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.
Looking for more green smoothies? Try my Blueberry Detox Smoothie, Creamy Zucchini Smoothie, or Flax Seed Smoothie for more delicious ideas.
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!
Questions and Reviews
This is the best smoothie! I love the combination of the orange and mango with the kale– I can’t even taste that it’s in there! This is going in my weekly rotation.
I’m so glad you enjoyed it! Thanks for letting me know.
Wow, I can’t believe how much I like this. The kale blends in perfectly! I don’t normally love bananas in smoothies, but this is the perfect combo.
Thanks for letting me know, Trisha. I’m glad you like it!
Just made this and it’s delicious! Your smoothie recipes are the best.
Aw, thanks! Glad you like it.
Thanks for the video— such an easy way to remove the kale stems!
I’m glad it was helpful!
Absolutely delicious! Love the tropical flavor. I can’t taste the kale but wouldn’t be all that upset if I could, I like kale. I’ve tried this with both frozen mango and fresh and prefer fresh. I also throw in some chia seeds and hemp hearts for added protein.
I’m just wondering about mixing almond milk or almond butter with fruit in smoothies…or
Fruit in a chia pudding made with almond milk. I thought nuts were in their own food combining category, so I’m confused.
Maybe I will get more kale in now. Why do you say “for the whole batch” in your statement – “Kale Smoothie Nutrition (for the whole batch): Calories: 293, Fat: 9g, Carbohyrdates: 56g, Fiber: 8g, Protein: 4g”? Whole batch indicates more than one serving and this clearly says 1 serving. And though certainly less calories than say a Hardee’s Ham/Egg biscuit, & potatoes for breakfast….almost 300 calories is still a lot.
People always ask me if nutrition is for the whole batch with a smoothie, so I just wanted to make that clear. And I don’t think 300 calories is a lot for breakfast. It would be if you were having it as a drink with your breakfast, but I use smoothies as meal replacements in the morning.
Great way to get greens incorporated into smoothies.
Also, I am definitely going to try out the stasher bags. They are exactly what I am looking for in terms of my smoothie/meal prep.
Just absolutely delicious – did not add the orange juice outlived the taste
I look forward to giving this a try! I’m curious about the frozen storage of the avocado; how does it do in the freezer? Is freezing enough or does the package need to be vacuum sealed? Thanks!
I don’t have a vacuum sealer, and I’ve found that it freezes well in my smoothie bags!
Can you please clarify if the single serving with 2 kale leaves is half a cup or 1-2 cups? Says “1/2 cup” so just want to make sure! thanks 🙂
It’s a half cup, tightly packed.
I do not have mangos. What can I substitute it with?
You can substitute the kale for spinach and the mango for pineapple
I accidentally used the whole bag of frozen kale rather than 1/2 a cup, but it was still good! Just had to add more to the recipe. 😁
I didn’t have avocado, but tossed in everything else with coconut milk. It’s great!
I tried the Kale Smoothie with OJ, carrots, avocado and mango. It was just delicious. The avocado does it give it that creamy feel to it, and I didn’t put too much of OJ as i wanted to have less sugar in the smoothie. We loved it for brekky today!
So yummy! Thanks
This is delicious! Sometimes I add a bit of fresh ginger. I also usually add a scoop of collagen powder for a protein boost. I like collagen better than whey in smoothies because it doesn’t change the taste as much.
For reference, a kcal is 1000 calories. I believe the author meant 293 calories.
This is from Nutrition.gov: The “calorie” we refer to in food is actually kilocalorie. One (1) kilocalorie is the same as one (1) Calorie (upper case C). A kilocalorie is the amount of heat required to raise the temperature of 1 kilogram of water one degree Celsius.
THE BOMB! I made this smoothie for breakfast and I love love love it. I used almond milk for my milk and I used fresh fruit instead of frozen.I added about one cup of ice and a dollop of oikos vanilla blended Greek yogurt and the smoothie was DELICIOUS!
this smoothie is delicious! My go-to green smoothie was always a cinnamon and almond tasting drink, which don’t get me wrong, I still love, but I needed a little something different. Happy to say I found it! I really enjoy the amazing tropical taste and creaminess. For all those green smoothie skeptics, I urge you to give this one a try!It’s absolutely incredible!I am definitely adding this smoothie to my morning!
Great smoothie but where 41g of sugar came from?
If the nutrition information is correct, my guess is that is natural sugar from the fruit. I never worry about fruit sugar, but you can always play around with the ratio if you’d like to reduce the fruit.
I added a bit of lemon juice and ginger and it was perfect!!
Thougt your recipie was a kale one but it only had a bit of kale with banana mango etc etc wanted a green smoothie without fruit you should of called it banana mango and kale smoothie have made my own what you published and is delicious. But green smoothies are healthier. Give them a try
I have trouble finding organic frozen mango by itself in stores, but I bought a bag of “Daybreak Blend” from Costco (mango, pineapple, peaches, and strawberries). I made this once picking out the mango only and once just using a cup of the blend–It’s definitely tastier and prettier only using mango, but the blend works well too!
Can I use apple juice instead of orange juice?
What is sprinkled on top of the smoothie at the end of the video?
Those are hemp hearts!
I have to disagree with you when you say that the stems on red Russian kale are bitter. They are not bitter they are sweet and if you cut them up small pieces and put them in when you’re making a smoothie it’s absolutely delicious so for those who read your incorrect opinion I hope you do try the red Russian stems.
The OP, Megan’s opinion that the kale stems are bitter can’t be incorrect, that’s her opinion. Nor did she advocate using Red Russian kale & therefore wasn’t offering an opinion on that type.
Where are you from, the Red Russian kale marketing board? 🙂
Haven’t tried the recipe yet but it looks great, will try it soon.
LOl.. 2 kale leaves? The whole reason to blend and juice is to get a TON of leafy greens into your diet… 2 kale leaves isn’t going to do anything for you!
This tasted pretty good! I could hardly tell the kale was there, which was nice. 😃