Drinks

Tropikale Smoothie

This article is a collection of recipes for kale smoothies. These healthy and delicious drinks are easy to make with ingredients that can be found in most households.
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Tropikale Smoothie

This Tropical Kale Smoothie recipe is a tropical take on the classic green smoothie, complete with pineapple, orange juice, banana, and kale!

Kale green smoothie in a glass with paper straw

The great thing about kale is you can freeze it for smoothies, so it virtually never goes bad. And the great thing about cooking up kale for two whole weeks is our freezer is PACKED with kale. The tulip-man likes to say I’m a hamster because I hoard everything (which, do hamsters even do that??), but I like to think of it as being thrifty.

These pineapple and kale smoothies (tropikale…get it?!) are the classic green smoothie’s exotic cousin. Juicy, sweet pineapple helps to counter the bitter kale, while banana makes the smoothie nice and creamy (without any milk or yogurt). Let’s blend!

Kale green smoothie in a glass with paper straw

Kale Smoothie Ingredients

  • Kale: You can use any variety of kale here, like curly or dinosaur. Fresh and frozen both work!
  • Pineapple: Use fresh, canned, or frozen pineapple. You can substitute the pineapple for other fruits, like mango, apple, pear, or kiwi.
  • Banana: Banana makes this smoothie feel creamy (without the dairy). To make a green smoothie without banana, substitute it for 1/4 cup coconut milk + a drizzle of honey.
  • Orange Juice: Fresh orange juice brightens up this smoothie! You can substitute just about any juice here, like apple, pineapple, or white grape.
Ingredients for green smoothie in a blender

How to blend a kale smoothie

As far as leafy greens go, kale can be much more sturdy than most. Which means it may break down differently in your blender! Here’s how to perfectly blend kale, no matter what blender you have:

  • Have a strong blender? (like Vitamix or Blendtec?) Just throw everything in and blend until smooth. Strong blenders should liquify the kale leaves.
  • Have a weak blender? (that you may have picked up at a yard sale 10 years ago, no judgement 😛?) Blend the kale and orange juice together first, blitzing until the kale is completely broken down. Then add in the banana and pineapple and blend until smooth.
Green smoothie in a blender

Variations on this kale smoothie

The nice thing about green smoothies are how adaptable they are! Switch up virtually any ingredient based on what you have on hand. Here are some of my favorite modifications to this smoothie:

  • Switch up the greens, using spinach or collard greens instead of the kale.
  • Different fruit can be used in place of the pineapple, like apple, pear, kiwi, mango, or berries.
  • No banana, no problem. Swap out the banana for 1/4 cup canned coconut milk and a drizzle of honey/sugar.
  • Swap out the orange juice for another, like apple, pineapple, or white grape juice. You can also use any variety of flavorless milk here.
  • Add extras to boost the nutrition in this smoothie, like chia seeds, flax seeds, protein powder, or a spoonful of nut butter.
Pouring kale green smoothie into a glass

How to make kale smoothies in advance

Meal prepping your smoothies is a great way to ensure you get your morning dose of leafy greens, even when you’re pressed for time! There are two ways you can prep this smoothie ahead of time:

  • For short term storage, blend the smoothie and store in an airtight bottle in the fridge for up to 3 days.
  • For long term storage, portion the kale, pineapple, and banana into freezer-safe baggies, then throw them in the freezer. When ready to drink your smoothie, toss the contents of the bag in your blender, add orange juice (you will need a little more juice to compensate for having more frozen fruit), and blend.
Green kale smoothie in a glass with paper straw

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