Healthy Breakfast Drink: Green Smoothie

Having a healthy breakfast is easier said than done. Let's face it: having a whole grain English muffin every morning quickly becomes a drag. Instead, try this sweet and tart breakfast smoothie. Inspired by Naked Juice's Green Machine, these Vitamix recipes, and a girlfriend of mine who makes her own variation of the drink, it has fruit and veggies, and doesn't taste nearly as strange as it may look. In fact, it tastes like apples and bananas with a citrus kick. Make a batch of four at a time, and store the leftover drink in your freezer. Thaw under refrigeration overnight for a ready-to-go breakfast that's well under 200 calories.

Serves: 2 (about 16 ounces) Prep time: About 5 minutes

Ingredients: 1 orange OR 2 clementines 1 Granny Smith apple 1 banana 1 cup kale (about 1.5 stalks) 3/4 cup water 1/2 cup ice (optional)

1. Prepare your fruit and vegetables: Peel the orange (or clementines), apple and banana. Core the apple. Roughly break up the fruits into segments (to make blending easier). Rip kale leaves off stalks. Add to blender. Add water and ice.

2. Blend on high until mixture is smooth, about 1-2 minutes.

My Notes: What if I don't add ice? I actually don't add ice to my smoothie. I start with cold fruit and kale, having stored it in the refrigerator, and I end up with a cool-to-room-temperature drink. I prefer it this way because it makes it easier to gulp down, which is important if you're on the go.

Why kale? Kale is an underrated vegetable. It's really high in vitamins K, A and C, and is a good source of fiber, calcium and potassium. Plus, it contains sulforaphane, which is known to be a strong cancer-fighting ingredient.

Why Granny Smith apples? Eaten alone, kale has a strong, bitter taste. The bright tartness of the green apples tones down the bitterness, resulting in smooth, clean flavor.