Collard Green Smoothie

I love the irony of this photo. I’ve never been a coffee drinker due to my supertaster status (tastes bitter to me), but I was definitely a caffeine-aholic for most of my adult life up until the middle of last year. After I learned about some of the concerns about drinking coffee, I got my husband to give it up, although he occasionally indulges in a decaf every once in awhile. The point is that now we fill his former coffee mugs with herbal teas and, in this case, a collard green smoothie.

The last dish I’ve made with collard greens were my Lentil Collard Wraps I made for Thanksgiving, you can read about them here. I want to eat more of them, though, because they don’t have as many oxalates as spinach or some other green leafy vegetables which makes the calcium unavailable in the body.

I’ve been experimenting with my green smoothie recipes lately to use different types of fruits and veggies. In this one, I left out bananas which made it a much thinner smoothie, but still very nice in flavor. Instead of the bananas, I used frozen peaches and mango along with hemp milk, dates and flaxmeal. Here’s the recipe:

Collard Green Smoothie
 
Author:
Recipe type: Smoothie
Serves: 4
Ingredients
  • 4 cups cold water
  • ¼ cup hemp seeds
  • 1 large bunch of collard greens, leaves removed from stems (discard the stems or juice them) and steamed lightly (or you can use them raw)
  • 1 cup each frozen peaches and frozen mango chunks
  • 1 fresh ripe banana
  • 4 large dates, pits removed
  • 2 tablespoons flax meal
  • 2 tablespoons hemp protein powder (optional)
Instructions
  1. Combine hemp seeds and water and blend using a high-speed blender.
  2. Add frozen fruit, ripe banana, and collard greens and process on high to combine.
  3. Lastly, add dates, flax meal and protein powder (if using) and blend again. Serve cold.

I have been exercising a lot lately which is why I’ve started adding protein powder to some of my smoothies. It’s likely more of a psychosomatic thing than a real nutritional need, but I don’t use that much of it and I stay away from the soy protein isolates in favor of choices like hemp protein or brown rice protein.

I hiked this mountain last week!

Honestly, it looks harder than it is, there aren’t that many steep parts. Here I am about midway through:

I got to thinking how living a healthy lifestyle is kind of like climbing a mountain in that it appears steep and unapproachable, but it can be conquered one step at a time. I could go on with this analogy, but I’m sure you get what I’m saying. The reason I bring it up is because I often get comments from people who think that the way I eat is “too hard” or that I must spend all of my time in the kitchen. My response is that I just take it one day or meal at a time and that, like anything, I get out of it what I put into it. My health, both physical and mental, is one of my top priorities which means that I’ve built my life around maintaining it.

Where do you prioritize your health? Are you happy with where you are or are you trying to make healthy changes in your life?

Don’t forget to enter my Manna bread giveaway here!

Comments

  1. says

    The smoothie looks yummy! I’ve backed off green smoothies due to the oxalates (since osteoporosis runs in my family—I figure I don’t need extra disadvantages), but it’s always good to know about the better options over spinach! I love collards, but have not blended them (yet!).

    I think different approaches work for different people in terms of food and lifestyle. I keep things really simple in the kitchen and tend to make the same thing for 4 days and then move on (variety over time is ok, right?! lol). I think health is right at the top of my list of priorities, and I’m working on more aspects of it now than I used to. The only change I’m working on is to not weigh myself—till 2013. It’s not that I weighed myself all the time, but I just want to focus on the qualitative aspects of food choices!

    • says

      Hi Lisa, as far as I can tell, not all greens have oxalates, right? Wow, that is a really interesting experiment not to weigh yourself for a year, but it totally makes sense. I weigh myself regularly, but I rarely make food choices based on my weight, I try really, really hard to make food choices based on nutrition and my hunger level.

  2. says

    Since high school I’ve gone from fast food addict to juice and green smoothie lover. Major change! Now I’m dealing with cutting out refined sugar and investigating a wheat allergy.

    I’m playing around with green smoothies too! Love the addition of flaxmeal.

  3. says

    I love green smoothies – had one this morning as a matter of fact. We made a pretty standard recipe this morning, but I love how you can just throw anything into the blender and really have fun with smoothies.

    I’m working on making better nutrition choices this year – eating more like an athlete than a weekend warrior – so that I can be even stronger. Small changes, but things like not always rewarding myself with food & drinks. :)

    • says

      Hi Heather! I love your attitude about eating more like an athlete than a weekend warrior. Since I have started working out more intensely, I have been feeling a lot more athletic and I love that feeling of strength! P.S. I love smoothies too, can you tell? :)

  4. Gina says

    I’ve been making green smoothies pretty consistently over the past two weeks as I embarked on Dr. Fuhrman’s Eat to Live program. Should I be worrying about the oxalates? I use spinach every time. I could mix it up a bit, but I really am liking the neutral taste of the spinach.

    In terms of lifestyle, although I’m really overweight (234 lbs on a 5’2″ frame), I’ve been trying for the past year and a half to participate in power yoga but I fall on and off the wagon. Especially when I’m not eating right, which has been most of the time. However, I timed my start on Dr. Fuhrman’s plan with the start of what’s called the ’40 Days’ program at my local yoga studio. I commit to doing yoga 6 days per week and this is paired up with journaling, nutrition, and meditation. This is my third go-around on the 40 Days program. Each time I do it it’s like taking 3 steps forward in my journey, and then when I’m done I fall two steps back. Now that I’ve had two weeks of Eat to Live under my belt, I’ve kicked the cravings I was having and feel like I can keep up more with the yoga…for the 40 days and beyond.

    • says

      Hi Gina, thanks for the comment. From what I have gathered on Dr. F’s member site, you don’t need to really worry about the oxalates in spinach unless they are the primary source of greens for you. I think he recommends that spinach be no more than 1/3 of your greens intake. Are you eating other greens like romaine in salads or kale? I agree with you that spinach has a very neutral flavor, but I have found that kale is also very neutral and highly, highly nutritious. So, you might want to try kale instead of spinach a few days a week. As mentioned in my post, collards are also a good choice.

      Your yoga plans sounds intense but incredible, I would love to do something like that. It sounds like the most important thing for you is making sure you don’t “backslide” after the 40 days are over. Keep up the good work though, it sounds like you are making really great progress.

  5. Gina says

    Thanks Carrie! I’ll make sure to round out my green selection with stuff besides spinach. I am eating mixed greens for my salads and kale, but I like the idea of 1/3’s, so I’ll use that as a general rule. And I’ll give the kale a try in my smoothies, too! I’ve used chard, but not kale yet.

  6. says

    Carrie, Collards do seem to be an under-used green smoothie addition. I’ve only tried it a couple of times. Kale seems to get all of the love (and rightly so because it is soooo nutrient dense). Oxalates or not it’s a good idea to eat/drink a variety of greens. That way we get the full nutritional spectrum that these superfiods have to offer.

    Our website has a section full of free green smoothie recipes. Would you mind if we include your Collard recipe and link back to your blog?

    Thanks
    LittleGreenSmoothie.com

    • says

      Thanks for the note, I agree 100% that we need to rotate greens to get the most optimal benefit. And, yes, please include my recipe on your site, that would be wonderful, thanks!

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