green resolutions | kale smoothies

Fresh off the plane from a trip back home to Florida, I am ready to start my version of a New Year’s celebration!  Since I work in the hospitality industry, the months of November and December are the busiest of the year.  My colleagues and I creatively and fastidiously facilitate a wondrous, festive respite, so that everyone’s family and friends can relax and enjoy the holiday season.  For a wedding planner, it’s June and July.  For tax professionals, it’s the months leading up to April 15th.  During those two winter months, I can barely see straight, let alone plan out resolutions!

The other day, I joined my boyfriend at one of Denver’s newest culinary additions, True Food Kitchen, a concept created, in part, by none other than the inflammation expert, Dr. Andrew Weil.  It was neither our first visit, nor will it be our last.  We enjoyed {yet another} one of their juiced drinks, the Kale Aid.  Refreshed, revitalized, and ready to power through my day, I was determined to create this green concoction from the comfort and closeness of my own kitchen.

Perched at the restaurant’s bar, I mentally jotted down the core ingredients of this nutritious nectar, as each piece was placed into the juicer:  kale, carrots, cucumber, apple, and lemon.  Armed with my newly found knowledge, I headed to the grocery store and purchased the requisite ingredients.  My Vitamix was ready for the challenge today!

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I made a few adjustments, simply because I forgot to purchase the cucumber.  That’s okay, because I had some coconut water on hand that would supply the needed liquid component, as well as some much-needed electrolytes.  I am a firm supporter of blending, as opposed to juicing.  I enjoy the added fiber and the benefits from drinking the entire vegetable or fruit.  I could wax poetically here, but I will reference a recent post from a talented food blogger, Sarah Ashley, where she also praises utilizing the entire plant, here.

I was pleasantly surprised with the finished product.  I usually add a handful of blueberries or a banana to make a green drink more tolerable, but the result was quite delicious.  I sipped, slurped a little, as if I were tasting wine, and realized that this drink needed some ice cubes.  Vegetable drinks taste better chilled.

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In a blender, add the following ingredients:

  • 3 leaves of kale
  • 1 carrot
  • 1 apple
  • juice from half of a lemon
  • 1/2 cup coconut water

Blend on high-speed, adding ice cubes, to taste and consistency preference.  Sit still, take a deep breath, and sip.  I prefer gulping!

I am thoroughly excited for what 2013 holds.  The next year’s provisions will reflect the time, research, and effort that we invest into it.  I am ready to till the soil (both literally and figuratively) and reap great rewards.  Most of the time, all we need is a little intention, focused in the right direction:  be it a morning walk, a deep and cleansing breath, or a date with the blender and some green friends from the garden.

Closing with some photos from my trip home to Lakeland, Florida, I wish you the most inspirational, creative, and fascinating year ahead.  What are your goals for the new year, and what are you wishing to overcome?  I will be sure to list some of mine over the next few days.

My bi-weekly run, along Denver’s Bible Park. I took this the day before I headed home to Florida, where everything was starkly green and vibrant. What a contrast!

My mom and I headed to Lake Wales’ Bok Tower Gardens, where you can get a glimpse of unsettled Florida, as well as a cultivated and curated version.

Azelias in bloom, with the carillon tower in the background. A carilloneur plays beautiful pieces on the hour and at select times, throughout the day. I have so many memories of lying underneath sprawling oak trees, listening to interpretations of Bach, smelling Azelia blooms and orange blossoms.

“I come here to find myself. It is so easy to get lost in the world.”

I am so used to seeing nothing but crusty, brown color-scapes during this time of year, here in Denver. What a treat!

I love this expression from the family famous for palm trees. So vibrant and sturdy.

I pocketed some cycad seeds that I poached from a nearby plant. We will see if they fare well in my house here in Colorado!

My mom and I together at Lakeland’s beautiful Hollis Gardens, a cultivated representation of the agricultural timeline of Florida settlers.

The view from Hollis Gardens. In December, many of Lakeland’s lakes are decorated with Christmas trees, in the center of each lake. The city had just taken down the aquatic adornments, just before I arrived. It is always a beloved and much-celebrated season in town.

A rose bud about to bloom outside the Magnolia Building at Hollis Gardens. There are many rose varieties found along its walls.

Mom and I bought some Wish Farms’ strawberries and whipped up some heavy cream. This was our last breakfast together, before I had to head back home to a chilly Colorado. These berries were less than a day old, from their being picked!

Oliver, our cat, was not allowed inside, despite his pleas to enjoy the strawberries with us!

My view this morning, outside my back porch. We received about four inches of snow. I had washed my car earlier that day, for the weather report did not suggest any whisper of a flurry!  …grr…

6 thoughts on “green resolutions | kale smoothies

  1. Pingback: frozen kale power cubes | holly & flora

  2. Pingback: crafting your own bitters | holly & flora

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