Everyone’s still so excited about kale. Still! In its trendiness, kale is like the bacon of the vegetable world, only, you know, rather than being super tasty and delightful and kind of horrible for you, it’s extremely healthy and it takes some real tricks to make it delicious. But the kale buzz is nearing cronut-like levels, which have just seemed to increase over the past few years.
The truth is, this previously underappreciated vegetable is getting tons of attention for good reason: it’s extremely nutritious. Stuffed with 45 different flavonoids, packed with anti-oxidants, and full of fiber, incorporating kale can be one of the best ways to improve your diet.
One easy way to pop some kale into your diet is green smoothies. But if you’ve ever tried incorporating kale into your breakfast smoothies before, you know that it doesn’t always work out exactly as desired. With its bitter, peppery flavor, it takes a little coaxing to get it to balance right in a beverage.
Here are some tips to make kale a little more palatable:
Try Baby Kale
Smaller, softer, more tender: young kale is more expensive, but it’s also a lot gentler. Baby kale may be a good fit if you’re trying to coax a little more kale into your diet but you are not in love with the taste.
Freeze it in Advance
Even if it’s only half frozen, the kale will be less pungent and taste less bitter. Plus, it helps makes the smoothie colder and it lasts longer — a win all around. You can de-rib it, rinse it, and throw it in the freezer, then grab as much as you want and stuff it right into your blender for a quick, healthy morning drink.
Steam or Blanch
Lightly steaming or blanching your kale can break down the cellular structure, potentially increasing its digestibility and your ability to absorb some of the kale’s nutrients. Some medical professionals are worried about raw greens negatively affecting people with thyroid conditions, and steaming may help reduce this problem.
If you’re just starting out with green smoothies, consider wading instead of diving right into the deep end: toss some romaine in your blender and get used to a more vegetal taste for a week or two first, and just add a little bit of kale at a time to your smoothies.
Mask the Flavor
When you’re first getting used to the kale, it’s ok to go heavy on the extra-sweet fruits, such as pineapple and strawberries, in order to cover up the flavor a little bit. Almond, cashew, or peanut butter can help mask the flavor, while boosting protein, too.
The Tropical Kale Smoothie Recipe
If you're just starting out with kale smoothies, this recipe is wonderful: easy, quick, and the bright tropical flavors really mask the taste of the kale.
The Skin-Brightening Kale Smoothie Recipe
Is your skin looking a little dull after a dry, harsh winter? This smoothie is designed to make your skin glow, while tasting great to boot.