I got on a green smoothie kick a little over a ago, using just my standard kitchen blender. I would have one at breakfast or for a afternoon snack. I mixed in all sorts of things from spinach to carrots, milk and yogurt, strawberries to mangos. But this Pineapple Kale Smoothie is one of my favorites. It doesn’t taste “green” at all, and MY KIDS ACTUALLY DRINK IT (I know I’m shouting, but that is worth shouting about, let me tell you!)
Not to mention, this smoothie comes together with just a few simple, fresh ingredients: pineapple, kale, bananas, coconut milk, and a splash of vanilla extract. That’s it.
It hasn’t been until recently that I started to make my smoothies with coconut milk, and if you never have, I highly recommend it. Normally I would use regular dairy milk for most of my smoothies, and you certainly could here too. But the coconut milk lends such a nice tropical undertone to the smoothie, and pairs so nicely with the pineapple and banana. I typically buy the regular coconut milk sold in cartons- you can find them in or near the cereal aisle of your local grocery store, or sometimes they are also in the refrigerated section with the other milks.
For the pineapple, I like mine in frozen chunks. You could dice up a fresh pineapple and freeze the chunks, or buy the bags of frozen pineapple. Either way, I find the frozen pineapple adds just the right amount of iciness, without having to use any extra ice.
Many smoothie recipes will recommend using frozen bananas, but in my experience I actually don’t like using frozen banana slices. I find it makes my smoothie almost too creamy and thick for my taste. I’m going for a smoothie here, not a milk shake, and I like the consistency of my smoothies more on the slushy side, and less on the milk shake side. So as long as I have ripened room temperature bananas, that’s what I’ll reach for. But if you like a thicker shake, freeze banana slices ahead of time and use them here.
And don’t forget about the kale. I love to use kale in green smoothies as the flavor is much more neutral than spinach. But feel free to use whatever you like- I find that using half kale half spinach is a nice option too (my kids manage to detect even just one spinach leaf- yet another reason I reach for the kale) In the produce section of your grocery store, you can find super convenient bags of kale that are ready to use and perfect for smoothies.
Just place all these ingredients in your blender, add a splash of vanilla extract and blend until smooth. You can certainly use a standard kitchen blender-I did for quite some time and always enjoyed my smoothies. I’ve since, however, upgraded to a more powerful smoothie blender- one of those single serve kind, and I do have to say, it has been totally worth it. Using a kitchen blender always left some larger specks of my greens, which I didn’t mind. But the smoothie blender pulses it until completely smooth. I’m saving my pennies for one of those more powerful blending machines so when my kids and husband are all asking for a smoothie, I can make whole blender full all at once.
You could add another healthful boost with some add ins like chia or flax seeds. Chia seeds are my mix in of choice because, much like the kale, they are very neutral in taste. And I like how they soften up as they sit in the smoothie.
If you’ve been skeptical about green smoothies, give this Pineapple Kale Smoothie a try. My husband used to give me an unappetizing glare whenever he’d watch me gulp down one of my drink concoctions – no matter how much I insisted how good they were, he’d never give them a try. I’m not sure how I finally twisted his arm, but he was completely surprised how it really does taste more like a tropical treat, and not at all like a blended salad.
AND MY KIDS DRINK THEM TOO!
- ¾ cup frozen pineapple chunks
- 2 cups lightly packed kale, about 2 handfuls
- 1 banana, sliced
- 1 cup regular coconut milk
- 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
- Place all ingredients in blender and blend until smooth.