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Want to sneak more greens into your diet? Here’s how to make a refreshing kale smoothie! We’ll show how to balance the flavor of kale with fruits and add-ins for a creamy and satisfying green drink you’ll actually crave.

Kale Smoothie in a glass with straw and kale leaf garnish.
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Here’s a smoothie so good, you’ll want to make it every day. Meet our favorite kale smoothie! Yes, we know. “Kale smoothie” sounds like it would be intensely bitter. This one is anything but!

This kale smoothie is full of fruity flavor from green apple, pineapple and banana. It tastes heavenly, yet at the same time you’re getting a big dose of nutrients from leafy greens. True story: this is one of the only ways we get our son to eat kale—and he begs us for more kale smoothie. Here’s how to make it!

Why we love this kale smoothie recipe

This kale smoothie is lusciously creamy, a satisfying drink you’ll actually crave. This is saying something, because we’ve made lots of kale smoothies that are too bitter, too thick, or too icy. This one has all the right ingredients to make an irresistibly tasty green puree. Here’s why to make it:

  • It’s has a pure, sweet tart flavor and a silky smooth, frosty texture. It’s irresistibly tasty and just the right thickness for sipping!
  • It’s full of healthy ingredients. There are no added sugary juices to make it taste good.
  • It’s plant-based. There’s no need to use milk or yogurt here, it’s all fruit and leafy greens.
Kale Smoothie recipe in a glass with straw and kale leaf garnish.

Ingredients for this kale smoothie

This short ingredient list of a kale smoothie is all you need to make this beautiful, bright green puree! Here’s what you need:

  • Kale: Use either baby kale or Tuscan kale. We prefer baby kale since the flavor is sweeter and milder, but you can use Tuscan kale roughly chopped and loosely packed. Curly kale has a spicier flavor, so we’d recommend starting with less than the specified amount in the recipe.
  • Green apple: Apple is the key to a great kale smoothie; it brings in a bright, sweet tart flavor.
  • Banana: Banana features in many of our smoothie recipes to make a creamy texture and add natural sweetness.
  • Frozen pineapple or mango: Frozen pineapple seals the deal with its icy texture and beautiful fruity flavor.
  • Lemon juice, water and ice: Lemon juice accentuates the fruity flavors, and ice helps add texture and body. A little water is all you need to get it to blend.
Tuscan kale leaves.

Types of kale

There are several types of kale that you can use in this smoothie. Here’s a breakdown of each type:

  • Baby kale: Baby kale works well in a smoothie because it has a sweeter, mild flavor. It’s a young version of kale, harvested before it matures. You can find it sold in boxes at the grocery or bags at your local farmers market.
  • Tuscan kale: Tuscan kale is the next best option: it’s got a mild flavor and flat, dark green leaves. It’s also labeled as dinosaur kale or Lacinato kale.
  • Curly kale: Curly kale works, but it has a spicy flavor that’s more bitter than the other two. If you use this variety, you may want to start with less and add it to taste.

The trick to blending

Here’s a trick to blending this kale smoothie. First, blend the softer room temperature fruits and liquid. In this case, it’s the banana, apple, kale and water. Then add in the frozen ingredients: the frozen pineapple and ice. This helps it to blend easier: so you won’t need to endlessly stop, scrape, and start again!

Two kale smoothies.

Add-ins & variations

This kale smoothie is delicious as is, but you can always mix it up with tasty additions! Here are a few options:

  • Ginger: Add ½ teaspoon grated ginger to the mix for a spicy finish.
  • Mint or basil. Add a few fresh mint or basil leaves for an herbaceous spin.
  • Chia seeds. Chia seeds add fiber and some protein; add 1 to 2 tablespoons to your taste.
  • Coconut. A handful of shredded coconut adds a tropical flair.

Smoothie storage

Smoothies are best eaten immediately. But this kale smoothie actually lasts 1 to 2 days refrigerated, stored in a sealed container or a mason jar with the lid on. It may separate, which is perfectly natural. Just shake it up and you’re good to go!

A few favorite smoothies

We’ve got lots more where this came from! Here more smoothie recipes to try:

Dietary notes

This kale smoothie recipe is vegetarian, vegan, plant-based, dairy-free, and gluten-free.

Frequently asked questions

Won’t my kale smoothie taste bitter?

Not necessarily! This post offers tips on choosing the right kale variety (baby kale is less bitter) and using masking ingredients like bananas, mangoes, or pineapples to balance the flavor.

What kind of milk is best for a kale smoothie?

This kale smoothie recipe uses water, but you can also use milk. Any milk you enjoy works! Popular choices include dairy milk, almond milk, oat milk, or coconut milk. Consider dietary restrictions and the desired texture when choosing your milk.

Do I need a fancy blender for a kale smoothie?

A high-powered blender is ideal for achieving a smooth and creamy consistency. However, many regular blenders can handle kale smoothies with the addition of some extra liquid.

Can I make kale smoothies ahead of time?

Yes, but be aware that the color may darken slightly, and the texture might thicken a bit and separate over time. This smoothie is best eaten within 1 day, but it does store up to 2 days.

How can I make my kale smoothie more filling?

Adding protein powder, nut butters, chia seeds, or even rolled oats can make your smoothie more filling and keep you satisfied for longer.

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Kale smoothie

The Best Kale Smoothie


5 Stars 4 Stars 3 Stars 2 Stars 1 Star

4 from 1 review

  • Author: Sonja Overhiser
  • Prep Time: 5 minutes
  • Cook Time: 0 minutes
  • Total Time: 5 minutes
  • Yield: 2 smoothies 1x

Description

Want to sneak more greens into your diet? Here’s how to make a refreshing kale smoothie, a creamy and satisfying green drink you’ll actually crave.


Ingredients

Scale
  • 1 large green apple
  • 1 banana
  • 2 cups baby kale leaves, loosely packed (or Tuscan or curly kale*, roughly chopped)
  • ½ cup water (or milk of choice)
  • 10 ice cubes
  • 2 cups frozen pineapple or mango
  • 1 tablespoon fresh squeezed lemon juice

Instructions

  1. Chop the apple, leaving the skin on. Break the banana into pieces and place them both in the blender. Add the water and baby kale leaves. Blend until smooth.
  2. Add the ice, frozen pineapple or mango, and lemon juice. Blend again until smooth.

Notes

*Our preference for the type of kale to use in a smoothie is baby kale. Tuscan kale is a second choice. Curly kale can work, but it has a spicy flavor and is more bitter than the other two. If you use this variety, you may want to start with less and add it to taste. 

  • Category: Drink
  • Method: Blended
  • Cuisine: American
  • Diet: Vegan

About the authors

Sonja & Alex

Hi, we’re Alex and Sonja Overhiser, married cookbook authors, food bloggers, and recipe developers. We founded A Couple Cooks to share fresh, seasonal recipes and the joy of cooking! Our recipes are made by two real people and work every time.

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5 Comments

  1. Betty Vanbrunt says:

    Recipes sounds great. Thank you. Want to try them.

  2. Cathy Ann Renaud says:

    Hi, do you have vegan recipes for someone on chemotherapy please

  3. Jaryn Frechette says:

    I love this recipe but the water is seriously off. I have to add about 2 cups, and i even have a vitamix!






    1. Alex Overhiser says:

      We haven’t had that issue. Sorry!