In Defense of Broccoli and the Test Kitchen Tuesday Broc Choc Shake
When it comes to broccoli, I am a fan. Often overlooked – and somewhat ridiculed by a certain ex-President – broccoli is a humble super food in my mind.
Aside from the fact that it is fun to sing “Choppin’ Broccoli,” broccoli is a really powerful asset in your kitchen.
- It’s what you’d call a “calorie neutral” food – your body spends as much or more energy digesting it than it contains in calories. You’ve never heard of someone gaining weight eating too much broccoli, now have you?
- Calorie for calorie, it has more protein than beef (though I know, I know, it’s not a “complete” protein by itself)
- It’s packed with fiber, which keeps you full and your internal systems happy
- And, it has a plethora of vitamins and minerals – including calcium and iron
Here is a nutrition snapshot for a 1 cup serving. You can check out its full breakdown here.
While I have been known to snack on it raw to combat evening snack attack cravings, I know this isn’t terribly appetizing. (I’m hard core about my veggies, what can I say?)
However, I have an easy way for you to sneak some broccoli into your (and even your kids’) diet with a very low barrier to entry in a way you won’t even notice: Blend it in a smoothie and eat it for breakfast.
Why not? Maybe even sing a little Chopping Broccoli while you’re at it!
If you make it for breakfast, as I have been doing for the last week (R&D, you know…gotta test out the end product!), this smoothie will keep you full until lunch because of its healthy fat content and substantial fiber.
Test Kitchen Tuesday Broc Choc Shake
- 1 cup light coconut milk (or milk of your choice, though you want a thicker milk – preferably not almond or skim)
- 1/4-1/2 avocado
- 1 tablespoon unsweetened cocoa powder
- 1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
- 1/2 scoop unflavored, vanilla, or chocolate protein powder of your choice (I used this one from Plant Fusion)
- 2 pitted medjool dates
- 1 cup chopped broccoli stalks (fresh or frozen, but you only want the stalks), optionally peeled
- Pinch of salt
- 6-8 ice cubes
Best Ninja Jar Choice:
- Ninja Pulse: 40 ounce jar with standard blade
- Ninja Professional Blender: 72 ounce jar with standard blade
- Ninja Kitchen System: 72 ounce jar with standard blade
- Ninja Mega Kitchen System: 72 ounce jar with standard blade
- Add all ingredients to the jar of your high-powdered blender, and pulse 3-5 times until coarsely combined
- Steady state blend on high (hold down Ninja Pulse lid) until the mixture comes together in a consistency you like and all ice is completely blended
Using Trader Joe’s Light Coconut Milk and 1/4 an avocado.
Note: The sugars are from the dates, so, you could experiment with reducing the dates until you get it sweet enough for your tastes, or substitute with liquid stevia or another less sugary sweetener. I like the dates, though, and they add a certain something that is superior to other sweetener options I have tried out.