If you aren’t familiar with kale, it is a vegetable from the Brassica oleracea species, which also contains cauliflower, broccoli and brussels sprouts. It is deemed to be the closest vegetable to wild cabbage. Different varieties yield different leaf colors ranging from light green to violet brown.
Why is Kale so Good For You?
Many people consider kale to be a modern superfood, as it has a huge range of nutritional benefits that go above and beyond the usual vitamins and minerals. Here are just a few of the perks of a kale-rich diet.
- Kale is a top source of folic acid, a B vitamin. B vitamins play a vital role in blood health and supporting our immune systems. Kale is especially good for pregnant women, since folic acid is needed to support the mother’s tissues during pregnancy.
- One 80g portion of cooked curly kale contains 120mg of calcium! This is additionally helpful for people on dairy-free diets.
- Kale is rich in antioxidants, including beta-carotene and vitamin C. Oxidative damage is believed to be a major contributor to some major diseases, including high blood pressure and cancer, and the antioxidants in kale could help fight against these risks.
- Kale is great for eye health! It contains lutein and zeaxanthin, nutrients which have been linked to dramatically reduced risks of macular degeneration and cataracts.
- Kale is virtually fat-free and has a very low calorie content, making it an ideal choice for those who are on a weight loss journey.
Top 10 Kale Smoothies You Should Try
Vegetable smoothies can sometimes be tricky to get right, particularly ones that include kale, since it can have a slightly bitter and peppery flavour if not properly combined. With this in mind, we have compiled a list of our top 10 kale smoothie recipes, which will not only pack a nutritional punch but will taste delicious too!
- The Tropical Kale Smoothie
The vibrant tropical fruits help mask the bitterness of the kale and provide a big dose of vitamins, including vitamin C. Serves one.
- ½ cup of mango
- ½ cup of pineapple
- ½ cup of coconut water
- 1 cup of kale
- 2 tsp of hemp seeds
- 2 tsp of lime juice
- ¼ cup of ice
Place all the ingredients in a blender and purée until smooth. Serve immediately.
- 5 Ingredient Detox Smoothie
Vegan-friendly and full of fiber, antioxidants and bacteria-busting nutrients. Serves two.
- 1 cup of frozen berries
- 1 cup of organic kale
- 1 cup of fruit juice (your choice, this recipe suggests pomegranate and orange)
- ½ cup of bananas, peeled and sliced
- 1 tbsp of flax seed
- Optional: 2 tbsp of tofu
Add all the ingredients to your blender and blend until smooth. If the mixture is still too thick, add extra fruit juice or water. For more sweetness, add extra banana. Serve immediately.
- Mocha Kale Smoothie
If you struggle to function without your morning cup of coffee, this recipe takes care of your coffee and kale needs in one glass. Serves one.
- 2 bananas
- ½ cup of iced coffee
- 5 heaping tablespoons of cacao powder
- 1 and ½ tbsp sweet cacao nibs
- ½ cup of greek yogurt
- ½ cup of peanut butter
- 4 large kale leaves
- 2 cups of frozen pineapple chunks
Add all the ingredients to the blender and purée until smooth. For an extra caffeine kick, add an extra teaspoon of coffee powder.
Recipe adapted via: http://www.kalesmoothierecipes.com/mocha-kale-smoothie/
- Chocolate Milkshake Kale Smoothie
This one is ideal to get the kids on the road to kale smoothies. Full of flavor and nutrients! Serves one.
- 1 cup of ice water
- 1 cup of cashews
- 5 dates
- 1 banana
- 2 large kale leaves
- ¼ cup of cacao powder
Add all the ingredients to your blender and blend until smooth. For extra sweetness you can add slightly more banana.
- Avo-banana Kale Smoothie
Avocado is also renowned for its nutritional value and works very well in this tasty smoothie recipe. Serves two.
- 2 cups of fresh kale
- 2 cups of water
- 3 bananas
- ¼ cup of chopped and peeled avocado
- ¼ cup of frozen fruit of your choice
- 1 tsp of honey (optional)
Blend all the ingredients together until smooth. For additional sweetness, add a teaspoon of honey.
- Belly Blasting Smoothie
This smoothie has all the ingredients you need for optimal gut health and will slim and tone your tummy. Serves one.
- 1 cup of plain or vanilla greek yogurt
- 1 cup of blueberries
- 1 tbsp of chia seeds
- 2 kale leaves
- 1 tbsp of honey (optional)
Throw all the items in a blender and purée until smooth. Add the honey if additional sweetness is required. You can also add vanilla pods as an alternative to the honey.
- Super-Power Morning Smoothie
This recipe makes a nutrient-packed smoothie to kickstart your day. Serves one.
- 1 large handful of roughly chopped kale
- 1 peeled frozen banana, chopped
- 1 cup of unsweetened coconut water
- 2 tbsp of almond butter
- 1 tbsp of flax oil
- A few pinches of ground cinnamon
Combine all ingredients in a blend and purée until completely smooth and uniform in colour. You can add in extra banana if you want your smoothie to be sweeter.
- Apple, Kale, and Banana Green Smoothie
This refreshing apple smoothie recipe uses only one granny smith, which is lower in sugar than other apple varieties. Serves one.
- 1 granny smith apple, chopped
- 1 frozen banana, chopped
- 2 large kale leaves, ribs and stems removed
- ½ cup of orange juice
Add all ingredients to a blender and mix until smooth. Add more orange juice or ice if the mix is too thick.
Recipe adapted via: http://belleofthekitchen.com/2014/01/03/kale-apple-banana-smoothie/
- Peanut Butter and Kale Smoothie
Peanut butter in a smoothie is both delicious and nutritious! Serves one.
- 1 banana
- 1 cup of nut milk
- 1 cup of shredded kale
- 2 tbsp of peanut butter
- ¼ tsp of ground cinnamon
- ½ cup of ice
Put all ingredients into your blender and purée until smooth. Serve immediately.
- Kale and Edamame Pina Colada Smoothie
A healthy and filling alternative to an alcoholic piña colada, this is a fun smoothie to incorporate into your diet. Makes two small or one large smoothie.
- ½ cup of frozen pineapple chunks
- 1/3 cup of frozen edamame beans, shelled
- 2/3 cup of coconut milk
- 1/3 cup of pineapple juice
- 1 cup of shredded kale
- ½ banana
- Pomegranate seeds for garnish
Blend all the ingredients together until smooth. Add ice or coconut milk to adjust the consistency. Serve immediately.
The Bottom Line
These recipes demonstrate just a handful of ways in which you can incorporate kale into your smoothies without compromising on nutritional benefit or flavor. Give it a try, you might be surprised!