This tropical kale smoothie is a bright and flavorful way to get your greens. A green smoothie recipe never looked so good!
The place: Crown Heights, Brooklyn. The year: 2012. Clint Eastwood talks to a chair, Obama gets re-elected, and Gangnam style is the thing we never realized we were missing. I am living in a rundown apartment with two amazing roommates, doing more yoga than I ever thought possible, and living that free and easy life that only someone with very few responsibilities and a mostly stable job can.
Adding to that carefree vibe is the smoothie bar that opened just up the street. Now you think if you’ve seen one smoothie/juice bar you’ve seen em all. But this one is a little different. No ginger shots, no protein boosts, and no lululemon clad power moms rushing in and out for their post barre powwow. In fact there is no rushing whatsoever. The vibe is decidedly more laid back, super chill, nearly lazy. A couple of cheerful dudes with dreads mix up fruity concoctions behind the bar while I wait – sort of impatiently to be honest. They spend a few minutes chatting, then one of them disappears mysteriously into the back for several minutes, returns, changes the channel on the TV, scrolls through his phone for a second, and then finally pours my bright green, kale smoothie into a to-go cup.
The first or second time this happens, I am antsy. Smoothies are fast, made for people on the go, right? But after a few visits it starts to sink in that perhaps smoothies could just be a delicious beverage, for enjoying on a leisurely stroll through Prospect Park, and that maybe I should take a breath and slow down for a hot minute.
Fast forward seven years and the older, more stressed out, much busier version of me has a lot of trouble finding that chill vibe again. Life has become more productive and less ponderous. I drink a lot of smoothies because they are fast and nutritious. But not so much as a treat to sip on while I wander the city streets and take in the scenery. Maybe those dreaded dudes really had something there. Chill out, slow down, take in what’s going on around you – enjoy life. And have a tasty beverage while you do. I know it’s not a plan for everyday, but maybe for once in a while.
Tropical Kale Smoothie
This smoothie is simple, green, and bursting with tropical fruit flavor. It’s like a vacay in a glass, so if you’ve got some time, take it with this one. But if life is running more at lightning speed for you, no worries – this is still super fast to throw together so you get out the door, and head onto your busy day.
It also has less sugar that the ones I used to enjoy while running around Brooklyn looking for the next line to stand in for something artisanal or small batch. And there is a small addition of protein powder (whatever brand you prefer) to make this appropriate for a light meal or a post workout snack.
Any tips to making the best kale smoothie?
For this particularly bright green beauty, It’s pretty necessary to have a high powered blender. I find that the large jar of my Ninja doesn’t sufficiently break down the fibrous kale stems enough to be palatable, but the smaller attachment works like a charm. If you are #blessed enough to have a Vitamix, I think you’ll be golden. If you don’t have a mighty monster of a blender then you just need to go through the extra effort of de-stemming your kale thoroughly. Don’t wanna go through all that? Just sub in some baby spinach for the kale – it will actually give you a greener smoothie!
You’ll notice that this smoothie is devoid of a very common ingredient – banana. I quite enjoy a half a frozen banana in my smoothies generally speaking, but I find that in this case the flavor gets in the way of the pineapple and mango. But what you gain in flavor you do lose a bit in texture. So if you need your smoothies to be extra creamy go ahead and plop in a little banana, or if you want to get real crazy a few chunks of ripe avocado.
For some more general tips on smoothie making, feel free to visit this post featuring my go-to blueberry almond yogurt smoothie.
Health benefits of this kale smoothie
You probably don’t need me to tell you that kale is good for you. But just to hammer it home, this smoothie not only features the high in fiber, antioxidant rich, vitamin C packed, powerhouse vegetable that is kale, it’s also vegan and gluten free. And while it does have some natural sugars (I mean it’s a LOT of fruit), none of those come from added or refined sweeteners, which given how much junk there is in the world, I’ll take as a small victory.
So whether your days are scheduled down to the minute, or you’re hanging out on island time, take a second and sip on something fruity, tropical, and yes, very very green.
Thanks for reading! If you like this recipe please pop a comment down below – I love hearing from you!Print
Tropical Kale Smoothie
This smoothie is a great way to get a lot of leafy greens in your system with some sunshiney, tropical fruit! Get the recipe for this bright, green smoothie at joeats.net!
- Prep Time: 5 Minutes
- Cook Time: 0 Minutes
- Total Time: 5 minutes
- Yield: 2 Servings 1x
- Category: Breakfast
- Cuisine: American
1 C frozen mango chunks
1 C pineapple
1/2 C pineapple juice, unsweetened
2/3 C almond milk
4 C kale
2 scoops vanilla protein powder (vegan)
2 T toasted coconut flakes, plus more to garnish (optional)
Puree all ingredients in a high powered blender until smooth. Garnish with extra toasted coconut.
You could substitute coconut milk for the pineapple juice here, but the end result won’t be as tangy – which I personally love.
To toast your coconut flake, just put a handful into a small, dry skillet set over medium heat. Stir frequently until the coconut begins to brown. Transfer to a bowl immediately, so coconut doesn’t burn.
Keywords: Tropical kale smoothie, tropical fruit, kale smoothie, smoothie recipes for two