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A Low-Sugar Smoothie: Skip Banana, Add Cauliflower!

You’ve probably read about it in a recent recipe or on your favourite food blogger’s feed. No, it’s not a new superfood that’s popped up on the market (we’re looking at you, charcoal). We’re talking about taking your smoothies to the next level health-wise: incorporating veggies to make a low-sugar smoothie. 

Gone are the days when it was supposedly a good thing to eat 10 bananas a day. Now people are realizing that sugar isn’t so great, and that includes all sugars – even the ones in fruit. We’re not saying cut out fruit entirely, we love the stuff! All we’re saying is to enjoy it in moderation. At least for me, too much sugar/fruit makes my energy spike and crash, causes brain fog, and oftentimes leads to a migraine. It’s never fun.

To cut back on my sugar consumption, I’ve started prioritizing low-sugar meals. I try adding veggies to any meal possible, which includes breakfast smoothies. Here’s my formula for the perfect veggie-laden, low-sugar smoothie.

The Perfect Low-Sugar Smoothie Formula

  1. Replace high-sugar fruits with veggies. I’m mostly referring to fruits like bananas, apples, and pears here. Try replacing bananas with veggies like frozen cauliflower, steamed then frozen sweet potato, or steamed then frozen zucchini. It might sound weird, but they all have a neutral flavour, add a surprisingly creamy texture, and have a low-glycemic index so they’ll keep your energy stable (no more crashes!). And they still make your smoothie taste GREAT. Promise.
  2. Add low-sugar fruits. Let’s face it, an all-veggie smoothie isn’t all that appealing. Try incorporating low-sugar fruits like antioxidant-rich berries such as blueberries, blackberries, and raspberries. The darker the better.
  3. Add healthy fats. We love nut butter like PB, almond butter, or hazelnut butter, but also healthy-fat rich foods like coconut butter, flax seeds, chia seeds,  and hemp hearts. Not only do they add extra creaminess, but they keep you feelin’ full ‘til lunch. Feel free to top your smoothie with pumpkin seeds or a Fat Bomb, too!
  4. Load up on the greens! Green smoothies are obviously a thing (winter green smoothie anyone?). For a low-sugar one, simply add more. I love frozen spinach or fresh kale. They’re an especially great combo with blueberries.
  5. Don’t take water for granted. Most people load up on almond milk in smoothies. I love adding almond milk to make it ultra creamy, but honestly, replacing it with water doesn’t make much of a difference. Next time you’re making your smoothie, try adding half water and half almond milk. Not only will it save you some $$ (almond milk ain’t cheap!), but you might not notice a difference taste-wise. It also cuts back on any potentially hidden sugars in commercial almond milk.

A typical low-sugar smoothie:

  • 1/2 – 1 cup blueberries
  • 1/4 cup frozen cauliflower
  • 1/4 cup steamed then frozen sweet potato
  • 1 small handful kale
  • 1 tbsp nut butter
  • 1 tbsp chia or flax seeds
  • 1 cup unsweetened almond milk and/or water

Blend. Taste and add more ingredients where appropriate: more liquid if it’s too thick, more blueberries if it’s too vegetable-y, or more nut butter for extra creaminess.

Sugar is not the enemy, but it’s something to keep an eye on. We still recommend enjoying a decadent chocolate cake, savouring some locally made ice cream, or feasting on nice fresh fruit every once in a while, but if your body is saying NO DON’T FEED ME SUGAR on a day-to-day basis, then maybe take some hints. Veggies in smoothies might just be your new favourite hack. What banana?