Years ago, one of my favorite things was dark chocolate covered orange sticks. I served these as an after dinner candy when I had people over.
About a month ago, I was debating what to use to make my green smoothie as I was looking for a new taste instead of the same old ingredients I had been using. Of course, that was going to be limited by what I had in my cabinets!
Gazing into the refrigerator, my eyes fell on the bag of oranges I had not used up. Yum – fresh, juicy oranges looked good, but what else did I have that would make them into a new recipe?
I opened the cabinet and discovered a bag of cacao powder that probably had about a quarter cup remaining. That reminded me of the chocolate covered orange sticks and I got excited.
One thing you need to know is that I use green smoothies as a meal replacement – usually for lunch. I add the extra nutrients I need as a Vegan and I don’t like to be hungry, so I make these large. The great thing about green smoothies is that you can add more or less of the ingredients to satisfy your taste.
And let me be honest… I don’t take the best pictures and often the lighting is off, but here goes:
3 cups Water
2 cups Greens
2 Oranges (small or 1 large)
1 tablespoon (or to taste) Raw Honey or 4 Medjool Dates
1 tablespoon (or to taste) Cacao Powder
2 tablespoons Whole Flaxseeds
1 scoop Green Protein Powder
Add all the ingredients to the blender container in the order listed.
Blend for 35 seconds.
The reason the smoothie came out so dark is because I used a very dark type of kale; Lacinato (aka Dinosaur kale) which has tall narrow leaves and a wrinkled texture.
There are many different types of kale so I never get tired of it. Kale is full of cancer fighting properties and packed with nutrition. It’s also high in manganese, as well as vitamins A, C and K, making this vegetable often referred to as a superfood.
I also like to add other vegetables to my smoothies so they’re packed with fiber. Today I added a carrot, but you don’t want to do that all the time as carrots are slightly sweet (that’s why they go so well with oranges!).
If your grocery store or Farmer’s Market sells them with their tops, you have an extra source of greens. You can easily add the green tops to your smoothie with other greens or use them as a green replacement. They are slightly bitter, so take that into consideration. You can read all about the health benefits of carrots on this page.
Although I don’t always add extra vegetable fiber to my smoothies, I always add whole flaxseeds. They’re full of Omega-3 essential fatty acids, “good” fats that have been shown to have heart-healthy effects.
Each tablespoon of ground flaxseed contains about 1.8 grams of plant omega-3s. They also contain Lignans, which have both plant estrogen and antioxidant qualities. Flaxseed contains 75 to 800 times more lignans than other plant foods. And of course they’re a good source of Fiber. Flaxseed contains both the soluble and insoluble types. There are other sources for these health benefits, but whole, organic flaxseeds are relatively affordable compared with the others.
Types of Blenders
If this is your first time making a green smoothie, you need to know why I prefer a Vitamix to other blenders. I have many other blenders, including a Cuisinart and several Ninjas, but they don’t break down the raw ingredients as well as a Vitamix.
What you will find after using other types of blenders blenders is bits and pieces of green and pulp floating in your smoothie, which is not very palatable – I don’t like to chew my smoothies!
Give this recipe a try – I hope you like it. Leave a comment and let me know if you’ll make it again!
P.S. I absolutely LOVE my Vitamix. I have used it every single day since I purchased it… best investment I ever made. Using a regular blender on green smoothies will leave you with small bits of leafy greens floating in your drink. The Vitamix blends it all; releasing the important nutrients inside the greens.
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