The Tea Spot’s Big Chill & Kale Green Smoothie
Green smoothies, with vitamin-packed ingredients like kale, make great breakfasts and snacks. Gaining in popularity, kale is the amazing leafy green vegetable being recognized for its nutrient richness. Kale is a nutritional powerhouse. One cup of raw kale contains 33 calories and 9% of the daily value of calcium, 206% of vitamin A, 134% of vitamin C, and a whopping 684% of vitamin K. It’s also a good source of minerals copper, potassium, iron, manganese, and phosphorus. (ref webmd article “The Truth About Kale”). Kale is now readily available and is inexpensive. My local supermarket carries it for $2.00 per bunch (organic).
Our Big Chill cold brew tea is a full-bodied hibiscus mint tea naturally sweetened with licorice root. As a naturally decaf tea, it offers a great way to stay healthfully hydrated any time of day. Recent medical papers show hibiscus as promising in the treatment of hypertension (high blood pressure) and hyperlipidemia. Hyperlipidemia means high lipid levels – and usually indicates high cholesterol and high triglyceride levels. (ref Hopkins AL, et al., Hibiscus sabdariffa L. in the treatment of hypertension and hyperlipidemia: a comprehensive review of animal and human studies, Fitoterapia. 2013 Mar;85:84-94. doi: 10.1016/j.fitote.2013.01.003.)
Treat your body as well as your tastebuds right and start the day off in a great mood after sipping on this smoothest of green smoothies. You’ll be challenging Popeye in no time, as kale has more than twice the calcium of the same amount of spinach!
The Tea Spot’s Big Chill & Kale Green Smoothie – Recipe
Serves 2 (makes about 4 cups)
4 ice cubes
16 oz cold-brewed Big Chill or Chill Out Hibiscus-Mint tea (Add 1 heaping teaspoon Big Chill or 1 packet Chill Out cold brew tea leaves to 16 oz cold water, and let steep for 10 minutes. Strain using Steep & Go or filter of your choice).
2 cups packed torn organic kale leaves
1 small-medium apple, cored and chopped
1/2 organic lemon
1 Tablespoon minced fresh ginger (One tablespoon of fresh ginger gives a little zip; use more if you like it stronger. And if you’re not a fan of ginger, try adding some fresh mint sprigs)
½ banana, sliced and frozen (optional, for added sweetness and smooth texture)
Place the ice in the blender and pulse to crush. Add the cold-brewed tea, kale, apple, lemon and ginger; pulse to begin breaking up the greens and then blend, at first on medium and gradually adjusting to high, to liquefy, 20 seconds to 1 minute, depending on your blender. Add the (optional) banana or mango. Blend until the smoothie is uniform in texture, thick, and moves easily in the blender jar – about 45 seconds. Taste and adjust with additional ginger or mint, if desired (blending to incorporate), and serve immediately for maximum benefit.
Note: Big Chill is our big leaf version of Chill Out – both teas have the same ingredients, but Chill Out will cold brew faster, and comes in convenient single serving packs, whereas Big Chill is only available in bulk.