Smoothies are fast, convenient, and easy way to squeeze extra nutrients into our diets, and the flavor variations are endless.  This endless variety is one of the great things about smoothies, but also can be overwhelming.  Consider this your smoothie “cheat sheet” to building – or buying – a low-sugar smoothie that’s nourishing and satisfying with 100% pure ingredients.

5 steps to build smoothie tailored to your specific needs, using purposeful ingredients that offer full-body benefits.  Experiment with various flavor combinations for a refreshing smoothie that’s nutritious and delicious.

Step 1:  Choose your base | Lower calorie, low-carb liquids with no added sugar

  • Water
  • Unsweetened coconut milk or almond milk
  • Vegetable juice (e.g. green juice, cucumber juice)
  • Iced / chilled coffee
  • Freshly-brewed tea, chilled (e.g. green or white tea, or flavored tea like mint, peach, or berry)

Step 2:  Pick your protein

  • Greek yogurt (no sugar added)
  • Cottage cheese
  • Protein powder (whey or plant-based)
  • Collagen peptides

Step 3:  Pile in the produce + minimize food waste

  • You really can’t go wrong with adding any type of veggies and/or fruits, fresh or frozen
  • Tip: Fresh produce on the verge of spoiling is perfect to toss into a smoothie

Step 4:  Don’t skip the fat

Fat enhances the texture and richness of a smoothie; fat also helps to keep us fuller, longer.  Add teaspoon or two if you’re keeping calories in check, or 2+ tablespoons if you’re looking to add more calories.

  • Nuts, Seeds, Nut butters (e.g. peanut butter, almond butter, cashew butter)
  • Avocado
  • Coconut oil

 Step 5:  Flavor enhancers & good-for-you add-ins

  • Turmeric Extract + Ginger http://www.gaiaherbs.com/products/detail/770/TurmericBoost-Restore – natural anti-inflammatory
  • Beetroot Powder – can enhance vessel health, athletic performance, speed and power
  • Powdered greens (e.g. wheat grass powder and spirulina)
  • Fresh herbs (cilantro, basil, mint, rosemary) & spices (chipotle, cinnamon, cardamom, nutmeg)
  • Cocoa powder or cacao nibs (raw chocolate; available in bulk bins of grocery stores)
  • Ground flaxseed & Hempseed

Three good-for-you smoothies to help you beat the summertime heat – OR a Smoothie King option for each:

Note | All Smoothie King smoothies have: 

  • No artificial colors, flavors or preservatives and absolutely no syrups.   
  • Smoothie King uses whole fruit and organic veggies with 0g added sugar in many blends.  
  • No hydrogenated oils or trans fats.  
  • All smoothies are gluten and soy free. 

1. Collagen Cafe Frappe

This creamy frappe can pull triple-duty as a breakfast, snack or pre-workout energy boost. 

Makes 1 serving

  • 8 ounces unsweetened almond milk
  • 1 scoop collagen peptides
  • 1 shot espresso or coffee concentrate (2 shots for stronger version)
  • Ice

Per serving: 120 calories, 7 grams carbohydrate, 5 grams fiber, 1 gram sugar, 10 grams protein.

Not into DIY?  Smoothie King has you covered with this Eat Fit blend:

The Activator® Recovery Coffee: 220 calories, 23 grams carbohydrate, 2 grams fiber, 15 grams sugar (0 added sugar), 29 grams protein

  • Made with bananas, cold brew coffee, nonfat milk, protein blend, coconut water (to help hydrate) and Gladiator protein. Protein rich to help you fuel up or recover faster after a workout.

2. Performance & Recovery Blast

Packed with nutrients to enhance performance and recovery and reduce inflammation, this sweet and tart smoothie is a perfect fit as a pre-workout fuel source + post-workout recovery.

Makes 1 serving

  •  6 ounces unsweetened vanilla coconut milk
  • 1 carton plain 2% Greek yogurt
  • ½ cup tart cherries (frozen, no sugar added)
  • 1 serving beetroot powder
  • 1.5 teaspoons powdered turmeric extract
  • Plant-based sweetener to taste
  • Ice

Per serving: 260 calories, 23 grams carbohydrate, 4 grams fiber, 14 grams sugar, 23 grams protein.

Not into DIY?  Smoothie King has you covered with this Eat Fit blend:

Keto Champ™ Berry: 430 calories, 19 grams carbohydrate, 9 grams fiber, 6 grams sugar (0 added sugar), 23 grams protein

  • Under 10 grams net carbs, made with whole raspberries, wild blueberries and blended with almond butter and Keto protein.  

3. Smoothie King Slim-N-Trim™ Veggie

  • Make it Eat Fit: Almond Milk in place of fruit juice; Greek yogurt in place of banana
  • Organic Spinach, kale, ginger, mango, protein powder, Greek yogurt, almond milk, fiber blend

Per 20-ounce: 210 calories, 28 grams carbohydrate, 5 grams fiber, 17 grams sugar (0 added sugar), 23 grams protein + added bonus of 400 mg calcium and more than 700 mg potassium.

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FUELED Wellness + Nutrition is powered by Smoothie King. Learn about Eat Fit at Smoothie King; click here for the full list of Eat Fit options available at Smoothie King, proud sponsor of FUELED Wellness + Nutrition with Molly on WGNO. 

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Molly Kimball, RD, CSSD is a registered dietitian + nutrition journalist in New Orleans, and founder of Ochsner Eat Fit nonprofit restaurant initiative. Tune in to her podcast, FUELED | Wellness + Nutrition and follow her on Facebook, Instagram and Twitter at @MollyKimballRD. See more of Molly’s articles + TV segments at www.mollykimball.com, and sign up for Eat Fit Wellness Bites weekly newsletter, here.

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