Wednesday, November 3, 2010

Vegan MoFo 3.1: Kale and Banana Smoothie

This morning I was watching Dr. Fuhrman (via streaming video) give the keynote speech to the World Preservation Foundation Conference in London. It was a good reminder of why I have chosen to feed my family a nutrient rich vegan diet. The bottom line is that micronutrients (vitamins and minerals) are what keep us optimally healthy and are also what most diets (vegan and omni) lack. The best way to increase your intake of micronutrients is to make most of your food intake in the form of cooked and raw vegetables with the dark green leafy variety (kale, collards, bok choy, etc.) being at the top.

With this in mind I guess you aren’t surprised we started our morning with a green smoothie. Here is what I made for myself:

Kale and Banana Smoothie
Serves 1


1 very ripe frozen banana
3 kale leaves and stems shredded
1 tablespoon ground flaxseed
6 walnut halves
¼ teaspoon cinnamon
¼ teaspoon powdered ginger
water sufficient to process (somewhere between 1/2 and 1 cup)


Place everything in your high speed blender. Add water so it comes up the sides about 2 inches and process until smooth. Taste and add stevia for sweetness if you think it is necessary. Pour into a frozen glass.

Nutritional Information:

Amount Per Serving
Calories - 296.9
Calories From Fat (38%) - 111.51

Total Fat - 13.15g
Saturated Fat - 1.38g
Cholesterol - 0mg
Sodium - 48.85mg
Potassium - 934.1mg
Total Carbohydrates - 43.52g
Fiber - 9.29g
Sugar - 14.78g
Protein - 8.52g


This is one of our favorite breakfasts. We drink it often in the summer but not as often when it is cold outside. The nutrition on this is fantastic. This smoothie contains: 15,500IU of vitamin A, 130mg of vitamin C, 160mg of calcium, 800mcg of vitamin K, 125mg of phosphorus, and 85mg of magnesium. This is the reason I add kale and not spinach to our smoothies.

To highlight the point I want to show you the nutrition on the same smoothie but with 1 ½ cups of spinach rather than kale. That would look like this:

Calories - 257
Calories From Fat (42%) - 107.04

Total Fat - 12.62g
Saturated Fat - 1.32g
Cholesterol - 0mg
Sodium - 41.18mg
Potassium - 735.97mg
Total Carbohydrates - 35.09g
Fiber - 8.27g
Sugar - 14.97g
Protein - 6.49g


A smoothie made with spinach rather than kale will have a lighter green flavor but more importantly much less nutrition. Did you notice the decrease in protein just from changing the greens? Additionally this smoothie contains: 4,300IU of vitamin A, 20mg of vitamin C, 70mg of calcium, 215mcg of vitamin K, 90mg of phosphorus, and 85mg of magnesium. The drop in vitamin A, vitamin C, calcium and vitamin K was tremendous. I hope this gives you are reason to try exchanging kale for spinach in your morning smoothie.

For those of you that are wondering Dan also had a green smoothie this morning for breakfast. However his contained two frozen bananas rather than one. I also added a handful of walnuts rather than 6 halves. These two changed added more calories which my husband needs.

Signing out:

I will be back later with a dinner recipe. At the moment I have no idea what that means but I am thinking about making something with tempeh. Those of you that know me realize that could change a dozen times before I finally get into the kitchen. Hopefully I will stick with the tempeh idea since I wrote it down. ;-)

I hope everyone is having a good Wednesday and that you are staying warm. Talk to you again soon.


  1. Buona mattina Ali,
    I need to start incorporating this one for breakfast! Thanks for the reminder. xo

  2. I just bought a Vitamix – it's your fault!

    You mentioned some time ago joining the Furhman member center. Has it been useful?

  3. It's hard to stomach the kale unless you have a high-speed blender. Which I have. :-) So I do green smoothies often.

  4. Aimee,

    I have to be mindful or I don't eat as much raw kale as I should either. It is easy to get out of the habit. ;-)


  5. Elisabeth,

    Yay for the new Vitamix. I think you are going to love it. This is the perfect season to make soup with it, or Dan's favorite the strawberry banana soft serve. ;-)

    I was glad I joined Dr. Fuhrman's site to see what it was all about. I read all the articles (which was good reinforcement) but the recipes weren't as creative as mine so that wasn't much help. Did that answer your question? If you have others send me an email.


  6. bitt,

    I have never tried kale in a smoothie other than with my Vitamix, but I believe you that it isn't as good. I practically live on green smoothies in the summer. However when it cold I just don't seem to crave them. That is something I need to work on.


  7. I need to try putting kale in my smoothie again. Maybe I will just start out with one leaf and then work my way up. :o)

  8. Michelle,

    I was on the phone with a friend last night and suggested that exact thing. Great minds think alike. ;-) It also helps to add a few nuts to mute the bitterness and stevia is also good for the same reason. After a short while your taste buds will adapt and it no longer tastes bitter. At least that is what happened for us.


  9. " Hopefully I will stick with the tempeh idea since I wrote it down. ;-)"

    lol:) happy girl:)

  10. Michelle,

    Did you notice that I actually used tempeh in dinner tonight? What a miracle that was, LOL.


  11. So you've taken stevia out of the picture completely with the smoothies, huh? I haven't gotten into stevia because I think it will be a slippery slope to just using sugar. However, one or two dates in a smoothie sweeten it up if you don't mind that kind of sugar.

  12. Stephanie,

    I don't use stevia in my smoothies anymore (because a ripe banana is sweet enough for me) but I add it to some of Dan's smoothies. Dates are a natural sweetener but they are high in sugar which impacts blood glucose so I try to keep those away from Dan. However I have dates periodically with nut butter when he is at work. ;-) I am much more particular about Dan's diet than I am my own. It must be love, LOL.


  13. Mmm, mmm, mmmmm. I'm going to make a smoothie as soon as I get home from teaching yoga...that will be my MoFo post for today. :)


  14. LJ,

    Great plan! I haven't even started writing a post for tonight yet and I still need to pick up Nicco from the vet and cook dinner. ;-) Sounds like a long night for me. LOL

    hope you have a good class,

  15. Thanks for the nutrition comparisons.

  16. Jenny,

    I thought the differences were so big others should see that too. When I first realized it I was surprised.



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