Kale— love it, or hate it, everyone agrees that kale is a nutrient-rich superfood. And, we believe everyone will also love this kale smoothie recipe.
While we are fortunate that our daughter loves kale chips (a recipe for another day), she is not a fan of eating raw kale. And, she is not alone. Fortunately, there is more than one way to consume this magical green wonder.
If you want to get your daily dose of kale in a simple, delicious way, blend your morning smoothies with kale before running off to work or class, then you’re in luck! Below are our favorite kale smoothie recipes.
Pro Tips for Blending
Chop and Freeze
If you’re using fruit, like pineapple, in your smoothies, then you will want to break them into bite-sized chunks, instead of placing the whole fruit, before placing them in the container if your blender’s motor has less than 1000 watts of power. If the motor has more than 1,000 watts, then you can place larger chunks in, and if it has more than 1,200 watts then you can place the whole fruit in (minus the obvious parts).
Another tip is to do your chopping the night before and place your fruit in the freezer. Again, the more powerful the machine, the less chopping you have to do, but frozen fruit is harder to blend than fresh (naturally). As a bonus, using frozen pieces of banana in your smoothie makes for an extra-cold, extra-thick drink.
How Do You Blend Kale into the Smoothie Recipe?
First blend the liquid base—usually, milk or a milk alternative—with the kale before adding the other ingredients. The kale is the toughest ingredient, so give it a little extra attention to get the smoothest beverage.
Also, if you’re still having trouble getting a smooth kale blend, try removing the kale stems and discarding them. Kale stems are hard and don’t add much nutrition. I’ve been told that some people steam or cook the kale before blending it (we never do this) and still get about the same nutrients.
Common Questions about Nutrition, Flavor, and Protein
Kale for Health
Are Kale Smoothies Good for You?
Kale smoothies are a great way to get kale into your diet. To begin with, kale is loaded with antioxidants, fiber, and calcium. Antioxidants have been shown to prevent free radical damage, which is linked to cancer and causes inflammation. And, fiber helps fight heart disease and diabetes.
Additionally, kale has high concentrations of vitamin C and beta carotene. If you add in all of the necessary minerals that you get from kale, you’ll wonder why you haven’t included it in your diet earlier.
Is It Okay to Use Raw Kale?
Some people dislike the tough texture of raw kale, but if you don’t mind this, go ahead and eat it—or drink it in protein smoothies—raw!
If you are going to cook kale, then be aware that how you cook can change its nutritional value. Through testing performed on similar vegetables, steaming tends to retain more nutrients than other cooking methods.
Fruit Options for Taste
What Fruit Goes Well in a Green Smoothie With Kale?
There are tons of healthy, tropical fruits that complement and enhance your kale smoothie recipe.
A sharp, acidic fruit like pineapple—or even grapefruit or lime—can overwhelm the bitterness of kale. A green smoothie with pineapple is usually the best option because of its sweetness, but citrus fruits are yummy, too.
Mango, papaya, and kiwi are also tasty tropical fruits to add to your kale smoothie recipe. Unfortunately, it might be hard to find them fresh, or in season.
Pretty much any protein smoothies can be made with banana for some quick, healthy sweetness. As a bonus, banana adds that extra potassium, which really helps muscle recovery after a workout.
Protein-Adding Ingredients for Power
You’ll want some high-protein additions to help your muscle development, especially if you’re drinking protein smoothies to complement your exercise routine.
There’s no need to buy that expensive protein powder, though. Add some yogurt or almond butter (or, peanut butter) for tasty, more natural contributions to your green protein smoothie.
Tropical Kale Smoothie
- 2 cups Kale chopped.
- 1/2 cup Fruit – banana, pineapple, mango, etc chopped (fresh or frozen)
- ¾ cup milk or your favorite milk substitute—almond milk
- ¼ cup non-fat Greek yogurt or dairy-free yogurt alternatives
- 2 tablespoons almond butter or, peanut butter, but it's less healthy
- 3 teaspoons honey or agave nectar or, according to your personal taste
- ½ to 1 cup crushed ice to the consistency and thickness you prefer
- Blending 2 cups of kale and the milk—or alternative, such as almond milk—together first will integrate the kale into your smoothie most effectively. Since the texture of kale is what many folks object to the most, eliminate those tough leaves by cutting them into small pieces and blending them first.
- After you make the base, add the frozen banana or fruit chunks. For a tropical flavor, we highly recommend pineapple or mango—if you can find it fresh. The acidic tang of pineapple will overwhelm the bitterness of the kale. If you don’t like the tang, mango is an excellent sweet alternative with similar tropical overtones. Bananas make a good protein smoothie and pair well with almost any fruit.
- Add the proteins or additional dairy—such as yogurt—next, to make the texture smooth.
- Blend together until it meets your desired texture. 20 seconds or so should work well.
- Finally, give it a taste test to determine if it’s sweet enough for your palate, or thick enough for your enjoyment. A few teaspoons of honey—or agave nectar for a vegan sweetener—will add a few calories but make it sweeter. More banana can also sweeten the kale smoothie. A scoop of crushed ice will make the protein smoothie more solid, if that’s the texture you prefer.
- If there’s anything else that you haven’t blended in, blend it in now.
- Serve and enjoy!
Recommended Tools for Making Kale Smoothie Recipes
If a breakfast smoothie is part of your morning routine, then a personal-sized blender really helps. They’re convenient for single serving size and because you blend and drink out of the same cup, they are easy to clean.
The Ninja Fit is one of my all-time favorite personal smoothie blenders. With 700 watts of power, it’ll easily tear through those kale and give you a smooth, consistent beverage.
If you don’t anticipate needing that much strength, the Herrchef Personal Blender is a great alternative.
Both of these products blend straight in the cup, so you can screw on your sippable lid and take your smoothie right out the door.
A Delicious Conclusion
Delicious kale smoothie recipe + blender = amazingly nutritious superfood for your morning diet. We hope that you enjoy this combination as much as we have. Please leave a comment letting us know your experience with this kale smoothie recipe below.
And, don’t forget to share this recipe with those you love. It’s tasty and healthy for all!