Monday, October 24, 2011

Kale Apple Smoothie

Cheap Eat Challenge, Part 2: Watch as our family eats on less than $10/day.

Kale and apple goodness: check. Spiderlike tentacles of sad aloe vera plant: check. Pumpkins painted in exact same manner as aloe vera pot: check.

Well, I don't know why I'd need to say more here, but of course I will.

I really enjoy a good green (or purple or orange or pink or even sludge colored) smoothie. But this time of year--the very time of year when sneezy pukey children start touching your otherwise perfect specimens of children--blueberries, strawberries, and peaches aren't exactly at their peak. Sure, you can freeze a bunch when they are at their peak, but what if you didn't. Or didn't freeze enough. Of just have 7,000 apples sitting on your counter. Don't worry; I've got your back.

This smoothie is tasty, seasonal, cheap, and very virtuously green (even in the sad night-time lighting that fall has brought my kitchen). And while we're talking about what I love about this smoothie, let's talk about this: this is a great solution for that half apple that didn't get eaten (come on; surely my kids aren't the only ones who do this) or for that bunch of apples that just wasn't as good as you thought they'd be. Chop them up, freeze 'em, and buy a bag of kale.

And kale--yeah, yeah, it's such a supery super food. But also it is a supery super easy to grow food. I'll talk more about it in the spring, but for now, know that at this time of year, when everything else is starting to wane, it just gets growing and does beautifully. And it grows incredibly easily from seed, which means that a bunch can be grown for pennies. However, even if you don't grow it yourself, it tends to run significantly cheaper than spinach.

But heck, if you're just too afraid of it or can't find it at your store, raw baby spinach will work great in this too.

Kale Apple Smoothie
adapted from Real Simple
Serves 1
Prep time: 5 minutes
Cost: $.53
kale: .10, apple juice: .10 (from concentrate), apple: .25, banana: .08)

Note: I recommend having your apple and your banana frozen. However, if you only have one or the other of those frozen, you'll be fine. Just make sure something's frozen, because there's no ice in this recipe, so if all your fruits are at room temperature, you'll get a slightly lukewarm smoothie that will be edible, but not as appealing. Moral of story: next time your kid eats only half an apple or you get a mushy one, peel it, cut it into chunks and throw it in a freezer bag. Or the next time your bananas have more brown than green, peel them and into the freezer bag with them too.

3/4 C kale (about 3-4 four-inch leaves), large ribs removed
1/2 C apple juice
1 frozen apple, peeled and cut into chunks
1/2 frozen ripe banana (also peeled, but I didn't find it so essential to say so here)

Put all ingredients in blender and have at it. If it's incredibly thick, add several more tablespoons of apple juice (or even water). If you didn't get any of those fruits frozen, add a few cubes of ice (providing your blender can handle it; mine can't). Blend it well because this smoothie can get a wee bit of an applesauce-y feel to it if you don't blend it up really well. This isn't necessarily a problem, but it's a texture that would bug some people.


Looking for another cheap seasonal smoothie, check this one out: Pumpkin Smoothie

Linked to Sweets for a Saturday

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