Red Cabbage Smoothie

You guys. This smoothie. My mind is blown.

Red cabbage blueberry smoothie 3

I drank an entire head of red cabbage in the span of 2 days––and I want to drink more.

Red cabbage blueberry smoothie 1

Never in my wildest dream would I have thought a red cabbage smoothie would find it’s way onto ATE, but here we are. I have Ree to thank for planting the seed, and a half-wilted head of red cabbage in the fridge for making this smoothie possible.

Red cabbage blueberry smoothie 4

Who knew frozen red cabbage, blueberries and bananas would make such a tasty combination. We’re talking so tasty I sucked the first one down in a matter of five minutes, and paused.

You’d think being a Dietitian I would have considered the potential GI effects of downing half a head of cabbage that fast, but I didn’t––until after the fact. Thankfully there were no red cabbage repercussions to be had though!

As it turns out, cabbage is actually loaded with compounds that support digestive tract health: cancer-and inflammation-fighting glucosinolates, antioxidant polyphenols and glutamine, which helps protect the lining of the digestive tract. That beautiful purple pigment, called anthocyanin, is becoming more and more interesting to researchers as they learn more about it’s potent antioxidant, anti-inflammatory and therapeutic properties.

The most shocking thing about this smoothie, besides the gorgeous, purple color?  How undetectable the cabbage is with just a cup of blueberries, one banana and a little bit of vanilla yogurt mixed in. The hubs was a bit skeptical but quickly gave it two enthusiastic thumbs up after taking his first sip.

I have one question though, and maybe you know the answer. Is it possible to turn purple from consuming too many of these smoothies? Because too many carrots turn people orange…Well, I hope not but somebody please say something if I start looking even the slightest bit ashy.

  • 1 1/2 cups cold water
  • 1/2 small head red cabbage, quartered and frozen (about 4” in diameter)
  • 1 cup frozen blueberries
  • 1 banana, frozen
  • 2/3 cup low-fat vanilla yogurt


First, break up the frozen cabbage with your hands and puree with water in a high power blender. Add frozen blueberries, banana and vanilla yogurt and puree again until smooth.

34 Comments on Red Cabbage Smoothie

  1. Emily
    August 17, 2016 at 8:15 pm (2 months ago)

    Hi Elle, quick few questions: I assume you would you keep the second portion in the fridge? Would it keep longer than a day? And would you be able to refreeze portions to extend the life if you couldn’t drink it the next day? I don’t have a lot of time in the mornngs and like to take breakfasts to work with me :) thankyou

  2. Arlene Montemarano
    August 26, 2015 at 7:35 pm (1 year ago)

    I have been using frozen bananas in smoothies for years. For best results, peel banana and then replace peel. Then freeze. The peel protects the banana and comes right off when you use the banana.

  3. Sue
    February 21, 2015 at 11:18 am (2 years ago)

    Approximately how many cups of cabbage is in the smoothie. Thanks so much.

    • Elle
      March 2, 2015 at 10:47 pm (2 years ago)

      Hi Sue,
      I’d guess about 3-4 cups of chopped cabbage.

  4. David
    January 23, 2015 at 7:39 am (2 years ago)

    Awesome!! Yes red cabbage is great for you, and this makes it so enjoyable to eat it. Well in this case drink it:) thank you Elle

  5. Kandi
    January 8, 2015 at 3:46 pm (2 years ago)

    It is sad how negative some people can be, yes smoothies can be high carb, but we are talking about a recipe that will add red cabbage into our diet. Nancy, if you are frightened that I am ‘ill informed’, don’t visit this site! Elle, your answer was great. My husband and I have a kale/banana/strawberry/oatmeal/ceylon cinnamon and almond milk drink every morning! I think this is a lot better than a donut or greasy bacon , sausage, egg combo at the corner diner. So, hush up negative people, I’ve lost over 20 pounds eating clean!

  6. kcjones
    November 21, 2014 at 10:59 am (2 years ago)

    I just tried this with left over cabbage from cabbage Rejuvelac I’m making. Super yummy! Would have never thought of making it before. I used a little almond milk as I didn’t have any yogurt.

  7. Vee
    October 3, 2014 at 2:33 pm (2 years ago)

    I just made this smoothie. This is good stuff! Thanks for the recipe!

  8. Savanna
    August 25, 2014 at 9:19 pm (2 years ago)

    Not bad at all! Thx for the recipe!

  9. Jill W
    May 31, 2014 at 11:33 pm (2 years ago)

    So many healthy recipes call for bananas. What are some good substitutes for smoothies as well as baked goods? Thank you!! (I hate bananas.)

  10. Lynn
    May 31, 2014 at 2:01 pm (2 years ago)

    I’m excited to try this. Can you use soy or almond milk in place of the water and yogurt?

  11. GiGi Eats
    May 24, 2014 at 10:13 pm (2 years ago)

    OH HELLO GENIUS!!!! This is incredible and I absolutely ADORE purple/red cabbage!!! :)

  12. Amalia
    May 24, 2014 at 7:30 pm (2 years ago)

    I bought cabbage SPECIFICALLY to try this this weekend. This just reminded me to go freeze it! I’m excited. Hoping my tiny magic bullet is up to the task.

    • Elle
      May 27, 2014 at 2:37 pm (2 years ago)

      Yay! Your magic bullet should do just fine. My regular ol’ blender had no problem.

  13. Hilary
    May 23, 2014 at 9:29 am (2 years ago)

    WOw this is mind blowing! I never would have thought to put cabbage in a smoothie!

  14. Pam schirner
    May 23, 2014 at 8:05 am (2 years ago)

    Do you have the nurtutional information on the Red Cabbage smoothie available?

  15. Nancy
    May 23, 2014 at 4:04 am (2 years ago)

    Smoothies have very high carbohydrate counts, along with high sugar. These are not a healthy option. Frightening how ill informed the public remains.

    • Elle
      May 27, 2014 at 2:50 pm (2 years ago)

      Hi Nancy,
      I agree, smoothies can be high in sugar and may not be a good choice for everyone. They can be a great source of vitamins, minerals, fiber, protein and complex carbs though which, for others, can make for a healthy breakfast or be beneficial for muscle recovery after a tough training session.

    • Lucinda Scott
      January 6, 2015 at 5:21 pm (2 years ago)

      Nancy, smoothies can also be high protein. I make all of mine with protein powder, and I add an egg and plain Greek yogurt. I use coconut milk, which is lower in carbs than cow’s milk. I add greens, berries, which aren’t terribly high in carbs, and tart cherry juice. I may try red cabbage in place of kale–it’s a great idea–but will always keep my protein content high.

      • Jenny
        January 13, 2015 at 11:34 am (2 years ago)

        I agree that smoothies can be fashionable junk food, but if you’re making them at home you have total control over that! This recipe sounds great! Besides, carbs from whole fruits/veg aren’t as bad as from juices because the inherent fiber helps mitigate them. I don’t believe anyone has ever gotten fat from fruits and veg unless they’re eating a bunch of other fattening
        stuff with them.

    • C.M. Ballaris
      June 26, 2016 at 6:15 pm (4 months ago)

      I wish this recipe listed the carbs, protein, and calories. As a diabetic, this is important information. However, I can make this recipe with minimal alterations and make it okay for me. I am eliminating the yogurt and adding one scoop of a whey based vanilla protein powder. If the volume turns out to be more than 16oz, I will divide it into two servings which will help keep calories and carbs a little lower.

  16. Katie @ 24 Carrot Life
    May 23, 2014 at 12:42 am (2 years ago)

    My mind is equally blown. So glad to have this recipe after I was intrigued by your Instagram post!

  17. Melissa | Suitcase and Heels
    May 22, 2014 at 7:39 pm (2 years ago)

    Does the cabbage need to be frozen first? I’m not sure my blender can handle breaking it up. Maybe I could just freeze it in smaller bits.

    • Elle
      May 27, 2014 at 2:38 pm (2 years ago)

      I definitely recommend freezing beforehand. Break it up into smaller chunks before freezing, or before blending and your blender should have no problem with it!

      • lia
        January 8, 2015 at 3:24 pm (2 years ago)

        Dosent freezing affect the nutrient content of the cabage?

        • Saskia
          July 1, 2015 at 9:49 am (1 year ago)

          I wouldn’t have thought it would make a significant difference, and will certainly be better than cooking it. Freezing is generally quite a good way to preserve nutrients as long as you get things straight into the freezer after buying/harvesting – you lose more nutrients through leaving it sitting in the fridge for days!

          One of the main sources of nutrient loss in frozen foods is the blanching that most frozen food goes through to preserve texture & appearance, but since this frozen cabbage is going to be blended it won’t need blanching so nutrient loss should be negligible. The other source of nutrient loss is thawing, which again won’t be an issue here.

  18. Sandra Laflamme
    May 22, 2014 at 6:08 pm (2 years ago)

    I never would have considered that combo but it sounds delicious and refreshing too! I will have to try it this summer!

  19. Liz
    May 22, 2014 at 5:49 pm (2 years ago)

    no way! I love the colour, I might have to give it a go. Have you ever tried herbs in your smoothies? I’ve just discovered that basil in a banana smoothie is incredible.
    Love your photos by the way, they are beautiful.

  20. Courtney @
    May 22, 2014 at 4:43 pm (2 years ago)

    Elle this smoothie sounds Ahhh-mazing! I’ve been so into these smoothies lately for pre & post workouts. I’ve been using spinach, dates, a banana, mint and some dark choc almond milk for a post-workout treat / breakfast & can’t believe how much spinach/ mint my body can consume… Do you think I’ll turn green?! ;)

  21. Kayli Schattner
    May 22, 2014 at 1:18 pm (2 years ago)

    No way! I suppose I was skeptical about spinach smoothies at first (YUM!) but red cabbage?! I’ll take your word for it + give it a try! I’ll try anything once ;) if it’s as good as you say it is, I better buy two heads!

  22. Dana P
    May 22, 2014 at 11:02 am (2 years ago)

    Yum! Glad to hear it turned out so well. I have leftover frozen cabbage in my freezer that I’m just dying to do something with. Looks like one of these might be in my future!

  23. Lunden
    May 22, 2014 at 9:59 am (2 years ago)

    Ahh Elle, you are so good. I want to make this ASAP… I think I will sub the yogurt for Vanilla Sun Warrior Protein and see how it tastes <3


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