Are green smoothies “over” yet? I hope not because I’ve been acting like I just discovered them. After a winter of oatmeal with berries, oatmeal with cherries, oatmeal with apples, oatmeal with oatmeal, I’m happy the weather has warmed up and I can drink my breakfast rather than gum it. And I love that I can add kale to the fruit in my blender and have a drink that is still delicious but contains a serving or two of raw leafy greens. And in this case, something extra….
In order for a smoothie to have “staying power” with me–i.e. keep me satisfied until lunch–it has to have a little more protein than fruits and vegetables alone provide. I’m not a fan of processed protein powders, so I’ve started adding a little bit of beans to my smoothies. White beans, to be exact. I’ve found that just a quarter cup makes a smoothie more filling and adds about 5 grams of protein per serving without negatively affecting the taste and texture. Beans and greens have become the basis for some of my new favorite breakfasts!
Kale-Powered Tropical Smoothie
- 1/2 cup almond milk or other non-dairy milk
- 1/4 cup great northern beans or other white beans, cooked, rinsed and drained
- 1 cup fresh pineapple cubed
- 2-3 cups stemmed and chopped kale about 2-3 ounces, packed
- 1 frozen banana cut into several pieces
- 1/2 tablespoon chia seeds or flax seeds
- stevia or other sweetener to taste, if desired
- Place all ingredients into the blender in the order listed. Begin on low speed and increase to highest speed, blending until completely smooth. Pour into a glass and enjoy.
Nutritional info is approximate.
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JulieApril 29, 2014 at 1:51 pm
I’m so happy to have this recipe as I, too, have had a winter full of oatmeal. Now all I need is a better blender 😉 I’ll have to cut back on the carb amount since I’m diabetic. Probably the pineapple, I’m guessing? Thanks for the recipe! It looks yummy!
KindnessApril 29, 2014 at 1:56 pm
Why would you put beans in a smoothie 🙁 Gross!
CarrieApril 29, 2014 at 2:40 pm
Don’t knock it till you try it! 🙂 White beans add little flavor but lots of nutrition.
Deutsche MamaMay 12, 2014 at 12:10 pm
Because of the extra protein and fiber!!! And when you drink the smoothie you won’t taste the beans. I’m sure tons of people used to ask “why would you add kale/spinach/broccoli to a smoothie”. Because it makes the smoothie that much healthier. Give it a try.
EveFebruary 4, 2015 at 4:32 pm
I’ve been making smoothies with 1/4 – 1/3 cup white beans now for weeks, and the comments are correct – you cannot taste or detect them in any way, but my morning after-smoothie cravings are gone! No longer do I find myself anxiously watching the clock tick towards lunchtime. Beans are almost magical in their ability to stave off hunger and keep me full and satisfied. Seriously…give it a try!
BellaisaApril 29, 2014 at 3:14 pm
That’s a great idea to add the beans for protein! I think kindness is associating a strong bean taste – but white beans would blend right in to the taste. Besides, I have found that when you eat vegan, beans just kind of have a home everywhere. 🙂
Can I ask, why don’t you like the protein powders? Because they are processed?
KellyApril 29, 2014 at 4:07 pm
I would like to try this recipe, but I am allergic to bananas. What should I substitute instead of the banana, so that I can still get the same delicious, tropical outcome? I’d appreciate some advice. Thanks!
Susan VoisinApril 29, 2014 at 4:41 pm
I would try mangoes. They’re tropical and blend up fairly creamy.
DylanMay 3, 2014 at 11:35 pm
Avocado is also awesome to add creaminess to a green smoothie with minimal taste. Thanks for the tip about the beans! I’m so trying it.
graceApril 29, 2014 at 4:25 pm
Love the smooties! I don’t even stem the kale, just throw it in. I also sometimes use cashews for that protein kick, or hemp seed. Another fav: Tablespoon cocoa powder, left over coffee, kale, banana- zippppidedoodah!
Anne @aveganadventureApril 29, 2014 at 4:27 pm
I bet adding the beans makes the smoothie incredibly thick and creamy as well — what a great idea. This would be yummy with a bit of mango or papaya thrown in as well.
RebeccaApril 29, 2014 at 6:11 pm
I’ve added white beans to my smoothies before as well; and you’re absolutely correct: it gives the smoothie more staying-power without changing the taste or the texture!
MariaApril 29, 2014 at 6:51 pm
OH, THANK YOU! I have been making smoothies and worried about the lack of protein/staying power (especially for my young athlete daughter) and I don’t like the texture of wheat germ. So I broke down a week ago and bought my first ever box of protein powder. …I don’t like it. I feel like I am eating processed junk even though I spared no expense for what looked like the best vegan choice. Daughter doesn’t like it either. SO… we are very excited about the beans idea!!! Yay!!!
moonwatcherApril 29, 2014 at 7:11 pm
This sounds fantastic, Susan!! I love that you are sharing with us another magical way to use white beans, too. I like that there’s fresh pineapple in it as well. I will have to try this sometime once it’s warmer here. Thanks!!
Karen ZielkeApril 29, 2014 at 8:57 pm
I like the bean idea. I’m going to try it. I’ve also added the dreaded oatmeal (raw flakes of old-fashioned variety) for staying power.
Corrin RaddApril 29, 2014 at 9:32 pm
Oatmeal is dreaded? Cooked oatmeal is great in smoothies!
MommaJApril 29, 2014 at 11:57 pm
Cooked oatmeal in smoothies? I’m new to the smoothie world (at least the make-your-own smoothies) – I’m going to have to try that!
KatieApril 30, 2014 at 9:13 am
I love oats in smoothies! I never bothering cooking them first though. Dry oats blend up really creamy in a high-speed blender.
Loraine MazzoliniApril 30, 2014 at 9:08 am
Oh this sounds yummy and can’t wait to try it 🙂 I have never tried the beans in a smoothie but am willing since I love all beans. As for the protein powder, we finally did find one that we like and it is vegan and Non GMO and we buy the Classic Chocolate one that is Brown Rice protein, https://www.sunwarrior.com/store/
Just thought I would share that for anyone looking for a clean, plant based protein for their shakes/smoothies. If you know Tosca Reno from Clean Eating this is what she uses.
BrendaApril 30, 2014 at 8:32 pm
THANK YOU for a GREAT idea!! I don’t eat near enough beans/legumes as I’d like, and this sounds like a win-win …. I’ll get in more beans, and still have my regular “green” smoothies!!
DenaMay 1, 2014 at 11:27 am
Love your website this recipe sounds great. I too need more than greens to make it to lunch time. I have just begun no oil vegen eating and your websight is very valuable to me. Thank you for all the time you put into it. I find it very interesting and inspiring. With your help no oil vegan eating is easy and not overwhelming! My husband had a heart attack 2 years ago so we take this lifestyle change very seriously. Thanks again for all your hard work.
AnaMay 1, 2014 at 7:07 pm
Today I tried my first smoothie with beans. White beans, to be exact! I added about a cup (and had a banana and a date for sweetness, and some maca powder) and didn’t notice it affecting the taste. Very creamy and definitely super filling 🙂
LisaMay 2, 2014 at 6:41 am
I agree with you wholeheartedly about beans in smoothies! I have a big bag of sprouted lentils in the freezer, and add some to my green smoothie every morning. Can’t even taste them, and, as you said, it helps to make the smoothie much more filling. Love your recipes, thanks so much for having this website!! 🙂
LillyMay 2, 2014 at 9:36 pm
I like adding beans to smoothies as well as cooked grains (oatmeal). I like to start my smoothies with water and 1 oz walnuts (or other nut such as raw almonds, cashews, etc) and a Tbs of seeds (hemp, ground flax, or chi). I whip that up to a milky froth in the Vitmax and then add the other ingredients – usually all frozen…10-12 oz kale, a carrot, 2 fruits (orange is great with carrot and spinach) 1/2 frozen banana or blueberries. Always some form of berries. Sometimes cinnamon, vanilla or ginger, too. I find smoothies that only have 1-2 servings of fruit are not so sweet and are more filling, too. Glad you are enjoying smoothies this spring!
Beth LPMay 2, 2014 at 10:52 pm
I like to add adzuki beans.
catherineMay 5, 2014 at 7:19 am
Sounds like a good idea, would keep you feeling full longer. I agree that it is better than the protein powders. I am going to try this. Thanks for the idea. How about freezing the beans for a bit and adding them to the vitamix when making ice cream! Dr. Fuhrman would like your recipe for sure!
JaniceMay 5, 2014 at 1:06 pm
I’ve had good luck with pintos and garbanzos as well. I don’t notice the taste but the smoothie is more filling and creamier.
I thought I was the only one until I saw chick peas as an ingredient in the Naked brand berry veggie drink in the grocery store.
SunnyMay 6, 2014 at 9:15 am
I never thought about adding beans to my morning (or rather, mid-morning) smoothie! I will be trying this one out! Thanks for a great idea!
KatieMay 8, 2014 at 3:21 pm
This morning I added a 1/4 of oats and a 1/4 of white beans to my green smoothie. Wow! Super creamy and it also kept me very full until lunch. I usually have a mid-morning snack but didn’t even need it after that breakfast!
Cathy AustinMay 8, 2014 at 10:33 pm
I tried the Kale smoothie and did a little change of quantities but it was really great! Thanks
I saw a soup recipe but can’t find it and wanted to see if it was one of yours. Sweet Potato and cabbage with veggie stock. If you have one please email me.
AsaMay 15, 2014 at 2:36 am
I’ve thrown in half a cup of edamame beans in my green smoothie a couple of times. I recommend them as well, I didn’t notice the taste at all! I will try white beans soon 😀
RobinJune 10, 2014 at 12:26 pm
Looks great. I am looking for new breakfast ideas. I calculate this at 9 WW points. Sound right? Unfortunately, that is 3 more than I want. ( I like to save some for evening wine!)
AnnieJuly 5, 2014 at 2:56 pm
Looks great! But where does the high level of sodium come from?
Susan VoisinJuly 7, 2014 at 9:13 am
Actually, even by the strictest measures (less than 1 mg. sodium per calorie), this is very low-sodium. About 75% of the sodium comes from the almond, 24% comes from the kale, and the remaining traces come from the other ingredients.
LindaApril 30, 2015 at 1:49 pm
So thankful for this idea today! As I was eating my oatmeal with blueberries this morning I was thinking that I was getting a little tired of it and I needed to come up with something else! Thank you, Susan!
radhaMay 2, 2015 at 11:25 am
This is a great recipe but I will not be able to add beans to a smoothie.
It is a bit too adventurous for me!
ChuckMay 4, 2015 at 12:45 pm
I see I’m far from being the only one to have not heard of adding beans to a smoothie. Smoothies are a 5 times a week breakfast add-on for me. I’ll give it a try. As a follower of Joel Fuhrman this can be a good way for me to get closer to that 1/2 cup of beans per day guideline.
LindaAugust 14, 2017 at 6:08 am
I’ve tried this smoothie yesterday and it’s so good. Thanks for sharing the recipe Susan. If there’s 10-star I’m giving this a perfect score.