We’re conflicted about this blueberry kale smoothie recipe. Not whether it’s lovely—-that we pretty much all agree upon. The source of conflict is whether or not the banana and blueberries and honey do, in fact, as the author swears, completely mask any trace of kale. Some of us swear it tastes like “bananas and blueberries and creamy icy summertime” and have witnessed even avowed kale haters to down a glassful and go back for seconds. Others of us swear we can, in fact, taste a slightly “earthy aftertaste” yet don’t mind it. We’re not about to accuse anyone of telling fibs, as we think it’s just a personal tastebud sorta thing. And also a matter of exactly how much kale you pack into your blender. So while the exact shade of blue or green in your glass may vary, what’s undeniable is the smoothie’s satiating creaminess, honeyed sweetness, and nutritional awesomeness.–Renee Schettler Rossi

An overhead view of a glass of blueberry kale smoothie with a straw and some blueberries and kale scattered around the glass.

Blueberry Kale Smoothie

5 / 2 votes
This blueberry kale smoothie is packed with health benefits from banana, almond milk, and greens and makes a quick, easy, and surprisingly satisfying breakfast.
David Leite
Servings3 cups
Calories114 kcal
Prep Time5 minutes
Total Time5 minutes


  • 1 cup vanilla almond milk, preferably unsweetened
  • 1 to 2 cups loosely packed chopped kale leaves, (stems removed)
  • 1 to 1 1/4 cups frozen blueberries, preferably organic
  • 1 medium banana
  • 1 to 2 tablespoons honey
  • 1 cup ice


  • Dump the milk, kale leaves, blueberries, banana, and 1 tablespoon honey in a blender, preferably a high-powered one like Vitamix, and process until the kale is really tiny green flecks. (You may wish to start with 1 cup kale and then blend it and then, if you feel the taste and color of the smoothie can stand a little greening, add more kale to taste and blend away. The more kale you add, the more green your smoothie in flavor and in color.)
  • Add the ice and blend until smooth. Taste and, if desired, add more honey to taste and blend again.
  • Divvy the smoothie among 2 or 3 glasses and serve immediately.

Adapted From

Superfoods at Every Meal

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Serving: 1 cupCalories: 114 kcalCarbohydrates: 26 gProtein: 2 gFat: 2 gSaturated Fat: 1 gMonounsaturated Fat: 1 gSodium: 122 mgFiber: 3 gSugar: 17 g

Nutrition information is automatically calculated, so should only be used as an approximation.

Tried this recipe?Mention @leitesculinaria or tag #leitesculinaria!
Recipe © 2015 Kelly Pfeiffer. Photo © 2015 Kelly Pfeiffer. All rights reserved.

Recipe Testers’ Reviews

This was a great wake-me-up smoothie! I used unsweetened almond milk, and I actually found it to be a little too sweet for my taste with 2 tablespoons honey, but that’s a matter of personal preference. I would definitely recommend starting without any honey and adding it as suits your taste.

My husband hates kale. He says “it tastes like dirt.” This blueberry kale smoothie does not taste like dirt. It tastes like bananas and blueberries and creamy icy summertime. This was the perfect quick breakfast on the first really nice Saturday of spring. A few minutes of prep, a blast in the blender, and 3 tall glasses were poured. A few hours later, I found the third glass, empty, in the sink. Maybe it was just all that dirty work, but at least one kale-hater went back for seconds.

It took less than 10 minutes to make, including washing the kale and cleaning everything up. I had sweetened almond milk, not vanilla, on hand. I thought I might need to add some vanilla extract but this was perfectly flavorful the way it was. If you have a standard blender like me, you might want to blend for awhile before adding the ice, as the kale takes some time to stop being green pieces and turn into green flecks. Plus I like smoothies a bit icy, not just cold. (Wanting to really disguise that kale, I blended everything but the ice till it was completely pureed. Then I added the ice and ran the blender again.) We each guzzled ours down next to a pile of mulch taller than me.

This blueberry kale smoothie is simple, healthy, and quick, and makes enough for a few people or 2 large appetites. It only took 5 minutes, and the 3-cup yield was spot-on. My only comment is that I used unsweetened almond milk, and 2 tablespoons honey seemed a little too sweet.

This is a delicious and nutritious smoothie.

Raw kale is a pretty tough green and unless you are using a Vitamix, you will need to blend the ingredients for a couple of minutes to make the kale melt into the other ingredients. The one negative for me is the color—my blueberry kale smoothie was more of a dark bluish green, not very appealing and nothing like the picture. The recipe makes about 3 1/2 cups and can serve 2 to 3, depending on how large a serving you want.

There is no downside to a healthy smoothie, and while I don’t have trouble eating my greens, it might give some folks pause to put their greens in the blender and hope that their kids didn’t notice. I’m usually just trying to find good, healthy alternatives for two adults trying to live a long life and smoothies with mostly virtue are perfect for hurried mornings, summer afternoons, and busy schedules.

My own blender is a classic beehive-style Oster, so I already know that mature kale can be a bit of a challenge, but my workaround has always been to use younger greens—baby kale, spinach, or arugula all behave well. The other thing anyone without a super powerful blender will want to do is add the frozen berries and ice in stages and pause the blender a couple times to redistribute the ingredients.

Although my blueberry kale smoothie came out a much greener color than the photo shows, it was delicious. Using vanilla almond milk, I decided to taste before adding honey, and it turned out that it wasn’t needed at all, though with different or unsweetened almond milk and less sweet berries, you may want to adjust.

Usually I use a bit of frozen fruit and some fresh, and in this recipe, while frozen blueberries are fine, if you found yourself with frozen bananas and gorgeous plump fresh blueberries, swapping would completely work. I did add 1/4 cup cold water at the end, just to make the smoothie a bit more pourable and less of a brain freezer. This is a really good basic recipe—you can substitute different liquids, vegetables, fruit, and the proportions would still all work.

It generously serves 2 as a complete meal, and if you have kids, smaller servings as part of a meal would work, too. Since I didn’t try to hide that I was using kale, the dark Ardbeg-green hue was not a problem—the flavor was all blueberry, banana, and almond. Leaving out the honey made this a 10 for me—it’s a matter of taste and choice to have a less sweet but tasty smoothie. Since I do not have a Vitamix, I thought it was worth trying what works well with my old-school, classic blender, so I used tender young greens. The 2 cups kale (listed as 140 grams) is almost perfectly a 5-ounce bag or clamshell of organic baby kale or spinach, and the tender stems do not need removing.

I move slower in the mornings till I have breakfast. For me, the natural sweetness from the fruit was enough. The smoothie was delicious. I now have a master recipe for smoothies and will experiment with different fruits and vegetables while keeping the amounts for milk, honey, and ice the same.

I’ll admit, I don’t usually follow a recipe when I make a smoothie. Usually whatever is in the fridge or freezer gets whizzed up in the blender, but I might be changing my mind after this one. What a fabulous way to start the day. It’s true, you don’t taste the kale—or even see it—thanks to the honey, banana, and blueberries.

I used unsweetened almond milk, but I didn’t feel the need to add more than 2 tablespoons honey. In fact, I’d probably decrease the honey to 1 tablespoon thanks to the stash of overripe bananas I keep in the freezer. Speaking of frozen bananas, I’m not sure the ice is essential if you use a frozen banana. I thawed mine, but it doesn’t seem to be necessary.

The recipe makes 3 cups, which I divided into 2 servings. To make mornings easier, wash and chop the kale and refrigerate in a big tub. That way, you can just dump and blend. I’ll probably add a spoonful of almond butter for a protein boost. Can’t go wrong with this one!

This blueberry kale smoothie recipe was super easy and very tasty. It was a great vehicle to get your greens without a lot of fuss. I’d say the only downside may have been the color, but what do you expect while drinking a cup of kale?

Even though the blueberries I used were frozen, they were pretty sweet. I also used sweetened almond milk and a pretty ripe banana, which added to the overall sweet taste. I could have cut back on the honey by 1 to 2 teaspoons. The flavor was good; there was a little earthy aftertaste, but smoothie was definitely enjoyable. Having a Vitamix to really purée down the blueberry skins and kale was helpful.

Put all the ingredients in the blender, blend until smooth, and enjoy. No more excuses for not eating your vegetables. And less than 5 minutes from prep to product. I love smoothies and like to add protein powder and other nutritional items to increase health boosts.

I loved this blueberry kale smoothie. You absolutely could not taste the kale and it was really satisfying. I used regular 1% milk and only added 1 tablespoon honey, and it was plenty sweet with the banana and the blueberries.

This blueberry kale smoothie tastes wonderful! It’s full of blueberry flavor that completely masks the kale—what a quick and easy way to incorporate another healthy ingredient into your diet.

I used unsweetened almond milk, but my taster and I thought the smoothie was sweet enough with a whole ripe banana and 2 tablespoons honey. A little disclaimer: I omitted the ice since my only blender is the hand-held immersion type. The immersion blender didn’t make a completely smooth drink. Little specks of kale were visible, but we really couldn’t taste it. Without the ice, the recipe made 2 1/2 cups smoothie, which served 2 people (although my taster thought he could drink the entire smoothie in one sitting!).

About David Leite

I count myself lucky to have received three James Beard Awards for my writing as well as for Leite’s Culinaria. My work has also appeared in The New York Times, Martha Stewart Living, Saveur, Bon Appétit, Gourmet, Food & Wine, Yankee, Los Angeles Times, Chicago Tribune, The Washington Post, and more.

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Recipe Rating


  1. Does anyone out there have a great substitute for banana? I can’t stand them and every smoothie recipe seems to use them. What could I use instead? Please and thanks.

    1. lisa, smoothies are pretty forgiving and if there’s an ingredient you don’t like, play around with others you do until you find a combination you enjoy. You could try adding some apple or pear for sweetness and a little avocado or Greek yogurt to get that creaminess.

  2. Years ago a naturopath advised me to start each day with a smoothie. I believe complaints about the possible earthiness of the taste of kale evaporate if smoothies are not equated to milkshakes. The recipe she gave me was a variation of the above smoothie. It consisted of a banana, blueberries (if either frozen, no need for ice), rice milk, 2 tbsp rice protein powder, 2 tbsp ground flax (roughage), and 1 tsp NutraSea omega-3 oil. Over time I added kale, yogurt, and 1 tbsp lecithin granules. I have thrown in apples that were too sour to eat and mangoes or whatever fruit or leafy green might be at hand. The idea is to have a nutritious liquid meal. One that can keep you going for hours.

    I also find it refreshing and delicious. It also gives you at least 3-4 servings of fruits and vegetables and can be consumed any time of the day or night. It is great when chewing or digestion is a problem, such as in ill health. Eating additional protein like boiled eggs, and/or almonds, and/or cheese also helps. Cheers.