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Dec 19, 2014
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Intelligent Content For The Food Fascinated
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SERVING SAINT LOUIS SINCE 1999
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By the Book: Julie Mueller’s Blueberry Superfood Smoothie and Peach and Kale Stem Smoothie

July 12th 12:07pm, 2014

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I weigh the merits of single-subject cookbooks in the same way that I do single-purpose kitchen gadgets. Do I really need an avocado slicer or a garlic peeler when I can get the job done with a universal tool like a knife? So when a cookbook wholly devoted to kale comes along, I ask myself whether it’s outstanding enough to replace the ones I have that encompass the whole brassica family – along with every other leafy green on the planet.

Julie Mueller’s Let Them Eat Kale! Simple and Delicious Recipes for Everyone’s Favorite Superfood, published this month, offers 75 recipes for using kale morning, noon and night. A tidy introduction provides a primer on the health benefits of kale, varieties of the plant and methods for preparing it, which range from using it raw to putting it under heat via blanching, braising, sauteing, roasting and grilling.

 

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Smoothie recipes comprise half of the breakfast section of the book. A colorful image of a purple-specked blueberry smoothie caught my eye, as did the minimal (five!) ingredients needed to make it. And, when it’s 6 a.m. and you’ve not yet had that cup of coffee, the uncomplicated task of blending appeals, too.

 

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The smoothie was thick and filling, but it tasted mostly of banana and blueberries. While you can feel good knowing there is 1 cup of vitamin- and fiber-packed kale in there, its earthy flavor is lost amid the fruit. Were I to make this recipe again, I’d double up on the kale.

 

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Mueller smartly offers a few recipes for using kale stems. Though tough and fibrous, stems hold some nutritional value. Rather than discard them, they can be chopped and used like broccoli stems or celery to add crunchy texture or, in this case, to bulk up a peach smoothie.

 

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The herbaceous quality of kale was completely masked in the resulting beverage. Fruit flavors abounded, but the drink was overwhelmingly sweet. That’s logical, I suppose, since it held ripe peaches, bananas, almond milk, orange juice and coconut milk. Based on information from Nutritiondata.com, the sugar clocked in at 49.68 grams. That’s nearly 25 grams of sugar per serving and 20 percent of the daily recommended sugar intake, per the National Academy of Sciences. How beneficial is a “superfood” when it’s smothered in sugar? What I did like about this recipe was the undertone of fresh ginger. Next time, I’ll add more ginger, kale and ice, and ease up on orange juice and one of the nut milks.

Let Them Eat Kale! isn’t going to take up precious cookbook space in my kitchen. But those just jumping aboard the kale bandwagon will appreciate Mueller’s easy recipes for incorporating the vegetable (whether sneaking it in by the cupful or letting the big green leaves shine by the bunch) in their diet.

Blueberry Superfood Smoothie
2 servings

1 cup kale leaves, loosely packed
1½ frozen bananas
1 cup frozen blueberries
¼ cup coconut milk (full-fat from the can)
1½ cups almond milk

• Add all ingredients to a blender, starting with the liquids (This will help blend everything together.). Blend until smooth.

Peach and Kale Stem Smoothie
2 servings

2 ripe peaches, pitted and frozen
2 ripe bananas, peeled and frozen
2 kale stems
1 tsp. fresh ginger, peeled and grated
8 ice cubes
½ cup almond milk
¾ cup orange juice
¼ cup coconut milk (full-fat from the can)

• Add all ingredients to a blender and blend until smooth. If necessary, add more almond milk or juice to help the blender process the frozen fruit.

What’s your favorite way to eat kale? Tell us about it in the comments for a chance to win your own copy of Let Them Eat Kale! 

By Ligaya Figueras

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9 Responses to “By the Book: Julie Mueller’s Blueberry Superfood Smoothie and Peach and Kale Stem Smoothie”

  1. Hao Says:
    July 12th, 2014 at 6:19 pm

    definitely kale chips. toss kale in olive oil, bake until crispy. sprinkle with salt pepper etc and munch! makes me so happy and makes me feel healthy.

  2. Sue Says:
    July 18th, 2014 at 5:02 pm

    My favorite is a salad recipe I found by Dorie Greenspan, which is basically an avocado salsa and kale salad tossed with a lime vinaigrette. The trick to making the leaves easier to eat (and tastier) is by rubbing them with a mixture of lime juice with some salt to soften them up. Then toss them with the avocado salsa and vinaigrette and serve. Delicious in the summer or anytime, and it holds up really well – even the next day.

  3. Sean Says:
    July 18th, 2014 at 7:11 pm

    Make kale chips, but then crumble between layers in a lasagne. Added color, added flavor, added health benefits.

  4. Jennifer Carter Says:
    July 18th, 2014 at 7:13 pm

    Cooked down with onions and put I to my morning omelette

  5. Zoe Says:
    July 18th, 2014 at 7:18 pm

    In a Caesar salad with big homemade croutons!

  6. Patrick Werner Says:
    July 18th, 2014 at 7:21 pm

    Kale chips!

  7. Susan Says:
    July 18th, 2014 at 7:21 pm

    My favorite way is in a fruity smoothie: mango, peaches, banana and pineapple! I also adore homemade baked kale chips with lemon pepper and olive oil.

  8. Kathy Ziegenmier Says:
    July 19th, 2014 at 12:47 am

    Saute some kale, red onion, garlic, salt, and red pepper flakes. Add to your favorite pasta sauce and serve over polenta or pasta. Sprinkle with grated cheese.

  9. Christina Lucido Says:
    July 19th, 2014 at 10:39 am

    Kale in any soup is the only green I’ve encountered that stands up to long cooking times and remains toothsome.

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