Gettin’ Rioja-Ready Continues: Kale-Pistachio Juice Smoothie

September 24th, 2013

full viewAerial ViewSo today, I took a long lunch to take my vacuum cleaner into the repair shop (my attachment hose broke during my last vigorous housecleaning day). On the way, I decided to quickly stop by the house to prepare and try out another veggie smoothie in my goal to eat smart and healthy in preparation for my wine Spain trip which is fast approaching in THREE WEEKS!

The stars of this juice-smoothie are kale and pistachios. If you hate kale, it won’t make a bit of difference because aside from the awesome green color, there’s really no sign that kale is anywhere to be found! You’d think there would be some sort of kale flavor, but nope! I did use Baby Kale that I found in the clear-plastic box in refrigerated produce section of Kroger. The Baby Kale are little tender leaves not tougher, thicker ones that you would find in bulk Italian or curly-leaf kale. Kale seems to work just like the frozen spinach I add to my breakfast protein smoothies every morning — no taste whatsoever — so both (kale and spinach) lend themselves really well to blending in with other domineering ingredients to result in SUPER healthy snacks!

However, the pistachios are a different story. These little nuts really provide the only flavor in this drink, so if you don’t care for the oily-salty taste of pistachios, you probably won’t want to try this recipe. But their taste isn’t overpowering. I think the kale may help to mellow the flavor of the nuts. I did use shelled, salted pistachios that are all the rage right now and easy to find at your grocery store.

The drink has a creamy texture thanks to the addition of a whole cup of skim milk and just a few ice cubes. I used Snowville Creamery (grass grazed and not homogenized) fat free milk which is produced locally here in Ohio (

You only add 1/4 teaspoon of ginger, so there’s none of the burn-zing-tang that I experienced in the Carrot-Ginger recipe. There’s just a good hint of ginger way back in your mouth that is very refreshing.

The addition of half a big pear and half a frozen banana (your only pre-preparation besides shopping for any missing ingredients) is to lend a little bit of sweetness to the drink. However, like the Carrot-Ginger juice smoothie, I wouldn’t call this one at all sweet. It also has no sour-y, vegetable-y yuck. It’s really quite tasty! I think I’ve found my new favorite way to consume kale!

Here’s the full recipe:
1/2 large, very ripe banana, cut into chunks and frozen
1/2 large pear, cut into chunks
1 1/2 cups fresh (baby) kale
1 cup skim milk
1 tbsp pistachios
1/4 tsp minced ginger
5-7 ice cubes

Put all into blender for 343 calories and 16g protein! Enjoy!

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