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How to Make a Kale Smoothie That Tastes Good

One of the quickest and easiest ways to prepare and eat kale is to process it in a blender together with fruit and water, or another liquid base, and to enjoy it in the form of a nutrient-packed green smoothie. But quick and easy does not necessarily equal tasty. The mature leaves of curly kale you find in the grocery stores when this leafy green superfood is in season have a strong flavor and smell, which can easily become overpowering in a smoothie. But don't despair, it is possible to make kale smoothies that actually taste good. In this article, we provide a few general tips on how to make kale smoothies taste good, as well as an easy recipe for a delicious Kale, Spinach and Mango Smoothie.

5 Tips on How to Make Kale Smoothies Taste Good

Tip 1: Use fruit and fruit juices that help mask the flavor of kale.

When you make green smoothies using mild ingredients such as spinach, lettuce or baby beet greens, you can use almost any fruit for the fruit base, and the result will be delicious. However, that is not the case with kale. When making a green smoothie featuring kale, you will want to use strong-flavored fruit that help hide the bitter, peppery flavor of kale. Mango, which, along with banana and non-fat Greek yogurt, is one of the key ingredients in Starbuck's trendy "Evolution Fresh" kale smoothie, is a great choice, but there are also a number of other fruits that work well with kale in smoothies. Examples include pomegranate and pomegranate juice (see's recipe for an antioxidant-rich kale smoothie featuring blueberries and pomegranate juice), pineapple, orange juice (as a substitute for water) and wild blueberries.

Tip 2: Use frozen kale instead of fresh kale.

If you are planning to make kale smoothies on a regular basis, it may be a good idea to throw some rinsed kale leaves into the freezer—for a number of reasons. First, frozen kale leaves are less smelly and taste less bitter, so using frozen rather than fresh kale in smoothies will better for your palate. Second, when you use frozen kale in your green smoothies, you can reduce the amount of ice in the recipe, or even skip the ice cubes altogether. Third, you won't have to spend time chopping kale to get it into the blender: when frozen, kale leaves break easily, so all you have to do is throw some de-ribbed, rinsed kale into a clear food storage bag and, after it's frozen, crush it in the bag.

Tip 3: Use milder-tasting kale varieties.

Here's yet another great tip on how to make your kale smoothies taste better: instead of using leaves of mature curly kale, use baby kale or black Tuscan kale (aka lacinato kale or dinosaur kale) which are milder in flavor.

Tip 4: Start with a lower greens-to-fruit ratio.

To make kale smoothies that actually taste good you will also have to pay attention to the greens-to-fruit ratio. Typically, green smoothie recipes use a ratio of about 40% greens and 60% fruit, but when your are using strong-flavored greens such as kale, you may want to start with a lower ratio. You can then work your way up to more kale and less fruit over time as your taste buds get used to the "green" flavor! Or, if you want to stick to the 40/60 ratio from the get-go, use a combination of kale and milder greens, such as spinach, for the "green" part (if you need a recipe, check out our Spinach and Kale Smoothie).

Tip 5: Cut bitterness with acidity.

Sure, you can cover up the bitterness of your kale smoothies with sweet ingredients such as mango and pomegranate, but those who are trying to eat less sugary foods may want to use another trick: add some lemon or lime juice to the blend. The acidity of lemon and lime helps neutralize the bitterness of kale, plus it adds a nice refreshing touch to your drink!

Kale, Spinach and Mango Smoothie

Serves 2
Delicious Kale Smoothie


  • 1 banana, peeled, sliced and frozen
  • ¾ cup rinsed and frozen kale leaves
  • ¾ cup fresh baby spinach leaves, rinsed
  • 1 cup mango chunks
  • ½ cup orange juice
  • 1 cup filtered water


  • Let the banana slices thaw for 5 to 10 minutes.
  • Place all the ingredients in a high-powered blender, and blend until smooth.
  • Check the consistency. If necessary, add a bit of water and blend again. Serve immediately.

Book You May Like
Kale Guide
In this celebration of all things kale, New York-based health writer and certified holistic health counselor (CHHC) Stephanie Pedersen provides more than 75 recipes to tempt your palate and boost your well-being. You'll find healthy recipes for everything from stews and salads to sandwiches and smoothies, and because even healthy people need a treat every now and then, there are also recipes for exciting kale muffins and chips! To learn more, head to Amazon.