Powerful Kale Smoothie for Weight Loss
“Powerful kale smoothie for weight loss” was written by soon-to-be Registered Dietitian Michelle Sunga and edited by Dr. Su-Nui Escobar, DCN, RDN, FAND.
Weight loss can be hard to attain when you have a hectic schedule, and healthier homemade meals can seem to be too tiring a task. If that sounds like you, finding quick and easy recipes is the key to success. This kale smoothie is great for an effortless breakfast (or snack!).
This smoothie recipe has the right balance of macronutrients to keep you satisfied, and it only takes a few minutes to prepare.
The high fiber content of kale helps to keep you feeling full, so you can resist the temptation of snacking on high-calorie foods. That’s an important element to losing weight!
Kale provides a healthy 10% of your recommended fiber intake in just one cup. Smoothies—when compared to juices—retain a good amount of fiber.
Even better, kale is packed with vitamin A, vitamin K, vitamin B6, and vitamin C.
No wonder kale is so popular for the health-conscious. And smoothies are a great way to incorporate it into your diet.
Tips for Adding Kale to Your Smoothie
Kale can seem like an intimidating ingredient, especially if you’re not used to eating it raw. So, here are some tips for adding it to your smoothies:
Massage your Kale
Of all the green, leafy vegetables, kale can sometimes be somewhat tough. To make it easier to digest and less bitter, try massaging it. This tenderizes the leaves and makes for a less coarse, gritty texture in your smoothie or any recipe.
Check this video by the Test kitchen to see what I mean by massaging the kale.
Remove the Stems
The stems are the toughest part of kale, so to improve the texture further, tear the leaves off the stems and add only the leaves to your smoothie.
Dice your Kale
This may seem obvious, but chopping up the kale into finer pieces before adding it to your drink makes blending easier, especially if you don’t have access to a high-power blender.
Blueberries are a great addition to smoothies because they help fight inflammation, a precursor to weight gain. Reducing inflammation fights insulin resistance and supports the weight loss process.
Blueberries also add a sweet burst of flavor, so there’s no need to add a lot of sugar, keeping the recipe low calorie.
While fresh blueberries taste the best, you can also use frozen. Berries, in general, are some of the healthiest foods you can eat, so if you want to keep your ingredients fresh, try other berries that are in season or are more easily accessible to you.
Do you remember seeing commercials for Chia Pets when you were younger? Well, the seeds used in those have a number of health benefits when eaten.
Chia seeds are high in protein and fiber, which will help increase satiety and reduce the glycemic effect of the natural sugars found in fruit.
One serving is packed with nutrients but only contains around 60 calories.
Soaking chia seeds in half the liquid of the smoothie recipe will reduce the grainy texture. For this recipe, soak the seeds in ⅓ to ½ of the almond milk for about 10 minutes before blending all the ingredients. While it’s not essential, soaking them can make them more readily digested so that it’s easier for your body to absorb their omega-3 fatty acids and antioxidants.
Using non-dairy milk is not necessary in order to make a good smoothie. But it’s an excellent replacement for dairy for those who are lactose-intolerant or are avoiding dairy for other reasons. Plus, if you choose your milk replacement carefully, it can also be lower in calories.
In this recipe, I use unsweetened almond milk, but other plant-based milk alternatives are available, each with varying protein and fat content. When looking for milk, it’s important to check nutrition labels to ensure it will meet your nutritional needs.
As with any sweet recipe, there are a variety of sweeteners you can use, each with its own unique nutritional properties. To keep this recipe low-calorie, I use stevia.
Stevia is a zero-calorie sweetener extracted from the stevia plant that is much sweeter than table sugar. While it’s a relatively new sweetener, current research suggests that consuming a small amount of it on a daily basis is harmless. Because such a small amount is required to sweeten recipes, you should not be at risk of any issues.
Some other options include:
- Coconut sugar
Will this Smoothie Help me Lose Weight?
If you make healthy food choices most of the time, it can help you lose weight. This smoothie is one of those great choices.
Replacing high-calorie food with this healthy kale smoothie is a powerful step toward reaching your weight loss goals. Not only is this kale smoothie low in calories, it’s also beneficial because of the combination of fiber and healthy fat. This combination will keep you satisfied for longer, helping you to resist the temptation of high-calorie, low-nutrient-dense foods.
This delicious smoothie also introduces you to wholesome ingredients that you might not have been familiar with before. It’s a slow introduction to easy yet nutritious foods that can help you continue on a weight-conscious path.
The potent anti-inflammatory properties of this smoothie will promote further effortless weight loss.
Frequently Asked Questions
Why does my smoothie come out a weird color?
This recipe includes leafy greens and berries that, when combined in this or any smoothie recipe, produce a strange color.
But don’t be alarmed! The chlorophyll and phytochemicals that are responsible for the color of your fruits and veggies also play a big role in nutrition. That color is a sign that you’re getting the most out of the nutrients available in the ingredients and without artificial additives or coloring. The combination of green and blue/purple can look different from what you see in other smoothies.
How do I store my kale smoothie?
This recipe is best enjoyed right after blending, so it’s a good idea to scale the recipe according to how much you want at a given time.
However, if you would like to make prep for this recipe easier, you can measure out each ingredient beforehand and freeze in freezer-safe containers. That will make throwing it together even easier. Another fun way to use this recipe is freezing it in a popsicle mold to be enjoyed as a healthy dessert or snack.
Kale Smoothie For Weight Loss Recipe
- 1 tbsp chia seeds
- 1 cup almond milk or milk of choice, divided
- 1 cup raw kale packed
- 1 cup blueberries fresh or frozen
- 1-2 handfuls of ice
- 2 packets stevia divided
- High-speed blender
- Knife and cutting board
- In a small bowl, combine half of the almond milk with the chia seeds.
- Let this sit for a few minutes while you prepare other ingredients so the chia seeds can absorb the milk. This adds a thicker, smoother texture to your smoothie.
- Rinse the kale under cold water. With the water running, gently massage the kale leaves to tenderize (about 1-2 minutes). Tear kale leaves from the stem, discard the stems and cut the leaves into one-inch pieces for easy blending.
- Add all ingredients to a blender with one packet of stevia and run on high until the mixture’s consistency is the same throughout and you can no longer see chunks of either kale or blueberries (about 1-2 minutes).
- If the flavor is to your liking, enjoy as is! Or add the second packet of stevia and blend for another minute for added sweetness.
- Serve in a glass or a travel mug if you want to enjoy it on the go.
The Bottom Line
When it comes to losing weight, the first step is coming up with a plan to eat healthily regularly. While “eating healthy” can look different for different people, this recipe offers a basic structure that you can adjust to fit your nutritional needs and wants. This smoothie is simple and easy to make and full of beneficial, low-calorie nutrition to enjoy.
Dr. Su-Nui Escobar is a Registered Dietitian/Nutritionist in Miami, FL. She is passionate about helping women over 40 live their best lives through healthy eating and a healthy lifestyle. Su-Nui is a doctor in clinical nutrition, able to translate complicated evidence-based science into practical advice. Su-Nui is the former spokesperson of the Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics.