This Kale Smoothie recipe is a delicious way to incorporate more dark leafy greens into your life. It tastes like a refreshing, tropical drink that you’d enjoy on vacation!
Why You’ll Love It
It’s nourishing. Kale has plenty of potential health benefits, thanks to the vitamin C and antioxidants in contains. One cup of kale contains more vitamin C than a whole orange!
It may help to lower cholesterol. One study found that drinking kale juice daily for 12 weeks increased “good” cholesterol in participants by 27% while also lowering “bad” cholesterol by 10%.
It’s easy to drink. Kale is high in fiber, which can make it a little more difficult to chew compared to other leafy greens. In the case of this kale smoothie, the blender does the “chewing” for you, so you can benefit from all of the nutrients in contains.
It tastes amazing. This recipe is a great option for those who are hesitant to eat more kale. This smoothie has a lightly sweet, tropical flavor thanks to the mango, banana, and orange juice to help hide the bitter flavor from the dark leafy greens.
Ingredients You’ll Need
When shopping for kale, you may see two popular varieties at the grocery store: curly kale and lacinato kale (which is also sometimes called “dino” kale). You can use either variety for this smoothie recipe with delicious results.
Using frozen mango and frozen banana will give this recipe a slushy texture, similar to a milkshake, but if you prefer to use fresh fruit, that will work, too. You may not need to use as much liquid, in that case, since fresh fruit is so juicy.
Not a fan of avocado? The avocado in this recipe adds creaminess and makes the smoothie more filling, thanks to the addition of healthy fats. If you are not an avocado lover, you can replace this with a tablespoon of your favorite nut butter, like almond butter, a spoonful of Greek yogurt, or a scoop of protein powder to help make it more filling.
Looking for a lower-sugar option? Feel free to use water or milk instead of the orange juice, but keep in mind that this will affect the flavor. The kale might taste more noticeable without the extra sweetness.
How to Make the Best Kale Smoothie
1. Prepare the kale.
No matter the type of kale you use, you’ll want to start by removing the tough stem from the center of the kale leaves. These will be difficult to blend if you don’t have a high-speed blender, since they are so fibrous.
You can save the kale stems to add to a juice recipe, if you have a juicer, or add them to a stir fry recipe later!
Add the kale leaves, orange juice, frozen mango, banana, avocado, and water to your blender pitcher. Secure the lid and blend for at least 60 seconds, or until the ingredients are totally smooth and pulverized.
There should be no visible kale leaves to get stuck in your straw as you sip.
Taste the smoothie, and make any adjustments as needed. You can add a small piece of fresh ginger, if you’d like to hide the kale flavor even more, or add in a handful of ice cubes and blend again, until the smoothie reaches your desired consistency. (Just keep in mind that ice will dilute the overall flavor, too.) You can also add a squeeze of honey, if you need to boost the sweetness even more.
Enjoy the smoothie right away for the best flavor and texture. You can store any leftover smoothie in an airtight container in the fridge for up to 48 hours, but it will not taste the same once the frozen fruit has thawed. (I think the banana develops a stronger flavor when it melts.)
Pro Tip: If you have leftover smoothie that you want to save, pour it into a mini popsicle mold so you can enjoy a kale-mango ice pop later.
Frequently Asked Questions
Kale contains thiocyanates, which could potentially hinder thyroid function, but according to experts from theMayo Clinic, you’d have to eat a very large amount of raw kale for this to be an issue. (Much more than you would put into a daily smoothie or kale salad.) According to Cooking Light’s Food & Nutrition Director, “The benefit of eating these vegetables usually outweighs any potential negatives.”
Of course! If you don’t have kale on hand, you could use this recipe to finish off a bunch of collard greens or spinach, too.
You can use any fresh fruit you have on hand, but this recipe works particularly well with tropical fruit, like frozen pineapple.
This recipe is totally flexible, so you can add in a scoop of rolled oats or hemp seeds to make it more filling, or add in chia seeds or flax seeds, for extra fiber in each sip. If you need a dairy-free smoothie, you can use almond milk, oat milk, or coconut milk as the base, or use regular milk for extra protein, if you don’t need this to be dairy-free.
Tropical Kale Smoothie
- 1/2 cup water (or milk of choice)
- 1/2 cup orange juice
- 1/2 frozen banana (peeled)
- 2 kale leaves (about 1/2 cup)
- 1 cup frozen mango chunks
- 1/4 avocado
- Combine all of the ingredients in a high-speed blender and blend until completely smooth. You may need top and scrape down the sides of the blender to help everything blend evenly. (If you do not have a powerful blender, blend the liquid and kale leaves first, to help them break down before you add the frozen fruit.)
- Pour into a glass and serve right away!
If you try this Kale Smoothie recipe, please leave a comment and star rating below letting me know how you like it!