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This Keto Green Smoothie uses zucchini in place of banana for a luscious, creamy take on low-carb smoothies!
Smoothies are seen as a “food to avoid” by many keto-ers, and understandably so. I mean, typically, the taste and texture of a smoothie declines dramatically when the fruit (banana, in most cases) is left out, so avoiding smoothies altogether feels like a better option than choking down a gritty, green-tasting smoothie, right? Actually, NO! Believe it or not, there *is* a way to low-carb smoothie (and do it WELL, at that) that involves smooth, creamy, luscious smoothies that are sure to surprise even biggest smoothie skeptics among us!
Are green smoothies good for you?
The answer isn’t as clear cut as you may wish. Oftentimes, when you order a “healthy” green smoothie from a smoothie establishment, it’s loaded with (yes) spinach, (maybe) kale, (definitely) tons of fruit/fruit juice to mask the “green” taste, and (sometimes) sweeteners to up the sweet factor just a tad bit more. If that’s the kind of green smoothie (really, a loaded fruit smoothie) we’re talking about, then it may not be the healthiest option and will likely leave you feeling hungry and jittery after about 30 minutes. On the other hand, green smoothies that are truly loaded with greens (spinach, kale, etc.), quality protein powders, no-sugar-added nut milk, a reasonable amount of fruit (or none at all), and healthy fats ARE a healthy option! These kinds of green smoothies (like this tropical one, this mint chocolate one, or this protein one) are well-balanced and sure to keep you full and satisfied for quite some time.
The Secret to a Perfect Keto Green Smoothie
Two words: avocado and zucchini. We know – it sounds CRAZY, but trust us on this one! These two nutritional powerhouses are the dream team when it comes to low-carb smoothies. The zucchini actually makes up the bulk of the smoothie (think of it as the replacement for the traditional smoothie banana) and is virtually tasteless once blended with the other ingredients. The avocado, also tasteless once blended, lends a good dose of healthy fats, fiber, minerals, antioxidants (among so much more). Combine the two, and you’ve got a CREAMY, silky, luscious, keto smoothie!
Keto Green Smoothie Ingredients
You know that zucchini and avocado will each make an appearance on this list, as will a few other super simple ingredients. Here’s what you’ll need to grab for a low-carb green smoothie:
- Avocado – you’ll use a ½ of a small avocado here. Coming in at around 3 carbohydrates, this is the perfect creamy addition to a keto smoothie.
- Zucchini – 1 small zucchini also gets thrown into the blender…skin and all! A small zucchini has (roughly) 4g carbs, with 1g fiber.
- Kale – what’s a green smoothie without a solid helping of leafy greens?! We used 2 cups of packed fresh kale, though you can totally swap the kale out for spinach if you’d prefer – both are great choices.
- Vanilla Protein Powder – 1 scoop of vanilla protein powder will do the trick here! If you prefer chocolate protein powder, feel free to go with that.
- Ice Cubes – because the rest of our smoothie ingredients aren’t frozen, we’ll also add in a cup of ice to thicken things up + keep our smoothie nice and cold!
- Water or Nut Milk – so that everything blends smoothly, we’ll also add about a ½ cup water or nut milk (unsweetened almond milk is perfect here) – either one works just fine!
How to Make a Keto Green Smoothie
It’s silly easy, you guys (as most smoothies are). Here’s how you’ll throw this keto avocado smoothie together:
- Prep Your Ingredients – chop your zucchini + halve and peel your avocado.
- Add the Ingredients to the Blender – add your chopped zucchini, avocado, kale, protein powder, ice, and water (or nut milk) to a high-speed blender (we like THIS one).
- Blend, Pour, and Enjoy – blend everything up until smooth and creamy, then pour into a glass and enjoy!
Best Protein Powders for Green Smoothies
This depends on a few things: your taste preferences, the types of protein your body tolerates well, and the amount of protein you’re looking to consume. Here’s a quick rundown of our favorite protein powders by type:
- Whey Protein Powder – for those that tolerate dairy well, whey protein powder is our favorite choice. Whey protein contains all 9 essential amino acids and is fast-digesting. Whey protein also creates thick, creamy smoothies without a funky, protein-powder flavor. When it comes to whey, we always spring for high-quality options like THIS Banana Cinnamon & Vanilla one!
- Pea Protein Powder – pea protein is one of the most common vegan protein powders on the market and it is also a great protein smoothie choice because it’s nearly-flavorless! THIS is our favorite pea protein (it’s less gritty than most). The vanilla option is a little bit higher in carbs, so if you’re strict keto, you may want to stick to THIS unflavored option + add a bit of vanilla bean extract to taste!
- Hemp Protein Powder – made from finely ground hemp seeds and easy to digest, hemp protein has an earthy (sometimes described as nutty) flavor, but blends well in protein shakes and smoothies. THIS is our favorite vanilla hemp protein powder!
- Multi Blend Protein Powder – our favorite multi-blend option is KOS Organic Plant-Based Protein Powder (vanilla option linked here!) because it’s an organic protein powder, tastes great, is made with natural ingredients, has no added sugar, and it includes digestive enzymes and even powdered fruit and vegetables for an extra nutrient boost. KOS Plant-Based Protein is a blend of pea, flaxseed, quinoa, pumpkin seed, and chia seed protein.
For more on each type of protein and what it has to offer, find our guide to picking the healthiest protein powder for YOU right HERE.
Optional Ingredients for Low-Carb Smoothies
This green smoothie recipe is a go-to around here and makes for the perfect basic green keto smoothie! Feel free to add in nut butter (peanut butter would add another good dose of protein and healthy fat), coconut oil, MCT oil, coconut milk, and/or lower-sugar fruits if you can fit them into your macro plan. Use chocolate (or any other flavor you love!) protein powder instead of vanilla or add a few shakes of cinnamon if you feel like changing things up!
More Low Carb Breakfast Recipes
- The Breakfast Salad
- Roasted Veggie Breakfast Casserole
- Chorizo Breakfast Mushroom Caps
- Egg Free Breakfast Skillet
- Spinach and Portobello Mushroom Breakfast Hash
- Southwestern Breakfast Frittata
- Frittata with Asparagus, Bacon, and Goat Cheese
- ½ small avocado
- 1 small zucchini
- 2 cups packed fresh kale may also use spinach for a milder option
- 1 scoop vanilla protein powder
- 1 cup ice
- ½ cup water or nut milk of choice
- Place all ingredients in a blender and blend until smooth.