Ah, summer. A time in Virginia when strawberries are red and ripe and juicy and greens are lush. In just one short month strawberry season will be over, so we've been taking full advantage while we can, scrounging up as many of those little green cardboard boxes from our favorite farmers' market vendors full of the Vitamin C packed, heart-shaped fruit.
As of late, knowing the end of the season is quickly approaching, I've taken to freezing most of them. And with these hot days it has been nice to enjoy a light, frozen afternoon snack. More often than not, though, I've gotten up in the morning and added them to my smoothie to start the day.
In this version, I pair the strawberries with lacinato kale, a more digestible version than the curly kale we're used to. If you're not a fan of greens, this is a great way to introduce them into your diet, as the lacinato kale is more mild. The creamy vanilla almond milk and the complexity of the walnut butter, ground pumpkin seeds and lucuma covers up any bitterness that may otherwise be there. By using all frozen fruit you get rid of any need for ice, which tends to water things down (the biggest smoothie mistake in my opinion). And, because you're freezing the strawberries days after they're picked, you still reap the benefits of this nutrient dense fruit.
Strawberry Fields Forever
¾ cup Greenheart Organic vanilla almond milk
3-4 large organic lacinato kale leaves, de-stemmed and torn into small pieces
1 cup organic, local strawberries, frozen
1/3 small banana, frozen
1 tbsp walnut butter, made at home or by Artisana Organics
1 tbsp ground pumpkin seeds
1 tbsp Manitoba Harvest Hemp Hearts
1 tbsp shredded coconut
1 tbsp Navitas Naturals Lucuma Powder
1 tsp cinnamon, ceylon is recommended
hemp seeds, cinnamon, coconut and one small kale leaf for garnish, if desired
There is actually an art to making smoothies. The order in which you layer the ingredients in the blender makes a big difference in the texture and end result.
Pour almond milk in blender. Add torn kale, walnut butter, pumpkin seeds, hemp seeds, shredded coconut, lucuma and cinnamon. Blend on high speed until kale leaves are completely broken down.
Add frozen strawberries and banana. Blend on high until smooth, adding a little extra almond milk for a thinner smoothie.
Pour into glass jar, top with cinnamon, lucuma, hemp seeds and shredded coconut. Garnish with small kale leaf and enjoy!