If you’re not adding vegetables to your smoothies, you’re missing out! We’re talking ingredients beyond spinach and kale, too. Think zucchini, sweet potato, cauliflower and beets. Adding vegetables to smoothies is a great way to sneak more veggies into your diet and take full advantage of the wide range of health benefits they offer. This healthy, low-sugar blueberry coconut smoothie bowl tastes like blueberry ice cream but won’t spike your blood sugar and will help keep you full and energize you for hours.
What’s the Word With Coconut
You could make this smoothie with fresh coconut meat but not everyone may be able to find that in their area so today we’re going to use unsweetened shredded coconut. If you can get your hands on fresh coconut, definitely go for it. I can usually find fresh coconut meat at my local Whole Foods Market and I’ll often pick up a package and freeze it for use in smoothies. Fresh coconut in this smoothie is unreal but for today, we’ll keep it accessible with unsweetened shredded coconut.
Unsweetened shredded coconut still offers plenty of health benefits so don’t feel like you’re missing out completely if you can’t find fresh coconut. While shredded coconut is composed almost entirely of fat, almost all of which is saturated fat in the form of MCT’s or medium-chain triglycerides, shredded coconut is still associated with many health benefits.
MCT’s have been shown to increase HDL cholesterol, provide an immediate source of energy, increase satiety, and boost metabolism. In addition, the MCT’s found in coconut, name lauric, caprylic and capric acid all have an antimicrobial, antiviral and anti-fungal properties, which is why coconut oil is so versatile, in and out of the kitchen.
Coconut is also a delicious and nutritious source of fibre, vitamins, minerals, and amino acids and even contains calcium, potassium, and magnesium. Coconut also contains a ton of electrolytes, which is why coconut water is such a great workout drink.
Stabilizing Blood Sugar
For my own health and wellbeing, I’m becoming to understand that stable blood sugar is everything. I talked a lot about this in my post on managing hunger. So, how to keep blood sugar levels stable? Well, the basics of keeping blood sugar levels stable are about the same as the basics of healthy eating. Let’s take a look.
Tips for Healthy Blood Sugar Levels
- avoid sugar and refined carbohydrates
- include protein in every meal
- eat low on the glycemic index (vegetables, legumes, nuts, seeds, berries etc.)
- include a snack between meals to prevent low blood sugar
- ditch artificial sweeteners
- eat whole grains instead of refined grains
- exercise daily
- eat a balanced breakfast
- eat more fibre
- manage stress levels
- get enough sleep
Those are the basics but where does fat come in?
How Does Fat Help Blood Sugar Levels?
In brief, healthy fats from foods like nuts, seeds, avocado and coconut take longer to digest which helps our body slow the absorption of the sugars found in carbohydrates. Fats also don’t cause spike insulin which helps maintain steady insulin levels ie. stable blood sugar levels. Moderating carbohydrates and including healthy fats in diet can help with sugar cravings, digestive issues and managing blood sugar as well as improve energy, sleep quality and assist with weight loss.
Fat is particularly useful when paired with carbohydrates to help slow their digestion. Fats helps us stay fuller longer, prevent sugar crashes and healthy, plant-based fats contain a range of powerful antioxidants, vitamins and minerals that are all key to optimum health. Basically, if you want to maintain healthy blood sugar levels, don’t be afraid of fat!
All About Blueberries
We talked about the best superfoods to add to smoothies and while blueberries weren’t on that list, they’re an everyday super-powered superfood you should definitely include in your diet. Blueberries are one of the most antioxidant-rich foods there are. Packed with flavonoids, vitamins and minerals and low in sugar, they’re a must-have in a healthy, well-rounded diet.
Blueberries contain anthocyanins, iron, phosphorous, fibre, calcium, magnesium, manganese, zinc and vitamin K, all of which contribute to blueberries cancer-fighting, bone-building, heart-protecting, digestive-supporting and anti-aging benefits.
Blueberry Cauliflower Smoothie Bowl
This blueberry coconut smoothie bowl is a top contender for my favourite smoothie bowl ever. It tastes like blueberry ice cream and the texture is perfect. Made with frozen cauliflower, zucchini and blueberries, it’s very low in sugar and packed with nutrition and fibre.
If you love smoothie bowls, I’d recommend adding chopping and freezing zucchini and cauliflower to your weekly food prep. They’re the ultimate vegetables to add to smoothies because they add tons of volume and nutrition without changing the flavour. They also both blend beautifully when frozen to create the perfect smoothie bowl consistency.
I topped my smoothie bowl with coconut, cashews, cacao nibs, blueberries and sunflower seed butter but any smoothie bowl toppings work! Try your favourite chopped nuts, dried fruit, sliced banana or berries, peanut butter, tahini, hemp seeds, chia seeds or chia seed jam and of course, the ultimate smoothie bowl topping…granola!Print
This extra thick, low-sugar blueberry coconut smoothie features two secret healthy ingredients: cauliflower and zucchini! You’ll never guess they’re in there though, this smoothie tastes like blueberry ice cream but it packed with loads of nutrition and health benefits.
- 3 tbsp (15 g) unsweetened shredded coconut (I like Do Organic Shredded Coconut)
- 3/4 cup unsweetened almond milk (substitute water, coconut water or plant-milk of choice)
- 1 serving Vega Performance Protein in Vanilla
- 1 cup (125 g) frozen zucchini chunks
- 1/2 cup (50 g) frozen cauliflower
- 1/2 cup (75 g) frozen blueberries
- 1 tsp ceylon cinnamon (optional)
- pinch of Himilayan crystal salt or other unrefined sea salt (optional, do not use table salt)
- Add the coconut and liquid to a high-speed blender and blend on high for about a minute.
- Add the rest of the ingredients and pulse until thick and creamy. To prevent it from thinning out, don’t over-mix or let run too long as the heat from the blender will melt it.
- Scoop the mixture into a bowl, add your favourite toppings and enjoy with a spoon!
To make this a drinkable smoothie, increase the liquid to 1 cup then slowly as more as needed to reach desired consistency.