Top 20 Low Carb Smoothies – Blends to Shake Up Your Routine


low carb Smoothies keto

Smoothies are a great way to add nutrients to your diet, increase energy and lose weight.  But the benefits don’t end there.  Adding smoothies to your lifestyle also improves digestion, boosts immune health, supports healthy bones and improves heart health.

While there are a multitude of health benefits in smoothies – including fiber, antioxidants, vitamins, and minerals; too much sugar (even from fruit) isn’t healthy.  These smoothie recipes are low in carbs and sugar and still taste great, even without all that added sugar.

Whether you prefer the Paleo diet, Atkins or the newest diet craze, Keto, following a low carb diet can help you achieve your weight loss goals.  In fact, several studies indicate that low carb diets may have health benefits beyond weight loss, such as reducing risk factors associated with Type 2 diabetes and metabolic syndrome.  This means limiting grains, starchy vegetables and fruit, while focusing on foods that are high in protein.  Please remember to check with your doctor before starting any weight-loss diet, especially if you have any health conditions, such as diabetes or heart disease.

A daily limit of 20 to 60 grams of carbohydrates is typical with a low-carb diet and makes up approximately 80 to 240 calories. Some low-carb diets greatly restrict carbs during the initial phase of the diet and then gradually increase the number of allowed carbs.

Studies show there is a link that exists between breakfast and weight loss. That old adage, “Breakfast is the most important meal of the day,” might just ring true.  However, some people simply do not have an appetite first thing in the morning.  For these folks, smoothies are a great fix to this problem and provide the necessary fuel for your body and mind to start the day with energy and vigor.

Having a smoothie for breakfast, instead of fasting until lunch, will jumpstart your weight loss and your metabolism.  When you skip breakfast, blood sugar drops.  As a result, you become hungry and have less energy. This sets you up to binge on calorie-dense snacks later in the morning, bigger portions at lunch or second helpings at dinner. By incorporating smoothies into your daily nutrition plan, you’re setting yourself up for success – not failure.

These low carb smoothie recipes are so delicious, even your kids will love them! In fact, they are a great way for parents to sneak veggies into their kids’ meals without them even noticing!  These nutrient-packed smoothies make a great breakfast or snack for everyone in the family.  Not to mention, they save time in the morning, for busy folks on the go.  So, say goodbye to those dirty breakfast dishes and greasy frying pans, and say hello to health!

Strawberry Avocado Avalanche

  • 3 Large Frozen Strawberries.
  • ¼ Avocado.
  • 1 cup Unsweetened Almond Milk.
  • ½ teaspoon Vanilla.
  • A few drops of Stevia to taste. *Optional.
  • Handful of Ice cubes.

Instructions:

  1. Add everything into a blender and whirl it up until nice and smooth.
  2. The smoother you can get the mixture, the easier you’ll fool your kids!

That’s it!  Simple as pie, but way healthier! The sweetness of the strawberries combined with the creaminess from the avocado will have you amazed at the taste.  Avocados are rich in a variety of vitamins and minerals (particularly B vitamins!) and fiber.  Addionally, strawberries contain high levels of antioxidants known as polyphenols.

Chocolate Peanut Butter Protein Shake

refresh low carb Smoothie
  • 1 cup Unsweetened almond milk.
  • ½ cup Greek yogurt.
  • 1 handful of Ice cubes.
  • 2 tablespoons Unsweetened natural peanut butter.
  • 2 tablespons Unsweetened cocoa powder.
  • A few drops of Stevia to taste. *Optional.

The protein shake of champions!  Feel free to add a few shavings of dark chocolate on top for added antioxidants! Mmm…  There you have it, folks – dessert in a glass.  Who knew low carb smoothies could taste this great!

Green Apple Pie in a Glass

  • 1/3 cup Frozen spinach or kale. 
  • ¼ Cucumber.
  • ½ Granny Smith Apple or 2 tbsp. unsweetened apple juice.
  • ½ teaspoon Cinnamon.
  • 1 cup Coconut water.
  • 1 handful of Ice cubes.
  • A few drops of Stevia to taste. *Optional.

Raspberry Cheesecake Delight

  • 1/2 cup Raspberries, frozen.
  • ½ cup Greek yogurt.
  • 1 teaspoon Cream cheese.
  • 1 teaspoon Chia seeds.
  • 1 cup Unsweetened almond milk or coconut milk.
  • 2 tablespoons Coconut, flaked, unsweetened.
  • ¼ teaspoon Vanilla.
  • 1 handful of Ice cubes.
  • A few drops of Stevia to taste. *Optional.

Enjoy your favorite ice cream flavor, without any of the guilt.

Red Velvet Decadence

  • 1 cup Coconut milk, almond milk or milk of choice.
  • Handful of Ice cubes.
  • 1/3 Avocado.
  • 1/2 Small beet.
  • 3 tablespoon of Cocoa or cacao powder.
  • 1/4 teaspoon Vanilla.
  • A few drops of Stevia to taste. *Optional.

Your kids will love the gorgeous red color of this smoothie! Parents can rest assured, the bright color comes from the addition of beets, which add sweetness as well as nutrients like vitamins A and C, calcium, and iron. The avocado makes this shake thick, rich and creamy.  Your kids will be none the wiser that this sweet treat is actually good for them!

Peach Pie Smoothie 

  • 1 Peach, pitted.
  • ½ cup Greek yogurt.
  • ¼ teaspoon Cinnamon.
  •  1 cup Almond or coconut milk.
  • 1 handfull of Ice Cubes.

Blueberry Sensation

berry keto Smoothies
  • ½ cup Blueberries.
  • 1 cup Coconut milk.
  • ½ teaspoon Lemon juice.
  • ½  teaspoon Vanilla. 
  • ½  cup Spinach.
  • 1 handful of Ice cubes.

Not a fan of green smoothies?  The anti-oxidant-rich blueberries in this smoothie cancel out the green color and the bitter flavour of the spinach, which makes it look and taste much more appealing.   What a sneaky little trick to get your kids to have a serving of greens!  They won’t even taste the spinach – trust me!     

Cherry Cobbler Smoothie

  • 1/2 cup Vanilla Greek yogurt.
  • 2 tablespoon Fresh squeezed orange juice.
  • 1 teaspoon Honey.
  • ½  teaspoon Vanilla extract.
  • ½ teaspoon Almond extract.
  • 1 handful of Ice cubes.
  • 1/2 cup Frozen pitted cherries.
  • ½ teaspoon Ground cinnamon.
  • 1 handful of ice cubes.

Cinnamon Buns o’ Steel Smoothie

  • 1 cup Almond milk.
  • ½ cup Greek Yogurt.
  • 1/2 teaspoon Ground cinnamon.
  • 1/3 teaspoon Vanilla extract.
  • 1 teaspoon Chia seeds.
  • 1 handful of Ice cubes.
  • A few drops of Stevia to taste. *Optional.

So sinfully delicious, you’ll down this smoothie in minutes! It tastes just like a cinnamon bun and it’s good for you!

Banana Cream Pie Shake

  • 1/3 Ripe banana, frozen.
  • ½ cup Plain, low-fat Greek yogurt.
  • ¼ teaspoon Vanilla extract.
  • ¼ teaspoon Banana extract.
  • A few drops of Stevia to taste. *Optional.
  • 1 cup Unsweetened almond, cashew or coconut milk.
  • 1 handful of ice cubes.

Bananas are a higher carb fruit, but unless you’re diabetic, you don’t need to forgo them altogether!  Why not use only 1/3 of a banana instead of the whole fruit?  That’s only 6 grams of carbs, instead of the 20 grams contained in the whole banana.  A few chunks of frozen banana go a long way in adding that flavour and thickness to your shake, and you’ll still get a dose of potassium, but with only a fraction of the carbs.  A drop or two of banana extract is a great way to intensify that banana flavour without adding extra any extra calories or carbs.

Orange Julius

  • ½ cup Low or no fat cottage cheese.
  • Handful of Ice Cubes.
  • 1 cup Almond or cashew milk (or any low carb carton milk of your choice).
  • Juice from ½ Orange and/or 2-3 drops pure orange essential oil.
  • ½ teaspoon Vanilla extract.
  • A few drops of Stevia to taste. *Optional.

Mint Chocolate Deluxe

keto mint Smoothie
  • ½ cup Unsweetened almond milk
  • ¼ cup Greek yogurt.
  • 1 tablespoon Cream cheese.
  • ¼ Avocado.
  • 1 tablespoon Unsweetened cocoa powder
  • ¼ teaspoon Peppermint extract
  • A few drops of Stevia to taste. *Optional.
  • Serve topped with dark chocolate shavings and garnish with a mint leaf. *Optional.

Pineapple Kale Energizer

  • 1 cup Almond milk.
  • ½ cup Chopped kale.
  • 2 tablespoons Crushed, canned pinapple
  • 1 tablespoon Fresh parsley or mint.
  • ½ tablespoon Fresh ginger, peeled. *Optional.
  • ¼ avocado. *Optional.

Chocolatey Green Smoothie

  • ½ cup Frozen berries of choice.
  • ½ cup Coconut cream.
  • ½ cup Spinach, chopped.
  • 2 tablespoons Cocoa powder.
  • A few drops of Stevia to taste. *Optional.
  • 1 handful of ice cubes.

So rich and chocolatey, the kids will never know they’re getting a serving of spinach!

Tropical Hawaiian Mango Tango

  • ¼ Mango.
  • 1-2 drops of Banana extract.
  • 2 tablespoon Coconut, grated, unsweetened.
  • 2 tablespoon Pineapple, canned, crushed.
  • ¼ Avocado.
  • 1 handful of Ice Cubes.
  • A few drops of Stevia to taste. *Optional.
  • 1 cup Coconut milk.

Low Carb Iced Cappuccino

Sure, it may not be considered a smoothie, but who says you shouldn’t enjoy a delicious iced cappuccino on a hot summer day?

  • 1 cup Unsweetened almond milk.
  • ½ cup Brewed strong, black coffee, cooled, (125 ml.).
  • A few drops of Stevia to taste. *Optional.
  • 2 tablespoons Cream cheese, softened.
  • 1 handful of Ice Cubes.
  • ½ tsp. Vanilla.

Instructions:

  1. Pour almond milk, coffee, sugar, and cream cheese into large plastic cup.
  2. Blend until the cream cheese is completely blended into the liquid.
  3. Pour the blended beverage into a tall glass with ice cubes.

Salted Carmel Smoothie

  • 2 tablespoons Cream cheese.
  • 1 cup Coconut milk, unsweetened.
  • ½ Avocado.
  • 2 teaspoons Sugar-Free Flavored Syrup, Caramel.
  • 1/8 teaspoon Salt.
  • 1 handful of Ice.

Chocolate Mocha Madness

  • ½ cup Coconut milk.
  • 1 cup unsweetened almond milk.
  • A few drops of Stevia to taste.
  • 2 tablespoons Coconut, grated, unsweetened.
  • 1 teaspoon Vanilla extract.
  • 2 teaspoons Instant coffee. 
  • 2 teaspoons Unsweetened cocoa powder.
  • 1/4 Avocado.

Blackberry Crunch Smoothie

  • 1/2 Cup Coconut milk.
  • ½  Cup Blackberries.
  • 2 Tablespoons Coconut, shredded, unsweetened.
  • 2 Tablespoons Pecans.
  • ½ cup Greek yogurt.
  • 1 handful of Ice Cubes.

Extra Creamy Vanilla Shake

  • 1 cup Unsweetened almond milk, vanilla flavor.
  • ½  cup Greek yogurt.
  • ¼ Avocado.
  • Innards of 1 Vanilla Bean or ½ teaspoon Vanilla Extract.
  • 1 handful of Ice Cubes.
  • Top with Chia seeds.

Which Fruits are Lowest in Carbs?

Berries like raspberries, blackberries and strawberries are your best bet, with carb counts of around 5 or 6 net grams per 100 grams. Beyond that, perhaps a kiwi or a clementine? Check out the guide below for exact carb counts for a variety of fruits.

  • Raspberries – Half a cup (60 grams) contains 3 grams of carbs.
  • Blackberries – Half a cup (70 grams) contains 4 grams of carbs.
  • Strawberries – One cup (100 grams) contains 6 grams of carbs.
  • Blueberries – Half a cup (50 grams) contains 6 grams of carbs.
  • Plum – One medium-sized (80 grams) contains 6 grams of carbs.
  • Clementine – One medium-sized (75 grams) contains 7 grams of carbs.
  • Kiwi – One medium-sized (70 grams) contains 8 grams of carbs.
  • Cherries – Half a cup (90 grams) contains 9 grams of carbs.
  • Cantaloupe – One cup (160 grams) contains 11 grams of carbs.
  • Peach – One medium-sized (150 grams) contains 13 grams of carbs.

Which Fruits are Highest in Carbs?

Like I mentioned before, the worst offenders are bananas, at 20 net carbs per 100 grams, and grapes, with 16 net carbs per 100 grams.  Oranges at 12 grams of carbs per 100 grams, pineapple at 13 grams of carbs, and apples at 14 grams of carbs all carry a higher carbohydrate load.  However, you can still have these fruits in moderation.  There’s no need to villainize these fruits or cut them entirely from your diet.  Instead, cut the piece of fruit in half or only use one-third for your smoothies. Banana extract is another great way to add banana flavour to your smoothies, with no added carbs or calories.

Many plant based, vegan, and fruitarian diets encourage adding a variety of fruit to their smoothies.  They might add up to 4 to 5 different whole fruits to their smoothies, or more!  However, this isn’t necessary and can quickly become quite a calorie bomb.  If you are on a low carb diet plan, keep your fruit intake low to moderate and remember to balance out those natural sugars with greens, nuts and seeds for added protein and fibre. Humans are meant to be omnivores.   Moderation and balance are key! 

Which Types of Milk are Lowest in Carbs?

Cow’s milk is higher in sugar and contains 12 grams of carbs per 250 ml cup; therefore nut milks are generally preferred on a low-carb diet plan.  However, you don’t need to forego dairy altogether!  Plain Greek yogurt is a great thickener for your shakes and adds calcium, vitamin D, protein and iron.  You can also use water or coconut water in your smoothies if you prefer skipping milk altogether.

Milk Choices Under 5 Grams of Carbohydrates:

  • Almond Milk – 2 grams of carbohydrates per 250 ml./1 cup serving.
  • Cashew Milk – 1 gram of carbohydrates per 250 ml./1 cup serving.
  • Coconut Milk (i.e.‘Silk’ brand) – 1 gram of carbohydrates per 250 ml./1 cup serving.
  • Flax Milk  – 1 gram of carbohydrates per 250 ml./1 cup serving.
  • Hemp Milk  – 2 grams of carbohydrates per 250 ml./1 cup serving.
  • Soy Milk (For men only)  – 4 grams of carbohydrates per 250 ml./1 cup serving.

Although soy milk is considered a healthy alternative to dairy, with many proponents noting its low levels of saturated fat and carbs as well as its absence of cholesterol. Despite these claims, soy contains phytoestrogens, compounds that can disrupt hormones in women. Women should select one of the other types of milk to avoid the potential disruption of hormones caused by consuming soy products in excess.

High Carb Milk Choices to Avoid:

  • Canned Raw Coconut milk – 16 g. of carbs per 250 ml./1 cup serving.
  • Macadamia Nut Milk – 13 grams of carbohydrates per 250 ml./1 cup serving.
  • Cow’s Milk – 12 grams of carbohydrates per 250 ml./1 cup serving.

What Ingredients Should I Avoid Adding to my Smoothies?

Avoid: Ice Cream
Common sense should tell you to avoid ice cream in your smoothies.  Even low calorie brands and frozen yogurts contain high amounts of sugar, chemicals and saturated fat.  This adds unnecessary carbs to your smoothie, without adding much nutritional value. 

Try Instead:  Greek Yogurt, Avacado & Vanilla Bean
Substitute ½ cup of Greek yogurt and a splash of vanilla extract to replicate that vanilla ice cream flavor.  If you can get your hands on a real vanilla bean, it will bring your smoothie to the next level of deliciousness! To replicate the thick consistency of ice cream, just add a few chunks of avocado!

Avoid: Chocolate Sauce
Chocolate sauce is another no-no due to its obvious high sugar and carb content. 

Try Instead:  Cocoa
Substitute this high-sugar syrup for a tablespoon or two of real cocoa powder along with a dash of sweetener, for an antioxidant rich chocolatey flavour.  Don’t be afraid to shave on a few gratings of dark chocolate on top to garnish.  Dark chocolate is lower in sugar and boasts many benefits for health and longevity.  Everything in moderation!

Avoid:  Packaged Synthetic Protein Powders
Protein Powders can be full of hidden sugar, carbs and dangerous chemicals. They are also commonly known to cause digestive distress. Some protein powders have little added sugar, while others contain a lot (as much as 20 grams per scoop). Some protein powders could potentially turn a glass of milk into a calorie bomb with more than 1,000 calories! The outcome could make you gain weight or provoke unhealthy spikes in blood sugar.

Try Instead: Natural Nut Butters, Greek yogurt, Spinach & Seeds
2 tablespoons of natural peanut butter contains 8 grams of protein and 8 grams of carbs.
½ cup Greek Yogurt contains 12.5 grams of protein and only 3.6 grams of carbs.
1 cup of spinach contains 5.35 grams of protein and only 1 gram of carbs.
1 tbsp Chia Seeds contains 2 grams of Protein and 6 grams of carbs.

You can also increase the fiber content of your smoothies by adding a heaping spoonful of psyllium husk fiber and/or a spoonful of chia seeds.

Which Natural Sweeteners are the Healthiest?

  • Stevia – Stevia is a very popular low-calorie sweetener.
  • Erythritol – Erythritol is another low-calorie sweetener.
  • Xylitol – Xylitol is a sugar alcohol with a sweetness similar to sugar.
  • Yacon Syrup  – Yacon syrup is another unique low-calorie sweetener.

Which Low Carb Thickeners Work Best in Smoothies?

  • Avocado. Avocado has a different flavor profile and color.
  • Chia seeds. Chia seeds can act as a binding agent and thickener.
  • Frozen fruit. (Limit or avoid bananas).
  • Greek yogurt.
  • Silken Tofu.
  • Ice cubes pulsed down to a slushy consistency.  (The more ice you add to the blender, the thicker your smoothie will become.)

Some sources recommend oatmeal as a thickener; however oatmeal should be avoided on low-carb diet plans because of the high carb content in oats.

Should I Cut Out All Fruit While on a Low Carb Diet?

Humans are genetically designed to be omnivores, which means, it is in our biological nature to eat from all food groups, including fruits and vegetables, to ensure we get all the nutrients our bodies need.  However, some people choose to limit their diets for various reasons. 

For example, members of the vegan movement don’t eat meat because they don’t believe in the unnecessary killing of animals. Others omit foods like beef, pork or shellfish to adhere to their religious beliefs.  Studies show low-carb diets are effective for weight loss; therefore many folks on diets choose to give up simple carbohydrates, such as bread, pasta and sugar.   Although it is effective to limit fruit while on low-carb diet plan to expedite weight loss; it is important to still consume some fruit in moderation, in order to provide your body with essential vitamins and minerals.

Most fruits are naturally low in fat, sodium, and calories.  Fruit is an excellent source of many essential nutrients that are underconsumed, including potassium, dietary fiber, vitamin C, and folate (folic acid). Diets rich in potassium may help to maintain healthy blood pressure.   

So remember, when following a low carb diet, you can still have fruit, just eat it in moderation.  Select lower carb fruits, such as raspberries, strawberries or blueberries and limit high carb fruits like bananas, apples and oranges.  The great thing about smoothies, is you can always cut a piece of fruit in half, and store the other half in the freezer for your next use.

Which of These Smoothies are a Diabetic-friendly Option?

All of them!  You just need to make a few slight adjustments.  Swap out the honey for sweetener and swap the banana for banana extract.  You’ll get the same delicious banana flavour, without the added sugar and carbs.  Instead of using the juice from an orange in your Orange Julius, try adding a few drops of pure orange essential oil instead as a carb-free and sugar-free option. 

Although raw honey is natural and organic, it is high in sugar, so you’ll want to use it very sparingly.  Instead, try a natural, low calorie sweetener like Stevia (if you must) or use one of the other low calorie sweeteners recommended in this article.  Not only will your smoothies taste great, but they won’t wreak havoc on your blood sugar.  

Avoid cow’s milk as it is higher in sugar and carbs.  Soy or nut milk, along with Greek yogurt, make these shakes creamy, smooth and protein-packed, without adding much extra sugar.  Just make sure you choose the unsweetened variety of nut milk and plain, unflavored Greek yogurt at your local grocery.   

Since Type 2 diabetes often occurs along with excess weight, an individual with diabetes may be following a weight loss plan.  The best way for diabetics to lose weight is to introduce more protein and healthy fats into their diet and consume less carbohydrates.  A protein shake is a good option for diabetics, as protein digests slower than carbohydrates, posing less chance of blood sugar spikes.

Since protein takes longer to digest than carbohydrates, it increases the feeling of satiety or fullness. Protein will keep you feeling full for longer; however, packaged protein powder often contains a long list of chemicals as well as added sugar, which can send blood sugar levels soaring.  Create your own healthier protein shakes by adding a tablespoon of nut butter (natural peanut butter, cashew butter or almond butter) and/or Greek yogurt to your favorite smoothie recipe.  Chia seeds and leafy greens are also a great way to boost the protein content of your smoothie.  You may want to try each protein suggestion on its own or mix them to find out which combination best suits your palate.

Avoid adding more than one serving of fruit and try to choose lower carb fruits.  See the list included in this article.  Diabetics should avoid or limit bananas as they are higher in carbs and sugar.  Instead try banana extract if you crave that banana flavour.  As long as you make some minor adjustments and balance everything out with fibre and protein (chia seeds, nut butter, and/or Greek yogurt), these low carb smoothies would support a diabetic diet.  Leafy greens like spinach and kale will boost fibre intake and make your smoothie more filling and nutrient-rich, as will chia seeds.

Kiwifruit is a good addition. Scientists recently discovered that when kiwifruit is eaten at the same time as other carbohydrate-rich foods, it slows the absorption of sugars from the carbohydrates into the bloodstream of adults.  Researchers found fibre from the kiwifruit distributes itself widely through the intestinal contents. That could explain how kiwifruit slows our overall sugar absorption from both the kiwifruit and other foods in the gut.

What is the Best Way to Incorporate Smoothies into my Diet to Optimize Health and Well-being?

Whether for breakfast, lunch or a snack when you have that sweet-tooth craving, smoothies are a great way to boost your overall health. Just follow the basic rules of thumb for when making a low carb smoothie:

If you must use sweetener, use a natural one like Stevia or honey, but don’t use too much.  A little goes a long way.

Only use the amount of whole fruit and veggies you could reasonably eat in one sitting. A smoothie with a few berries or half a banana is reasonable, whereas having three oranges and three bananas is excessive. The ingredients you choose to add to your smoothies really comes down to your appetite and energy needs.  Generally, on a low carb diet, fruit should be limited.

Leafy green vegetables and raw, unsalted nuts are wonderfully healthy smoothie ingredients.  Although eating whole fruit is best, a home-made smoothie is better than consuming no fruit at all.  Fruit, although high in natural sugars (fructose) and carbs, supply the body with essential vitamins and macronutrients.  Fruit also camouflages the bitterness of greens you may want to add to your smoothies, such as spinach or kale. 

Add natural nut butters, Greek yogurt and chia or hemp seeds to increase protein, nutritional value and satiety of your shakes.

It’s important to balance your personal preferences with the health benefits to find a compromise that suits you.  Nobody knows what you like better than you.  So get creative and try coming up with your own recipes!  Become a smoothie connoisseur.  Like a Chemist, don’t be afraid to experiment with all of your favorite ingredients and ratios to create the ultimate, customized blend for you, to support your personal dietary needs and overall health goals.

Melissa Marshall

A litigation paralegal and writer. Her first novel debuts this fall. She lives with her kitten, Zoey overlooking the waterfront in beautiful Dartmouth, Nova Scotia - also known as the “City of Lakes”.

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