Best Vegetables for Smoothies
One of the easiest ways to eat more vegetables 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 leafy greens.
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.
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.
- fibre: easy way to increase your fibre intake for improved digestion and overall health
- micronutrients: enjoy the benefits of more antioxidants, vitamins and minerals
- reduced food waste: 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!
- less sugar: reduce your intake of added sugar and enjoy delicious smoothies rich in fibre and nutrients that still taste amazing!
- picky eaters: veggie-packed yummy smoothies are great way to increase the nutrient-intake of those who might not love eating their veggies
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
- use fresh or frozen, peeled or unpeeled
- raw or cooked works
- if you have sensitive digestive system, peel then lightly steam the zucchini then freeze on a baking tray before transferring to a freezer-safe container or bag
- if you are ok digesting raw zucchini, simply, chop and freeze
- great substitute for banana and peach
- with its mild and neutral flavour, zucchini can be blended with almost anything.
Zucchini Smoothie Recipes
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.
You can use butternut squash, acorn squash, kabocha squash, pumpkin or any other squash!
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
- as an alternative to banana
- use fresh or frozen cooked squash chunks or puree
- blends well with peach, almond butter, dates, turmeric, orange, cinnamon, ginger but is mild in flavour so can go in any smoothie
- to prep squash for smoothies, peel, de-seed then steam, let cool completely then freeze on a baking tray before transferring to a freezer-safe bag or container
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 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. Cucumber has a very high water content so it’s a great way to amp up your smoothies without adding excess sugar or calories.
What does cucumber taste like in smoothies?
Light and refreshing.
How to Use Cucumber in Smoothies
- fresh or frozen works
- peel first if you have a sensitive digestive system
- for the smoothest blend, go with peeled frozen chopped 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
- use raw or cooked, peeled or unpeeled (give them a good wash if not peeling)
- if you don’t have a high-speed blender and want to use raw beets, grate them first otherwise steam, boil or roast before use so they’re softer
- to prep beets for smoothies ahead of time, try steaming chopped beets then freezing on a baking tray before transferring to a freezer-safe storage container
- beets pair well with berries, orange, ginger and carrots
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
- works well to replace portion of fruit in smoothies
- recommended to lightly steam first for easier digestion, however, raw is okay too if that works for you
- to prep in advance, chop into florets, lightly steam then freeze a baking ray before transferring to a freezer-safe storage container
- add up to 1 cup to your smoothies, try just a few pieces for a little boost of fibre and nutrition
- adds a nice creaminess and with its fairly mild flavour can easily be masked
- slightly stronger flavour than say zucchini, so pair with sweeter fruits like fruits like blueberries, strawberries, mango and pineapple
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
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
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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