Green smoothies are all the rage, right? All over pinterest, in the to-go mugs of lululemon moms everywhere. They’ve been one of my favorite breakfasts since I went grain-free and my standby granola went by the wayside.
Most smoothie recipes call for grabbing a bunch of fresh leafy greens and grinding them to liquid with some other yummier items (bananas or other fruits). This is what I did most of last summer, pulling straight from our garden, where our little patch of kale was prolific for many months.
But then I kept reading things about raw greens* containing chemicals that can worsen the effects of hypothyroidism. My thyroid has lately tended to be slightly weak — so while I loved getting my greens in my morning smoothie, I thought it best not to eat them raw every day.
Solution: cook a batch of kale, puree it down in a blender or food processor, and freeze it in ice cube trays. Once frozen, pop out and store in a zipper bag. When it comes smoothie time, just grab a cube and stick it in the blender with the rest of your ingredients. You get your serving of dark greens, but they’re cooked to inhibit those goitrogens.
If you drink green smoothies every day, you might consider keeping these kale cubes in your freezer to alternate with raw green smoothies (of course you could do this with any green, I just prefer kale). Perfect for those days you’re clean out of fresh greens — the flavor is still mild, usually overcome by fruits, and you start the morning with a serving of veggies.
* Goitrogens are not present in lettuce greens — so eating all the salad you want doesn’t effect thyroid function. It’s the sturdier greens, including spinach, along with cruciferous vegetables such as broccoli and cauliflower.
Looking for a great way to add immunity-supporting probiotics to your smoothie? Check this Kid’s Probiotic Smoothie — it’s for grownups too (delicious with kale cubes added)!
- 1 bunch dark leafy greens (kale, spinach, chard, collard, beet, etc.)
- Wash the greens really well, and tear leaves off tough stems if necessary.
- In a large lidded pot with a steamer basket inserted, bring 1-2" filtered water to a boil.
- Fill the steamer basket with leaves, and cover. Reduce heat to medium-low, and steam for about 5 minutes, or until leaves are bright green and softened (do not overcook, a light steaming is sufficient to destroy the goitrogens).
- Remove from heat and let cool slightly. Transfer leaves to a blender or food processor. Add a few tablespoons of the steaming water to the greens, and puree. Add more water if necessary.
- Fill an ice cube tray with the pureed greens. Freeze until solid, then transfer to a zipper bag for long-term storage. Use frozen in smoothies.
This post was linked up to Simple Lives Thursday.