Tastes-Like-Ice-Cream Kale Smoothie

from The Blender Girl cookbook
January 22, 2012

This kale smoothie from The Blender Girl cookbook tastes like ice cream and is the most incredible green smoothie you will ever taste.

Tastes-Like-Ice-Cream Kale Smoothie

This tastes-like-ice-cream kale smoothie from The Blender Girl cookbook is the most popular recipe on the site. I get over 500 emails a week about this kale smoothie from delighted smoothie drinkers who are obsessed with this.

Sun Cafe, my favorite local raw restaurant, won SeriousEats.com’s Best Smoothie in L.A. award for a blend that’s similar to this one. I’m not sure exactly what they put in their award-winner, but this is pretty close. One taste and you’ll understand why kale- phobic omnivores line up and even double- park in front of SunCafe to run in and get their fill.

Just make this smoothie, and thank me later. It is EPIC.

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Tastes-Like-Ice-Cream Kale Smoothie

This kale smoothie from The Blender Girl cookbook tastes like ice cream and is the most incredible green smoothie you will ever taste. 

Prep Time 10 minutes
Total Time 10 minutes
Servings 2 16-ounce glasses
Author Tess Masters


Optional Boosters:


  1. Throw all of the ingredients into your blender, and blast on high for 30 to 60 seconds, until smooth and creamy.

Recipe Notes

Recipe from The Blender Girl cookbook


Comments 180

  1. I saw this and wanted to try, but knew I don’t like banana’s in my smoothies, sorry. So I soaked 1 cup of filtered water and 3 tbsp of chia seeds the evening before to substitute for the banana. I added all the other ingredients in the recipe and blended.
    It is so Yummy, I’m sorry it only makes just over 2 cups, I ended up blending another portion, guess I’m just a little piggie, ;).

    1. Hey Sessie!
      What a fantastic idea!
      I am going to try that tomorrow morning.
      Thankyou for much for sharing your special blend so that we can all benefit from your experience. Oink Oink 🙂

    1. Marie-Guy
      I am so happy you tried this smoothie.
      It just about blew my head off with excitement the first time I tried it.

  2. I look forward to trying this smoothie. I’ve got all ingredients on hand! I wonder, however, how the “pistachio ice cream” bit would be enhanced by actual pistachios? Maybe I will conduct an experiment.

    1. Hey Elaine!
      That is a great idea!
      I can’t wait to hear how your “experiment goes”.
      I can’t believe how good this smoothie is!

    1. It is the banana mixed with the cashews and the kale that makes the pistachio flavour. However Sessie mixed 1 cup of water with 3 tbsp chia seeds to replace the banana and she said the smoothie was fabulous!
      You could try that?

    1. Hannah,
      It is the kale mixed with the banana, cashew and agave that creates the pistachio flavour so I am not sure how it would work with spinach.
      Please let me know how you go 🙂

  3. This looks delicious. I have had kale in my mind for a long time now. Never tried it. This recipe makes me want to try it right away.

    1. Kristel!
      This will be the BEST introduction to kale you will ever get!
      This smoothie is SOOO delicious!
      Can’t wait to hear what you think 🙂

  4. Wow! This is the most delicious smoothie I’ve tasted this year!! It’s unusual & has a certain ‘magical’ taste to it, as though there’s a ‘secret ingredient’ that you just can’t quite put your finger on… You would never know this smoothie had veggies it!!! The vanilla makes the perfect finish & keeps it super sweet!! Be careful though, it’s addictive!!!!!!!;-)

    1. I KNOW! I have had THREE of them already this week! “Hands away from the kale smoothie Tess”. Hey, I am a piggy! OINK!!!!!!!

    1. LOl! I LOVE that Mary!
      If you buy a blender and the first thing you make is this smoothie you will be addicted to blenders for life 🙂

  5. This smoothie defied my expectations!! I hate to admit I was a bit skeptical, but I loved your cauli soup so thought what they hay – and duh, if you say it’s good, it’s good! No more skeptic here. I’ve never really followed a recipe for a smoothie before but this is SO worth it! THANK YOU for making my morning!

    1. Thanks Jen.
      I don’t blame you for being skeptical!
      SO glad you took the plunge and tried it.

  6. This smoothie is INSANELY GOOD! Talking about it makes me want one right now – yep, on my way to the kitchen right now to plug in the Vitamix. Well, I just made one with a few variations and it came out fabulous too. I added some dates in place of maple syrup and some hemp seeds (same ratio) instead of cashews and frozen bananas instead of room temperature ones + ice. DELICIOUS! Thanks, Tess! You’ve got the BEST smoothie recipes out there, I think. 🙂

    1. Aw, thanks Kibby!
      I really appreciate all of your lovely comments.
      LOVE your blend variations!
      Just gave it a go and all I can say is:
      “Do you want to open a smoothie bar with me?” LOL!
      Thanks for sharing 🙂 YUMMMO!

        1. BUMMER!
          Perhaps one day we will meet half way and have a smoothie marathon! LOL!
          SO great to be connected in blender love 🙂
          He He He 🙂

          1. That would be awesome! If you ever want to come and visit in the North Ga. Mtns. you have a welcome invitation. Smoothies are always rocking in this household. Husband and three dogs get smoothies every day. Dogs come and sit by me when the Vitamix cranks up – they know what coming to them. 🙂 Have a good night! Till next time.

  7. I made this last night… SO easy and SO good and SO REMINDS me of WHY I LOVE MY Vitamix. My 15 year old asked “why is there kale in the vitamix?!?” then proceeded to devour his dessert.

    I’m so excited about the recipes on this site – it’s a tremendous resource!!!!

    1. Thanks Pop Veg!
      SO happy that we connected on Twitter and SO glad you and your teenager loved this smoothie! BEST way to use kale I have found so far. I am ADDICTED!
      LOVE my Vitamix too 🙂

  8. @Kibby
    I would LOVE to swing by that way some day.
    HA! I have a vision of those dogs dancing to the sound of your Vitamix! I LOVE it!

  9. This was by far the most delicious smoothie I have had in a long time. I added a teaspoon of raw cacao nibs and it seriously was pistachio chocolate chip! How can this be so tasty and be so healthy 🙂

  10. I just entered the Vita mix giwe away. I live in Europe and just saw that only residents in the us and canada could participate. Sorry!!!!

    1. No worries Anniken!
      You are not the first person to have done that!
      I am sorry it is only open to the USA and Canada!
      I wish I could extend it all over the world!!!!
      But great to have you here anyway 🙂

  11. Hands down one of my favorite smoothies! It was so creamy and truly tasted like pistachio ice cream! Best part, I gave some to my dad, who never drinks ‘green’ smoothies and he asked for seconds!! Thanks for sharing this yummy recipe

    1. LOL! I LOVE that story!!!
      Thankyou so much for sharing it.
      That just made my day 🙂
      I am so glad you and your dad enjoyed this smoothie.
      MY dad did the same thing! He He He 🙂

  12. This smoothie sounds delicious! Can I use almonds instead of cashews? I’ve been making lots of smoothies myself. They are so nutritious and taste so good! Thanks for sharing, can’t wait to try it.

    1. Thankyou Faythe!
      I appreciate you sharing the recipe so that other people can get addicted like we all are 🙂
      SO great to be connected!

    1. I drink the entire smoothie all by myself. I can’t help it, it’s just too good. I’m am willing to make it for the Mister or friends who want one, but that’s as far as I will go because I won’t share.

      Makes an awesome, filling breakfast or lunch.

  13. Elaine, you ARE NOT the only piggie who drinks this magical elixir all by herself. I make one for myself and one for my husband. No sharing. 🙂 I ADORE this smoothie. So tasty, nourishing, filling and jam packed with nutrition. I love Kale and smoothies = winning combination here.

  14. So glad you reposted this on facebook today! I am drinking this smoothie as we speak and it’s so good I may have to steal the portion I was saving for my husband!

    1. LOL! SO glad you are enjoying it Kendall.
      Thanks for taking the time to leave a comment!
      I really appreciate the support on FB too.

  15. I even got the kiddos to slurp this up, yummo! I will be featuring this smoothie recipe in my post, “10 Super Smoothies”, fyi! Thanks tess!

    1. OH, I am so pleased you all enjoyed this!
      Thanks for the shout out in your post 🙂
      We Tessa’s have to stick together!!!

  16. I am drinking this as I type!

    It’s like nothing I’ve ever tasted – the flavour gave me a bit of a shock at first but I’m quickly acquiring to the taste and I’ll be making it again. This is my first “green” leafy smoothie.

    I used organic soy instead of almond milk, and stevia in place of agave nectar.

    Thanks for the idea blender girl! (btw I made your vegan mac and cheese too, it was pretty great!)

    1. LOL! You caught me online as well!
      I am also drinking one as I type! HA HA HA!
      I also used Stevia this morning. CRAZY!
      What an introduction into green leafy smoothies. Thanks for giving it a go.
      I am glad you liked the mac n cheese too 🙂

  17. I bought raw cashews just to make this and I’m so glad that I did. They’re now going to be part of my smoothie repertoire!

    This smoothie came out a little too banana-y for me so I added an extra cup of kale. Not sure if it tastes like pistachio, since I’m not sure what those taste like, but it’s delish. Thanks for your great recipes and keep em comin’!

    1. Yes! Raw cashews make vegan smoothies SO creamy and delicious!
      I am so glad you enjoyed this smoothie.
      I put an extra cup of kale in mine as well 🙂

  18. OMG, I LOVE SUN POWER CAFE. I was introduced earlier this year. I’m not vegan, but love, love their dishes. My fav is the colossal kale salad and my husband lives for the pistachio kale smoothie. I was at the Farmer’s Market this afternoon and though I’d attempt replicating the smoothie, picked up some kale and googled various recipes. Thank goodness for google — as it made me fall upon your site, which I’ve immediately book-marked!!!! I’m beyond psyched and will trying your recipe TO-NIGHT. My husband will be thrilled! Thank you so much!

  19. Thank you so much for posting this recipe! It tastes phenomenal and has made it so easy to get my non-veggie-eating boyfriend to eat kale. Last year I lost forty pounds and about five dress sizes by eating vegetables and exercising (you know, the old fashioned way of losing weight). I don’t feel like I’m sacrificing anything. I mean, I get to drink yummy smoothies which taste like fattening heavenly goodness everyday and still lose weight? Yes please! I can’t believe this is healthy! These shakes really put in perspective that eating right doesn’t mean eating bland flavorless food. And it also means not starving to death on celery sticks. Thank you thank you thank you, and please keep posting!

    1. I am SO glad you are enjoying this smoothie. THANKYOU for taking the time to comment and share your story here and on Facebook. Your story is AMAZING and SOOO inspiring. Thankyou so much.
      I will say, this is not the most low calorie smoothie on the planet….all about the fun. But it is still SO much healthier than a bowl of pistachio ice cream. HA! So great to be connected in smoothie-loving heaven.

  20. I feel like this is really weird, but I cannot find kale in my small and isolated location except for in a can. 1. Is that even normal? 2. Can I use it in smoothies?

    1. Oh, I am sorry Jacqueline,
      Canned greens are very common. They are cooked and have a very different flavour than raw greens. I am sorry, but if you use canned kale in this recipe it will taste very different. You could give it a go using a very small amount. But I wouldn’t want you to waste ingredients. Can you get spinach in your town? The chocolate spinach shake is amazing too!

      1. Yikes! Glad I checked before buying it! I can get spinach so I will be sure to try out the chocolate spinach shake! Thank you!

  21. This is the best smoothie I’ve ever tasted, and maybe one of my top 10 favorite foods ever, and I’m not a big kale fan at all!

    However, not being a vegan or vegetarian, this is pretty high-calorie (575), high-carb (56g), and high-fat (30g) for me to have as a snack or even a meal replacement (and those counts are low since I used stevia instead of agave), so I’ve cut the cashews down to 1/4 c. (1/2 c. of them is 360 calories!) and use only one banana and replace the other with 1/2 c. 35-calorie unsweetened almond milk.

    So that brings the calories down to 325 and cuts in half the carbs and fat. So now I can drink it guilt-free as well!

    1. Hey Ellen!
      Thankyou SO much for sharing your low-calorie blend of this smoothie. This will help so many people! I really appreciate you taking the time to share your experience so we can all benefit.
      So glad you are enjoying this smoothie 🙂

  22. Have you ever tried freezing your smoothies? I have a friend who is a teacher and needs to be able to wash enough greens once to last a while. I’m thinking she could try making some smoothies and freeze them in portions so she can get the greens she needs. Not sure if that would work well, though. Any thoughts?

    1. Hey Nikki.
      Sure! You “can” freeze smoothies as soon as you make them. However, they will crystallize, so you will need to blend them again with a little bit of milk or water to get a good consistency again. It is better than not getting the greens in at all.
      But it can work 🙂
      I hope that helps your friend.

  23. Yum! You suggested this for a couple of new green smoothie drinkers that were afraid to drink our greens! Thanks for the recipe. It was awesome and very pistachio ice cream like! Great work and thanks for sharing.

    1. Thanks Ronni.
      It was great to connect with you on facebook. I am so glad you and your hubby enjoyed this smoothie, and look forward to you trying more green smoothie varieties!

  24. Any shake that gets all three of my kids – including my three year old – to demolish a bunch of kale gets mega praise. thanks heaps. just discovered your site and we’re slowly drinking our way through it. we all *heart* the brazil nut chocolate milkshake too – great for dessert.

    1. That is WONDERFUL Alison.
      Thankyou so much for taking the time to share your family experience.
      This shake is SO delicious, SO much fun, and such a FANTASTIC introduction to kale!

  25. This was my first green smoothie and I’m in love! My 3 year old helped me make it and she loves it too ( she didn’t even question the kale, which really surprised me)

    1. Wonderful! I LOVE hearing that.
      I am so pleased you enjoyed this smoothie. It is such a fun introduction into green smoothies. Try some of the other green smoothies recipe too. There are tons of delicious flavour varieties.

  26. This was so delicious! Who would have guessed kale could taste so yummy in a shake? I used Lacinato – my favorite variety. I drank this smoothie this morning, right after all 4 of my wisdom teeth got out.

    Thank you so much. 🙂 I will be coming here often since I can’t have much solid foods for a while.

    1. Thanks Natalyn!
      So glad you enjoyed this smoothie.
      I hope you make a speedy recovery.
      I had all of my wisdom teeth out many years ago and I feel your pain!
      If you are on liquid foods this is the place to come! Enjoy 🙂
      Great to be connected.

  27. This is sooooooo good. I am so happy I discovered your website. So excited to discover new ways to eat my greens!

    1. I am so glad you are enjoying the recipes! Isn’t this shake incredible? The SEXIEST way to eat kale I have ever tasted!
      Try the banana coconut cream pie green smoothie and you will have the trifecta. Oh My…..WOW!

  28. This recipe is awesome! I use homemade almond milk instead of water add a 1/2 cup of chickpeas. Sounds gross, but there’s no taste to them and they give me the extra carbs to keep me going all morning. Thank you for posting!

  29. Amazing, and I am not a kale lover. I used salted,roasted cashews, all I had, did NOT use vanilla, used 5 dates, no agave, started with 3 leaves of kale because I was scared, today used 4. Today, I couldn’t wait to have this shake, I had used the rest of the cashews today, and added in salted almonds for the balance. So DELICIOUS! I will have this everyday, because of the massive health benefits. I also used frozen bananas.

  30. Absolutely delicious. Never tried kale before. I am so happy I gave it a go. I am going to try and grow it now so I can mix it in other smoothies or juices. This recipe is fantastic. This website is fantastic. Thank you so much.

    1. Oh Kathy, I am so pleased you gave this a go and enjoyed it. It is lovely to be in contact with you again. I owe you an email and WILL get to it when I get home next week. xx

    1. Yes, I understand. You can grow your own, or try some of the other amazing green smoothie recipes on this site. SO many others you can enjoy 🙂

  31. I tried making this smoothie, but it didn’t turn out well, because it had way too much kale. I put 3 large leaves in there, but it was a lot more than a cup. So next time I will make sure to measure the quantity in cups/by weight.

    1. Yes, in order to get the flavour right in this smoothie, you need to measure the ingredients exactly. 1 cup of kale, no more. Enjoy 🙂

  32. Finally found the equivalent of kale in my country and made this as soon as I got home. Hands down the best kale smoothie. Kale? You’d never know it! I will consider this my “go to” dessert smoothie when I want something sweet but healthy.

  33. Hello there Blender girl, curious, which is better for the body system…xanthan gum or guar gum… I m attempting not to gain weight but still enjoy my raw diet and your yummy ideas shared here!

    In gratitude, Namaste

    1. I used to use xanthan gum, and don’t touch it anymore after further research. It is actually toxic. I don’t bake very often anymore. But, when I do, I only ever use guar gum or no gums at all. I hope this helps.

  34. Thanks, it actually does as after more research I purchased guar gum and not xanthan and I got some irish moss too.
    Thanks again, Peace.

      1. Just made it. Confirmed, it’s pretty great. I did add a small handful of raw pistachios: the banana flavor was overtaking it a smidge. I found that the colder it was, the more it tasted like pistachio ice cream. I put half in a cup and ate it straight and am freezing the other half. I’d like to see how “scoopable” it turns out. 🙂 thanks again!

        1. OK Great! Thanks for sharing your experience. Yes, I agree, the colder it is the more it tastes like pistachio ice cream.

  35. Hi Tess! I just discovered your website, and I can’t pin/write recipes fast enough! I’d love to try this one (and many others), but I don’t handle cashews very well. Is there a good substitute? Macadamia nuts or almonds, perhaps? Thanks for any help, and I can’t wait to try out some of your recipes! 🙂

    1. Welcome Lauren. Thanks for your lovely comments. With regards to raw cashews, it depends on the recipe. Please feel free to ask questions about specific recipes by posting a comment on them, and I will respond with what works best. But generally for smoothies and raw puddings, blanched or raw almonds works best.

  36. This is delicious! I even served it to a couple of my not so plant based family members today and they LOVED it. I hope it isn’t wrong that I nearly laughed my head off at the fact that they were gobbling up kale!

    1. LOL! I LOVE it. Wrong or not, I am laughing in celebration. I can’t tell you how many emails and messages I get with the exact same story. This smoothie is the sexiest, most fun introduction into green smoothies I have ever tasted! A delicious dessert smoothie, but great every once and a while. SO glad you enjoyed it 🙂

  37. Hi! I just wanted to let you know that I just tried this recipe, and it is FABULOUS!! I just bought a vitamix last week and have been having so much fun exploring recipes. I made your recipe as is, except I substituted 1/4 cup pistachios for the 1/2 cup cashews, as that is all I had on hand. It was delicious.

    1. LOVE your blend of this recipe Paula. SO glad you enjoyed it and can’t wait to hear what you think of the other recipes. WOO HOO for getting a Vitamix. That machine is a game changer. Plenty more Vitamix recipes coming. Welcome 🙂

  38. This is great! It didn’t taste like pistachio ice cream to me, but it also didn’t taste like raw kale! I usually can’t tolerate raw kale, so I’m super excited about this recipe. I don’t have a Vitamix so I had to increase the amount of water to 1 cup.

    1. You need to get it really cold to taste reminiscent of pistachio ice cream. But, I am glad you enjoyed it. Good to know about the extra water. Thanks!

  39. I recently tried the original Sun Cafe shake and came across your recipe. OMG!!! Made mine (several times now!) with dates, replaced about a forth of the teaspoon vanilla with almond extract and topped it off with a few goji berries and raw coconut shavings. My husband and I are now addicted. Just bought the Sun Cafe shake this morning for my husband to try for the first time and both of us totally prefer your shake! I just had to thank you, so thank you! It feels so good to make something healthy that’s so frigging amazing, I can’t wait to try your other recipes!!

  40. sounds delish, I have been throwing together various fruits with spinach for a while.
    tried kale before but always goes bad before I use it all. Then I discovered baby kale, which is awesome in so many ways. Think I will try it in this recipe.

    1. This recipe makes two servings:
      Per serving:
      Calories – 386
      Fat – 15g
      Sodium – 23mg
      Carbs – 60g
      Fiber – 6g
      Sugars – 35g
      Protein – 8g
      Calcium – 63mg
      Iron – 3mg

  41. Hi ! I am hoping to make this, but my son has allergies to all tree nuts. Any suggestions for another sub for the cashews? Coconut or hemp seeds? I just wondered if you think subbing with more banana might work. I would love any suggestions!

    1. Wonderful. So sorry Sarah, I am just catching up on emails and hundreds of comments. I would have suggested exactly that! So, awesome! Glad it was a success.

  42. This is my go to smoothie . Every time I try a new one, I long for this one . I keep my sugar intake low so the banana is plenty sweet for me yet this drink doesn’t taste like banana . You Rock !!!!!!!!!

  43. I must be doing something wrong. I made it 2 times with kale and it was yucky. The kale was bitter. I made is once with spinach and it was delicious. The curly kale doesn’t taste good to me.

    1. Wow. You’re the first person in thousands of people who have said that. This is the most popular recipe on my site. But, it’s so great to hear your feedback. Thanks so much. Try using half the kale (and don’t use the stalks) and see what you think of that. But, spinach is delicious, too.

  44. Although the recipe looks like it’s way too sweet for my liking, I’ll try it tomorrow. I’m the kinda girl who breakfasts green smoothies every day with a 2:1 ratio of greens to fruits. So I’m actually good with a big amount of Kale in my smoothie. 🙂 But I’m so curious about the pistachio flavor described here. I’ll let you know how I liked it!

    1. Honestly, I don’t recommend steaming greens before putting in smoothies. Yes, greens contain oxalates, and that can cause problems for people with certain health conditions. But, the latest research is showing that intake of greens contributes very little to oxalate-related kidney stones, and so, for me, the mild reduction in oxalates that occurs after cooking greens is barely worth the funky flavor it will bring to this smoothie. Having said that, I do not recommend consuming huge amounts of the same leafy green in one week or regularly. But, unless you have the schedule of panda, you’re never going to do that anyway. I hope that helps.

  45. This shake is sooooo awesome!!!!!! I could seriously live on it everyday for the rest of my life! LOL thanks so much for sharing your really unique and tasty recipes and ideas!

  46. Soaking questions!
    Are you doing the quick soak with boiling water for the cashews or the longer soak per your chart? Also, I couldn’t find dates on your chart – how long should I soak them for this recipe?
    Are recipe measurements done pre-soaking or post-soaking?

    Thanks 🙂 I made a kale smoothie this morning (my own recipe) which was so awful (something about the combo of kale/coconut milk/grapes/mango/pineapple/avocado = a metallic soapy taste). So I am really super excited to try your recipe!

    1. So sorry for the confusion. I just amended the recipe for you to make it easier to follow. The meaurements is pre-soak, and you cover them with filtered water for about 20 minutes to soften them. This is not really necessary if using a high-speed blender, but required when using a conventional machine to get the smoothest consistency.

  47. I have the same questions as Ombresque. Can you provide instructions on how to soak the dates and if the measurements are pre or post soak?

  48. Wow this sounds absolutely stunning! Am making this tomorrow! Was wondering, would this be freezeable? Would love to try it as an ice cream with chopped pistachios for my toddler! Xxx

    1. You can freeze this in popsicle molds. But, if you want to make ice cream you’ll get the best results by churning it in an ice cream maker. If you freeze it in a container you will get some crystalization.

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