Best Vegetables to Add to Smoothies
Many people fall short when it comes to eating enough vegetables and even if you feel like you get enough, we can all benefit from some extra veggies in our diet. One of the easiest ways to sneak more vegetables into your nutrition plan is to add them to smoothies. While wonderfully nutritious, we’re not talking a handful of spinach or a piece of kale. Let’s have a look at the best vegetables to add to smoothies in addition to those leafy greens.
Build Healthier Smoothies
Yep, you heard right! We’re talking zucchini, cauliflower, sweet potato, carrot, squash, beets and other superfood vegetables that blend perfectly into thick, creamy, healthy smoothies.
These smoothie-friendly vegetables are just as easy to toss in smoothies as leafy greens like spinach and kale. These healthy, nutritious vegetables can either enhance the sweetness and flavour of a smoothie or simply add volume, fibre and extra nutrition.
Benefits of Adding Vegetables to Smoothies
By adding vegetables to your smoothies, you’ll be benefiting from healthy fibre, tons of antioxidants, vitamins and minerals, all of which aid in digestion, promote healthy skin and support immunity.
Reduced Risk of Disease
Consuming more vegetables in general helps lower your risk of chronic disease, lowers blood pressure, reduces the risk of stroke, helps fight cancer and boosts your energy and mood. By experimenting with a range of vegetables in every colour of the rainbow, you’ll ensure you’re cover all your micronutrient basis and hitting those daily veggie goals.
Less Sugar, More Nutrition
Adding veggie to smoothies is also a great way to eat less sugar and add more volume without extra calories, helping to keep you full and energized. I like really big smoothies and smoothie bowls and by adding vegetables like zucchini, cauliflower and squash, I can enjoy the serving size I love while keeping the carbohydrates or glycemic load down.
Quick tip: Freezing the vegetables on this list for use in smoothies is also a great way to reduce food waste making sure no veggie gets left behind!
Best Vegetables to Add to Smoothies
Frozen zucchini is one of my favourite smoothie additions. It adds the most amazing creamy texture when blended into smoothies. It’s vitamin-rich, has anti-inflammatory properties, promotes healthy digestion and has a mild flavour and very few calories. Zucchini is high in antioxidants and vitamin C, fibre and vitamin A and contains potassium, folate, vitamin B6 and riboflavin.
Very mild and slightly sweet, doesn’t add much flavour, creamy when blended.
How to Use Zucchini in Smoothies
You can use either fresh or frozen zucchini in your smoothies. For extra nutrition and fibre, leave the peel on whether you’re using fresh or frozen. Freezing zucchini for smoothies is also great way to use up zucchini that would go bad otherwise. To freeze it, simply chop it into pieces, place in a freezer-safe container or ziplock bag and toss in the freezer.
With it’s mild and neutral flavour, zucchini can be blended with almost anything.
Zucchini Smoothie Recipes
2. Butternut, Pumpkin, Acorn or Kabocha Squash
This family of squash boasts an impressive list of health benefits. They’re high in vitamin A, vitamin C and vitamin E and contain important minerals like magnesium, potassium, copper, calcium and iron. They’re also a good source of carotenoids and other anti-inflammatory and antioxidant compounds.
These bright and beautiful vegetables support healthy eyes and skin, can help prevent cancer, reduce blood pressure, strengthen the immune system and prevent inflammatory conditions.
Taste and Texture
Slightly sweet, smooth and creamy.
How to Use Squash in Smoothies
Squash is easy to use in smoothies. It’s very creamy and works well as a low-sugar alternative to banana. You can use fresh or frozen cooked squash chunks or squash puree. I like to roast a few squashes on the week and then store in the fridge for smoothies and snacks.
Quick Tip: puree squash and freeze it in ice cube trays then pop it in to ziplock bags and freeze for conveniently portioned frozen squash cubes.
Squash blends beautifully with ingredients like dates, turmeric, orange, cinnamon, ginger and vanilla but with it’s fairly mild taste you can add a scoop of squash puree or frozen squash cubes to pretty much anything. For convenience, canned pumpkin puree is always a staple on my grocery list.
Squash Smoothie Recipes
Cucumbers are hydrating, contain vitamin K, B, copper, potassium, vitamin C and manganese plus unique polyphenols that can help reduce the risk of chronic disease. They can help reduce cholesterol, stabilize blood sugar, support skin health and improve energy among a long list other health benefits.
What does cucumber taste like in smoothies?
Light and refreshing.
How to Use Cucumber in Smoothies
Cucumber has a very high water content so it’s an excellent low calorie, high volume vegetable you can add to smoothies. You can use fresh or frozen cucumber, peeled or unpeeled. For the best blending, I recommend using peeled, frozen cucumber chunks.
Cucumber works well with watermelon, pineapple, lime, apple, mint, kale, mango and other bright and fresh flavours. Try this Pineapple Cucumber Smoothie.
With that bright, beautiful colour, you just know beets offer a ton of health benefits and you’d be right to think so. Beets are high in immune-boosting vitamin C, fibre, folate, manganese and antioxidants.
What do beets taste like in smoothies?
Beets have a lovely sweet taste that works perfectly in smoothies! Not to mention the gorgeous colour they add.
How to Use Beets in Smoothies
You can use raw or cooked beet in smoothies however, unless you have a Vitamix or other high-speed blender like a Ninja or Blendtec, I’d recommend steaming, boiling or roasting them before using.
I like to prep a batch of roasted beets on the weekend so I can use them in smoothies and recipes during the week. Cooked beet can also be frozen or pureed for use in smoothies or you can whip up some beet juice to use for your smoothie liquid.
Beet Smoothie Recipes
Cauliflower is one of the healthiest foods out there and offers a wide range of health benefits. Tossing a handful of frozen cauliflower into your daily smoothie is a simply way to sneak more of it into your diet.
One serving of cauliflower contains 77 percent of the recommended daily value of vitamin C as well as vitamin K, protein, thiamin, riboflavin, niacin, magnesium, phosphorus, fibre, vitamin B6, folate, pantothenic acid, potassium, and manganese.
Can you taste cauliflower in smoothies?
Cauliflower has a slightly stronger taste than some of the other veggies on this list however it’s still quite mild and easy to blend into any smoothie without altering the flavour.
How to Use Cauliflower in Smoothies
I use frozen raw cauliflower for use in smoothies. You can cook it first if you prefer, or use fresh raw or cooked cauliflower. You can also use the pureed cauliflower ice cube method for freezing. Frozen cauliflower adds a nice creaminess to smoothies and with it’s mild flavour it blends in to the background or the taste is masked completely.
It has a slightly stronger flavour than say zucchini so it works well blended with sweeter fruits like blueberries, strawberries, mango and pineapple. That being said, I almost always add a few pieces to my smoothies for extra volume and nutrition. If you’re using a small amount of say 1/2 to 1 cup, you won’t taste it once blended.
Cauliflower Smoothie Recipes
Like all the veggies on this list, carrots are a superfood you should most definitely include in your diet on a regular basis. Rich in beta-carotene, fibre, vitamin A, vitamin C, potassium, iron, copper and folate, they offer a wealth of health benefits that are too good to pass up.
Carrot has a stronger flavour than some of the other veggies on this list but it still has that hint of sweetness that makes it a good option for smoothies. Think carrot cake for flavour inspiration!
How to Use Carrot in Smoothies
Carrot can used raw or cooked. If you’re using it raw, I recommend grating it or cutting it into small pieces before using. Unless you have a high-powered blender like a Vitamix, I’d recommend using lightly steamed or roasted carrots. Using an ice cube tray to make pureed carrot cubes also work great.
Quick Tip: Create carrot juice by blending carrots with water in high-powered blender until smooth and then using that as the liquid for your smoothie.
Carrot Smoothie Recipes
7. Sweet Potato
Nutrient-rich sweet potatoes are packed with vitamin A, vitamin C, potassium, iron, magnesium, and calcium.
What does it taste like in smoothies?
Slightly sweet and perfectly creamy.
How to Use Sweet Potato in Smoothies
To get right to the point: put them in everything. Fresh or frozen, cooked sweet potato is one of my favourite smoothie additions. It’s super creamy, is slightly sweet and works well with almost everything. Try sweet potato in your post-workout smoothie to refuel and recovery with the carbohydrates it provides.
I like to bake a few sweet potatoes as part of my weekly food prep and then freeze chunks to toss in smoothies. You can also use the ice cube tray method. Sweet potato works well with mango, ginger, carrot, banana, dates, cinnamon, orange and almond. Think pumpkin pie for inspiration!
Sweet Potato Smoothie Recipes
- Healthy Orange Smoothie
- Low-Sugar Chocolate Avocado Smoothie Bowl
- Sweet Potato Smoothie
- Blueberry Sweet Potato Smoothie
- Purple Banana Nice Cream
8. Leafy Greens
You should be eating a variety of leafy greens on a daily basis and tossing them in a smoothie is an easy way to do that. They’re all packed with nutrition, fibre and antioxidants and offer a wide range of health benefits from disease prevention to lowered blood pressure.
Taste of Greens in Smoothies
Mild but can be bitter if you add too much. With a high water content, you can’t usually taste them in smoothies.
How to Use Leafy Greens in Smoothies
Fresh or frozen, leafy greens like spinach, kale, chard and romaine lettuce are easy to add to smoothies. They blend easily and contribute a ton of nutrients. You can add a handful of greens to any smoothie for an extra boost in nutrition.
Green Smoothie Recipes
- Kale Spinach Smoothie
- Mango Pineapple Smoothie
- Mixed Berry Smoothie
- Green Monster Smoothie
- Chocolate Banana Smoothie
What Else to Add to Smoothies?
Looking for more smoothie ideas? Check out my list of healthy breakfast smoothie recipes for tips on building a healthy smoothie. You can also read about the best superfoods to add to smoothies for more ideas on boosting your smoothie nutrition.
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