Friday 5, Recipes, Wellness

Friday 5: The 5 Best Low-Sugar Smoothie Recipes

5 Best Low-Sugar Smoothie Recipes

 

We are SO excited to bring you this new collab with our friend Rachel of @askmeifikale (go follow her on IG)! I know I get way too much sugar in my diet, so I asked Rachel about ways to make smoothies that were less sugary…and girl did not disappoint! We had so much fun prepping and shooting these recipes for you…get ready to fall in love! – Ashton 

 

It’s 8am, you’re hungry, but you’re not sure what to make for breakfast. You think, “Do I just grab a Kind Bar?” before looking on Instagram to possibly, maybe, find some inspo. You type “breakfast” into the search bar, and up pop pictures of eggs and toast, oatmeal, and of course, the luscious, vibrant, overflowing smoothie bowls. They are topped with edible flowers, tons of fruit, and what seems like ten different superfoods packed inside and sprinkled on top.

 

Sure, these bowls may be drool-worthy and peak your interest. But before you go searching in the depths of Whole Foods for those goji berries, let’s rein it in. What’s the hype even for? Are these beautiful creations doing wonders for your body? It is time to cut through the noise and uncover the small problem with these fruit-packed bowls…sugar!

 

Of course, smoothies are amazing vehicles for getting fiber, essential vitamins, and many nutrients into our bodies. They make easy, accessible #girlboss breakfast options and can be amazing for weight-loss and detoxes. But which recipes are truly good for you? Which ones will fuel your body and keep you satisfied until lunch? How much SUGAR is really hiding in these colorful creations? And, most importantly, why should we even CARE?

 

I’m Rachel, Instagrammer from @askmeifikale, and I believe in simplifying your approach to food and nutrition. I want you to understand why less is more, especially when it comes to the fruit that you are packing into your breakfast smoothie.

 

Fruit contains a type of carb called fructose,  which is digested directly by your liver. However, your liver can only handle so much at once, and when fructose is consumed in large amounts, your liver literally can’t even. The excess is converted into fat. No bueno.

 

So how do we lower that fructose in your morning smoothie? Obviously, fruit is amazing for your body as a source of fiber, vitamins, and nutrients – so I’m not saying to nix it altogether. It’s totally okay to eat fruit on a regular basis; just try choosing lower-fructose options like blueberries over higher-fructose fruits such as apples or bananas. Moral of the story, before you load up your Vitamix to the brim with fruit and think you are making the best breakfast possible, consider this: add in more veggies, protein, and a source of healthy fats before you hit “blend.” You’ll have more long-lasting energy, be less likely to crash at 11am, and have more control over that crippling 4pm sugar craving.

 

As with any diet change, you are more likely to stick to something new if you make the transition gradually. Here is a progression of 5 recipes to decrease your fructose intake in your morning drink and adapt your taste buds to lower amounts of sugar.

 

Tropical Breeze

5 Best Low-Sugar Smoothie Recipes: Tropical Breeze

 

In a high-powered blender or food processor (the Ninja Master Prep is our fave), combine:

 

  • 2 handfuls fresh or frozen spinach
  • 75 g frozen peaches
  • 75 g frozen mango
  • 75 g frozen pineapple
  • Splash of organic orange juice
  • Water to blend to desired consistency

 

This smoothie is great for the newbie smoothie-maker because all the tropical fruits will light up your tastebuds, mentally taking you right to the beaches of the Caribbean (le sigh)! One serving has 87 calories, 18.9 grams carbs, 2g protein, and .3g fat. It clocks in at 14.6 g of sugar.

 

Make it your own: for a higher protein option, add a scoop of vanilla protein powder.

 

Tip: when you use frozen fruits, it reduces the need for adding ice. Two birds, one stone.

 

PB Jelly Time

5 Best Low-Sugar Smoothie Recipes: PB Jelly Time

 

Next, let’s take it down a notch fructose-wise by choosing seasonal berries over tropical fruit:

 

  • 1 cup almond milk (favorite low-sugar options are MALK or Silk Unsweetened Original)
  • ½ banana (~50 g)
  • 100 g sliced strawberries
  • 1 tbsp peanut butter
  • ¼ tsp cinnamon
  • 1 tsp chia seeds or ground flaxseed

 

Tell me this doesn’t take you right back to childhood! One serving has 194 calories, 27.8 g carbs, 10.6 g protein, and 6.1 g fat (using PB2). It has 9.7 g of sugar.

 

Make it your own: if you can’t eat peanut butter, almond butter or sunflower seed butter would be a great substitution. Almond butter will make it have a very subtle flavor, while the sun butter will keep it more robust. Additionally, to cut down on the fat, try out PB2!

 

Chocolate Dream

5 Best Low-Sugar Smoothie Recipes: Chocolate Dream

 

Craving a sweet treat? Here’s a low-sugar solution that tastes just like a Reese’s cup!

 

  • 1 cup almond milk
  • 1 scoop chocolate protein powder
  • 1 tsp cacao powder
  • 1 tbsp almond butter
  • ¼ tsp cinnamon
  • ¼ avocado (~35 g)
  • ½ banana (~50 g)
  • 1 tsp ground flaxseed or chia seeds

 

Sweet dreams are made of these! Fo realz. This baby will definitely keep you satiated until lunch, as it has a higher protein and fat content. One serving contains 406 calories, 33.1 g carbs, 31.5 g protein, and 18.2 g fat. It has 9.1 grams of sugar.

 

Blueberry Bliss

5 Best Low-Sugar Smoothie Recipes: Blueberry Bliss

 

You won’t be able to resist the subtle sweetness and vibrant color of this beauty!

 

  • ½ cup almond milk
  • 75 g frozen mixed berry blend
  • ¼ avocado (~35 g)
  • handful frozen cauliflower (~75 g)
  • 1 tsp chia seeds
  • ½ tsp cinnamon
  • dash of vanilla

 

Cauliflower? In a smoothie? Yes. Try it and thank me later! This smoothie is a great snack option, rather than total meal replacement, as it has just 123 calories, 20.4 g carbs, 5.1 g protein, and 2.8 g fat per serving. It has 6.6 grams of sugar.

 

Make it your own: need more protein? Vanilla protein powder is great in this recipe as well!

 

Green Goddess

5 Best Low-Sugar Smoothie Recipes: Green Goddess

 

This Green Goddess recipe is the ultimate in low-sugar smoothies. Not a pinch of tropical fruit in sight, yet so filling and delicious!

 

  • handful of frozen cauliflower (~75 g)
  • ¼ of an avocado (~35 g)
  • handful of fresh or frozen spinach
  • 1 tsp chia seeds
  • 1 scoop vanilla protein powder (Favorites are Vega or Ka’Chava Tribe vegan powders)
  • 1 cup nut milk or water
  • ½ tsp cinnamon
  • 1/4 tsp vanilla

 

One serving has 349 calories, 25.4 g carbs, 36.7 g protein, and 14.2 g fat. There are only 4.4 grams of sugar in this smoothie!

 

Tips and Toppings

We’ve mentioned some of our favorite tips above already, but just so you have them all in one place…

 

  • You can add protein powder to any smoothie to make it more of a complete meal and to better hit your macros
  • PB2 is a great lower-fat option to sub for peanut butter. And, if you’re allergic to peanut butter, sunflower butter gives a highly similar taste and nutrient profile.
  • Use avocado over frozen bananas for creaminess. Did you know you can even freeze avocado in an ice try for easy meal prep?
  • To add additional nutrients, no flavor, and extra thickness, try adding in frozen zucchini or cauliflower to the mix.
  • Using unsweetened almond milk is a great way to reduce sugar as well. If you are watching your fat intake, be aware that different brands have different fat profiles.

 

Just as important as what you put in your smoothies is what you put on top of them. Keep it simple with a few sprinkles of low-sugar granola, unsweetened coconut flakes, or raw almond butter. A few of my favorite toppings are linked below!

 

 

I hope you enjoy making these nutritious smoothies as much as I do! Happy sipping, babes!

 

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