Most smoothies are packed full of high carb ingredients, but with a little creativity, you can still enjoy a nutrient loaded keto smoothie. Perfect for a quick, easy breakfast or post-workout meal! If you're worried about carbs in smoothies, be sure to read this post and try our keto friendly smoothie recipe!
When it comes to quick and easy meals, it’s hard to beat the almighty smoothie. Throw a few things in a blender, press a button, enjoy. What’s not to love, amirite? When it comes to low carb diets, especially keto, your go-to smoothie recipes probably don’t fit the bill. Most smoothies are packed with sugary, high carb ingredients that are challenging to squeeze within the parameters of an ultra low carb diet like keto (if not downright impossible). Luckily, with a little creativity and nutritional strategy, you can whip up a nutrient-dense keto smoothie that’s just as easy and flavorful as your old faves. Today, I’m going to hook you up with an uh-mazing keto smoothie recipe and teach you how to develop one of your own. Cool? Cool.
Can I drink smoothies on keto?
Yes, you can drink smoothies on keto!
What ingredients do I need for a keto smoothie recipe?
The driving factor behind nutritional ketosis is carbohydrate restriction. That means the key to making a keto smoothie is choosing low carb ingredients.
This can include low sugar keto fruits, such as berries and avocado. Swapping out juices for water or nut milk. Opting for some fibrous green veggies in lieu of mangos and bananas. Using fewer ingredients overall or simply smaller quantities will also reduce the carb count.
Here are some keto compatible options to consider:
- Almond milk
- Coconut milk
- Hemp milk
- Macadamia nut milk
- Cashew milk
- Cucumbers (It’s a fruit, I swear! ?)
Check out our keto fruits list for more ideas!
- Collard Greens
- Bok Choy
- Swiss Chard
- Dandelion Greens
Check out our keto vegetables list for more ideas!
- Almond butter
- Peanut butter
- Macadamia butter
- Cashew butter
- Pistachio butter
- Ice (naturally!)
- Hemp seeds
- Chia seeds
- Low carb sweeteners, such as monkfruit or erythritol
- Whey protein isolate (excellent for increasing satiety)
- Other protein powders
- Plain Greek yogurt
- MCT oil or powder
Side note: Let me know in the comments below if I’m missing your favorite low carb smoothie ingredient and I’ll add it to the list above. Teamwork makes the dream work!
Carbs in Smoothies: Why are the total carbs on my keto smoothie so high?
Yes, fiber is technically a carb. But unlike it’s best buds starch and sugar, fiber is largely unabsorbed by the human body. That means when we eat most fibers, it’s not directly impacting our metabolism or influencing ketosis. If we’re reducing carbs to reach nutritional ketosis and/or fat adaptation, it doesn’t make a lot of sense to nix fiber because you’re bogged down in semantics. Does it?
This is where the idea of net carbs comes into play.
Net carbs = Total Carbs - Fiber
Net carbs will give you an approximation of the carbs that will impact your metabolism, and in turn, ketosis. If you’re worried about high total carbs, take a peek at the fiber content to see how it balances out. If you’re using relatively low carb ingredients, like fibrous, non-starchy veggies and low sugar fruits, you’ll be just fine. And your friendly gut bacteria will thank you for it!
Many people will automatically stop drinking keto smoothies due to the high total carbs in smoothies. Don't worry so much about carbs in smoothies when the majority of carbs are coming from fiber.
What’s the best time to drink smoothies?
Maybe it’s because I’m always flying out the door with little time to cook or perhaps the loud buzz of the blender grinding me out of my sleep stupor, but I’m partial to keto smoothies for breakfast.
Smoothies are also great for pre-workout or post-workout! Perfect for a meal that’s not too heavy if you need something in your stomach before you hit the gym. Or after the gym, load it up with some whey protein or Greek yogurt to help your recovery. If you’re someone who works out a lot and incorporate strategic carb intake around your physical activity (e.g., TKD), smoothies are also an excellent way to deliver those quick digesting carbs for energy and performance.
TLDR; Smoothies rule. Keto smoothies are just as easy, delicious, and nutritious as their high carb counterparts. Here’s a recipe!
Tools to Make Recipe
Blender - A blender is all you need to whip up a smoothie with ease. You can use a stand blender for larger batches, or even a hand-held immersion blender for single servings.
- 1 cup ice
- 1 cup coconut milk beverage unsweetened (or preferred milk substitute)
- 1 cup spinach or dark leafy greens of choice
- 1 cup blackberries fresh or frozen
- 2 scoops whey protein isolate low carb, unflavored or flavor of choice, optional
- ½ tsp cinnamon
- ½ tsp vanilla extract
- monkfruit erythritol sweetener blend optional, to taste (or sweetener of choice)
- Place all ingredients in a blender.
- Pulse ice crush setting until solid ingredients begin to breakdown. Change to purée setting until all ingredients are smoothly blended.
- Divide into individual serving sizes (~240 g) to serve.
- Leftover mixture can be frozen in silicone molds and thawed for later use. Or freeze in popsicle molds for nutrient-dense popsicles!
Hi, I'm Tasha–nutritionist, recipe developer, and multi-published author dedicated to helping people thrive and succeed using low carb and keto dietary patterns.