Contrary to what a lot of people think, smoothies don’t always have to be about fruit. If you’re watching your sugar intake, or just prefer to drink your greens, creating a savory smoothie is actually quite easy.
We’ve listed a few tips and tricks to creating low sugar, savory smoothies that will guarantee a great tasting breakfast, snack, or meal replacement any time of day!
Start With A Vegetable Base
If you’re going for a more savory green smoothie, we recommend picking a main vegetable for your base. Cucumber, beets, carrots, sweet potatoes, zucchini or butternut squash all work really well. Zucchini and butternut squash are especially great because they won’t really add any flavor to your smoothie, but still provide volume.
Pick a Leafy Green
From baby spinach to lacinato kale, there are tons of dark leafy greens that are perfect for savory smoothies. If you’re just beginning your low sugar smoothie journey, consider starting with a lighter-tasting green like baby spinach or chard. Start with a cup of raw greens, and then work your way up to two cups — depending on how “green” you like things to taste.
Cut It With Citrus
Citrus fruits like lemons, limes, or kumquats are a pivotal part of creating great savory smoothies. Not only are citrus fruits are a great source of vitamin C, they also help cut the “green” taste that can accompany certain vegetables without adding much additional sugar.
You can peel and then blend a whole lemon or lime to boost your fiber intake, or simply juice it. Regardless of what method you choose, adding citrus will help lift the taste and make it much easier to drink — especially if you’re just starting out.
Spice It Up
Get some spice in your life! Adding different spices like ginger, turmeric, cayenne, or jalapeno can add another dimension to your savory smoothie game. These spices are also great inflammation busters, which means they’re a home run for a gentle detox.
Some spices can have strong flavor profiles, so we recommend starting with a small pinch. You can always add more! Check out our Spice Guide to learn about the benefits of adding a dash of spice to any smoothie.
Give It a Boost!
Here at GreenBlender, we love our boosters, which is why they’re a staple in our savory smoothies. Add one or two of your favorite boosters such as nuts, seeds, or an unsweetened protein powder to increase the protein and healthy fat content of your savory smoothie, making it an ideal meal replacement.
Finish With a Fragrant Herb
Whether it be cilantro, sage, basil, or dill, herbs are great final flavor profile to round out a savory smoothie! They can help lift the green taste of the vegetables, complement the spices, and give the smoothie a nice “gazpacho” effect. Because fresh herbs can be quite pungent, start small by blending up a few sprigs or leaves.
Savory Smoothie Recipes
If you need some savory smoothie ideas, try one of these to get the ball rolling!
Lemon Ginger Hydrate
Too much sugar (especially the refined kind) can speed along the wrinkle process. With only 3g of sugar per serving, and tons of vitamin C and anti-inflammatory ingredients, this smoothie is perfect for those trying to watch their sugar intake. Grape tomatoes, collard greens and alkalizing lemons are bursting with collagen-aiding vitamin C, ginger is fantastic for lowering inflammation and regulating blood sugar, and chia seeds have the kind of Omega-3s our skin and immune system craves. Kickstart your day with this light and energizing snack.
Detox Bloody Mary
Sea beans, which are a type of succulent that grows in salty waters, are starting to pop up in grocery stores and health food stores alike. Sea beans have a green, salty flavor (perfect for a mock bloody mary), as well as iron, iodine and calcium. Jalapeno peppers contain capsaicin, which has been known to give your metabolism a little boost, and maqui berry is bursting with antioxidants. Combine all these superfoods with hydrating celery and zucchini, sweet grape tomatoes, and refreshing lemon, and you have the perfect low calorie, savory smoothie.
Spicy Cucumber Cilantro
A smoothie flavored with jalapeño and cilantro? Yes! Half a jalapeño provides metabolism-boosting capsaicin, and is actually quite good for easing digestion. Cilantro is a great source of vitamins A and K, as well as calcium and iron. When you combine these two spicy flavors with cooling cucumber and lime, as well as hearty hemp seeds (healthy fat and protein), you have the kind of smoothie that is low in calories and sugar, but big on health benefits.
Spicy Pineapple with Cayenne
Pineapples are loaded with antioxidants, which fight free radicals in the body and help prevent cell damage. The sweet tropical fruit also reduces inflammation, important in combating skin’s redness and puffiness. Cayenne pepper contains capsaicin, another antioxidant that helps jumpstart the metabolism to aid in detoxification. Chia seeds contain large amounts of skin-healthy Omega-3s and Vitamin E. Fiber from apple and swiss chard keep the detox going!
Jalapeño Cilantro Kick
Turn up your energy with a burst of jalapeño! This spicy little pepper packs almost a full day’s worth of vitamin C, and capsaicin, an active compound found in chili peppers like jalapeño, may even boost your metabolism. Another big burst of vitamin C comes via camu camu, which has more vitamin C per serving than any other food. Fighting off holiday fatigue or some sniffles? This smoothie has got your back! (Pro tip: If you like a spicier smoothie, add an entire jalapeno. Start with half and work your way up to a full pepper, but be sure to seed the jalapeno as that’s where most of the spice lives.)
Looking for a low-sugar way to feel alert and awake? Cayenne contains capsaicin, which has been shown to reduce inflammation, boost the immune system, and possibly even give the libido a kick. The vitamin C from tomatoes and lime, and hydration from cucumber and celery, is a fantastic combination for your body first thing in the morning. (Your digestion will thank you!) Try replacing your orange juice and coffee combination for this natural version of a V8, and watch your energy stay buoyant all day!
Cooling Dill Cucumber
If you’ve never used dill in a smoothie, you’re in for a treat! Native to the Mediterranean, dill is an ancient herb, and has a long history of being used to settle an upset stomach. It’s also been studied for its antimicrobial effects, as well as its connection to lowered cholesterol. Combining it with tart lime, sweet apple, and creamy hemp seed creates a truly original flavor profile that will wake up your tastebuds. And because it’s low in sugar, this smoothie is perfect for people watching their glucose levels.