The Right Way to Make a Keto Smoothie: Ingredients, Tips, and More
Searching for a tasty keto smoothie recipe with fruits for a quick breakfast or afternoon snack?
Search no more!
We have a great healthy breakfast recipe for you.
The keto diet is a low carbohydrate diet that limits your carbohydrate intake to less than 50 grams (g) per day (around 20-50 grams).
Because of that, items commonly found on a smoothie ingredient list like bananas, pineapples, and peaches, are not a great choice.
Their high-sugar content puts it off the carb budget.
But it doesn’t mean you can’t enjoy a delicious fruity low-carb smoothie on the ketogenic diet.
Thankfully, there are still some low-carb fruits that can fit well within your keto lifestyle.
Strawberries, blueberries, blackberries, and raspberries are all low in carbohydrates and are keto-friendly (yay!).
In addition to their low-carb content, berries are fairly low in calories and extremely nutritious.
They are a great source of antioxidants and fiber, a nutrient important for a healthy digestive system.
These small fruits not only make for a great snack but are also a delightful addition to this keto smoothie recipe.
This triple berry keto smoothie has a short ingredient list, you only need berries, coconut milk, kale, nut butter, and ice cubes.
It’s creamy, filling, and nutritious, almost guaranteed to make your day!
Keto Smoothie Recipe Tips
To fit in with the keto diet guidelines, smoothies must be low-carb and high in fat.
So this eliminates typical smoothie staples like bananas, honey, and regular yogurt.
But don’t fret, your keto smoothie can be just as tasty as a regular fruit-filled drink while staying low in net carbs.
Instead, ingredients like coconut milk, plain Greek yogurt, and avocado can be added, giving your low-carb smoothie a lovely creamy texture.
As many ingredients used in keto smoothies thicken the mixture, you may need to add more liquid to get your desired texture.
When making your own recipe, keep in mind the total amount of carbs (or net carbs if you count them) you add and how it fits into your daily meal plan, as set by you and your healthcare provider or dietitian.
Adjust ingredients as needed.
Remember that 1 cup of these little fruits is equal to approximately 15 g of carbs.
As the fiber content is different in each berry type, the amount of net carbs in a serving depends on the berry added to your smoothie.
Look at nutrition labels if provided.
Even when using keto-friendly substitutions, your high-fat, low-carb smoothie can be just as delicious as a regular smoothie.
Choosing The Right Ingredients
From choosing fruits to picking milk, you must wisely select ingredients for your keto shakes so that you maintain ketosis.
Not to mention you need a perfect texture and flavor to make this blended drink a delightful treat!
Here, I introduce you to the core ingredients, the main building blocks, of this smoothie.
Let’s start with the fun part first.
Berries like blackberries and raspberries are one of the lowest carb fruits around and low on the glycemic index.
The best part of their carb count is that they are least likely to raise blood sugar levels quickly, making them ideal for a diabetic diet.
Let’s also not forget like other fruits, they add sweetness to the smoothie while also boosting the nutritional profile as they are tiny bursts of nutrients and antioxidants.
If you want to naturally sweeten your smoothie recipes, strawberries and blueberries are your best bet.
Both strawberries and blueberries are high in vitamin C, which helps with wound healing, and antioxidants that may protect against certain cancers (found in strawberries) (7) and possibly support brain function (found in blueberries) (1).
Raspberries and blackberries are also full of nutrition and add a wonderful tartness to your smoothie.
Make it a berry explosion, low-carb, smoothie recipe by using a combination of these small fruits.
This way, the tart and sweetness of the different berry types complement each other, creating a yummy low-carb breakfast smoothie you won’t be able to resist.
Berries tend to be expensive, so it may be more reasonable to buy them frozen. Or purchase these fruits when in season and then freeze them for future use.
Now, the not-so-sweet part, but if you are looking to keep your low-carb smoothie recipes as nutritious as can be, this dark green veggie can bring in a bunch of nutrients.
While you may think this leafy veggie will ruin the taste completely, you’d be surprised how subtle the kale taste is.
You probably won’t be able to taste it over the symphony of berry flavors.
You can also add other leafy greens like spinach or other low-calorie veggies, like celery.
Kale is part of the cruciferous family (think broccoli, cabbage, bok choy, Brussels sprouts, etc.).
This vegetable family is rich in many nutrients.
Contained in the dark green leaves are fiber, vitamins A, C, and K, folate. For all that goodness, there are only about 1.5g of carbohydrates per cup (approximately 0.6 grams of fiber).
Needless to say, adding kale to your low-carb breakfast smoothie is a great nutritional boost to your day.
Liquid: Coconut Milk
Every smoothie requires liquid, and for this smoothie recipe, it’s coconut milk.
This “milk” is a star in a high-fat diet as it contains some fat and is lower in carbs than cow’s milk.
In regular smoothie recipes, bananas are used to create a creamy smoothie.
However, as bananas are high in carbohydrates and low in fat, their use is limited in the keto diet.
Because of the fat content, the coconut variety is perfect for making your morning (or afternoon snack) drink creamy while providing little net carbs and giving a tropical twist to your low-carb drink.
Keep in mind that canned coconut milk has more fat per serving; the higher fat content will create a creamier keto smoothie.
Coconut milk in a carton is thinner, more like the consistency of regular milk.
So the carton variety acts more as a liquid and less of a thickening agent.
While this milk is higher in fat content than other types of non-dairy milks, if you are not a big fan of this particular milk type, you can easily swap it with other milk options.
Regardless of the milk, you decide to use, be sure to use full-fat, unsweetened variety.
Other keto milk options:
- Almond Milk – is great for a keto smoothie recipe. Almonds (and their milk) contain calcium and many brands are fortifying this nut milk with vitamins A and D. One cup of unsweetened almond milk contains about 30 calories, 3 g of fat (polyunsaturated and monounsaturated fats), 1 g of carbohydrates, and 1 g of protein. If you want to add an extra flavoring to your smoothie recipes without the added carbohydrates, use unsweetened vanilla almond milk.
- Macadamia nut milk – add a subtle nuttiness to your morning by using this nut milk. Macadamia milk is higher in fat and slightly thicker than almond milk, creating a thicker texture to your blender concoction. In 1 cup of macadamia milk, there are approximately 50 calories, 4.5 g of fat, less than 1 g of carbohydrates, 1 g of protein, and calcium.
- Flax milk – another milk alternative that is not quite as common as other types but is slowly gaining popularity on grocers shelves. Flax seeds contain omega-3 fatty acids (ALA). In 1 cup of unsweetened flax milk, there are about 25 calories, 2.5 g of fat, 1 g of carbohydrates, and 0 grams of protein.
- Cashew milk – is another great nut milk for a keto diet. Cashew milk is close in texture to almond milk and gives your breakfast drink a slight nuttiness, complimenting the berry sweetness in your keto smoothie. Generally, 1 cup of unsweetened cashew milk has 25 calories, 2 g of fat, 1 g of carbohydrates, and 1 g of protein.
If using thinner milk for your keto smoothie, adding something rich in fat like avocado or full-fat plain Greek yogurt (if you include yogurt in your keto diet) to your blender concoction will help give you a wonderfully creamy, keto smoothie.
Flavor: Nut Butter
The preferred choice for this high-fat diet is almond butter. But that’s not to say peanut butter isn’t a good option.
Between the two, almond butter is slightly higher in healthy fats like polyunsaturated and monounsaturated fats (a total of 9 grams of fat) and lower in carbohydrates (3 g of total carbs) than peanut butter.
This butter helps boost your drink’s fat content and contributes few net carbs, helping you stay in ketosis
While peanut butter has a slightly different nutrition profile, it still contains about 8 g of fat, 3 grams of protein, and 3 g of total carbs (if unsweetened) per serving.
Peanut butter is a viable ingredient to your keto smoothie recipes as it keeps your drink high in fat and low in carbohydrates.
If you need a bit more sweetness in your low-fat breakfast drink, you can add a low-carb sweetener.
There are several options:
- Erythritol: this is a sugar alcohol and has become fairly popular in recent years as it is a low-calorie sweetener. Since it is a sugar alcohol, it is free of carbs making it keto-friendly. Despite being low in carbs, this sugar alcohol has a fairly high sweetness index, close to that of sucrose (5).
- Xylitol: xylitol is also a sugar alcohol, common in low-calorie sweets. However, some individuals, especially those who have little exposure to xylitol, notice mild GI discomfort from xylitol (3).
- Monk fruit: This sweetener is extracted from monk fruit, which is a melon, and it is a common ingredient in a keto diet. Monk fruit is fairly sweet, however, many brands combine monk fruit with erythritol (4).
- Stevia – this sugar-substitute comes from the stevia plant. You can find it in many forms including powdered and liquid.
Optional Ingredients for a Keto Smoothie
This triple berry keto smoothie is absolutely delicious and perfect for a hot summer day, but you can always use some ingredients as your base and create your own high-fat smoothie recipes.
If you want to add some creaminess and fat, you can add heavy whipping cream, coconut oil, coconut cream, or even full-fat plain Greek yogurt (if you include this in your low-carb diet).
Adding a touch of cream to your drink can create a perfect milkshake substitute.
As mentioned in the section above, you can add keto-friendly natural or artificial sweeteners or low-carb fruits to your drink if wanting to boost the flavor without the extra net carbs.
To make your high-fat breakfast drink different every day, there are many toppings to spice up your favorite recipes.
Toppings can transform low-carb smoothies into something more elaborate and fun. Here are some options:
Most people would be a little wary to have whipped cream for breakfast as it makes it seem more milkshake-like than a healthy smoothie.
However, if you are following a keto diet, you are in luck!
Heavy whipping cream (or heavy cream) is made primarily of fat, containing 5 g of fat and 0 g of carbs per serving (1 tablespoon).
Using a handheld mixer, beat a tablespoon of heavy whipping cream until it begins to stiffen, and dollop it on top!
Or to make the process a little easier, you can just buy unsweetened whipped cream.
The best way to add a bit of crunchiness is to top the drink off with your favorite crushed nuts. Crushed pecans and walnuts are my personal favorites.
Add a sprinkling of crushed nuts on top of a dollop of whipped cream, and your breakfast will be ready to show off on social media!
Cinnamon and Cocoa powder
A dash of either of these ingredients on top of your low-carb smoothie will add an extra pazzazz to your morning low-carb drink.
MCT (medium-chain triglyceride) oil is a common addition to high-fat diets, especially for those following it to treat epilepsy.
MCT oil is a form of fat generally derived from coconut and palm oils.
MCTs are passively absorbed into the blood (a slightly different method of absorption compared to longer forms of triglycerides) and go to the liver where they are metabolized to produce energy and ketones.
MCT oil is tasteless and colorless, so it is added to bulletproof coffee and is a great fat booster to salad dressings.
Turn this smoothie into a chocolate keto peanut butter smoothie in an instant with a 1/4 tsp of cacao powder. There is nothing wrong with a smoothie for dessert.
Vanilla is a great add-in to your keto smoothie.
You may notice a slight hint of vanilla aroma and this flavoring enhances the sweetness of other smoothie ingredients.
You can also opt for the vanilla unsweetened versions of your favorite milks.
If you are looking for a protein boost, you can add in a scoop of whey protein powder or collagen peptides free of added sugar.
Not all protein powders are created equally or are safe.
Ask your healthcare provider or dietitian for recommendations on brands with good protein powder and collagen products.
Jazz up your low-carb breakfast smoothie with some caffeine by adding in green tea.
Try subbing the milk of choice for 1 cup of tea and 1/4 to 1/3 cup of full-fat yogurt for a creamy (and caffeinated) smoothie.
Have matcha on hand? Add 1 teaspoon of matcha to your low-carb breakfast smoothie.
Chia seeds are in a way, a “nutritional powerhouse”, meaning they are filled with great nutrients including fiber, omega-3, and omega-6 fatty acids. Add 1 tablespoon to your blender concoction.
Now adding this burnt-orange spice to your morning drink does not appeal to everyone but, if you dare to try, you may find it adds an extra flavor punch to your low-carb drinks.
Lemon Juice and Lime juice
Add a spritz of lemon juice or lime juice to your low-carb protein shake for a citrusy kick.
How to Make a Berry Keto Smoothie
This smoothie is pretty simple to make, just place all ingredients into the blender and mix until well combined.
Add in sweeteners if you so choose and adjust to your taste.
You can add more liquid if the smoothie is too thick or add a thickening agent, like avocado if it’s too thin.
A great option to make your mornings less hectic is to fill individual bags with the fruit and veggies then place them in the freezer.
Pull out in the morning, add the other ingredients to the blender, and voila! you are ready to go.
Or make it the night before, pour it into an airtight container, and store it in the refrigerator overnight.
- 1 1/2 c. frozen (or fresh) mixed berries (strawberries, raspberries, blackberries)
- 3/4 cup coconut milk
- 1 tbsp nut butter (cashew butter if following a Paleo diet)
- 1 cup kale
- 1 scoop protein powder or collagen (optional)
- Ice cubes (optional)
- Powdered monk fruit or stevia sweetener (optional)
- Unsweetened shaved coconut, for garnish (optional)
- Add all ingredients to a high-speed blender and blend until smooth. Add more ice cubes or liquid if desired.
- Pour into a cup and sprinkle a little bit of cacao powder for garnishing. Serve and enjoy!
Amount Per Serving:
Calories: 622Total Fat: 39gSaturated Fat: 31gTrans Fat: 0gUnsaturated Fat: 6gCholesterol: 18mgSodium: 239mgCarbohydrates: 56gFiber: 12gSugar: 32gProtein: 22g
Making a delicious, fat-filled, creamy smoothie, that is free of gluten and low in total grams of net carbs, may seem like a risky feat but this triple berry smoothie quells any fears.
It is a tasty treat and a great way to start off your day, perfect for a hot day.
Play around with the ingredients, creating your own original recipe (invent a yummy green smoothie or even a cocoa peanut butter dessert drink!) and toppings to add more variety to your keto lifestyle.
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- Klemm, Sarah. “What Are Omega-3 Fatty Acids.” EatRight, www.eatright.org/food/vitamins-and-supplements/types-of-vitamins-and-nutrients/what-are-omega-3-fatty-acids.
- Mäkinen K. K. (2016). Gastrointestinal Disturbances Associated with the Consumption of Sugar Alcohols with Special Consideration of Xylitol: Scientific Review and Instructions for Dentists and Other Health-Care Professionals. International journal of dentistry, 2016, 5967907. https://doi.org/10.1155/2016/5967907
- McNew, Aimee. “Monk Fruit: What Is It & Is It Keto Friendly?” Ketogenic.com, 20 July 2020, ketogenic.com/monk-fruit/.
- Regnat, K., Mach, R. L., & Mach-Aigner, A. R. (2018). Erythritol as sweetener-wherefrom and whereto?. Applied microbiology and biotechnology, 102(2), 587–595. https://doi.org/10.1007/s00253-017-8654-1
- Shah, Neha D, and Berkeley N Limketkai. “The Use of Medium-Chain Triglycerides in Gastrointestinal Disorders.” PRACTICAL GASTROENTEROLOGY, Feb. 2017, pp. 20–28., med.virginia.edu/ginutrition/wp-content/uploads/sites/199/2014/06/Parrish-February-17.pdf.
- Skrovankova, S., Sumczynski, D., Mlcek, J., Jurikova, T., & Sochor, J. (2015). Bioactive Compounds and Antioxidant Activity in Different Types of Berries. International journal of molecular sciences, 16(10), 24673–24706. https://doi.org/10.3390/ijms161024673
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