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Are you looking for a fun and easy way to add more greens to your diet? Have you ever considered adding kale to your smoothies? Not only is kale packed with vitamins and minerals, but it also adds a refreshing and delicious taste to your daily smoothie.
Plus, who doesn’t love sipping on a colorful and healthy drink? In this blog post, we’re going to share some tips and tricks on how to use kale in smoothies, as well as some delicious recipes that will have you hooked on this green superfood. So grab your blender, let’s get started!
Health Benefits of Kale
Kale is considered to be one of the most nutrient-dense foods in the world, and adding it to your smoothies can provide numerous health benefits. Here are some of the health benefits of kale:
- High in Nutrients: Kale is packed with vitamins and minerals, including vitamin C, vitamin K, vitamin A, calcium, and potassium. It’s also a good source of antioxidants, which can protect your cells from damage caused by free radicals.
- Low in Calories: Kale is low in calories, making it a great addition to your weight loss diet. It’s also high in fiber, which can help you feel full and satisfied after drinking your kale smoothie.
- Supports Heart Health: The nutrients in kale can help lower your cholesterol levels and reduce your risk of heart disease. The fiber in kale can also help regulate your blood pressure and keep your heart healthy.
- Boosts Immunity: The high vitamin C content in kale can help boost your immune system and protect you from colds and other illnesses.
- Promotes Healthy Digestion: Kale is rich in fiber, which can promote healthy digestion and prevent constipation. It can also support the growth of healthy gut bacteria, which can improve your overall digestive health.
- Supports Bone Health: The high calcium and vitamin K content in kale can help improve bone health and reduce the risk of osteoporosis.
Incorporating kale into your daily smoothie routine is a great way to take advantage of these health benefits and ensure that you’re getting the nutrients your body needs to stay healthy.
Preparing Kale for Smoothies
Kale is a leafy green that is an excellent addition to your healthy smoothies. But before you start throwing kale leaves into your blender, it’s important to know how to prepare it properly. Here are some tips on how to prepare kale for your smoothies:
Choosing the Right Type of Kale
There are different types of kale that you can use in your smoothies. Each type has its own flavor and texture, so it’s important to choose the right one that suits your taste. Here are some common types of kale that you can use:
- Baby Kale: Baby kale is young and tender, making it easier to blend into a smoothie. It has a milder flavor compared to mature kale. I love to buy containers of baby kale to use in smoothies because it’s so mild and convenient.
- Red Kale: Red kale is a great type of kale to use in smoothies. It has a mild earthy flavor and crisp texture and it’s packed with nutrients. We often grow this in our garden.
- Dinosaur Kale: Dinosaur kale has a flatter leaf and a milder flavor than other types of kale. It’s also less tough, making it easier to blend.
- Curly Kale: This is the most common mature kale that you will find at the grocery store, and it’s a very versatile leaf that’s great in smoothies.
Of course, there are other types of kale out there, but these are four of the ones most used by our family.
Cleaning and Storing Kale
Before using kale in your smoothie, it’s important to clean it properly. Kale can be dirty and gritty, so follow these steps to clean it:
- Rinsing the Kale: Rinse the kale leaves under running water to remove any dirt or debris.
- Drying the Kale: Dry the kale leaves thoroughly using a clean kitchen towel or a salad spinner.
- Storing the Kale: Store the kale leaves in a plastic bag or container with a damp paper towel to keep them fresh for longer.
If you buy the baby kale in packages, most of the time that is pre-washed so you won’t have to deal with washing your kale. Another plus for baby kale!
Remove Tough Stems
The stems of kale can be tough and bitter, so it’s best to remove them before adding the leaves to your smoothie. To remove the stems, hold the stem with one hand and strip the leaves with the other hand. Discard the stems and use the leaves for your smoothie.
If the stems aren’t too large I will often blend them, and the stems of baby kale are always small and able to go straight into the blender. (See why I love baby kale??)
By following these steps, you can ensure that your kale is clean, fresh, and properly prepared for your healthy smoothies.
Combining Kale with Other Ingredients
One of the best things about green smoothies is that they’re so versatile, and you can mix and match different ingredients to create a delicious and healthy drink. Kale can be paired with a wide variety of ingredients, from fruits to healthy fats and protein sources. Here are some great options to combine with your kale smoothies:
Adding fruit to your kale smoothies is a great way to sweeten them up and add more vitamins and minerals to your diet. Here are some popular fruit options:
- Fresh Fruit: Berries, apples, bananas, mangoes, and pineapples are all great options for adding a fruity twist to your kale smoothie. Fresh fruit is also packed with fiber and antioxidants, making it a healthy choice.
- Frozen Fruit: Frozen fruit is a great way to add texture and creaminess to your kale smoothie. Frozen bananas are especially good for creating a creamy smoothie, while frozen berries can add a tart flavor.
Choosing the right liquid for your kale smoothie can affect the taste and texture of your drink. Here are some liquid options to consider:
- Unsweetened Almond Milk: Unsweetened almond milk is a popular choice for smoothies because it’s low in calories and high in healthy fats. It can also add a nutty flavor to your kale smoothie.
- Coconut Milk: Coconut milk is another great option for adding healthy fats to your kale smoothie. It can also add a sweet and tropical flavor.
- Fruit Juice: Adding a splash of fruit juice, such as orange juice or pomegranate juice, can add a sweet and tangy flavor to your kale smoothie.
- Coconut Water: Coconut water is a refreshing and hydrating option for your kale smoothie. It’s also low in calories and high in potassium.
- Green Tea: Adding green tea to your kale smoothie can provide an extra boost of antioxidants and a subtle caffeine kick.
Here are some additional ingredients that can take your kale smoothie to the next level:
- Peanut Butter: Adding peanut butter to your kale smoothie can provide a source of healthy fats and extra protein.
- Almond Butter: Almond butter is another great source of healthy fats and protein to add to your kale smoothie.
- Medjool Dates: Medjool dates can add natural sweetness and fiber to your kale smoothie.
- Flax Seed: Flax seed is a good source of omega-3 fatty acids and can add a nutty flavor and a boost of fiber to your kale smoothie.
- Chia Seeds: Chia seeds are a great source of protein, fiber, and healthy fats. They can also add a crunchy texture to your kale smoothie.
- Hemp Seeds: Hemp seeds are another great source of protein and healthy fats. They can add a slightly nutty flavor and a boost of nutrition to your kale smoothie.
- Fresh Lemon Juice: Adding fresh lemon juice can add a bright and tangy flavor to your kale smoothie.
- Lime Juice: Lime juice is another citrus option that can add a zesty flavor to your kale smoothie.
- Maple Syrup: Maple syrup can add natural sweetness to your kale smoothie, and it’s a healthier alternative to refined sugar.
- Fresh Ginger: Adding fresh ginger can add a spicy and refreshing flavor to your kale smoothie. It’s also a natural anti-inflammatory.
Recipes for Delicious Kale Smoothies
Here are some of our favorite smoothie recipes with kale on the blog, plus a new recipe for you to try! Any of these smoothies would make a perfect breakfast or quick snack. They all use fresh ingredients and have tons of vitamins, minerals and other great nutrients for your body.
You can also mix and match your favorite ingredients to customize a green smoothie and make the best kale smoothie for YOU!
Kale Pineapple Smoothie
I love the tropical flavors of this smoothie combined with one of my favorite leafy greens!
Raspberry Kale Smoothie
This smoothie is bursting with fruit flavor and packed with nutrients. Great for weight loss.
Apple Kale Detox Smoothie
This delicious smoothie is great for detox!
Strawberry Kale Smoothie
- Measuring Equipment
- 1 cup baby kale
- 1 cup frozen strawberries
- 1 ripe banana
- 1 tsp matcha green tea powder
- 1 Tbsp chia seeds
- 1 cup vanilla almond milk
- Add all ingredients to blender.
- Blend on high speed until smooth and creamy.
Final Thoughts on How to Use Kale in Smoothies
Incorporating kale into your daily smoothie routine is a simple and healthy way to boost your nutrient intake and improve your overall health. Kale is packed with vitamins, minerals, and antioxidants that can benefit your heart, immune system, digestion, and bone health. By choosing the right type of kale and pairing it with other healthy ingredients, you can create a delicious and refreshing drink that provides tons of vitamins and nutrients.
So, why not give kale smoothies a try? Whether you’re a beginner or an experienced smoothie maker, there are plenty of easy recipes and tips to get you started. By incorporating kale into your daily routine, you’ll be taking an important step towards healthy eating and living. So, grab your blender, experiment with different combinations, and enjoy the health benefits of this leafy vegetable.