Strawberry Banana Kale Stem Smoothie

Strawberry Banana Kale Stem Smoothie |

If you were wondering what your least favorite vegetable is, I can answer that question for you. It’s the kale stem. Pack it up, let’s go home.

Yeah, yeah, the stem alone doesn’t make a whole vegetable, but the point is, the majority (or all) of the time, we discard kale stems because…yeah…they’re a stem and they kind of suck. BUT, the stem has nutrients and the majority of the fiber in it.

Strawberry Banana Kale Stem Smoothie |

[Back it up with a heavy beat and base ] Kale stems (uh huh): it’s where the nutrients is at.

Did you like that ditty? Don’t answer that.

It’s no mystery that green smoothies are a thing. You, me, Maria, we’ve all shoved some spinach or kale in a blender with fruit and downed the nitty gritty beverage for a little fiber and vitamin injection. Who’s Maria? Got me.

But you can add other things to your smoothies. Things that you normally throw away. Things like kale stems. And that’s what we’re doing today.

Waste not, want not. Get it! Chest bump (grunt).

Strawberry Banana Kale Stem Smoothie |

Okay, seriously. This is where I give you information. Kale stems contain a great deal of fiber; however, there is debate as to whether they contain less nutrition or more nutrition than the leaves. Like raw kale leaves (or any cruciferous vegetable), the stems can be difficult to digest. So maybe don’t over-do it if this is your first rodeo.

When adding kale stems to your smoothie, there are some basics you may want to know. Here’re some kale stem smoothie tricks of the trade:

Trick numero uno: Don’t add too many. I probably don’t need to explain this one to you.

Trick deux: Use ice in your smoothie. I normally use frozen bananas instead of ice, which results in an ultra smooth texture. The way I see it, adding ice makes the grittiness of the kale stem a little less noticeable. Less stand-outish. Less the center of attention. It allows you to shut your kale stem up. Whoa, aggressive!

Strawberry Banana Kale Stem Smoothie |

Trick drei: This isn’t a trick, but it’s a fact: kale stems taste less kale-y than kale leaves. Ergo, you don’t need to mask the flavor as much with a stem smoothie than a leaf smoothie. Ergo, strawberry banana. True story.

Trick quatre: High powered blenders make veggie-included smoothies a million times more tolerable.  I realize not everyone has a fancy blender (and don’t shy away from kale smoothies if you don’t have one), but my Vitamix
pulverizes anything I put in it and achieves uniform texture, which (like I covered in trick deux) is optimal.

P.S. Did anyone notice I used the same glass and napkin for this smoothie as I did two days ago for my roasted fig and walnut parfait? Is that like wearing the same pair of pants two days in a row? If so, that wouldn’t be uncharacteristic of me…in fact, I should wear the same glass more often…uh…I don’t know where I was going with that, but hopefully you do.

Strawberry Banana Kale Stem Smoothie |

Strawberry Banana Kale Stem Smoothie

Prep Time: 2 minutes
Total Time: 2 minutes
Servings: 2 smoothies
Author: Julia
*You can replace the coconut milk with more almond milk


  • 2 cups strawberries
  • 2 bananas
  • ¾ cup almond milk
  • ¼ cup coconut milk*
  • 2 to 3 kale stems
  • 7 ice cubes


  1. Put it all in a blender and blend until smooth.

More things you can do with kale stems:

Cauliflower and Kale Stem Soup by Delightful Delicious

Kale Stem Crostini by Eat this Poem

Pickled Kale Stems by Wino Sapien


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  1. Shashi @

    Oh wow – I learned something new today thanks to you!
    I had no idea that the nutrients lay in the stem, or that the stem was the least kale tasting!
    I think this is probably the only way I could get my daughter to “drink” her kale 🙂
    Thanks so much for sharing!

  2. Tieghan

    Ok, whoa! I never even knew the stem was edible! Alright, I guess I assumed you could eat it, but never thought too! I love kale and go through a bunch or two a week, so this is kind of perfect for me!! Cannot wait to try it!

  3. stephie @ EYHO

    You know what’s funny? (Funny weird, not funny haha…although maybe funny haha depending on your sense of humor…) I literally said the words, “I’m not sure about kale in green smoothies”, and then I clicked on your page and saw this post. Like, immeeeeeeeeeeeediately. KISMET! THE STARS ALIGNED! GOOD JUJU! I dunno. I’m done.

  4. Shelley @ Two Healthy Kitchens

    Wow! Awesome, super-informative and (of course :D) beautiful post! I really like kale but have never thought to make such good use of the stems – brilliant! I love that, although it has green elements (well, one green thing!), this smoothie doesn’t have the off-putting green color that makes green smoothies so suspicious to the veggie-averse (like … many kids!)! Gotta pin this ASAP to share with my fans and followers! Thanks, Julia!

  5. Karl Hungus

    Not only great information, but I love the writing! Marry me? I’m okay if it’s only a “virtual” marriage. I’ll take what I can get.

    Your future (virtual) husband

    1. Julia Post author

      Hi Karl,

      I will gladly accept your marriage proposal under the condition that we can have our virtual wedding on World of Warcraft. Thank you for your interest.

      Your future virtual (World of Warcraft) wife,


  6. Haley

    Hi Julia i have a question. I’d like to add a raw pasteurized egg for health benefit and for thickening it just a bit! Is it ok to add it or would it ruin this delicious smoothie?

    P.S also i am adding some rhubarb stems

    1. Julia Post author

      Hi Haley! I don’t think adding a raw egg would ruin the smoothie, and actually I’m very curious to know how it turns out. The smoothie has plenty of flavor, so I assume it would mask any egg flavor. Let me know if you try it!

      1. Haley

        Sure you got it , I will let you know pal,once I am getting me a stronger blender type such as the Ninja within the month then I will post you with a new comment 🙂

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