I'm the first to admit that putting kale into a smoothie sounds like it might not be absolutely delicious. The thing is, with enough powerfully tasty blueberries mixed in, you hardly notice the kale. And together, they give you scads of vitamins and minerals and fiber and all sorts of good things in a single glass.
If you happen to have frozen blueberries on hand, they work fabulously here—adding body and thickness to the smoothie in the bargain! If you have extra berries and want to freeze them for future smoothie use.
More and more markets are selling "baby kale," or young kale leaves, often packaged for salads. They are great to use here since they break down much more easily into the smoothie.
- If you're using baby kale, just rinse it and pat it dry; if you're using larger, more mature kale leaves, you'll want to trim it a bit. The final texture of the smoothie will benefit greatly from taking a moment to not just cut off the stems but cut out and discards the thick ribs that runs up from the stems and through the center of kale leaves. Roughly chop the de-stemmed kale leaves.
- Put the kale, blueberries, and juice in a blender and whirl until smooth. Really let it go for awhile, you want that kale nice and cut up! Serve immediately. (While you can make smoothies ahead of time, the contents will settle in an unappetizing fashion and need to be vigorously stirred or re-blended before serving.)
Keep It Fresh—Variations on This Smoothie Theme:
- Add 1 tablespoon of chia seeds, it'll be thick and you may want to add more juice, but it's a whole new texture in smoothies!
- Mix in a teaspoon or two of freshly grated ginger or a great wake-up punch
- Switch out the blueberries for blackberries or raspberries (be warned that lighter colored berries will yield a less appetizing final color for the smoothie)
- Use cranberry juice, peach nectar, or your favorite fruit juice in place of the orange juice
- Add a few spoonfuls of plain, unsweetened yogurt—you'll probably want to up the amount of juice to keep things smooth and whirl-able
- Throw half of a banana in there (again, this move will require more juice to get that smoothie drinkability)
There's not really a wrong way to make a smoothie, so experiment as you like!