Green smoothies and juices are refreshing, nutritious, and satisfying. After all, we know that drinking our greens are good for us. And, it’s much easier to drink a kale smoothie that contains a healthy serving of veggies than it is to finish a plateful—especially when you’re on the go. However, the boom of green drinks has lead to pricier supermarket and juice bar options. Luckily, you can boost your energy with a fresh, simple green smoothie made right in your own kitchen. And you’ll save money in the process.

Sweet Factor

Of course, whenever you make a green smoothie with kale, spinach, or any other dark leafy greens, you’ll need a sweet factor to balance out the flavors. In this case, we use a banana. A single banana counteracts the raw flavor of curly kale. Still, many prefer pineapple, mango, or other tropical fruits to add that tasty sweet component to a kale smoothie. This is the secret to drinking vegetables: always work in a fruit (or three). Then, you’ll hardly realize you’re sipping on greens.

Winter Citrus

Although we often link citrus fruit with summery drinks—lemonade, fresh-squeezed orange juice—citrus is actually a winter fruit. That’s right: citrus’ seasonality is typically mid-winter. As if we needed another reason to work some more vitamin C into our diets, winter is as great a time as ever to enjoy oranges and bright, lemony dishes. Additionally, this kale smoothie packs a refreshing effect from the fresh-squeezed oranges and tangy lemon notes. The ingredients are simple, and the citrusy flavors are satisfying.

Blending versus Juicing

Despite the popularity of juicing these days, we chose a smoothie recipe to invite you to drink your greens. When you create a juice, you often get the liquids and natural sugars from the plants, without any of the fiber. And, since fiber is necessary for healthy digestion, a smoothie is the best way to make sure you’re eating every part of the curly kale greens. Simply remove the thick stem and chop or tear the curly kale into pieces. When you add the kale to a smoothie, you get all the benefits of eating kale whole. No fancy equipment necessary.

What’s more, you can include the banana peel in your smoothie, too. That’s right—depending on the strength of your blender, you can blend the peel in for added fiber. Banana peels are totally edible. However, they don’t taste nearly as appealing as the fruit that’s within. But, when you blend it into a citrusy smoothie, the subtle taste of the banana peel is unnoticeable. Of course, you’ll want to make sure that the bananas are organic. If not, the peels carry pesticides and other chemicals that you don’t want to ingest. So, depending on your blender’s abilities, add an organic banana peel to your kale smoothie, too.

Kale Smoothie

Ingredients

  • 2 cups chopped curly kale, stems removed
  • 2 oranges, juiced
  • 1 lemon, juiced
  • 1 banana
  • Optional: 1 cup ice cubes

Directions:

Add all ingredients to a blender. Blend on high for 1 to 2 minutes. Pour into glasses and enjoy. Store extra in the fridge for up to two days.

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