{Detox} Perfect Kale Smoothie

I strive to promote kale over brownies.

Perfect Kale Smoothie

I think it’s really cool that Kate is such a huge proponent of kale salads. I’d like to be like that. But it’s hard when slutty brownies are so sexy and I hate the taste of kale. The tiny bristles and sort of rough, rubbery texture? The bitterness that tastes like you just put overgrown weeds in your mouth?  So gross. Why has kale came into vogue? Do you people actually like the taste? Discuss.

I can only assume that the nutrition facts are driving the craze. For one 33-calorie cup of kale, you get a gram of fiber, 2 grams of protein, calcium, iron, and a TON of vitamin A and vitamin C. That’s why I used to throw a bag of those rubbery plants into my grocery cart every now and again, but now…

Look at this powerhouse of a smoothie! Take these facts with a grain of salt but also...go drink a smoothie now.

Look at this powerhouse of a smoothie! Take these facts with a grain of salt but also…go drink a smoothie now.

I used to LOVE spinach smoothies, but on my 90% raw diet* last week, I decided I needed the extra kale powerhouse nutrition and drank a kale smoothie for breakfast. Every morning. Sometimes in the evening. And I’m in love. I crave my smoothies. You should too. They are so.freaking.good. It probably helps that more often than not, I make them into something that tastes more like a milkshake than what is essentially weed juice. Yum.

I feel like I’ve come close to perfecting my ideal kale smoothie, so I thought I’d share. Here’s how I make my personally perfect kale smoothie:

Kale Smoothie

  • Start with a base of almond milk and chia seeds. Chia seeds help thicken up the smoothie (the seeds absorb water and take on a gel-like texture, which is undetectable once they’re ground up) and add a boost of fiber, protein, and calcium. Sometimes I add a little water to thin things out.
  • Add two large handfuls of kale. Wince. All that bitterness will be whirred away in a few seconds!
  • Add frozen bananas. These are totally key. I leave bananas on my counter until they’re totally covered in brown spots, then I slice them into chunks and stick them in a plastic bag in the freezer. I add about half a banana to my typical smoothie.
  • Add frozen fruit. This adds great, icy body to the smoothie and flavor to hide the kale. Strawberries have been my fruit of choice lately. I bought a sack of frozen ones at Costco and they’ve lasted me over a month. Win!

Kale Smoothie

A dollop of peanut butter adds creaminess, protein and the final mask of flavor over the kale. Yum!

Kale Smoothie

At this point, I always stop to taste and re-adjust. If I can taste the kale, I shudder and throw in more bananas/peanut butter/strawberries. Too thick? I add water or milk. Too thin? More fruit. Sometimes I add more chia for kicks. Or if I’m feeling particularly protein-deprived.

Hello, love of my life:

Kale Smoothie

I think I should say that there’s always going to be a slight taste of kale, but the peanut butter, strawberries and banana make it totally AMAZING. I would suggest starting with spinach if you’ve never made a green smoothie before. I actually freaked out a little bit when I opened my empty vegetable crisper the other day and remembered that I had used up all my kale the night before. #problems

Kale Smoothie

Shout out to Cassie of Bake Your Day–I won my amazing Blendtec blender from her giveaway and couldn’t be happier with it. It’s fearsome when it comes to blending kale and the soup function makes the silkiest broccoli soup I’ve ever tasted. The recipe booklet that comes with it is amazing as well!

*This 90% raw thing is going so well that I can see it becoming a way of life. I’ve been going strictly raw for breakfast and lunch with looser guidelines for dinner (sometimes beans are involved) and a mini muffin here and there is not completely off-limits. I think the key is that I don’t feel deprived at all. I’m just excited to see how my body functions on such a clean diet. Since some of you expressed interest, you can see an example of a day’s eats after the recipe jump! (Sorry if it’s boring. How do we feel about food log posts?)

Perfect Kale Smoothie

Prep Time: 5 minutes

Cook Time: 1 minute

Total Time: 6 minutes

Yield: 1 smoothie

Calories per serving: 288

Fat per serving: 11.6g

Ingredients

  • 1/2 cup almond milk
  • 1/4 cup water
  • 1/2-1 tablespoon chia seeds (optional, but highly recommended!)
  • 2 cups kale (or spinach)
  • 1/2-2/3 frozen banana
  • 4-5 large frozen strawberries or other frozen fruit
  • ½ tablespoon peanut butter or other nut butter

Instructions

Add all ingredients to a blender in the order listed. Blend until smooth.

http://www.thepancakeprincess.com/2013/04/01/perfect-kale-smoothie/

90% Raw Food Log

Breakfast: kale smoothie (recipe above). I like to blend these right before I leave for work and transport them in a large smoothie cup I stole from Erik. I sip on it while I check my email and it makes my mornings infinitely more fun.

breakfast

Lunch: lettuce wraps with carrots, tomatoes, cucumbers and pea pesto, inspired by Edible Perspective. Raw is all about embracing the food processor! I ate about 10 of these, no joke, a.k.a almost the entire batch of pesto. I also had half an apple and some cashews on the side.

lunch

Snack: an orange. Lately, my ritual has been to eat an orange on my way home from work every day. By the end of the day, I’m usually starving and the juicy sweetness just hits the spot. It helps keep the edge off my hunger so I don’t eat everything in sight when I get home.

Dinner:
 zucchini noodles with almond pesto. This was actually adapted from a recipe in the Smitten Kitchen cookbook–who knew you could find raw inspiration there? Also, raw carrots by the pound. I added cauliflower and cucumber to the plate this particular night and rounded out my meal with a big dollop of hummus (which is not raw, since the beans are cooked).

dinner

dinner2

Dessert was a mini cappuchino muffin that I didn’t photograph because it’s not very exciting looking.   And I wasn’t proud that I broke my raw streak for a muffin instead of say, steamed broccoli. But whatever–at least I didn’t feel deprived!

Basically, eating raw for me means a lot of crunchy raw vegetables, fresh fruit and nuts. The vegetables are the largest departure from my normal diet (I usually like to cook the heck out of them) but I think this is starting a good pattern.

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38 thoughts on “{Detox} Perfect Kale Smoothie

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  4. Nicole

    I have been wanting to try kale in my smoothies, but I hate the bitterness. I just read today that freezing the kale helps eliminate that taste! Wash, dry, and freeze for about 10hrs….guess what’s in my freezer right now? 😉 Hope
    it works!

    Reply
  5. green smoothie recipes

    This is a really nice way to get a lift after a walk or exercise, my partner whipped up a couple after our sunday ride and we both enjoyed them plus this smoothie is healthy, what more can you ask :)

    Reply
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  7. Hannah

    Clean and green- Can’t go wrong with a smoothie so sweet and creamy as this. I’m still not crazy about all-kale blends, but am a big fan of the kale/spinach combo.

    Reply
    1. erika Post author

      Yeah, it took awhile for the kale to grow on me. I would drink use all spinach purely for taste, but kale is just so darn healthy. Darn that kale. I’m going to start doing combos–so smart!

      Reply
  8. Lianna

    zucchini noodles with almond pesto?! that sounds like a meal I would order from a top notch raw food restaurant. my mind is blown that you have been doing so well with your raw food diet, 90% is pretty amazing! I’ve only tried making green smoothies a few times, but you’ve definitely inspired me to make healthier, vitamin and nutrient-packed smoothies! this would taste so great after a long run or any workout really. not that I really need an excuse for a smoothie :)

    Reply
    1. erika Post author

      Lol it wasn’t SO fance. Straight out of Smitten Kitchen’s cookbook! (Although I’d definitely order her food in a restaurant). Who would have guessed she has raw-friendly recipes? (At least one.) Lol my raw diet is definitely over, but it was good while it lasted…and yes, yay for nutrient-packed smoothies! You definitely need some after your crazy runs!

      Reply
      1. erika Post author

        Ps. You should definitely add chocolate protein powder or something to yours. It will make it look super murky but I hear protein powder/chocolate milk is awesome for recovery after workouts right?!

        Reply
  9. Kym

    Hmmmm, i’ve just started to accept kale as part of my diet by having it baked to a crisp and enjoying it like chips but…. in a smoothie?? i’m hesitant. Veggies in smoothies just doesn’t make sense to me yet. BUT you make it sound so delicious and I did just invest in a super awesome food processor juicer thing… so maybe, maybe. 😉

    Reply
    1. erika Post author

      Omgosh. Please try it!! As long as you add enough banana/frozen fruit/nut butter, it totally tastes like a normal smoothie. Almost like a milkshake. But then I haven’t had a milkshake in a really long time, so I might not be the best judge. Esp with your fancy juicer!!! Try it and let me know!

      Reply
    1. erika Post author

      That sounds great! I’m still not at the point where I’m inviting ginger into my smoothie parties, but sounds like a great power combo!

      Reply
  10. Nancy @ gottagetbaked

    Erika, I really wish I had your will power. Reading your posts is really inspiring me to get my butt moving into the gym and towards a healthier diet. I don’t eat as badly as I used to but I still eat way too much processed foods, carbs and sugar. Smoothies freak me out because of the blended vegetables. I’ll let you know when I get over that fear and try one. As for the kale, I actually really like eating it. My husband HATES it, even though I tell him he should eat it because it’s so good for him. Have you made kale chips? I haven’t but according to the thousand bloggers out there who have, they’re supposed to be amazing.

    Reply
    1. erika Post author

      Oh Nancy, you flatter me so :) But really, sometimes I wonder if all my detoxing is for nothing…I doubt I’m going to live longer than you and might as well enjoy life in all its processed carbs right? At least sometimes! (You should have seen my diet this past week–what I didn’t say in my blog post is how many MEXICAN PASTRIES I’VE EATEN!! I’ve literally been to 8 bakeries in the past 4 days. EIGHT. And you don’t just get one pastry at a Mexican bakery. This is my (delicious) penance.)

      But yay for you! I keep hoping one day my taste buds will change and I’ll love eating kale. I haven’t made kale chips, but my friend’s mom made them and they are SO GOOD. How do you like eating kale??

      Reply
      1. Nancy @ gottagetbaked

        I’ve been pretty boring with my kale-eating – I usually saute it with a crapload of garlic, or use it in soups. As for the enjoying oneself – I do a bit too much indulging. I’m sure I’m shortening my life span with every cake, cookie and doughnut I eat. I just freaking ate a handful of chocolate covered nuts right before writing this comment!

        Reply
  11. IRENASdots

    As a kid I couldn’t eat kale as well, but today I love it! Combination of veggies and fruit is great way to sneak some veggies to our diet. Smoothies are best thing for breakfast (or instead of it). Thanks for sharing the recipe, I’ll give it a try, looks lovely <3 <3

    Reply
    1. erika Post author

      Ahh I WISH I loved raw kale!! I agree, smoothies are so great for breakfast and it’s so awesome when you can pack a serving of vegetables in! Let me know how you like it :)

      Reply
  12. IRENASdots

    As a kid I couldn’t eat kace as well, but today I love it! Combination of veggies and fruit is great way to sneak some veggies to our diet. Smoothies are best thing for breakfast (or instead of it). Thanks for sharing the recipe, I’ll give it a try, looks lovely <3 <3

    Reply
    1. erika Post author

      Thanks Kristi! Smoothies with nut butters are so good! Makes them so milkshake-y–I could drink them all day. With a side of your banana cream pie, hopefully!! :)

      Reply
    1. erika Post author

      That’s what I thought too! It took a little getting used to, but now I LOVE my kale smoothies. I feel like spinach ones are missing something! You should try ittttt :)

      Reply
  13. Bam's Kitchen

    I have to admit I was pretty scared when I seen the glowing green concoction in a glass. If this was straight up kale, it would taste as bad as drinking chinese medicine. However very happy to hear that you hid the taste with berries, fruits and peanut butter, now that I could do. Happy detoxing!

    Reply
    1. erika Post author

      Haha Bam…no, I would never juice straight up kale. Ugh even thinking about that is gross! But yes, you should try this!

      Reply
    1. erika Post author

      Thanks Alex! Yeah, lately it’s been more easy for me to choose these smoothies over dessert which I never thought would happen! They just taste so much like a milkshake :)

      Reply
  14. Brandi

    I eat like this all the time! I have my detox smoothie every morning and it is by far the most popular recipe with hits daily. I’m addicted to my smoothies. I add spinach to mine too sometimes. I love kale but eat it in soups and bake it too. Your kale one looks yummy, minus the bananas, haha! I use nut butters to make them thick or just tons of fruit. I have a spinach pea pesto that you’d probably love. My friends make it all the time. :)
    http://thehealthyflavor.com/2012/07/13/spinach-pea-pesto-2/

    Reply

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