It’s January, people! Which means….
Fat pants – you’re on the bench. Skinny jeans – suit up. ? ? ?
Had a little too much high carb fun the last few weeks?
Panicking now because bathing suit season is only 4 months away? ? ? ?
I feel your pain! (Like REALLY, I do.) ? ? ?
If you’re like me and have been eating carbs like it was your job lately, then you’re probably feeling pretty lousy right now. Bad news is, it gets worse before it gets better. I’m on day 3 of the 3 Day Keto Kickstart Plan and I have no energy and a headache from detoxing all the carbs and gluten I’ve been eating for the past few weeks.
I’ve lost four pounds already though so there’s that at least! AND I know that the detox phase only lasts a couple of days, so I’m ready to gut it out and get back to work! ? ? ?
This low carb green smoothie isn’t on any of my existing Keto Weekly Menu Plans (yet) because I’ve only just FINALLY come up with a healthy green smoothie that isn’t loaded with carb heavy fruits to make it palatable!
Seriously, I’ve been trying to accomplish this for quite awhile with a variety of healthy greens, veggies, and a minimum amount of fruits. I’ve had some major fails – at least in the flavor department, but I’ve soldiered on.
I’m excited to say that this low carb green smoothie that I’m sharing today is everything you’d want a green smoothie to be! It’s creamy, refreshing, and has just enough sweetness to make it perfectly balanced.
So why should you even care? Should you be drinking green smoothies on a low carb diet?
Absolutely YES! ?
One of the downfalls of a low carb diet if you aren’t careful is a lack of Vitamin C and other important nutrients that you get from veggies and the occasional fruit.
You can supplement some things in pill form, but the best way to get vitamins and antioxidants is directly from a food source – and preferably raw. There are many enzymes in raw foods that help your body perform necessary functions – also the fiber is essential to keeping your micro biome of healthy bacteria alive and thriving.
I personally believe that low carb stopped working as well for me a couple of years ago because I wasn’t paying attention and ensuring that I was getting plenty of fiber and vitamins from raw veggies. I think my good gut bacteria died off and I ended up with leaky gut and adult onset food allergies as a result.
Since then, I’ve been focusing on rebuilding my micro biome with lots of healthy fermented foods, and ensuring that the little beasties have plenty to eat in the form of fibrous veggies and leafy greens.
I’m not a huge salad person, so in the past while eating low carb I would tend to eat most of my veggies cooked, and rarely ate leafy greens. A smoothie like this one is perfect for those of us who don’t enjoy a big bowl of salad every day – you get lots of micronutrients and antioxidants, in a tasty format that is easy to slug down with breakfast (or anytime.)
Another benefit of going the smoothie route rather than simply eating the same ingredients in salad form, is that blending them breaks down the cell walls better than chewing them ever could, releasing all of those nutrients into an easy to digest format.
I bought a Vitamix blender years ago and love it for all the many tasks it can perform with ease, but for this particular smoothie it’s not necessary. Any blender or even a magic bullet will be able to make this smoothie, because the romaine and other ingredients break down pretty easily – as opposed to kale which needs the more powerful blender to truly break down.
If you’re using a lower powered blender just be sure to mince your ginger well and cut your pineapple into smaller chunks so that it breaks down nicely and doesn’t leave you with stringy pieces in your smoothie.
If you’ve got family members (especially kids) who aren’t big on vegetables, a smoothie like this one is a great way to get some healthy greens and hydrating fruits and veggies into them without a big fight. Hungry Jr. has been drinking green smoothies since he was a toddler and he loves them!
For your non-low carb family members, feel free to add a little extra fruit to make it even sweeter – whatever it takes to get them to drink it!
I boosted the sweetness slightly in this version with some erythritol but you may not need to. It really depends on how sweet your batch of fruits and veggies is and it varies widely depending the season and the ripeness of what you’re using.
As you get used to drinking green smoothies, I also find that your tolerance for the green flavor will grow, and the need for sweetness to offset it will lessen. But to get you started, feel free to sweeten it with a low carb sweetener to taste!
This low carb green smoothie recipe is also dairy free – it gets healthy fats and a creamy, rich texture from the avocado, which also tones down the greens flavor that some people find hard to get used to.
This healthy and refreshing green smoothie will be a staple for me moving forward, and at only 3g net carbs per cup, I can easily fit it into my carb budget every day! And so can you!
Notes: This recipe makes six 1 cup servings, but you can drink 2 cups per day if you make room in your carb budget, giving you three days worth for one person. If you only want to drink 1 cup per day and don’t have anyone to share it with, I recommend making it in smaller batches as the flavor and health benefits deteriorate the longer you keep it in the fridge.
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- 4 cups filtered water
- 1 cup romaine lettuce
- 1/3 cup chopped fresh pineapple
- 2 Tbsp fresh parsley
- 1 Tbsp fresh ginger, peeled and chopped
- 1 cup raw cucumber, peeled and sliced
- 1/2 cup kiwi fruit, peeled and chopped
- 1/2 Hass avocado (remove pit and scoop flesh out of shell)
- 1 Tbsp granulated sugar substitute (I used Swerve)
- Combine all of the ingredients in a blender and blend until smooth. Serve cold. Leftovers will keep several days in the fridge, shake well before serving.