While you can make a healthy green smoothie with just fruits and greens, adding a little fat will make the smoothie more satisfying.
Healthy plant-based fats enhance absorption of fat-soluble vitamins (like vitamin E). They also add calories to a meal replacement smoothie without making it huge!
Avocados are one of the best foods you can eat and they help to create a thick, creamy texture in a green smoothie.
Avocados are a good source of B vitamins. One avocado provides 21% RDA of vitamin E, and 41% RDA of folate.
I recommend that you start with adding 1/4th of an avocado to your green smoothie recipes. You might not want to put in more than a half of one, otherwise the smoothie might be too thick.
Here are some delicious avocado smoothie recipes to get you started.
Seeds contain vitamins, minerals, protein, and healthy fats that can be added to smoothies. Because whole seeds are difficult to digest, I recommend grinding them up in a coffee grinder or food processor before adding them to your smoothie.
Some of the best seeds to use in your green smoothies include:
- Chia Seeds (a great source of omega 3’s, fiber, and caclium.)
- Flaxseed (also a great source of omega 3’s.)
- Hemp seeds are a great source of protein and give your smoothie a nutty flavor.
- Pumpkin seeds are another great choice as they boost the zinc content.
Nuts and Nut Butters
You will want to go easy when adding nuts to your smoothie. Raw almonds, cashews, or even macadamia nuts are great options if you have a high-speed blender that can powder them prior to making your smoothie.
Alternately, a tablespoon or two of almond, cashew, or peanut butter can add a nutty flavor to a banana smoothie.
I love using nut milks as a liquid base. My favorites are almond and coconut milk. You can also use hemp, flaxseed, and cashew milk.
I love using young Thai or green coconuts in my green smoothies. Unlike the more familiar brown, hairy mature coconut commonly found in supermarkets, young coconuts are filled with a sweet, coconut flavored water which is exquisite.
Coconut water is nature’s sports drink. It is naturally rich in electrolytes. Coconuts are also an excellent source of calcium with one young coconut (meat and water) providing up to 17% RDA of calcium.
Coconuts also contain medium-chain fatty acids (MCFA) that provide a host of documented health benefits.
The flesh of young coconut is soft and similar in texture to hard boiled egg white. You can blend it for a delicious coconut flavor.
Mixing pineapple, mango, or any tropical fruit with coconut tastes amazing in a green smoothie!
You can find coconuts at health food stores, as well as Asian and Latino markets. They are a bit of a pain to open, but so worth it!
While you can also use coconut oil in a green smoothie, I prefer not to. Coconut oil is solid at room temperature. When I blend it in a green smoothie, I get bits of solidified coconut fat throughout my drink.
During is a fatty fruit (like avocado) with 13 grams of healthy fat per serving.
It’s hard to find durian outside of Asian markets. It’s also hard to open! This fruit is covered in very sharp spines!
Once you cut into it, you’ll wish you didn’t! Durian is notorious for its off-putting smell. But if you can get past the smell, you’ll be treated to a delicious vanilla-custard flavor. It’s so good!
Durian can be used in a green smoothie. It’s perfect for making a meal-replacement that isn’t the typical 30-ounces. And it will taste like dessert!
A tablespoon of coconut, avocado, or flaxseed oil can add a healthy dose of lipids to your green smoothie as well.
A Word Of Caution About Adding Fats To Green Smoothies
Healthy fats like avocados, coconuts, and almond butter can turn a green smoothie into a satisfying meal. But don’t over do it! Here’s why:
- Fat Is High In Calories: One gram of fat has 9 calories, so the calories add up quickly. One ounce (28 grams) of chia seeds adds more than 100 calories to your smoothie. Oils are extremely high in calories. So just be mindful not to turn your healthy green smoothies into something that puts on weight.
- Too Much Fat Causes Bloat: Fat digests slowly, while carbohydrates (like fruit) digest rapidly. Add a little fat to fruit and you’re okay. But add too much and you might get bloated, or have other digestive issues. I only use 1/4 avocado, or 2 tablespoons of chia seeds/nut butters in my green smoothies.
While blending fruits and greens makes a green smoothie feel clean and refreshing, adding a little healthy fat takes it to the next level. It helps make it a nutrient-loaded, weight loss meal!