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
We love your almond butter fudge!!! It is always a hit and goes quickly!
I found the information regarding fructose especially informative – thank you!
Made Egg Roll in a Bowl again yesterday and it was amazing. One of my favorite recipes that you have.
My 5 year old daughter loves a morning smoothie. Especially because she can make it herself. She adds a banana, unsweetened almond milk and frozen strawberries. Sometimes I will sneak in some greens powder or a vegan protein powder.
I’m actually making your peppermint fudge bars from Everyday Detox today, and our whole family enjoys your Pizza Stir Fry. Even my kids eat it and I love that they’re getting a good dose of veggies!
The peppermint fudge bars are my FAVORITE!! 🙂
I LOVE your vegan Tuscan pumpkin sauce, it is a perfect cold weather dish and I add spinach and mushrooms to it. I’ll be making it again this week!
I’m going to make this smoothie for sure! I love all your recipes. Question: does the cauliflower in the smoothie give you gas? I don’t want to be stinking up the office with my smoothie love! 🙂
And of course, I’ll be making your chocolate bark. Can’t go a day without a bite of that stuff. So much better than store bought chocolate! 🙂
I just made your cinnamon spice muffins with a twist. My daughter was just told she can’t have much animal protein so I used a flax egg and used pumpkin puree instead of the apple sauce like your pumpkin spice muffins. They turned out fine. I didn’t like the texture as well as before but it worked and the kids liked them. Tomorrow I am starting a raw fruit and veggie cleanse so I will be trying some of these smoothies.
I’d like to share another low-sugar recipe that is from a nutritive, plant-based cleanse that changed my habits dramatically, leading me to Detoxinista to stay the course. Green vitality: sm handful greens (lettuce, spinach, chard, or kale) juice if a lemon (or more if you like), handful fresh parsley or cilantro, green apple, cucumber, celery, frozen banana or berries.
I love the idea of using frozen cauliflower here, it gives it a creamy taste 🙂
We love your peanut butter muffins and will be trying the quinoa breakfast bowl this week!
I plan on making the blueberry smoothie for breakfast- i have never put cauliflower or avocado in a smoothie- I am willing to try it. I am excited about this 30 day challenge-
I love your blog and cookbooks! I probably make the deep dish skillet cookie 3x a month to satisfy my sweet tooth. It’s my favorite cookie of all time!
I would Love to make the Low sugar raspberry smoothie!
I might have to make a low-sugar smoothie AND sweet-potato toast today– it’s cold here in Portland OR and I’m hungry, but I am always so sad when I don’t have a delicious smoothie for brekkie!
My goal for January is to make a smoothie every morning for breakfast. I’ve definitely been skipping breakfast because I’m busy or lazy.
I’m re-visiting some of my favorite recipes from the 1st cookbook:
Strawberry Basil Blast
Apple Pie a la Mode
Banana Nut Protein Smoothie
Peachy Green Cleanser
I love any smoothie with herbs so the strawberry basil blast and peachy green cleaner are my absolute favs from Detoxinista!
I love the egg roll in a bowl. I typically have the ingredients in my fridge and it is quick and easy. Thank you.
Our family loves the breakfast chia seed pudding!
I am diabetic and am looking forward to trying your low sugar smoothies. Thanks for all the recipes.
I will be making your low sugar blueberry smoothie this morning!
Hello! Thank you for these sugar notes, I forwarded them to a friend who’s trying to get a handle on her blood sugar without eliminating smoothies. I use a lot of your salad dressings, particularly the creamy tahini and cukey tahini dressings, the creamy Italian, as well as an almond butter dressing (that might have started as peanut butter?) that I use to top strawberry-sunflower Romaine salads. Salad got boring and you rescued me. You also helped me tweak my chia pudding recipe, and the sweet potato toast idea was inspired. I have friends sending me pictures, calling it life-changing. I find a lot of little gems all over your site. Too many to list, but I do appreciate your efforts. Thank you, and happy new year, lady.
I made the double chocolate chip brownie from your cookbook .
I’m going to try adding either zucchini or cauliflower to my smoothies. Such an interesting idea. I’m always looking for ways to sneak nutrition to my son.
Wow love ALL your recipes. Er often make your toddler banana snack muffins and routinely any one of your toddler approved smoothies. Also obsessed with all your desserts!
I absolutely love this recipe! Raspberries are one of my favorite berries of all time and ones I normally eat daily. Blackberries and blueberries are also must-haves for any tasty, nutritious, low-sugar smoothie! Although I eat a plant-based vegan diet made from whole foods with zero refined sugar, I too, have been trying to incorporate more veggies into my meals at the beginning of the new year. I’m excited to try your challenge just for fun since I’m such a fan of your work! 🙂 Thanks for the giveaway!!! I would love to share this blender with my mom who I’m trying to help incorporate more raw, plant-based foods through smoothies as she recovers from cancer!
I’ve found smoothies tended to weigh me down and make me feel kind of sick to my stomach, whereas juicing makes me feel well. I had thought that maybe it was too much fiber and kind of wrote them off, but maybe it was simply too much sugar in one go? I am intrigued by the idea of adding in cauliflower and other vegetables, and might have to give smoothies another go. I do have to admit, however, that I’m mostly just counting down the moments until you post your sweet potato lasagna recipe tomorrow, because I have been drooling over that photo since I first saw it, and I have a bunch of sweet potatoes just waiting for it!
I’m in the mood for a smoothie, so will use the ones you’ve offered as inspiration. . .perhaps with a dollop of added almond butter.
I tried low sugar Raspberry smoothie. good but tart
I make your pumpkin pie oatmeal muffins every week. They are delicious!
Using coconut oil to roast brussel sprouts & broccoli from your recipes have been a game changer! i have tried and love so many of your recipes on your website and No Excuses Detox book. Thank you for all of your great healthy recipes!
I love most smoothies and have been looking for lower sugar recipes. I will definitely be trying the raspberry listed above. I’d also love to try the creamy almond butter and spinach shake and the chocolate peanut butter banana smoothie.
I plan on making the low sugar smoothies. The addition of the cauliflower has me intrigued. I love to have smoothies for breakfast most of the week.
I want to make the sweet potato toast! Great idea! I always add greens to my smoothies and lemon and flax seed, its the easiest way to eat them all.
Never thought I’d enjoy beets, but I’m hooked on the Back to your Roots juice. Love watching the orange of the carrots lay on top of the red of the beets. It’s edible art and could be a mixologist’s dream base.
I just bought your book and I plan to make the cashew queso, because I cant have dairy and miss cheese SOOOO much! So thanks for giving me a great alternative.Also looking forward to trying your Beginner Five day Plan.
I make a smoothie every morning but haven’t been doing too good of a job making them low sugar. Going to give your blueberry smoothie a try tomorrow. Never thought about adding cauliflower to a smoothie!
I will definitely try one of the smoothies you posted … I would never have thought to add cauliflower to my smoothies!
I use your site far more then any other and really appreciate all of your great work on our behalf!
All the best to you in this new year!
I’m going to make your NO-BAKE ANDES MINT BARS. My bestie made it for me recently and it’s soooo yummy!
I have made cranberry pecan Chia pudding, excellent thanks
I’m loving the egg roll in a bowl recipe. I’ve made it a couple of times for dinner. It’s so good!
Since it’s been brutally cold, I’ll be making soup eveyday :)Your black bean soup, thai coconut curry soup, and broccoli cheddar soup are on my list!
I am so happy to be part of this awesome challenge as a mom of two I am always looking for better food options and do I ever need a good blender you will see :(. This week I am planning to do :
Avocado cilantro dressing
Mexican Hot Chocolate pudding
Chocolate peanut butter balls
Best ever coconut flour banana bread
Mason jar salad
eggroll in a bowl
chocolate peanut butter banana milkshake
vegan enchilada casserole
Just today I made the banana cake to share with my girlfriends and our mob of children. It is quick to whip up and everyone loved it. I also love your sweet potato pizza skillet.
I made your acai smoothie and egg roll in a bowl. They are both really good and real easy to throw together. That is one of the things I appreciate about your recipes is how quick the prep is. The only thing that would make the prep quicker is a new Vitamix Blender.
I made the raspberry smoothie. It was both pretty and tasty. I’ll be making the blueberry smoothie tomorrow. Thanks!
Hi Megan! So far this week I have made your Cheesy Spaghetti Squash Casserole, Pizza roasted veggies, Go to Greeeks salad, Egg roll in a bowl, and ACV dressing for all of my salads throughout the week. All of these recipes have become staples for me! Thanks for always sharing awesome ideas!
My family and I love your smoothie recipes, Megan. This morning we made the mango strawberry smoothie, and earlier in the week we made the strawberry pineapple and very berry broccoli smoothie recipes from your Make-Ahead Weekday Reset. The recipes in this post also look like great make-ahead ideas. Thank you!
I’m going to be making the Vegan Stuffed Zucchini tonight!
I’ve been making your recipes for years. Every Thanksgiving I make your pumpkin tarts but I double the crust and do 1 and a half of the filling to make a big pie! I look forward to it all year. You are my go to blog for desserts. Chocolate peanut butter milkshake gets me through horrible sugar cravings every time!!
We are going to be trying your Healthy Creamed Spinach today with dinner
Trying the instant pot mac & cheese today!
I am so excited to try the Low Sugar Blueberry Smoothie!