Will be making more of these soon

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6 tastyyummies March 15, 2013 at 2:15 pm

Hey Timothy! Glad to hear you liked it. I cannot believe it was your first smoothie ever. I am so impressed that you dove right into one with kale in it!

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7 Lily-Mae Andrew June 19, 2013 at 6:39 am

Blueberries and kale, I’d have never thought of that combination. I’m glad I found this recipe because I just love the taste of it although I’ve got to admit that I too find it sweet enough without the dates. Excellent recipe.

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8 Laura August 19, 2013 at 10:18 am

Delicious Smoothie! – i halved the ingredients for a few less calories and it was perfect. Thank you for sharing!

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9 Nichola January 2, 2014 at 5:19 am

Hi all,

On my last shop I decided I was going to try and cut out all frozen foods and eat more 0rganic vegetables and fruits. I had heard of kale but never knew what to do with it so started looking up recipes. After seeing this smoothie recipes I decided to give it a go.

Wow! It is absolutely gorgeous.

Although I didn’t have all the ingredients to hand I had enough to improvise while still making a delicious smoothie :) . Instead of using almond milk I used rice dream milk and decided against using any sweetner as I find the blueberries sweet enough.

I highly recommend this recipe to anyone looking for a fresh, sweet, healthy smoothie.

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