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Guest Chef
August 2014



Raw Kale Smoothie

A Super Smoothie!
By Dennis Linden


This month’s featured recipe is a powerful drink that is brimming with natural flavors and energizing nutrients that will leave the palate tingling long after the glass is empty! Lori Hirai, a nineteen-year member of the Melissa’s family, submitted this yummy, non-dairy energy drink. Lori manages the company’s Mail Order / Gift Basket Department and also helps keep this web site.

Lori Hirai

For Lori, this is her favorite weekend beverage that is usually enjoyed either just before or after a morning run. In fact, Lori’s smoothie recipe is designed to support a very active lifestyle that includes dance, kayaking and even some boxing training. Not sure how she does in the ring, but Lori’s RAW KALE SMOOTHIE certainly packs a great one-two punch combination of energy and overall body health maintenance!

The word “smoothie” was first used commercially in the 1930’s with the introduction of a new kitchen appliance by Waring® Products called the “Miracle Mixer” blender. A recipe booklet of fruit “smoothies” was published by the company to promote what soon became known as simply the “Waring Blender”. The thick, cold drink, most often being made of natural fresh ingredients, got the reputation as a health food drink (whatever that meant) and was taken up by the culture-changing boomer generation of the 1960’s as an iconic healthy alternative to the more fattening traditional milkshake.

As the technology of the blender has advanced, so have smoothie recipe ingredients. First made of mostly fresh fruits, shaved ice, milk or yogurt, today’s more powerful blenders make it possible to include all sorts of vegetables and other tasty componets such as those found in Lori’s formula. How something so delicious can be so healthy breaks all stereotypes referred to in that old adage: “If it tastes good, then it has to be bad for you.” On the contrary, Lori’s ingredient list reads as well in a nutritionist’s office as it does in the kitchen...

KALE: Being high in anti-oxidants, the consumption of Kale has proven to play a primary role in the prevention of five specific cancers: bladder, breast, colon, ovary, and prostate. The leafy green contains glucosinolates, which support a healthy digestive tract by protecting the stomach lining from bacterial overgrowth. The omega-3 in kale is attributed to the veggie’s anti-inflammatory benefits. As a side bar, this writer’s eye doctor recently recommended a daily serving of either kale or spinach to insure good vision and eye health; I can now drink that prescription with pleasure!

CASHEWS: Not only do cashews have a lower fat content than most other nuts, about 66% of the cashew’s unsaturated fatty acid content is heart-healthy monounsaturated fats, similar to those found in olive oil. Several studies have proved that a regular consumption of nuts lowers the risk of coronary heart disease. The high magnesium content in cashews balances calcium intake, which helps regulate nerve and muscle tone. The copper content of the cashew also helps promote higher levels of energy as well as healthier bones and blood vessels.

BANANAS: Are the perfect nutrient-dense power food, providing natural energy to fuel active lives. Extremely high in potassium, fiber and a great source for vitamin B6 – all of which also help reduce risk of high blood pressure, stroke and heart disease.

Coconut Chips: Coconut can boost the thyroid function as it helps to increase metabolism. Plus coconut contains lauric acid, which has anti-microbial and anti-viral properties that destroy many types of bacteria and viruses.

Dates: Rich in several vitamins, minerals and fiber. These delicious fruits contain oil, calcium, sulfur, iron, potassium, phosphorous, manganese, copper and magnesium, which are all beneficial for overall body health.

Preparation Tip: Drink this smoothie bare-footed…its taste and subsequent rise in energy level will knock your socks off anyway!

Raw Kale Smoothie
By
Lori Hirai

Ingredients:  Raw Kale Smoothie

Ingredients

3 ounces Raw Cashews (one handful)
1 cup Water
5-6 Ice Cubes
1 ripe Banana (sliced in chunks)
1 handful (about 1 cup chopped) Kale

Chopped Kale

1 Tablespoon Coconut Chips
2 Dates, pitted
2 teaspoon Agave or Honey (optional)

Preparation

Soak cashews in water at least 6 hours (keep in refrigeration to create a colder smoothie).

Soak cashews in water at least 6 hours (keep in refrigeration to create a colder smoothie).

Blend all ingredients, including water used to soak cashews, at high speed until creamy.

Blend all ingredients, including water used to soak cashews, at high speed until creamy.

Drink immediately for best flavor and color.

Drink immediately for best flavor and color.