a relatively healthy chocolate peanut butter kale smoothie

 Smoothies have been my jam lately. They're simple to throw together and I discovered that my new apartment came equipped with a really great blender that actually blends things, rather than just chopping them into tiny bits (and I don't have to quarter my frozen strawberries by hand anymore!).

Also great about smoothies, you can throw in healthy stuff and not have to taste it.

I'm probably the worst vegan in the world and not only because I still eat eggs (which makes me not vegan, technically, but it's too difficult to explain to people all the time and my diet seems to come up a lot at work for some reason), but also, I hate kale. I don't like the texture, I don't like the taste. Cooked or raw. I just plain don't like it. And believe me, I've tried.

But I found that incorporating it into my morning smoothie and covering up its taste and texture by blending it with other things I DO like, has enabled me to eat kind of a lot of kale on a regular basis.
This smoothie is the best thing in the entire world. I promise you, you won't taste the kale even remotely. All you can taste is banana, chocolate and peanut butter. And if you don't like those things . . . well, I can't identify with that (But I will likely post some other recipes with other foods mixed with kale, that maybe you will like!).

For this you need: 

1 banana
2 Tbsp cocoa powder (Dutch process is best)
1/4 cup peanut butter (I use straight up peanut butter with zero additives) or almond butter
1 cup of kale, torn up or chopped
1 handful of ice cubes (optional, you can also freeze your banana for a few hours or omit altogether)
1/2 cup of water, or so (or you can use almond milk! which is what I usually do, but I was out this time)

Throw all your ingredients into your blender and voila! A delicious, filling, chocolatey smoothie that is relatively healthful for you.

Some nutrition info for you:

To consider: Bananas and peanut butter both have fat in them. Processed peanut butter like JIF or Skippy also has tons of added sugar, oils (more fat) and carcinogens . I recommend using a grind-your-own PB machine--they have them at Whole Foods--or buying peanut butter without additives.

But both ingredients also have healthy things for you, too. Peanut butter has healthy fats, fiber and protein and bananas have fiber, and (of course) potassium, and also iron.

As a vegan, it's good for me to get my fat this way because I don't eat dairy, but if you do consume a lot of dairy, take it easy on the chocolate banana smoothies, you are already getting plenty of fat in your diet.

If you're looking for an even more healthful smoothie, kale also blends really well with mixed berries, tropical fruits (mango, pineapple) and you can add to those either orange juice or almond milk. The thing to remember about fruits is that they have a lot of sugar.

I know, I know. You're thinking, "WELL WHAT IS HEALTHY?" It can be confusing! Fruits are healthful because they have a lot vitamins and fiber, and berries have a lot of antioxidants, too, but the MOST healthful things of all are veggies. Vegetables do not contain the same levels of sugars and fats that fruits and bananas and peanut butter do, but they do have as many vitamins and as much fiber, among other healthful nutrients (minerals, etc.). Just FYI :)

Health is all about balance! It takes some thought and consideration, and you should educate yourself if you don't already know this stuff, but it's totally worth it. Your body is what houses you, you should take pride in it and reward it for not letting you just be a brain in a jar. That would be a lot less fun.


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