By Barb Arland-Fye
Father Bill Kneemiller discovered health benefits in eating kale, a leafy green vegetable high in protein and other nutrients. But convincing others was a harder sell until the diocesan priest read about and prepared “Green Smoothies,” a spin on (so to speak) blended fruit smoothies.
“Fruit smoothies are very popular. Some moms have found that they can sneak greens into the fruit smoothies they make for their kids. The kids don’t even realize something’s been added, something that’s really good for them,” said Fr. Kneemiller, pastor of parishes in Grand Mound, Lost Nation, Toronto and Oxford Junction. He noted that some school cafeterias have been adding spinach to their lettuce and calling it salad so the students are getting an extra dose of healthy greens.
Promoting healthy living has become a component of Fr. Kneemiller’s ministry to parishioners, soldiers and others he has been called to serve. During a recent visit to diocesan headquarters for a meeting, he brought along his Vita Mix blender, fruits and kale. Before the meeting, he whipped up a batch of Green Smoothies for several diocesan staffers and Catholic Messenger employees. Everyone gave a thumb’s up to the Green Smoothies and, as a result, The Catholic Messenger is sharing the recipe with readers who may want to give the nutrition beverage a try.
Fr. Kneemiller also recommends reading “Green for Life,” written by Victoria Boutenco, which shares information about Green Smoothies. And watch “Knives over Forks,” a Netflix DVD about the fast food culture and its consequences. Anyone in ministry can get caught up in this culture, Fr. Kneemiller said.
The recipe is simple with many variations. The key is to include 1-2 cups of fresh greens.
In a Vita-Mix or good blender, add:
1 cup water
1 cup kale or spinach or another green
1-2 teaspoons whole flax seed (Fr. Kneemiller likes golden flax seeds)
1 apple, cored, with skin on, no seeds
1 orange or lemon, peeled
1/5 cup blueberries or any fresh or frozen fruit
1 cup ice
Blend; add walnuts or any kind of nuts if you want some more protein. Add 1/2 dozen walnuts on low blend for a few seconds to make it into a “crunchy.”