Recipe: Blueberry/Kale Smoothie (Gluten Free, Vegan). Also, how I eat all that kale.

One of the side effects of being known as the crazy foodie is I get all kinds of requests for recipes, chiefly, “So how are you eating all that kale?” Also someone has requested my kale smoothie formula, so I’m doing a two-fer here: How I eat all that kale, and the smoothie.

All that kale comes from a variety of sources, some days more kale-intensive than others. The short story is I put it into about anything I can. I put it on pizza, in mac and cheese, in vegetable stir-fries, in curries, in stroganoff, as chips, in soups. In the same way you can add spinach to a lot of things, you can add kale, except kale doesn’t wilt and go limp like spinach does, so sometimes it’s a ton better.

Some of you are reading the list of things I just ratted off and thinking, “How the hell does a gluten-free vegan eat pizza, mac and cheese, and stroganoff?” The answer is very easily and well, and better than you if you’re eating some pre-packaged grossness. But those recipes are for another day. If you already have recipes you love for the above listed dishes, add some chopped raw kale. It needs about 5-10 minutes to stir-fry, and can be added to an oven-baked dish at any time. Kale can also replace any green you may be using in a salad: just give it plenty of oil and let it marinate at least fifteen minutes before using. (The oil can come in the form of tahini, cashew, or anything in your dressing that contains fat: coat the leaves, give it a bit, and it will break down the cellulose.)

Now for the smoothie. This is what it looks like in the blender. (For this pic I’d used a berry blend. I’m all blueberry most of the time now.)


This is what it looks like when you’re done.

photo 1

This is how much smoothie that amount of mixture makes.

photo 2

You’ll notice I’m using a Vitamix. I encourage everyone in the world to own one, because they are amazing. If you can’t, to do this I would suggest a high powered blender, or a food processor, or small batches. I don’t know what the cellulose will do in a low-powered blender. In a Vitamix, this sucker is silk.

This is for two smoothies. If you want only one, cut it in half, except I still use a full banana when I make it for one.

Blueberry-Kale Smoothie

Yield: 2 smoothies

  • 2 cups frozen blueberries
  • 2 T cocoa powder (I use Chatsfield’s but I think any is fine. If you’re gluten sensitive, make sure it’s GF.)
  • 1 T cinnamon (using good cinnamon here is something you will totally notice.)
  • 1 pinch (or better) cayenne powder
  • 1-2 scoops Vega One French Vanilla Protein Powder, or protein/vitamin powder of your choice.
  • 2 T chia seeds
  • 1.5-2 cups raw kale
  • 1-2 c flax milk or milk alternative as needed to thin

I mix my smoothie in this order and blend all at once. In a Vitamix I start at variable 5, tamp everything into the slop and add milk until I have that nice tornado effect going. Then I slowly amp to variable 10, give it a few beats, then kick it to high power for 30 seconds to a full minute. Pour, enjoy, and for the love of god clean the thing right away or it will be hell. (And it’s a Vitamix, so it’s freaking easy.)

If you don’t have a Vitamix…I would proceed with caution. I would consider smaller batches and maybe add the kale bit by bit, chopping it well first and being EXTRA sure to have nothing even remotely stem-like in there. I would also add more milk to thin that thing out so it didn’t jam things up. The Nutribullet et al should be okay, and I would think a food processor would do fine, but you’ll have to play around to see what results you like. I achieved this recipe and manufacturing order through a month of playing around. I have this every day at home, and when Dan’s still here, he has one with me. It’s all you need for breakfast.

Alterations/substitutions: I have an almond allergy so I can’t use almond milk. I bet that would taste great in this, though. If I used almond, however, I would add some flax seeds to be ground up with the rest of everything for those lovely Omega-3s. I’ve used chocolate soy milk for part of the milk addition, and right now Westsoy has its chocolate peppermint stick soy milk out. MAN is that good in this smoothie.

If you’re using the Vega One French Vanilla powder, you really don’t need additional sweetener, but add some maple syrup, honey, or banana if it’s not sweet enough for you. That’s the beauty of this: you add/skip what you feel like. Some days I really want the kick and add more cayenne. Sometimes I don’t. Sometimes it’s a lot of cinnamon, sometimes it’s not. Sometimes I want sweet, sometimes I don’t. You could of course use milk products in this: cow’s milk, whey powder. You might be going, “Chia what?” and that’s okay. Chia seeds have a lot of fiber and protein, and I notice a difference in how long it takes me to get hungry when i use them or don’t in the smoothie. You could use honey or straight-up sugar instead of the maple, or you could use agave. Or you could say fruit is sweet enough, or use stevia (there is some stevia in the Vega One). It’s really up to you.

As hinted in the pic description, I’ve used other berries in the past. I don’t like the seeds of blackberries, though, and I can buy a big bag of Wymann’s blueberries at my co-op for $12. Lasts me about a week.


7 Comments on “Recipe: Blueberry/Kale Smoothie (Gluten Free, Vegan). Also, how I eat all that kale.

  1. So I make my own vanilla extract. Wicked easy and talk about quality control! I know exactly what’s going in there!

    Have you been noticing any more changes in your health with the increase in kale and other dietary changes you’ve made?

    • Well, I can walk. That’s a big one.

      Absolutely zero weight loss. I have crazy high/lows for hunger, and my back/neck pain has actually increased from what it had been lately, but I think I will always have some Humpty-Dumpty-ness going on. But mostly without the gluten I don’t have Parkinsons-like jerks and shakes, I can feel my feet, stand on my toes, and work like a dog for a week and still keep functioning. That’s a pretty big one.

      • Yeah – walking is kinda cool and I’m glad you’re able to do it! Hopefully continued time with the changes will help iron other things out.

        I think for me, one of the most frustrating things about getting older (I’m 41 today! but don’t consider myself old) is the fact that things are breaking down. And there are things that simply won’t/can’t be fixed. There are days I’m like…gahhh…I only knew now what I knew then!

        WordPress is, indeed, drunk. I am responded to HeidiHeidi now…

        Are you in a band you didn’t know about maybe?

  2. I do kale in my breakfast smoothies all the time – sometimes half kale and half spinach. I’ll have to add in chia seeds – I have them but haven’t tried them in a smoothie yet.

    Here’s my standard smoothie:
    1 cup unsweetened almond milk (usually chocolate), 1 large or 2 small ripe bananas, 1 scoop protein powder, 2 TBS sunflower seed butter (in place of peanut butter), 1-2 TBS cocoa powder, about 3 cups of kale, and 16 ice cubes (yeah, I count them!) Blend in the vitamix and YUM! I don’t do well with sugar, so I don’t do a lot of fruit.

    I’m adding chia seeds tomorrow morning. 🙂

  3. Pingback: This is harder than it looks. « Carry The Ocean

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