When I left LA there were certain things I was worried about missing – friends, the weather, palm trees, mountains, the ocean, Sundays wandering the sun-drenched streets of Old Town, and such a wealth of vegan restaurants that I barely scratched the surface in my 13 years there… (Someone hold me. Please.) Nestled in that grouping of loved people, places, and things was the delectably green and enticing sweet kale shake from SunCafé in Studio City.
Whenever I’d visit their restaurant, I’d overhear people ask with some derision about the shake… “A kale shake?” The next sounds I heard from them would occur twenty minutes later when they were eagerly slurping up the final creamy droplets at the bottom of the glass. Sometimes I’d drive to Studio City for the sole reason of attaining one – so filling, a dessert emblazoned with the goodness of kale. In fact, one time a friend came into town who is an even bigger kale geek than I am. She split a kale shake with me at brunch and then persuaded me to go back again in the late afternoon, so that she could have one of her own.
Now that Studio City is hours away even by plane, I’ve been eager to recreate the shake for myself. Unfortunately, with no Vitamix or other high-speed blender to attain the silky smooth quality that is vital, it seemed an impossible dream.
Then recently, it hit me that the same coffee grinder that I use to grind flax seed for smoothies could also be used to turn raw cashews into a light flour or meal that would melt in a green shake. So after some trial and error, I bring you this little bit of LA sunshine in a frosty cup. It’s So Cal with a straw. I don’t have a sweet kale shake here for a side-by-side comparison, of course (but if you want to mail one to me could you also include some wots from Rahel?). However, I think it’s a hit, a palpable hit.
This full-bodied shake is a wonderful treat in the work refrigerator when hunger hits around 11:00. It would also be fun for a Wizard of Oz themed party. It could be called the Wicked Witch of the West – post bucket. What a world. What a world. Whatever you call it, you’ll have to say it in the moments before the shake lands in front of your hot little hands. After that, your mouth will be gloriously full.