If you’ve ever made a smoothie with kale, you know that it can be hard to find other flavors that pair well with it.
But we’re here to tell you that it’s not impossible!
What Goes Well with Kale in A Smoothie? (22 Ingredients)
Kale is packed with nutrients and has a mild flavor, so it can essentially be added to any smoothie recipe.
Looking to experiment with kale?
Here are 22 ingredients that work well with kale in a smoothie:
Berries are a good pairing for kale because they complement its earthy flavor nicely.
We suggest starting with raspberries or blueberries since they will make for a nice purple color, but any berry will work!
If you’re using strawberries and blackberries, though, note that their sweetness will balance out the bitterness of older kale.
Peaches are another great option for balancing out kale’s earthiness!
You can use either frozen or fresh peaches—depending on how juicy your fruit is, you may want to reduce the amount of water in your smoothie by 1/4 cup so that your smoothie isn’t too thin.
Pineapple has a sweet flavor with a little bit of tartness that goes perfectly with the earthiness of kale.
It also provides a lot of volume to your smoothie because it’s so juicy.
And it adds a bright yellow-orange color that’s hard to find in other fruits—so it really livens up your smoothie!
Kiwi is also bright in color (it adds more of an electric green), but the flavor will be less intense than the pineapple.
The kiwi fruit is very soft and mushy compared to something like a peach, so it blends easily into a smoothie and makes for an extra creamy texture.
Mango is sweet and juicy—perfect to balance out the strong flavor of kale in your smoothie!
It also has a vibrant orange color that will make for an incredibly pretty presentation.
We recommend about one cup of mango for every three cups of kale (give or take).
Blend until smooth and serve in a glass with fresh mint leaves as a garnish!
If you want to give your smoothie even more sweetness, you could also add strawberries or pineapple to the mix!
This ingredient is perfect for giving your kale smoothie an extra splash of color, plus some citrusy freshness.
Grapefruit can be bitter if you use too much of it or if the fruit is too ripe, so we recommend using half a grapefruit and choosing one that still has a bit of green on it rather than being completely yellow or pink.
Orange is another great option for pairing with kale.
Not only does the color look great together in a smoothie glass, but orange also has a strong flavor that works really well with kale and masks some of its bitterness.
Also, because orange has a sweet citrus flavor, kale’s earthiness helps to balance out the sweetness of oranges over time—which means your smoothie won’t get too sweet as you drink it (and drink it, and drink it…).
8. Lemon juice and zest
Lemon zest may sound like an odd match for kale, but since its flavor is so much brighter than its color, it won’t make your beautiful green shake look brown or muddy like some other ingredients might.
Plus, the fresh lemon flavor helps to lift up all the other flavors in your smoothie.
9. Mint leaves
Mint leaves have an amazing fresh flavor that’s entirely unique.
It’s the perfect complement to the earthy flavor of kale.
In addition to being fantastic tasting, mint leaves also have several health benefits!
10. Pomegranate juice or seeds
Yes, this sounds strange.
Don’t knock it ’til you try it!
The juice adds a sweetness that counterbalances the bitter tones in the kale, and if you add seeds instead of juice, you get an excellent texture contrast between crispy and creamy.
This ensures that your smoothie won’t have a gritty quality to its consistency.
11. Chia seeds
These are one of our favorites for adding texture to smoothies.
The little black seeds add flavor without overpowering your other ingredients and they make your smoothie look even more delicious when they’re sprinkled on top.
Flaxseeds are an easy way to add texture and crunch to your kale smoothie.
We recommend adding 1 tablespoon of ground flaxseed per cup of kale (adjust as necessary).
Flaxseeds also have a very mild flavor, meaning they’ll add some interest but won’t overpower your taste buds.
You can even mix them right into your smoothie without grinding them!
13. Greek yogurt
Greek yogurt is another great way to give your kale smoothie a rich texture without adding too much flavor to the mix—which is perfect when you’re looking for something light yet creamy in a drink.
14. Honeydew melon
Another one of our favorite additions to kale is honeydew melon.
That’s right, this not-so-sweet cousin of the cantaloupe is the perfect pairing for your kale smoothie.
The two flavors blend together perfectly, and they complement each other texture-wise too: the smoothness of the melon balances out the bite of the kale so well.
It looks great too—just imagine that deep emerald green mixed with light green and white from the melon!
If you want to push the flavor even more in that direction, try adding a little basil or mint for contrast.
Strawberries are soft and sweet, tart and flavorful—perfect for complementing the green intensity of the kale without overpowering it.
Adding strawberries to your kale smoothie helps create a creamy texture and lends an attractive pink color to the mix.
16. Coconut milk
Coconut milk has a rich flavor and creamy texture, which complements the textured nature of kale while also providing an interesting contrast by adding sweetness.
It also has more of a bitter taste, which pairs well with the bitterness that some people experience when eating raw kale.
The bitter taste also complements the earthiness of the vegetable.
17. Cacao powder
Cacao powder gives your smoothie a deep chocolate flavor and makes it look like melted chocolate, too!
- If you want to make your kale smoothie pop, start by cutting up and blending your kale into small pieces (don’t blend too long).
- Then add 1 cup of coconut milk and 2 tablespoons of cacao powder to the blender and mix on high until all ingredients are fully incorporated (about 10 seconds).
- Pour into a glass and enjoy!
18. Peanut butter
Peanut butter goes great in a kale smoothie because its taste blend so well with the earthy tones of the kale, while adding texture and creaminess.
If you add peanut butter to your kale smoothie, you’ll need to add some sort of dairy product too (like milk or yogurt) to get the right consistency.
Once blended together, the ingredients will create a beautiful yellow-green hue.
The flavor and color of pumpkin work really well with kale because it’s not so sweet that it would overpower the kale’s natural taste.
Add just half a cup to your blender along with the right amount of milk and honey, and you’ll get a beautiful bright orange color that looks fantastic in both tall and short glasses.
20. Protein powder
Look for protein powders with natural flavors or unflavored varieties, as they will mix well with the earthy flavor of kale.
Scoop out one serving size of your protein powder (according to the directions on the package) and put it in your blender along with 1 cup of chopped kale and 1/2 cup of ice.
If you want to make your smoothie extra filling and satisfying, add another scoop of protein powder after blending everything together.
21. Nuts and seeds
Nuts are packed with healthy fats that are good for you, and seeds are full of fiber that will keep you feeling full for longer.
Here’s how to do it:
- Add 1 tablespoon of seeds into your blender along with 1 cup of chopped kale and 1/2 cup of ice.
- Blend until smooth, then pour into a glass and enjoy!
Spinach tastes milder next to the strong flavor of earthy kale, but its slight sweetness helps make a delicious blend.
Because spinach is softer than kale, you don’t have to worry about your blender becoming overworked trying to break down too many tough pieces at once.
What Goes Well with Kale in A Smoothie? (22 Ingredients)
- Lemon juice and zest
- Mint leaves
- Pomegranate juice or seeds
- Chia seeds
- Greek yogurt
- Honeydew melon
- Coconut milk
- Cacao powder
- Peanut butter
- Protein powder
- Nuts and seeds
- Pick your favorite ingredients from this list to use in your smoothie.
- Prepare the rest of your ingredients.
- Be ready to enjoy your smoothie in no time!