Healthy for Cinco de Mayo: Piña Kale-ada!

Everyone loves piña coladas. Not everyone loves kale. But if you bathe the leafy green in the creamy tropical drink you, too, can love kale. It is the mysterious magic of smoothies

Pineapples are a wonderful source of Vitamin C, which supports your immune system and provides antioxidant protection. Pineapples are also an excellent source of manganese, vital to your body's energy production. 

We've all heard a lot about kale as a nutritional powerhouse. It is chock full of antioxidants and anti-inflammatory nutrients; it is loaded with Vitamin K, Vitamin A, Vitamin C, and fiber. I use frozen kale in this smoothie because it's not yet farmer's market season here so I don't have huge amounts of it; keeping blanched, frozen kale makes it easy to throw into soups and smoothies. You can buy it frozen or do it yourself (great when you do have an abundance from your garden or the farmer's market). If you're using fresh kale, use more like 1 to 1 1/2 cups of it.

Simply put: this smoothie is really good for you. Bonus: it's easy and tasty. 

(yields about 12 ounces)
  • 2/3 c frozen chopped kale, partially thawed
  • 2/3 c light coconut milk (unsweetened)
  • 1 1/4 c pineapple chunks, fresh or frozen
  • 1 tsp shredded coconut (unsweetened)

Kale can be a bit tough, so I blend it in the coconut milk before I add the pineapple.

Once the kale is fully blended in the coconut milk, add the pineapple and blend until smooth.

I like to top mine with some shredded, unsweetened coconut.

Drink up!

I should note that my first attempt at this included a bit of frozen banana. It was sweeter and a touch creamier, but (for me, anyway) it tasted too much of the banana and not enough of the pineapple and coconut. But if you love banana, you might want to try that. You could also add another green, like the more tender baby spinach, instead of the kale. But then you can't call it a Piña Kale-ada. And you know you want to.

This is a great way to start your day! If you want to end your day with it — perhaps with the addition of a touch of rum — I won't tell. (If you're breastfeeding, make sure you read this first. And if you're pregnant, step away from the rum!)


  1. Justine!!! I love this. Veggies incorporated into something that feels so sister's brilliant!

  2. Thanks, sis. If there's a trick to healthy eating, i think it might be: put veggies in everything you eat.

  3. Piña Kale-ada - LOL that's awesome. I want to make it just to use the name. BTW I just love the idea to add greens to a smoothie. I need to get on the bandwagon making smoothies and frozen treats.

  4. Jen,
    Thanks! I admit I thought of the name first and then built the smoothie around it! This might be a good one to try for your family b/c it's dairy-free :-)

  5. mmh... i love pina coladas, so i can probably get on board with kale-adas, too!
    @Jen A.-- I bought smoothie-making supplies on my grocery trip today because I also need to get on-board the smoothie bandwagon.

  6. made this today and it was fantastic! i was low on kale so i added some spinach. but very filling and so delicious!

  7. Emily - Thanks so much for trying it and for reporting back :-)

  8. Love the name. Also love avocado/grapefruit great combo.

  9. With spinach you could call it a Piña Spiñada!

  10. fullbellysistersMay 5, 2012 at 6:31 AM

    Ha! Perfect, i love it!

  11. Kale smoothies are a favorite!!! I love your tropical version!  Perfect ladies!! :)  Thanks for sharing on Fit and Fab!

  12. fullbellysistersMay 10, 2012 at 3:53 PM

    Thanks, Amee!


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