Favorite New Smoothie with Secret Ingredient

So I’ve been absent from writing, I know.  I spent Valentine’s recipe testing for a cookbook for the State of California’s Snap program.  This was interesting as our Leah’s Pantry team of 4 made 44 recipes in two days.  Let’s keep our fingers crossed the tasters enjoyed and will accept the recipes.  They seemed to be enjoying themselves and eating well.  Most of these recipes I’ve made quite a few times, however there was one I tried for the first time and was so surprised by how good it was, I thought I’d share.


I think the name was just banana berry smoothie, which sounds pretty ordinary.  But the surprise ingredient is the addition of kale in there.  I figured I’d be upfront here.  But it’s surprising how you don’t notice the kale.  Any way to eat more kale is good for our bodies right?  My son had teeth extracted yesterday and the dentist gave him a Jamba Juice card – apparently the cold helps with the numbness.  Today when he comes home from school I’m making this one and see how he thinks it stacks up to yesterday’s.

Banana Berry Kale Smoothie

Makes 2 servings

12 ounces per serving

Prep time: 5 minute

Cook time: 0


1 cup blueberries, fresh or frozen (if you use frozen berries, you may not need ice cubes)

4 oz. vanilla low fat yogurt

1/2 cup 100% apple juice

1 banana, cut into chunks

1 cup kale, roughly chopped

4 ice cubes

Place the apple juice, yogurt, berries, kale and banana in a blender.  Cover and process until smooth.






Can’t Compete? Just Add Chocolate Chips

My kids always request that my husband make pancakes on the weekend.  It’s great.  They have their time together making pancakes and I usually go for a run.  The funny thing is my husband makes my pancake recipe and apparently does it better than I do.  He’s even gotten into the habit of making a double batch so some can be frozen and enjoyed during the week.  Great.


Except…the kids had a day off from school and I offered to make pncakes.  They replied “O.K. but make them like Dad’s.  Use his recipe.”  What?  His recipe.  It’s actually published in my book, but now it’s his.  O.K. I’ll give it to him.  Afterall the person who actually makes them and you eat and enjoy them shoudl get the credit.  However I didn’t want to hear I didn’t make the pancakes as good as Dad, so I upped the anty.  “How about if we add blueberries and chocolate chips?” I asked.  Well yes the crowd went wild and said “yes!”  So I did it made the pancakes Dad is famous for but added a little extra.  A touch of chocolate goes a long ways.  So I added about 1/3 cup of fresh blueberries and maybe 1/4 cup of chocoalte chips (not much but very exciting).


This could be a recipe for just about anything.  No, I’m not advocating adding chocolate to every food at every meal, but once in a while is fun.  And is was dark bittersweet.  So a bit healthier than milk or white. (ah the justification)