Everyone loves a good smoothie. They’re simple to make, taste great, and are the perfect meal or snack when you’re on the go and need something quick. But there’s a problem with many smoothie recipes: too much fruit, too few vegetables.
While fruit is a source of fiber, vitamins, minerals and antioxidants and natural sugar. Some sugar is completely fine, especially the natural kind found in fruit. But if you’re loading up a smoothie with two, three, four (or more) types of fruit, you may be going overboard on the sugar.
Too much fruit in a smoothie, combined with skimping on veggies, protein and fat, will make your blood sugar levels rise quickly. This rise is accompanied by a release of insulin, which causes those sugar levels to plummet fast – leading you to feel hungry soon after drinking your smoothie. This quick rise and fall of your blood sugar can also lead to fluctuating energy levels during the day. Hello mid-afternoon slump!
Re-think your smoothie by using vegetables as your base. Incorporating veggies, and sticking to one serving of fruit, means more fiber, vitamins, minerals and antioxidants, and a reasonable amount of natural sugars. Your blood sugar and energy levels will stay stable and you’ll feel full and satisfied longer post-smoothie.
Vegetables to Use in Your Smoothie
Use a variety of different vegetables in your smoothie to get a large range of nutrients and antioxidants. If you aren’t used to having vegetables in your smoothie, start with more mild types such as spinach, carrots, cucumber or celery. Some of my favorite vegetables to use in smoothies include:
- Leafy greens – spinach, kale, arugula
- Sweet potato
- Sweet peppers
Smoothie Recipes with a Hearty Vegetable Base
Looking for recipe inspiration? Try these smoothies – all made with a vegetable base.
- SunGold Summer Squash Smoothie from Emily Kyle Nutrition
- Strawberry Beet Smoothie from Liz’s Healthy Table
- Secret-Ingredient Green Smoothie from Jessica Cording Nutrition
- Blueberry-Cauliflower Smoothie from The Lean Green Bean Blog
- Strawberry Rhubarb Pie Smoothie from Kara Lydon at The Foodie Dietitian
- Creamy Berry Smoothie with Zucchini and Beets from C it Nutritionally
- Pumpkin Pie Smoothie from Amy Gorin Nutrition
- Cherry Beet Lemon Smoothie from Kiss in the Kitchen
- Green Veggie Smoothie from Isabel Smith Nutrition
- Clementine Cutie Creamsicle Smoothie from Nutrition to Fit
- Carrot Cake Smoothie from Smart Nutrition
- Wild Blueberry Beet Smoothie from Kroll’s Korner
- Sweet Potato Smoothie from Bonnie Taub-Dix
What is your favorite vegetable to add to your smoothies? Share your thoughts below in the comments section and be sure to download Luvo’s 7-day meal and fitness plan for more nutrition tips and recipes.