Starbucks Kale Smoothies Exist Now, So How Else Might They Get The Leafy Green Into The Menu?
As you may have heard, Starbucks debuted a new line of smoothies this week at select locations across the country. Called Evolution Fresh Smoothies, they're yogurt-based — but that's not the most notable thing about them. That honor goes to the fact that you can give them an extra boost with a dose of kale. That's right: Starbucks kale smoothies are a thing now.
As L.V. Anderson over at Slate remarked, kale “certainly seems like a departure for Starbucks — a company known for the impressive collection of artificially flavored syrups on display in each store — to offer a beverage based on a fresh, highly perishable, and foodborne-disease-prone ingredient. Kale doesn't scale, at least not as easily as the factory-made, prepackaged syrups and powders that are Starbucks' bread and butter.” However, Anderson added, “But if the company can make it work? More power to them” — which, I think, is spot-on. Given that the Evolution Fresh Smoothies range between 170 and 230 calories (in comparison with the 300 or so calories in a Vivanno smoothie) and are made of “simple, nutritious ingredients,” they're a good option to have — even if they're only in Washington, Oregon, Alaska, northern California, Idaho, and Starbucks grocery locations at the moment.
The ability to add kale to a Starbucks smoothie got me thinking, though: In what other ways could the 'Bux add kale to its menu? After all, the leafy green is still having its moment; now would certainly be the time to experiment with a few more options. So here — I came up with some ideas. They're not necessarily good ideas… but they're ideas, nonetheless. Call me, Starbucks. I've got plenty more where these came from.
1. Kale-Infused Coffee
I mean, given that coffee is what Starbucks is known for, it makes sense, right?… Except the idea of kale-infused coffee sounds gut-wrenchingly disgusting. On second thought, never mind. Let's skip that one.
2. Artisinal Kale Chips
Everyone keep telling me how awesome kale chips are. I'm not convinced, but we may as well give the people what they want. At least it's better that kale-infused coffee.
3. “Green Monster” Kale Frappuccino
I would imagine this one would have a green tea base, although the blended-up kale might give it a slightly bizarre texture.
4. Kale and Black Bean Brownies
Gwyneth Paltrow would probably love these.
5. Kale Tea
Did you know that kale tea is a real thing? Because I sure didn't. It's not exactly surprising that it exists, though — after all, you can make tea out of just about anything — but still. Kale… tea. Just think about that for a moment.
6. Kale Fizzio Handcrafted Soda
Uh… no thanks. (Although the Fizzio sodas themselves sound pretty good. Just, y'know… not with kale in them.)
7. Kale-Topped Perfect Oatmeal
Ew. I'm sorry, guys. I don't know what I was thinking.
8. Rubbed Kale Salad with Apples and Goat Cheese
Of all the kale monstrosities I've come up with so far, this is probably the only one I would actually eat. I'm not a huge kale fan — it's a little too strong in flavor for me — but apples and goat cheese always seem to compliment it really well. May as well add a kale-tastic option to the lunchtime menu, right?
9. Kale Cake Pops
Or “Kale Kake Pop,” if you prefer. But hey, guess what? Not unlike kale tea, kale cake is actually a thing. It looks pretty good, too, somewhat surprisingly.
10. Cold-Pressed Kale Juice
Images: Starbucks; Giphy (4); _Superbeast_/Flickr