Kale is great for growing kids-Cocoa Berry Kale Smoothie

My kids are pretty great kids. And they eat pretty great foods. Most of the time.

Let's be honest. They are kids. They like sweet stuff. Heck, who doesn't?

Last year we introduced the #TampaTrio to kale. It was the first time I had ever had it too! I made an Italian Wedding soup and it was good! Then I attempted kale chips. Attempt #1 was a dismal failure! Yell  Attempt #2 was a great success!! But in my honest opinion, kale chips are TOO MUCH WORK. I want my family to all have the amazing benefits of kale but I don't want to work for it. Undecided

When Nature's Greens sent me 2 large bags of kale, I immediately started to think outside my comfort zone.  What could I make with the kale that was fast, yummy and sweet?

Cocoa Berry Kale Smoothie.

Ingredients:

6 cups kale

2 bananas

2 cups water

3 cups mixed berries

1 tbsp cocoa powder

1 tbsp ground flax

 

Put in your Ninja and blend! I added the Kale first, then the bananas, then the water, and then I pureed it all together and once it was blended, I added the berries, cocoa, and flax. I try to add flax to foods whenever I can since it's packed full of Omega 3 fatty acids which we use as a natural "treatment" for our son's ASD.

If you had a real juicer you wouldn't get all the pulp that I got. But we're okay with pulp over here, so it's all good.

It made enough for me, and the kids, plus there was enough left over for the husband to have some when he got home, and I got a second glass, too!

It was a HUGE hit with the kids. Check out Miss Ella with her cocoa berry kale smoothie mustache!

And it was EASY! Did I mention how easy it was?? Super easy!

All the great benefits of Kale with very little work. Awesome. Now don't get me wrong, I am not afraid of hard work. But I'd much rather spend my time with my kids than spending all night cooking Kale chips. Tongue Out

This smoothie has now become the favorite after school snack, and I also drink one as part of my post-wod recovery.


You can check out WP Rawl and their Kale Up campaign for great recipes and ideas on how YOU can incorporate kale into your life in 2014!

Do you like Kale? How do you prepare it?

Heart Healthy Kale

Kale is a super food. And it's really good for your heart.

From WebMD "Kale, also known as borecole, is one of the healthiest vegetables on the planet. A leafy green, kale is available in curly, ornamental, or dinosaur varieties. It belongs to the Brassica family that includes cruciferous vegetables such as cabbage, collards, broccoli, and Brussels sprouts."

Kale stands out because it has the broadest range of antioxidants and also the highest levels of several specific ones, along with Vitamin K and a type of Vitamin E that seems to be heart-healthy.

Keeping my heart healthy and teaching my children how to keep their heart healthy is one of my jobs as their mother. My oldest daughter loves to cook with me, so when this batch of kale arrived from Nature's Greens we were excited to see what we'd make with it.

 We were looking through cookbooks, looking up recipes online when I just looked at Haley and said "kale chips." She rolled her eyes at me. See, I've tried Kale Chips a few time before and they have never come out good. But I was determined this time and used a recipe modified from Nom Nom Paleo.

They were a hit! Haley loved them, and so did the other 2 kids, my husband and me too. Smile

This is what I did: Cook them with just oil and then season when they come out. I combined grey sea salt, pepper, red pepper flakes, and Italian seasoning and tossed them in the seasoning. So good. Haley called it the Magic Spice because I have never made good kale chips before. Tongue Out

I'll be honest. They really were labor intensive because I wanted to make sure that they were laying flat so that they would cook properly and not that many would fit on a baking tray. I couldn't keep up with the demand! The family was eating them faster than I could make them.

But really, that's a good thing. I found a recipe that works for us and the Tampa Trio gets all the heart healthy benefits of Kale.

You can follow Nature's Greens on Pinterest where you'll find great recipes for all sorts of greens, including kale!

Do your kids like Kale? How do you prepare it?

Disclaimer: Nature's Greens provided me with the Kale and compensated me for my honest review.

Sip Your Nature's Greens

Having a husband from the "true south" I've become quite accustomed to greens; collards, mustard and kale.  James grew up in Florence, South Carolina, though his family has roots in Tampa dating back to the 1880's. James traveled with his grandparents and mother who were all in academia and they moved from Tampa to Florence in the late 1970's, moving back to Tampa in 1984. It was his stint in South Carolina that gave him a fondness for greens.

For as long as we've been married (13 years!!) he's been buying greens, but over the past few years as I taken over most of the cooking responsibilities the greens he's bought have stayed untouched in the fridge. There is just something so foreboding about a giant bunch of greens looming in my fridge. They intimidate me. I can't explain it. They just do. I look at them, and I'm just flabbergasted.

But that all changed when I discovered Nature's Greens produced by WP Rawl out of, you guessed it, South Carolina.

Natures Green's provides me with triple washed, cut, and bagged greens, available in either a one or two pound bag. They offer many choices including turnip greens, and a greens blend, but I've been enjoying the kale, collards, and mustard greens. My 9 year old daughter made kale chips one night. You can find my recipe HERE.

 I also made Italian Wedding Soup with the Kale, and that was super yummy. All 3 of my kids took it in their Thermos for lunch at least 2 days!

And the collards and mustard greens I've been making with a chicken base, seasoning, and James' special ingredient....BALSAMIC vinegar. It cuts the bitterness from the greens and makes them totally palatable.

But you can do so much more with Natures Green's. YOU CAN DRINK THEM!! I haven't attempted to drink my greens yet, but I want to. Really, I do. And I will. One day. But I know a lot of you do already drink your greens, so you should enter the Natures Green's Pin to Win Contest!!

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If you live in Florida, you can find Natures Green's at:

  • Publix
  • Sweetbay (if you are lucky enough to live in an area that still has a Sweetbay around...most of ours have gone bye-bye!!)
  • Wal-Mart
  • Winn Dixie
  • Save-A-Lot

  You can also follow WP Rawl on Facebook to stay connected! They post recipes, infografs, and all sorts of cool stuff! Like this great tidbit here! Love this!

 

Do you like greens? Which one is your favorite? How do you like to prepare it? Do you drink it or cook it, or both?