When it comes to smoothies, fruit is typically what makes them sweet and delicious. However, when you combine several types of fruits into a single drink, the natural sugar content can start to add up quickly.
That’s why I’m sharing two low sugar smoothie recipes with you today, along with several variations to help keep your week interesting. They’re made with low-sugar berries, which are loaded with antioxidants, and a sneaky serving of frozen cauliflower and creamy avocado to help bulk them up, without adding extra sugar into your glass.
Which Fruits are Low in Sugar?
When trying to make a smoothie that is lower in sugar, I like to use a mix of low-sugar fruits and vegetables, along with a small amount of sweeter fruit, like banana, mango, or pineapple, to make the smoothie palatable. (I experimented with using low-sugar fruits exclusively, but they were not enjoyable at all– my taste testers wouldn’t drink them.)
Here are some low-sugar fruits that you can try in your smoothies:
- Raspberries (5 g per cup)
- Strawberries (7 g per cup)
- Blackberries (7g per cup)
- Kiwi (6 g per fruit)
- Blueberries (12 g per cup)
- Lemons (1.5 g per fruit)
- Avocado (1 g per avocado)
- Granny Smith Apple (14 g per fruit)
And to help “bulk up” your smoothie without using extra fruit, you might also want to try adding in one or more of the following ingredients to help add fiber and more nutrition.
- Chia seeds
- Hemp hearts
- Almond butter (or another nut/seed butter)
- Fresh spinach
These extra add-ins help add creaminess, without relying dairy, and are relatively neutral in flavor so they won’t overpower the overall taste of your smoothie.
To keep your smoothie palatable, add a small amount of sweeter fruits. The following options are great for keeping your smoothies relatively low in sugar. (For these recipes, I aimed for less than 15 g of sugar per smoothie serving.)
- Half a banana (7 g)
- Half cup pineapple (7g)
- One date, deglet noor variety (4.5 g)
Is Fruit Sugar Bad For You?
Now, I don’t want this post to scare you about eating fruit, because I personally eat it quite liberally and don’t think you should worry about the natural sugar it contains. Though the research is limited, small studies have shown that the fructose found in fruit does NOT act the same way in the body as industrial fructose, such as table sugar. (source)
Fruit contains numerous substances that block the effects of fructose, including vitamin C, potassium, and antioxidants, which may explain why the fructose from added sugars is associated with hypertension, but the fructose found in fruit is not. (source)
Eating fruit may also promote weight loss.
In this study, researchers compared a low-fructose group, that consumed no fructose or added fruit, to a moderate fructose group that included fruit in their diet. To their surprise, the group that consumed fruit lost more weight compared to those on the low-fructose plan, even though both groups were eating the same number of calories.
I share this information because I want you to LOVE everything you eat, and if you’re avoiding fruit because you think it will help you lose weight faster or because you’re scared of the natural sugar content, you might not be enjoying your meals to their fullest. You might even feel restricted and wind up stuck in a cycle of binge eating like I did.
Enjoying what you eat daily is key to sticking to a healthy lifestyle and achieving permanent results, so don’t be scared to add more fruit to these recipes if that will make you enjoy them more. You’ll get an extra nutrient boost as a bonus!
Keep in mind that a low sugar smoothie definitely tastes like it’s low in sugar, too. (In other words, they are kind of bland compared to traditional smoothies.)
That’s not necessarily a bad thing, especially if your taste buds have adapted to appreciating the natural sweetness found in fruits and even some veggies, but don’t expect a low sugar smoothie to taste like one you’d get at a local smoothie bar. (Those are usually loaded with 50 grams or more of sugar per serving!)
I also wouldn’t go adding zero-calorie sweeteners to this smoothie (you can read why I stopped using stevia here), because I feel like that might defeat the point of trying to reduce your sugar intake. Let your taste buds adapt to the natural sweetness of fruit, without skewing your taste buds, or add a little extra sweet fruit like the ones I mentioned above to boost the flavor.
Mango, which is a little higher in sugar, may help to control or even lower blood sugar levels (source), so don’t be afraid to add an extra handful to improve your smoothie’s overall flavor. Feel free to get creative!
Low Sugar Blueberry Smoothie
- 1 cup fresh or frozen wild blueberries
- 1/2 banana
- 1 cup frozen cauliflower florets
- 1/4 avocado
- 1 cup water , plus more as needed
- 1 tablespoon lemon juice
- Combine all of the ingredients in a high speed blender and blend until smooth and creamy. Add more water as needed, then serve immediately.
Per serving: Calories: 133, Carbohydrates: 24, Fiber: 6, Protein: 3, Fat: 4, Sugar: 12
Low Sugar Raspberry Smoothie
- 1 cup frozen strawberries
- 1/2 cup frozen raspberries
- 1/2 cup pineapple chunks
- 1/4 avocado
- 1 cup frozen cauliflower florets
- 1 cup water , plus more as needed
- Combine all of the ingredients in a high-speed blender and blend until smooth. Add more water as needed to facilitate blending.
Per serving: Calories: 112, Carbohydrates: 19, Fiber: 6, Protein: 2, Fat: 4, Sugar: 10
- To keep these smoothies affordable and accessible year-round, I used frozen fruit, but if you use fresh fruit these recipes will have more flavor. If berries are in season where you are, I’d encourage you to use fresh fruits and less water when you blend these.
- Feel free to swap the fruit in these recipes with any of the other ones I mentioned above.
As always, if you try something different please leave a comment below so we can all benefit from your experience!
Reader Feedback: What’s your favorite smoothie combination? Feel free to share recipes in the comments below!
Questions and Reviews
I’m a huge fan of your vegan enchilada casserole!!! Love learning about using red lentils to absorb seasonings as I really dislike using nuts as meat and dairy replacements.
Thanks for all the inspiration!
I made the cauliflower jambalaya and a double batch of the speedy black bean burgers (both from No Excuses) and shared them on Facebook! Both are favorites in my house 🙂
I’ll will try the Low sugar raspberry smoothie. I love your easy recipes! Thanks for sharing your knowledge on whole food and tasty nutritious recipes.I l enjoy making recipes from your two books.
Your tagalong cookies are a staple in our house! I’ll also be making some smoothies this week.
I found your chocolate peanut butter shake recipe when i first got my Vitamix (technically, my father’s)in Feb 2012. I still make that a lot, with just half a banana and no maple syrup. I add chia and hemp seeds sometimes. So it’s kind of a smoothie. Otherwise, I use whatever frozen fruit i have on hand with almond or coconut milk and chia seeds.
Happy New Year!! I have to share: you are one of only two food bloggers that I follow, and I adore *everything* you create. I am so thankful for how you’ve changed the way my family eats! ANYWAYS, I’m going to make the blueberry smoothie for my (almost) 3 year old son tomorrow morning. He loves every single one of your smoothie recipes so I know we’ll both love that one too!
Egg roll in a bowl! Yum!
Thank your for putting this fructose thing in perspective and giving us some yummy ideas.
My hubby showed me a post this morning that compared acai bowls (which he has daily) to an egg mcmuffin meal and the acai had more calories… I really think this has gotten bit stupid! I said do you think you will put on weight if you eat mcdonals every day or an acai bowl you have made with coconut water and no added sweetener?
I guess its all about fear and likes thats why I love posts like this <3
I’m going to be making the blueberry smoothie this week. One of my goals is to cut out sugar and this will be perfect. Also, I never thought to add cauliflower, so I’m interested to see how it tastes.
I can’t wait to try one of these – been trying to cut back on sugar, even the natural kind.
I’m making Eggroll in a bowl, which I’ve made the past 2 weeks and LOVE. Definitely a few of these smoothies, the sweet potato toast and maybe the chocolate cake ❤️❤️❤️
After all of the heavy holiday fare I want to try the low sugar raspberry smoothie. It sounds delightful.
I am planning on making your low-sugar smoothies. Another strategy to sneak some veggies into my veggie-averse little people! Thanks for the idea.
I made your instant pot lentil and kale curry on New Year’s Day and was surprised at how filling and satisfying it was. I served it over quinoa and had no desire to snack after dinner, which is usually a problem for me. I need to make one of your dressing or dip recipes to eat with raw veggies because after having mostly cooked vegetables all winter, I’m craving something fresh.
I am really looking forward to trying a number of these shakes, but the PB, Chocolate and Banana is definitely top of my list. Now all I need is the Vitamix to make it in??? 🙂
I plan on making both low sugar smoothies as well as the unicorn smoothie in the exit week! Love these recipes!
I’ll be trying the Low Sugar Blueberry Smoothie! I haven’t tried cauliflower in my smoothies yet.
Hi Megan! Love your website! I made the egg roll in a bowl recipe last night and my family and I devoured it! Also going to give the smoothies a try in the morning.
Am looking forward to making baked pumpkin cups!!And washing them down with a smoothie!
I’ll sure be trying the low sugar blueberry smoothie!
I tried the Instant Pot Vegan Quinoa Burrito Bowl for dinner tonight and it was delicious. Will be making again for sure! I also tried your Instant Pot Vegan Curried Butternut Squash soup the other day and it was soooo good. One of my favourite soups for sure! Just got an Instant Pot for Xmas, love it so far! Thanks to your recipes Megan! Hoping to try the Instant Pot Make-Ahead Detox Quinoa Breakfast Bowls for tomorrow morning and these low sugar smoothies. 🙂 Thanks!!
I’m going to be making Vegetarian Bolognese(my favorite!) and trying the low sugar raspberry smoothie. You’re recipes are so good! Thanks!
I’m planning on trying the veggie chow main! Love your recipes and have had my eye in a Vitamix Blender for a while 🙂
I will be making your Thai Coconut Curry Soup. Yum!!
Yay for low sugar smoothie recipes! I’m excited to try them! This week, I’m trying a couple of recipes from No Excuses Detox – the Vegan Sheperd’s Pie and the Thai “peanut’ salad. I’m also going to make a batch of your fantastic double chocolate pumpkin muffins (my kiddo LOVES those).
I’m all in! This week I’ve tried sweet potato toast with peanut butter and banana, vegan burrito bowls and Quinoa Breakfast Bowls. I can’t wait for next week!
I just bought your books with Christmas money and am excited to try out the recipes! I want to try these smoothies and would love to win this blender!
I also love adding powdered peanut butter to smoothies to bulk them up, it’s so much less messy than traditional but butters. I’m excited to make some almond butter fudge this week, though! One of my favorite Detoxinista recipes!
I LOVE the idea of putting cauliflower into a smoothie!! I will definitely be giving these smoothie recipes above a try and also the peanut butter one!
Thanks so much for sharing. I love your tips!
I will be trying your chocolate green smoothie, your instant pot quinoa burrito bowls and your quinoa “Mac and cheese” made with cashews. Thank you for doing this giveaway. It would be great!!
Omg, I want to try the sweet potato toast this week! Looks so good!
I will definitely be giving both of these low sugar smoothies a try. These are the first smoothie recipes I’ve seen that use cauliflower as well as avocado. Sounds interesting, very healthy, and tasty. Can hardly wait to give them a try. Also looking forward to trying your vegan cauliflower pizza crust.
Thank you so much for these. I’m obsessed with smoothies lately. They are just so quick and easy, and you really can pack quite a bit of nutrition into them. I’ve been making your Chocolate Zucchini smoothie and the Chocolate Banana Protein one lately. I always add collagen powder to them to up the protein content. Would love to see a smoothie meal plan for a week where one drinks nothing but smoothies but still receives all the nutrition one would need. I would love to give my digestion a rest with solid food, and I have been wondering if there is a way to do a smoothie “diet” for a few weeks that would incorporate enough nutrition and not be a calorie bomb. I see a lot of soup detoxes and was wondering if there is a smoothie one or if you would consider putting something together. You have a quite a few recipes on your blogs and in your books. I’ve made most of them, by the way. Loved every single one. Love the giveaway by the way. I’ve been wanting a Vitamix for a while now. Though, I’m amazed at how well my cheap Black and Decker processes the food. Crossing my fingers!!
I’m finally going to make freezer fudge! And we love the quinoa pizza from No Excuses Detox. Yum yum yummy!!
These look great and I cannot wait to try them.
My absolute favorite and I’ll time go to recipe that you have is the detox Blondie macaroons. And make these every year for Passover and my family absolutely loves them! Thanks so much for all your hard work and dedication.
I made your dairy free Hot chocolate recently and it was amazing!
I love your blog! Thanks for having consistently great recipes!
Thanks for the great post! I’ve been following you on Instagram and Facebook for awhile now, but just recently purchased your cookbooks and started the challenge to make healthy eating more part of my everyday life! So far I have made your spinach and artichoke pasta bake and the cauliflower baked ziti. Both were awesome! I can’t wait to try the freezer fudge! Also- thanks for the helpful post on smoothies. I’ve never thought to try cauliflower in one! I also cannot wait for you sweet potatoes lasagna recipe! So excited 🙂
oh my gosh !!! you have terrific ideas !!! quinoa and low sugar smoothies are exceptional. actually ALL your ideas have caught my eye.
question though: can quinoa be made in a slow cooker …. don’t have an instant pot.
I haven’t tried it, but you just inspired me! I’ll let you know. 🙂
I am excited to try these low sugar smoothies. I recently made your peanut butter chocolate smoothie and it was amazing and great flavour considering there is no sweetener added! I would like to make your vegan mac and cheese soon for my toddler. I have always dreamed of a vitamix!
I love your site! I plan on trying the egg roll in a bowl this week, as well as the Kung pao chickpeas! I appreciate how creative you are, especially in this busy time of life. Thanks for the great recipes! And giveaways!
Hi, I am going to try the sweet potato toast tomorrow for breakfast. I recently got diagnosed with Type 2 diabetes so I am trying to find healthy, but satisfying ways of eating and this recipe intrigued me.
I will definitely be making the blueberry & the raspberry smoothie. I am incredibly curious how the califlower will taste. Thanks for the idea and for the vitamix giveaway.
I will make nut milk and nut be\utters for sure.
White bean minestrone from the winter detox booklet. It’s very filing, delicious and essential with the weather the northeast has been getting. Thank you for sharing all of your Healthy creations.
I’ll definitely try a blueberry smoothie. I’ve never put cauliflower in before. Your recipes look wonderful and I’ve finally convinced the hubby to change his diet too. We’ll be doing a lot more healthy family meals from now on!
I make ‘shakes’ every morning for breakfast, so I am looking forward to making both of these smoothie recipes. I love the idea of adding the cauliflower to the mix and will be interested to add your ingredients to my protein shakes, too. Thank you for the great information!
I’d like to make your Egg Roll in a Bowl recipe. These smoothies look great and I plan to try one this week. Thank you for the chance to win – Happy New Year!
I LOVE smoothies! I have been eating your chocolate frostie shake every morning for almost one year now and I am obsessed. 🙂 Perhaps I should branch out and try these other options! I just love that I can get spinach and chia seeds in my belly and it tastes like a milkshake.
I just made your cauliflower crust pizza!! It turned out AWESOME and my fiancé and I absolutely loved it.i also plan to try these smoothies! I have started putting cauliflower in but would love to try avocado as well. Thanks for the great tips and letting everyone know not to be afraid of sugar in fruit!