Back in another life I taught preschool. I was due at work by 8 every morning, and it was a 40 minute drive from our old apartment. The teachers took our lunches during nap time, which meant it was close to 2 by the time I would get lunch. Sometimes I would eat some of lunches provided (which was allowed- I promise there was no stealing food from 2-year-olds), but those were uniformly government-regulated-almost-healthy (canned green beans and sausage pizza was common) and rather depressing. Pretty quickly on I realized a bad breakfast would make me hungry, grouchy, late, or all three.
I experimented with a lot of breakfasts during that time, but smoothies were a lifesaver. I could blend them up in minutes, and sometimes would make them the night before. I would double fist a thermos of black tea and a bright green smoothie in a mason jar, and arrive at work both on time and full.
There are some disadvantages to my career change, with lack of weekends being one of the chief ones. But one of the greatest things about restaurant work is that no one expects me to wake up at 7 anymore. I’m free to choose my own late rising. Which I do. And which wrecks havoc on my breakfast routine. Which is reflected in the archives of this blog, which means that after over a year of blogging I’ve posted a grand total of 3 breakfast recipes. For scale, you may wish to compare it to the 20+ salads I’ve created. So in the spirit of back-to-school, breakfast routines, and righting terrible wrongs, here’s breakfast recipe #4.
This was one of my favorite smoothies when I taught, and I used to drink it at least twice a week. The mango and orange juice together are fruity and bright, and mask the heavy earthiness of the kale. Yogurt adds a bit of heft and a creamy texture. And the color was enough to bring a smile to my face. The bright, vibrant green practically oozes an air of health and contentment. I needed that while teaching. I needed the nutrients, I needed the ritual, and I needed the psychological pick-me-up.
Now while not-teaching I need the nutrients, rituals, and pick me ups just as much, even while eating breakfast at 10. Here’s to centering rituals, vegetables for breakfast, and better mornings for all of us.
Kale and Mango Smoothie
One of the beautiful things about smoothies is that the format is so malleable. If you’d like a thick smoothie I’d reduced the orange juice to 1/2 a cup, and perhaps up the yogurt factor. You could also swap out flavors as necessary- blueberries and bananas and spinach are particularly good friends. Frozen mango helps chill the smoothie and make it frothy, and also streamline morning smoothie making. But if you are inclined to peel and chop a mango first thing in the morning, I salute you.
3 kale leaves, roughly torn and stems removed
1 cup frozen mango
1 cup orange juice
1/2 cup plain yogurt
In a blender combine the all the ingredients, making sure the kale is on the bottom. Blend on high until smooth. Drink or refrigerate immediately.