Smoothies will (hopefully) never go out of style, but what goes in them will. These days, the smoothie ingredient du jour isn’t an unpronounceable herbal powder, exotic fruit, or Amazonian super berry – it’s a humble vegetable that can be found in the grocery store year round. Here’s how to game change your smoothie with this five-ingredient (and low-sugar) blueberry, coconut, and zucchini recipe.
Secret Smoothie Star: Zucchini
Known to grow like weeds in the summertime, zucchini is a type of summer squash with impressive nutrient properties. These vegetables, also known as courgettes, are low in calories and glycemic value, yet high in fiber and water content.
They’re also bursting with antioxidants, vitamins, and minerals including B vitamins like folate, vitamin C, potassium, manganese, and phosphorus.
The trick to using zucchini in smoothies is to first cut and freeze the vegetable. Although there are a million and one uses for fresh zucchini, frozen zucchini is ideal in creating thick smoothies filled with substance.
Zucchini Smoothie Ingredients
Unlike using frozen bananas to thicken a smoothie, frozen zucchini works like magic to provide delicious and creamy texture once blended. If you are looking for a smoothie lower in sugar, or simply cannot tolerate bananas, adding frozen zucchini should be your new go-to.
Blueberries are packed with antioxidants; compounds that fight free radical damage and protect the integrity of our cells. They also provide an essential sweetness to the zucchini smoothie, while still remaining low on the glycemic index.
For those watching their sugar intake, consuming blueberries is a delicious way to get a sweet fix without spiking blood sugar levels. Consuming berries has been shown to improve insulin resistance, and therefore manage symptoms of type-II diabetes and metabolic syndrome.
Coconut butter, or the ground up meat of the coconuts, and coconut milk provide plenty of nourishing healthy fats to this zucchini smoothie. Coconut is a rich source of medium chain triglycerides, (MCTs) a type of fatty acid rapidly metabolized in the liver. This quick conversion of calories provides energy and a boost – AKA the perfect thing to add to every smoothie.
Hemp seeds are filled with protein and a balance of omega-3 and omega-6 fatty acids. They also have a slightly nutty flavor and taste delicious in this blueberry and zucchini smoothie.
With just five ingredients and five seconds (basically) to make, this delicious blueberry and zucchini smoothie is a thick and creamy treat. Feel free to enjoy it with a spoon and garnish the smoothie with additional toppings like nut butter, granola, and coconut flakes.
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Photos by Kate Gavlick