This Apple, Banana, & Kale Smoothie is the healthiest pick-me-up EVER! Cups of kale, sweet fruit, and healthy spices make for a seriously energizing smoothie in just 5 minutes. Perfect as a light breakfast or an afternoon snack, this is a delicious green smoothie you have to try!
This green smoothie with ginger, turmeric, and kale is zingy, extremely healthy, and invigorating. Made in just 5 minutes, this green smoothie provides a natural burst of energy and tons of antioxidants.
This is a wonderful year-round smoothie recipe, since apples, bananas, and kale are pretty much always available and inexpensive. This recipe is high in fiber, protein, vitamins A & C, calcium, iron, and healthy fats. It’s also vegan, gluten-free, dairy-free, and nut-free. Let’s get blending!
About this Energizing Smoothie
There are so many kale smoothie recipes out there. This smoothie is extra healthy, though. It packs ginger, turmeric, and flax to hit all of the superfood checkboxes. 🙂 It also relies on pantry-friendly dried spices so you can whip up a smoothie on very short notice!
This ginger green smoothie makes a fantastic pick-me-up any time of day and is especially great in the morning or during the 4 PM slump! Though it’s naturally energizing (thanks to the ginger), there’s no caffeine to keep you up at night, so feel free to have it any time of day.
Alternatively, do what we like to do and have your smoothie with a slice of hummus or avocado toast on the side. This combo makes for a delicious and filling plant-based breakfast for two! (Here’s my favorite hummus recipe.)
About the Ingredients
- Apple: Feel free to use red or green apples, based on your preference. (Red is typically sweeter, while green is typically tarter.) Apples add a great subtle sweetness to smoothies, plus they’re so inexpensive and healthy.
- Banana: We’re using just one frozen banana in this smoothie. Bananas are really sweet and help make smoothies fluffy. If you’d like an even thicker and sweeter, shake-type smoothie, simply add an additional frozen banana.
- Kale: A real superfood, this cruciferous vegetable is responsible for the gorgeous bright green color in this kale smoothie. We’re using two tightly packed cups of kale. (I wash and freeze my kale in 2-cup (packed) portions for easy smoothie prep. These are the containers I use for the freezer.)
- Flax: Another superfood, flax has more lignans (a type of antioxidant) than any other food. It’s also high in omega-3s and creates an extremely thick smoothie texture. If you follow Dr. Greger’s Daily Dozen, this smoothie checks off your daily serving of flax.
- Soy Milk: This recipe calls for unsweetened and unflavored soy milk, but feel free to use the non-dairy milk of your choice. If your blender isn’t high-powered, feel free to add extra liquid, a little at a time, to get a smooth texture.
- Ginger: The “energizing” part of this apple, banana, and kale smoothie comes from the ginger. It is naturally invigorating and may increase mental focus. It’s also great for migraines, menstrual cramps, and digestion (source). This recipe calls for powdered ginger, but feel free to use fresh if you have it on hand.
- Turmeric & A Pinch of Black Pepper: Turmeric is a beautiful orange spice that is extremely healthy. We’re also including a small amount of black pepper, which helps increase turmeric’s anti-inflammatory properties (source).
How to Serve & Store (only if necessary)
This apple, banana, and kale smoothie is best served right away!
As written, the recipe makes two servings, and each serving is 16 ounces. If you’re only looking for 1 serving, feel free to cut the recipe in half (if your blender is okay with a smaller size).
Alternatively, have one serving today and freeze the other serving for later. The night before you’d like to enjoy your frozen green smoothie, simply place it in the fridge to thaw.
Smoothies are pretty customizable, so feel free to make changes based on what you have at home.
However, if you’re looking to achieve a nice green color, you might want to stick to some basic smoothie color rules. For example, depending on your proportions, mixing blueberries and kale usually results in a gray- or brown-colored smoothie. It will still taste delicious, it just won’t look quite as appetizing. I talk more about “smoothie color theory” in my matcha smoothie bowl post.
- If you don’t have dried ginger or turmeric, feel free to use fresh or leave them out entirely. Your smoothie will taste fairly different from the recipe as written, but it will still be delicious. Pick some up the next time you go to the store, though, since they’re so healthy and versatile!
- If you don’t have flax, you can use hemp hearts instead. I haven’t tried this smoothie with chia seeds, but if you have a very strong blender, they should also work well.
- If you don’t have (or like) banana, you might be wondering what you can use instead. Bananas help make smoothies really thick and fluffy and we’re only using 1 in this recipe. The flavor is also well-hidden by the ginger, I promise! However, if you REALLY hate banana, you can substitute frozen mango chunks instead.
- If you’re substituting mango (in place of the banana), note that some store-bought mango is frozen before it’s ripened and doesn’t taste all that great. If you have a brand that you like and that tastes sweet, feel free to use frozen mango! Otherwise, you might want to buy fresh mango and wait until it’s ripe for the sweetest results possible. Or, make your life easier and use the single banana. 🙂
Green Smoothie Questions & Answers
Yes, absolutely! With a high-speed blender, you won’t even know the kale is there!
To keep this smoothie thick and frosty, I prefer to use kale that I’ve washed and frozen in advance. You don’t need to freeze it though.
You can substitute spinach or collard greens instead. Both blend up well and are pretty mild. In fact, collard greens are probably my favorite smoothie green!
Yes! However, I strongly recommend that you switch up your daily smoothie to ensure you’re getting a wide variety of nutrients.
On a related note, exercise some caution if you’re eating large amounts of high oxalate greens every day. This is NOT a problem for the average person. However, if you’re an above-average eater 🙂 who has green smoothies with spinach, chard, or beet greens every day, you probably want to switch up your greens. Learn more about oxalate-rich foods in this video.
If you want a bright green smoothie, curly kale is great and widely available. It’s also quite inexpensive. However, any type of kale will work in a smoothie.
Note, though, that red kale does change the smoothie’s final color. If you’re looking for a bright green final product, don’t opt for red kale. Instead, save the red kale for your berry smoothies.
The best kale smoothies include kale that has been washed at home and FROZEN in advance. This makes for a frostier and milder-tasting smoothie. The other key to the best kale smoothie is a really high-speed blender to get rid of any and all green bits.
Helpful Tools for This Recipe
I hope you love this super easy and super economical apple, banana, and kale green smoothie!
If you’re a green smoothie beginner and looking for something a little bit sweeter, or if you like the idea of eating your smoothie in a bowl, you’ll love this matcha smoothie bowl recipe!
- Add all ingredients to your high-speed blender in the order listed (soy milk closest to the blades, ice at the top).
- Blend on high until thick and smooth. If needed, stop to scrape down the sides of your blender.
- Divide into two glasses and enjoy!
How to Prep Frozen Bananas & Kale:
- Use a very ripe banana for a sweet smoothie. Wait until ripe, peel, then freeze for best results.
- Wash, destem, and roughly chop your kale. Then freeze in 2-cup portions so you can enjoy a smoothie any time.
Tips for Success:
- Using a frozen banana and kale makes for a cold, thick, and creamy smoothie texture. Freeze both in advance for best results.
- If you do not have a high-speed blender, you may need to add additional liquid to help your blender along. Add a little bit of cold non-dairy milk at a time.
- Feel free to use fresh ginger and turmeric instead of dried. Start with a half tablespoon of grated fresh turmeric or ginger and adjust to your preference.
- Feel free to substitute a different green in place of the kale (collard greens or spinach are good options).
Nutrition Information:Yield: 2 Serving Size: 16 ounces
Amount Per Serving: Calories: 270Total Fat: 7gSaturated Fat: 1gTrans Fat: 0gCholesterol: 0mgSodium: 48mgCarbohydrates: 47gFiber: 11gSugar: 24gProtein: 12g
Nutrition information is an estimate only, based on the recipe as written. Data was obtained through MyFitnessPal's recipe creator.
The Background & Science Behind These Ingredients
- This recipe calls for black pepper to enhance the anti-inflammatory benefits of turmeric. Here’s the science behind turmeric and black pepper.
- Kale is so nutritious and so healthy. If you want to learn more about kale, read this overview.
- If you eat a lot of greens daily, you might want to avoid or reduce your consumption of spinach, beet greens, and Swiss chard, since they have very high oxalate content. Learn more about oxalate-rich foods in this video.
- Ginger contains high levels of antioxidants and has been used safely for thousands of years. Learn more about ginger’s properties in this scientific overview and in this quick summary.
- Flax seeds are the richest source of lignans. Find more information about flax in this wonderful overview.
What do you think?
Thanks so much for stopping by! If you make this recipe, then please leave a comment and rating. I would love to hear what you think and how it worked out for you!