This kale kiwi smoothie is packed with greens yet tastes fruity, slightly sweet, and perfectly tart. This is one of the green smoothies you'll want to make again and again.
Kale in smoothies has been trending for a few years now. However, many people find the taste of kale unappealing. If that's you, I have a few tips for making kale smoothies actually taste good.
The most important thing to pay attention to is the greens-to-fruit ratio. Typically, green smoothie recipes use a ratio of about 40% greens and 60% fruit. However, when using bitter greens such as kale, you may want to start with a lower ratio and slowly work your way up, getting your taste buds used to the 'green' flavor.
Another option is to use a combination of kale and mild leafy greens. The mildest leafy green is lettuce whether it's iceberg, Romain, red leaf, or green leaf. Next is spinach with what some might describe as a ‘mineral’ flavor. Beet greens and Swiss chard are a little more assertive than spinach with a slight ‘salty’ undertone. Kale and collards have a strong, slightly bitter flavor, and are yet another step up in their assertiveness. Finally, ‘spicy’ greens such as arugula and mustard have a strong, peppery flavor with a little bit of bite to them.
Younger, more tender leaves from all greens are usually a little sweeter than more mature, robust leaves. I really enjoy the flavor of dark leafy greens, but if you don't, baby greens are a great option.
Tips for Making Kale Kiwi Smoothie
Even if you don't consider yourself a green smoothie person, I encourage you to try this kale kiwi smoothie. Here are the ingredients you'll need:
- Kale: there are several different types of kale, each with its own strengths. Baby kale and Tuscan (lacinato) kale are my favorite in green smoothies because they have a mild flavor and tender texture. Mature curly kale and red (scarlet) kale are distinctively more bitter with a tougher, stringier texture. When buying kale, look for crisp, vibrant, dark green leaves. If you're not a fan of kale, spinach or beet greens are a great substitute.
- Kiwi: the acidity of kiwi helps to neutralize the bitterness of kale and provide a light contrasting flavor. Kiwi also has a beautiful green color, which works really well in this smoothie. Just make sure your kiwi is ripe - it should yield to gentle pressure. Unripe kiwi has a tart, astringent taste.
- Avocado: there isn't a more iconic duo than bananas and smoothies. I love bananas in smoothies, but to switch things up, I decided to use an avocado instead. Just like bananas, avocados add a creamy, velvety texture. They also have a mild taste that can easily be covered up. If you like sweet smoothies, you can swap the avocado for a banana.
- Mango: to tame the taste of kale, I used a mango. Ripe mangoes are distinctly sweet, tropical, and refreshing, completely covering up the earthiness of kale. I used frozen mango cubes, but you can use fresh mango too.
- Coconut water: while the taste of coconut water differs, typically it is mild and slightly sweet, which works perfectly in this smoothie. However, you can use any liquid you like - almond milk, oat milk...
How to Make Kale Kiwi Smoothie
The most important thing when making a green smoothie is to use a high-speed blender (I own the Vitamix).
While it’s possible to make a great green smoothie in a regular blender, it’s pretty hard when the smoothie calls for tough and fibrous greens, such as kale. If you’ve ever tried to make a kale smoothie in a standard blender, you most likely ended up with a grainy smoothie with floating bits of leaves. This doesn’t mean that you have to have the newest, most expensive high-speed blender on the market. An entry-level Vitamix model is more than sufficient to make a smooth and creamy smoothie.
Kale Kiwi Smoothie Variations
Smoothies are one of the easiest recipes to customize:
- Fruit: swap the kiwi for green grapes and the mango for pineapple.
- Greens: I swap greens in my smoothies all the time. Any baby greens or even a mixed greens (with baby spinach, kale, and chard) are great. If you are out of fresh greens, you can always use powdered.
- Liquid: plant milks work the best – almond, cashew, oat… water, ideally ice cold, works in a pinch, but does dilute the flavor of the smoothie.
- Add-ins: protein powder, hemp hearts or bee pollen (for an extra protein boost), spirulina or chlorella (for an extra antioxidant boost), or maca (for an energy boost).
How to Store Kiwi Kale Smoothie
- Refrigerating: transfer the green smoothie into an airtight container and refrigerate for up to 24 hours.
- Freezing: transfer the green smoothie into an airtight container and freeze for up to 1 month.
MORE GREEN SMOOTHIE RECIPES
- Apple spinach smoothie: if you're looking for a perfectly balanced green smoothie, this is it - slightly sweet, slightly tart, slightly creamy – vibrant, and great for any time of the day.
- Pineapple cucumber smoothie: tart-sweet, creamy, and refreshing. This pineapple cucumber smoothie is one of my favorite green smoothie combinations – not too sweet, not too thick and super hydrating.
- Detox Island Green smoothie: this is one of the most popular detox smoothies in the United States. It's served at the Tropical Smoothie Café and continues to be their best-selling smoothie. This smoothie is a perfect combination of greens and tropical fruit.
- Zucchini smoothie: it seems like almost all creamy smoothies out there contain a banana, right? Well, not this one! Thanks to an avocado and frozen zucchini, this green zucchini smoothie is creamy without any banana.
If you’d like to learn more about smoothies - how to make a custom smoothie, how to fix a not-so-good smoothie, how to build a better (healthier) smoothie, etc. - you can refer to this smoothie guide.
If you try any of these recipes, please, leave a comment and rate the recipe below. It always means a lot when you do.
Kale Kiwi Smoothie
- 1 kiwi
- 1 cup mango , cubed and frozen*
- ½ avocado
- 1 handful baby kale
- 1 cup coconut water
- Blend. Add the kiwi, mango, avocado, baby kale, and coconut water into a high-speed blender and blend on high until completely smooth.
- Serve immediately.
- Store. Leftover smoothie keeps well in an airtight container in the refrigerator for up to 1 day, though best when fresh. For longer term storage, freeze in an airtight container for up to 1 month.
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