So let’s just say it’s Wednesday morning. You wake up to the cold realization that you do not actually live on a beach in Mexico like you dreamed last night, and in fact you actually live somewhere that is decidedly not a beach and might even be very cold at the moment depending on how far you live from the equator.
You come to the conclusion that you have two options: immediately book yourself a one-way ticket to Cancun, or turn up the heat and call in sick to work.
Okay, so we didn’t actually call in sick to work. Instead, we made a lovely tropical piña colada kale smoothie with a healthy dose of protein, good fats and dark leafy greens to get the day started. That’s close, right? Besides, it’s January and we could all use a little beach…possibly with a little rum.
Hector and I look at smoothies a bit differently: Hector can happily down a smoothie in the morning and call that breakfast, but I need to actually eat something to feel satisfied. This means Hector is much more likely to drink smoothies for breakfast, lunch and dinner (which he does on occasion if we’ve been eating badly for a few days) while I tend to use smoothies as additional calories after training, or if I don’t really feel like eating anything else. This piña colada kale smoothie serves both our purposes: it has enough healthy stuff that you can use it to replace a meal, but it also tastes good enough to be called dessert. That kind of versatility makes it a favourite in my books.
The ingredients are quite simple, and you can find all of them at a standard grocery store (quite possibly with the exception of protein powder – unless you go for one that has more sugar than protein, and has photos of veined bodybuilders on the massively oversized container). We use Vega vanilla sport protein, but you can use any vanilla or unflavoured protein of your choice, including hemp seeds and rice protein powders. When choosing coconut milk, make sure you pick up the right kind: one comes in a can, the other is a watered-down version used as a dairy milk replacement. We use the one that comes in a can.
Kale and pineapple are pretty straightforward, and chunks of actual coconut are optional though delicious (they’re not a standard ingredient, and when we bought them for the photos there weren’t very many that made it into the smoothie)
If you’re just getting started with this whole green smoothie thing (it took me a good long time to put anything other than fruit in mine), try it with a little less kale until you get used to the taste and find your sweet spot. Or just add rum.
- 4-6 leaves kale
- ½ pineapple (about 2 cups diced, or one can)
- 1scoop vanilla or unsweetened protein powder
- ½ cup coconut milk
- 3-4 ice cubes
- If you're using fresh pineapple, slice off both ends then cut away the rough outer layer. Cut in quarters lengthwise, remove the tough center core and slice into small pieces.
- Combine all the ingredients in a blender, adding water or pineapple juice to thin the mixture as needed.