Chocolate Chip Cookies! (gluten-free)

Chocolate Chip Cookies

Yield: 2 dozen large cookies Time Required: 45 minutes

This is my answer to the need to bake homemade chocolate chip cookies. It doesn’t contain any complicated ingredients; just rice flour, nut butter and everything you would expect to find in a chocolate chip cookie recipe.

Wet Ingredients

3/4 cup (1 1/2 sticks) of softened salted butter

½ cup of white sugar

½ cup of brown sugar

1/4 cup of almond, sunflower or peanut butter

2 eggs

1 teaspoon of vanilla extract

Dry Ingredients

3/4 cup of brown or white rice flour

¼ teaspoon of baking powder

¼ teaspoon of salt

1½ cups of chocolate chips

Tools

Two medium sized bowls; measuring cup; measuring spoons; a fork; an electric mixer; a silicone spatula; baking sheet, parchment paper; metal spatula

Directions

  • Preheat oven to 350 F.
  • Cream softened butter and sugar together with a fork.
  • Add nut butter, eggs and vanilla extract and mix thoroughly with an electric mixer or silicone spatula.
  • In a separate bowl, combine flour, baking powder and salt and mix thoroughly.
  • Add wet ingredients to the dry ingredients and mix until fully incorporated.
  • Add chocolate chips and mix until they are evenly distributed throughout the dough.
  • Line a baking sheet with parchment paper.
  • Scoop heaping tablespoons of cookie dough and arrange them on the baking sheet allowing at least 2“ between each cookie.
  • Bake for 20 minutes, or until the edges are slightly brown.

Variations

  • Form any leftover cookie dough in a log and wrap in wax paper or plastic wrap and refrigerate for later. Let the dough soften at room temperature until you can easily mold the dough with your hands. The cookies will need a longer baking time if the dough is still cold.

 

Polenta

Polenta

I like polenta, but it needs a lot of attention, a lot of water, and it needs to cook a long time. It also benefits from some seasoning. This version is savory, and I would serve it with a flavorful meat dish and perhaps a little marinara sauce and cheese. You could also make a sweet version substituting the chicken broth with rice, coconut or cow’s milk and season with cinnamon and maple syrup instead of pepper.

Ingredients

1 cup of polenta

4 cups of low sodium chicken broth or water

1/2 teaspoon of salt

1/4 teaspoon of pepper

Tools

A measuring cup, measuring spoons, a large sauce pan with a lid, wooden spoon.

Directions

Place all ingredients in the saucepan and set on medium heat and stir to incorporate the ingredients. Place the lid on the pan.

When the mixture begins to simmer (between 5-15 minutes) stir the pan, scraping the bottom to prevent the polenta from sticking and burning. Set the timer for 30 minutes and give it a good stir every 2-3 minutes. Yes, it’s tedious, but it’s delicious.

The polenta will be soft at first, but it will firm up as it cools. You can slice it with a knife when you eat it later.

 

 

Seared Steak

Seared Steak

lamb-chops

The quickest easiest steaks to prepare are skirt and flank steaks. Both come from the cow belly, are relatively inexpensive and can be cooked quickly on a stovetop. This recipe calls for a rub of salt and pepper, but they are also delicious marinaded if you have the time. Unfortunately marinating doesn’t tenderize meat, but it does make it extra delicious.
Both flank and skirt have a strong directional grain, which can be tough if cooked too long or sliced with the grain. These cuts should be enjoyed medium rare and cut across (or perpendicular) to the grain. While cooking directions for both cuts are the same, skirt steak should be cooked a minute less on each side since it is thinner and cooks more quickly.
To ensure your steak is perfectly cooked, I recommend using a meat thermometer.
Ingredients
2 lbs. flank or skirt steak
Salt
Pepper
Optional: Crushed garlic or spice mix of your choice (Penzy’s makes some excellent blends)
Grape seed oil
Tools
A large heavy pan
Metal Spatula
Plate
Measuring spoons
Directions

  1. Rub salt and pepper or seasonings of your choice on both sides of the meat. While the steak will taste good with just salt and pepper, there are lots of delicious spice blends for beef on the market or make your own by mixing equal parts of garlic flakes, cumin and paprika. Really rub the seasonings into the meat to ensure they are embedded. You can also score the meat with a fork to help this process.
  2. Allow meat to sit at room temperature for at least 15-20 minutes or until close to room temperature.
  3. Drizzle a thin coating of grape seed oil on the pan and set it on on medium heat for a few minutes.  Put a drop of water on the pan and see if it sizzles to determine if it’s hot enough to sear the meat.
  4. Carefully place the steak in the pan, avoiding the need to move it until it is done.
  5. Let skirt steak cook for 3 minutes on the first side, flank should cook for 4 minutes. You can add a little additional seasoning to the top as you wait for the bottom to finish cooking.
  6. Flip the meat over and cook for another 3-4 minutes. Insert your electric meat thermometer in the thickest portion of the meat at a 45 degree angle, taking care not to go deeper than half way. The meat is medium-rare and ready when it reaches between 130-140 degrees.
  7. Quickly remove the meat from the pan and onto a plate to stop the cooking process. Cover the plate loosely with aluminum foil or a lid to retain heat.
  8. Allow meat to sit, covered for 5-10 minutes. This allows the juices in the meat to redistribute so they stay in the food. Skipping this step will cause the juice to run on the plate, and a less juicy steak.
  9. Thin cuts of meat like skirt steak will cook completely on the stove, but larger cuts that are more than 1” thick may need to go into a 350 oven for 5 minutes. The meat is ready when the meat thermometer reads 140 F when inserted.

Lacto-fermented Pickles

Lacto-fermented Pickles

small-roots

Pickles are the easiest of the lacto-fermented vegetable recipes, so long as you choose firm vegetables like radishes, carrots and cauliflower. Cucumbers are tender and fermentation tends to make them mushy and unappealing. You can combat this by soak your cucumbers in cold water for a couple of hours before starting the pickling process and add a fresh grape leaf or two to the jar, but vinegar pickled cucumbers are still far superior. Stick with the firmer vegetables for reliable success.

Enjoy pickle vegetables with meat, beans, sandwiches or salads. I prefer pickles when they are fairly young, 1-3 months old. They keep better than some varieties of kraut, but they taste less “alive” when they’ve been sitting around for months.

You can experiment with alternative whole spices, such as caraway, cardamom pods, allspice and cinnamon sticks for different flavors.

Makes approximately 3 pints or 6 cups of pickles

Ingredients

1 pound of firm vegetables such cauliflower, icicle or Easter egg radishes, carrots, baby beets or green beans

1 cabbage leaf for every two containers

12 cloves of garlic

1 tablespoon of one or more of the following: whole mustard seed, dill seed, peppercorns, coriander seeds

3 cups recently boiled filtered or spring water

3 teaspoons of sea salt

1 probiotic capsule or 2 tablespoons of brine from a previous batch of pickles

Tools

3 sterilized pint-sized canning jars

1 quart or liter sized glass container

1 quart sized bowl for peels and pits

1 large cutting board

1 large sharp knife

Measuring cup

Measuring spoons

Large metal or plastic mixing spoon

Directions

  • The day before pickling, mix salt with recently boiled water in a quart sized container. Shake the jar vigorously a couple of times to encourage the salt to dissolve completely. The salt should be completely dissolved and the water cool when you are ready to start pickling.
  • Wash the vegetables and trim away stems, leaves and roots. Do not peel the vegetables unless they are really dirty since the skins provide some of the bacteria we want to grow. Slice cauliflower and other large vegetables into 1-2” bite-sized pieces.
  • Place four cloves of garlic, a teaspoon each of mustard, dill seed and peppercorns in the bottom of each jar. Fit as many soaked vegetables as you can into each jar. You can get artistic with the colors and arrangement. If you squeeze the vegetables in tightly, they will hold each other in place.
  • Add probiotic powder or brine  in each jar.
  • Fill the remainder of the jar with salt water leaving a ½ inch from the top. The vegetables should be fully submerged in liquid.
  • Fold half a cabbage leaf and squeeze it in to the mouth of each jar, covering the vegetables.
  • Screw the lids on your jars and store them in a cool place out of direct sunlight (65-80 F) for one week.
  • To check on your pickles, open a jar over the sink in case it overflows. They should smell tart and salty and fizz a little. If they smell bland and don’t fizz, they aren’t ready yet.
  • Move them to the refrigerator once you are happy with their level of fermentation. The cold will slow their development considerably.

 

Herb Butter

Herb Butter

herbs-spices

Butter is yummy, but it’s shocking how amazing it is with a little extra something. If you want to make anything more delicious, just spread a little of this magic on top.

This condiment can be used immediately or frozen and enjoyed later.

Ingredients

  • 1 stick of butter
  • 1 clove of crushed garlic
  • 3 tablespoons of fresh minced herb of your choice such as parsley, cilantro, dill, marjoram or sage
  • 1 tablespoon of lemon juice
  • a pinch each of salt and pepper

Tools

Measuring spoons, garlic press, a small food processor or a fork and a small bowl.

Directions

Let butter sit a room temperature for an hour, or until soft

Place ingredients in a food processor and pulse until ingredients are evenly mixed.

Enjoy on cooked fish, steak, steamed vegetables or toast.

 

Preserved Lemons

Preserved Lemons 

all-of-the-pickles

This simple condiment is North African, although salt pickled citrus are popular all over of south Asia as well. I love to add a spoon of chopped preserved lemon to soups, braises, pasta salads or rub on chicken or duck before roasting. The texture of preserved lemons is soft and the flavor is uniquely delicious. I recommend Meyer lemons if available, since the skins are softer and the flavor is sweeter than other varieties. Be very generous with the salt since it pulls juice from the lemons and protects them from bacteria and mold. It does take a whole month for the lemon peel to become soft and ready to eat, but it should be good for at least a year.

Ingredients

  • 8-10 organic or pesticide-free lemons, washed
  • At least 1 cup of sea salt
  • Freshly squeezed lemon juice, as needed
  • 2 cinnamon sticks, broken in half
  • 10 peppercorns (optional) 
  • Tools
  • Cutting board
  • Shallow bowl
  • Sharp knife
  • Measuring cup
  • Measuring spoons

4 1-cup canning jars, sterilized (this can be done in the dishwasher)

Directions

  • Trim stems off of the lemons.
  • Cut the lemon in quarters.
  • Remove the seeds with the tip of a pairing knife, holding the lemon quarters over a small bowl to catch any juice. You can also leave the seeds in and pick them out just before using the lemons.

Chocolate Shortbread

 

Chocolate Shortbread Cookies

chocolate-shortbread-and-tea

Yield: 32 cookies Prep time: 60 minutes

This is a sophisticated chocolate cookie for those who love dark chocolate. The texture of these cookies is firm and the flavor is seriously chocolaty. I recommend making the whole batch at once, since leftover dough tends to get very hard in the refrigerator. These cookies are cut into rustic squares, but you can also cut out shapes with a cookie cutter.

Dry Ingredients

2 1/4 cups of rice flour

1/2 teaspoon of baking powder

1/2 teaspoon of salt

1/3 cup of unsweetened cocoa powder

Wet Ingredients

6 tablespoons of salted butter (2 tablespoons less than a full stick)

1 cup of sugar

½ cup of tahini

2 eggs

½ teaspoon of vanilla extract

Final ingredients

1/2 cup of chocolate chips

Tools

Two medium sized bowls; measuring cup; measuring spoons; fork; small bowl; sifter or large wire mesh strainer, silicone spatula, baking sheet, 15” long sheet of parchment paper; rolling pin, metal spatula

Directions

  1. Preheat oven to 350 F.
  2. In a medium sized bowl combine flour, baking powder, and salt and mix thoroughly. Pour cocoa powder into the bowl through a wire mesh strainer or a sifter to break up clumps. Mix the dry ingredients together with a silicone spatula.
  3. Soften the butter by warming it in a small bowl in a microwave for 30 seconds.
  4. Place the butter and sugar in another medium sized bowl and cream them together by mixing them with a fork.
  5. Add tahini, eggs and vanilla extract to the creamed sugar and butter and mix them thoroughly with the spatula.
  6. Pour the wet ingredients into the bowl with the dry ingredients, scraping any remaining liquid from the sides of the bowl with the spatula. Use the spatula to mix the wet and dry ingredients together.
  7. Use your clean hands to combine any stray remaining dry and wet ingredients together. The finished the dough should be thick and moldable, like clay.
  8. Place a piece of parchment paper on a baking sheet and place half of the dough into a large ball and place it on the parchment paper.
  9. Roll the dough into a large 1/4” sheet with a rolling pin. I like to do this on the baking sheet so I don’t have to move the cookies when I am done.  Cut the edges and patch them to the corners to make a large square about 10” on each side.
  10. Cut the dough in half vertically, and horizontally with a sharp knife. Then cut each section in halves again until you have 16 cookies, each about 2- 2 ½” in size.
  11. Use a metal spatula to carefully move the cookies towards the edge of the baking sheet, allowing a ½” of space between each cookie.
  12.  Sprinkle 5-10 chocolate chips in the center of each cookie and press them into the dough with a flat hand.
  13. Bake the cookies for 18 minutes, or until the center of a cookie is slightly firm when touched and the chocolate chips are melted. Be careful not to overcook; these cookies burn easily due to their high cocoa content.
  14. Start the second batch of cookies with a cool baking sheet when the first batch is done.

 

Summer Fruit Salad

Summer Fruit Salad

small Summer Fruit Salad

Fruit salad is best if you use whatever fruit is ripest and in season. For example, add sliced strawberries in the spring, melon and peaches in summer

Salad Ingredients

1 apple, cored
2 bananas
1 basket of blueberries, washed

1 small Hawaiian, or ½ a large Mexican papaya
1 bunch of fresh mint

Dressing Ingredients

Juice of 2 limes

1 tablespoon of honey

Tools

Chefs knife, cutting board, large spoon, large bowl, measuring spoon, small bowl or a small jar with a lid.

Directions

  1. Cut apple into quarters, and remove the core. Cut each quarter in half lengthwise again and chop each slice into 1” pieces. Place in the large bowl.
  2. Peel bananas and cut the bananas into bite-sized coins. Add to the bowl.
  3. Discard any shriveled or ugly berries the basket, and remove any stems. Add to the bowl.
  4. Cut papaya in half and scoop out seeds with a spoon. Lay the papaya cut side down and carefully cut off the skin with a knife. Discard seeds and skin, and cut the papaya into 1” cubes. Add to the bowl.
  5. Pick the mint leaves off the stem until you have a large handful or about ¼ cup of leaves. Add to the bowl.
  6. Place lime juice in the small bowl or jar, and then add honey. Stir honey and juice mixture until honey has dissolved. If you have a jar, place the lid on the jar, and shake the jar vigorously until the honey has dissolved. Scrape any honey off of the sides of the jar or bowl and stir to get it to dissolve completely.
  7. Pour the honey lime mixture on the fruit salad and mix thoroughly. Enjoy immediately.

Tip: Leftover fruit salad will become soggy and less appealing after about 24 hours. Give the salad a new life by turning it into a smoothie, adjusting the temperature or flavor with ice and other ingredients as needed.

Options: Add ¼ cup of toasted nuts or seeds for texture.

 

A Comprehensive List of Herbs and Spices

A Comprehensive List of Herbs and Spices

herbs-spices

Herbs and spices are one of the easiest ways to make the food you cook more interesting. Just a spoonful of these aromatic plants will lend the flavors of the world to your meal. For example, the addition of basil, garlic and oregano will give almost any dish an Italian feel. The seasonings in most recipes are flexible, and I encourage you to to use the herb and spice descriptions below to find more appealing combinations.

The aromatic oils in herbs and spices steadily evaporate and change with time, so it’s a good idea to buy herbs and spices from businesses that have high turnover to ensure they are still potent. If you have a bunch of ancient herbs and spices in your kitchen, toss them and start over with a fresh collection. A 1/4 cup of fresh seasonings should cost more than a couple of dollars, and you can focus on just a couple at a time and use them abundantly to get a solid sense of their flavor. If you can’t find good quality herbs in your area, two great online resources are www.penzeys.com or www.mountainroseherbs.com.

If you have a sunny balcony or patio, many herbs are easy to grow in a bright corner in a pot.  Mint can be invasive, and mint and basil need moist soil to thrive. Woody herbs like thyme, oregano, rosemary and marjoram are more drought-tolerant and only need water every other week or so, depending the temperature and the size of the pot. These herbs are native to the Mediterranean and need to be covered or brought inside if temperatures freeze.

In addition to adding flavor to food, many herbs and spices are highly antimicrobial, and they are used abundantly in the food preservation chapter in this book. Herbs and spices are also utilized in many healing traditions around the world. While they can be beneficial, some herbs and spices may also be harmful for certain health conditions. While the amount of seasonings used in these recipes is very small and safe in most cases, you should consult your doctor, and research possible contraindications if you are taking medication, suffer from a serious health condition, or are pregnant.

This book includes possible health benefits of certain herbs and spices based on studies and traditional herbal medicine, however this information is educational purposes only, and is not intended to diagnose, treat or cure illness.

Herbs

Herbs are essentially the leaves of aromatic plants. Juicy, green-stemmed herbs such as basil, cilantro and parsley can be enjoyed fresh, and as much as a ½ cup may be added to dish. More concentrated herbs with woody stems like thyme, oregano or rosemary are best used dried and used by the spoonful. All herb measurements in this book are for dried herbs unless otherwise specified. Substitute 1 tablespoon of fresh herbs for every teaspoon of dried if you wish, with the exception of rosemary, which you should use 1 tablespoon of fresh for ½ teaspoon of dried herb.

Below are details about the herbs that appear frequently in the recipes in this book.

Basil has a slightly sweet, licorice-like flavor. Basil is used in Chinese and South Asian cuisine, is used as a garnish in the Vietnamese soup known as pho, and is frequently paired with tomatoes in Italian cuisine. It can be used raw, cooked or dried, and it is an essential player in a dried herb blend known as Italian seasoning, which is used frequently in this book.

Bay Leaf is a tough, leathery leaf which is often added whole to simmering broths and sauces and discarded before serving to give a sophisticated herbal flavor. Bay leaf tree is related to the tree that produces cinnamon bark, avocado, as well as the California bay laurel tree. Bay leaf is native to the Mediterranean cuisine but works well in a variety of dishes.

Cilantro is used in Indian, Chinese, Thai and Mexican cuisine. The flavor diminishes when cooked, so it is often used raw in spring rolls, salads and in guacamole. Cilantro has a distinctive citrusy flavor, but it can taste soapy to some people due to a genetic trait. Coriander is the seed of the cilantro plant. Cilantro is in the same family as fennel, dill, carrot, parsnip, parsley, cumin and celery.

Marjoram is closely related to oregano, and has a similar flavor, however it can be enjoyed fresh as a garnish without the bite. Fresh marjoram leaves are great mixed in salad and lends an Italian flavor to omelets. Marjoram is related to basil, mint, thyme and sage.

Oregano gives a distinctive Italian hint to tomatoes, meat, beans and vegetables. Fresh oregano is very spicy and is best enjoyed cooked.  Oregano is strongly antimicrobial.

Parsley has a fresh green flavor that compliments red meat and is an excellent garnish for green salads and eggs. Parsley is very nutritious and a great addition to green smoothies.

Peppermint is delightful in savory as well as sweet dishes. Add minced peppermint leaves to fruit salads, green salads and spring rolls. A sauce made with mint is traditionally enjoyed with roast lamb. Fresh peppermint is featured in the mint smoothie recipe.

Rosemary has a pervasive smell and compliments gamey, hearty foods such as lamb, pork, poultry and potatoes. A sprig of fresh rosemary can be added to braised dishes and stews. A little rosemary goes a long way.

Sage is a favorite herb for chicken and is used to season traditional Thanksgiving turkey and stuffing. It’s also used to season pork and bean dishes. Ornamental varieties of sage are popular in drought prone gardens, but are not recommended for culinary use.

Thyme is wonderful in chicken soup and on broiled meat. Dried thyme is excellent mixed with ground turkey, which can be bland on its own. A study comparing the antimicrobial strength of 14 different herbs against common respiratory tract pathogens showed thyme essential oil to be among the top three most effective herbs, along with cinnamon bark and lemon grass. You might consider eating some chicken soup seasoned with thyme and drinking a cup of cinnamon tea next time you have a cold.

http://jac.oxfordjournals.org/content/47/5/565.full

Spices

Spices come from the seeds, fruit, roots or bark of plants and trees. Most spices tend to be hot, sweet, earthy, pungent or a combination of these flavors. Most spices can be purchased in either powdered or whole form.

Here are a few favorite spices that appear in this book.

Cinnamon (bark) is both spicy and is naturally sweet without sugar. It can make foods more dessert-like or can add an interesting contrast to savory dishes. Sprinkle a little cinnamon on steamed winter squash, yams or hot cereal to make them more exciting. Cinnamon is featured in the preserved lemon recipe, which is fabulous on roasted chicken. It is easy to make a herbal teal by simmering a stick of cinnamon in two cups of water.

Cumin (seed) is an ancient spice with an earthy flavor that is popular throughout the world, particularly in Middle Eastern, Indian and Latin American cuisine. Cumin is found in curry, is excellent in guacamole, and delicious on seared salmon. Add cumin to beans, lentils, meat and sautéed greens. Cumin combines well with garlic, turmeric and oregano. I tend to use cumin liberally and frequently.

Coriander (seed) has a similar flavor to cumin, but has a lighter, more citrusy quality reminiscent of cilantro leaves. Coriander is found in garam masala, a traditional Indian spice blend, and can be used in meat rubs and sautéed dishes.

Garlic (bulb) is a popular and powerful antimicrobial spice. It is used in sauerkraut and other fermented foods to prevent the growth of undesirable bacteria. Raw garlic can burn, so always dilute it with oil or avocado if you wish add it to dressings or dips. Add garlic, olive oil and salt to fruity vinegars for delicious meat glaze. Cooked garlic has a slightly sweet and flavor and is delicious in soups and hot dishes. Garlic is closely related to onion.

Ginger (rhizome) is very hot, and is a common folk remedy for nausea. A quick ginger ale recipe is included in the beverage section. Fresh minced ginger and garlic add Chinese flavor to sautéed dishes. Boiled ginger makes a soothing, spicy tea for sore throats, and a piece of ginger in smoothies gives a nice kick.

Mustard (seed) has a pungent, slightly nutty quality that is delicious in meat dishes and combines well with other spices. I particularly like powdered mustard with sautéed greens and garlic. Raw mustard seed is very hot, much like arugula, horseradish and wasabi radish, all of which are members of the cabbage family. The leaves of the mustard plant are edible and are also quite spicy. The yellow sandwich spread known as prepared mustard contains powdered mustard seed, vinegar and powdered turmeric.

Paprika (fruit) is made from a variety of dried chili pepper, and lends sweetness and a beautiful red color to food. Certain varieties can be quite hot. Sprinkle a little paprika on guacamole, omelets and broiled fish or mix with other spices and rub on meat before cooking for color and flavor. Paprika combines well with most other herbs and spices. Smoked paprika is divine.

Black Pepper (seed) or ground pepper is in not related to chili pepper, which is the fruit of a bushy nightshade. Black pepper is best freshly ground and added to food just before serving, often with salt. Whole peppercorns can also added to simmering broths in a spice ball for a distinctive kick.

Turmeric (rhizome) is used medicinally to reduce inflammation, and is closely related to ginger. Turmeric is very pungent, and is best combined with other spices such as cumin and garlic, and is found in yellow curry and prepared mustard. Turmeric gives a distinctive tang to meat rubs, lentils and roasted potatoes and gives everything a golden yellow hue. Turmeric is usually sold as a powder, but it can also be bought as a fresh root, or “rhizome” which can be minced and added to food.

 

Green Smoothie

Green Smoothie

The varieties from left to right are: red Russian kale, tree collards- which are perennial and can be grown from cuttings, regular collard greens and lacinato kale. Not that raw kale, collards and members of the cabbage family are not recommended for people with thryroid issues. Try parsley instead.

 

Green Smoothie
Yield: 4 servings Time required: 10 minutes
This is my favorite pick me up if I haven’t eaten enough vegetables lately. This recipe makes a LOT of smoothie, so I will usually share it with my husband and drink the remainder the next morning. Add only 2-3 leaves of kale the first time you make it and give it a taste before deciding to add more. Note that you need a fairly powerful blender to completely blend all of the ingredients.

Ingredients
1 sweet apple- Fuji, Gala or Pink Lady apples are all good
3 or more leaves of kale
1 whole lemon, peeled and deseeded
1 large orange, peeled and deseeded
1 medium cucumber, peeled
4 ice cubes
Filtered water
Tools
Chefs knife, cutting board, blender, glass
Directions

  1. Prepare all the ingredients and put them in the blender.
  2. Fill the blender with water until the ingredients are half-submerged.
  3. Turn on the blender, starting at the lowest setting and slowly increase the speed. Let the blender go at the highest speed for several seconds or until the mixture is an even, light green color. Slowly decrease the speed and turn the blender off. Blending time will depending on the power of your machine.
  4. Pour a little bit of smoothie in a glass and taste it. If necessary, add more kale, apple or water and blend again until it is the smoothie is the bitter/sweetness/consistency you desire.

Variations

  • Substitute kale leaves with collard greens. Collard greens are slightly less bitter and much larger than kale leaves.
  • You can substitute kale for a handful of parsley or mint for a different flavor.
  • For a sweeter smoothie, add 1 banana or 4 seedless grapes.