Which Vegetables Are Best For Smoothies?

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which vegetables are best for smoothies

Blended veggies are a great way to add thickness, flavor, and a wallop of nutrition to any smoothie. From vegetable-only smoothies to fruit combos and protein shakes, veggies add a fresh dynamic and pack in some extra health benefits, too. Don’t be afraid to get creative with them. You may just discover the next big smoothie trend. Read on for some ideas on the best vegetables to toss in your blender and what flavors complement them best.

1. Zucchini

Fry ‘em, bake ‘em, spiralize ‘em, or maybe try blending ‘em, too. Zucchinis are packed with vitamin A. They’re a great immunity booster, they’re low-carb, and they’re full of antioxidants. They’re also mild enough in flavor that they won’t overwhelm other vegetables or fruits in your smoothie.

Try Blending With:

Almond milk, cinnamon, and vanilla are all great flavor combinations for zucchini (think zucchini bread). You can also blend zucchini with apples, bananas, or berries for added flavor and sweetness, or blend with spinach and kale to pack in more super greens.

zucchini

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2. Sweet Potato

They’re not just for baking and mashing. Throw a sweet potato in your blender for some rich, creamy texture, a power boost of vitamin A, added fiber, and defense against inflammation. Don’t try to toss a raw sweet potato in the blender, or you’ll end up with unpalatable chunks. Cook the sweet potato and refrigerate it for two hours or more before tossing it in your smoothie.

Try Blending With:

Any pie spices, milk, or milk substitutes will complement a sweet potato nicely. Try adding almond butter, vanilla or chocolate protein powder, dates, or maple syrup for a rich, filling, and satisfying blend.

sweet potato

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3. Squash

Yellow squash will blend well, but if you’re going for harder, cold season squashes like acorn or butternut, cook them and chill them for a couple of hours before attempting to make a smoothie. These immunity-boosting, anti-inflammatory, diabetes-fighting veggies are not only creamy and mild, but they’ll give your body a healthy zap of nutrients, too.

Try Blending With:

Pumpkin pie spices like cinnamon, ginger, and nutmeg will brighten any squash-based smoothie. Add dates, carrots, or even tart fruits like kiwi for a punch of flavor.

squash

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4. Beets

Bright purple and earthy-tasting beets are a popular go-to for smoothie enthusiasts. They’re great for blood pressure, brain health, and weight loss, and they contain vitamin C, folate, and healthy dietary nitrates that may increase athletic performance.

Try Blending With:

Sweet fruits will complement the earthy beet flavor. Try tossing in strawberries, pineapple, apples, or carrots. For an interestingly dark and stout flavor, try mixing with cacao or a chocolate protein powder. The strong tastes of ginger and cinnamon are great additions, too.

beets

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5. Carrots

The popularity of carrots in juices and smoothies is largely due to their vitamin content, sweetness, and accessibility. Carrots are full of healthy beta carotene, vitamin K, and vitamin B6 to boost your energy and vitality.

Try Blending With:

Carrots go with just about anything, but some of the most popular blending choices are apples, ginger, and turmeric. This concoction will kickstart your immune system and aid digestion. Oranges are another common combiner, but other sweet fruits like pineapple and strawberries are tasty, as well.

carrots

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6. Spinach

Iron-rich spinach is a great way to add nutrients and healthy greens to your smoothie. The mild and refreshing flavor is easily combined with other ingredients without masking or overwhelming the finished product. It also breaks down quickly, which means you’ll be able to pack plenty of other ingredients into your glass.

Try Blending With:

Spinach can go with apples, pears, peaches, berries, carrots, beets, or any other sweet fruits. Bananas make a great thickener for the thin texture of blended spinach, and yogurt and protein powder are good lifters as well.

spinach

Image credit: PPD, Pixnio

7. Kale

This superfood is not only trendy, but it’s also nutrient-dense, too. Putting kale in your smoothie will help lower cholesterol, tamp down inflammation, and fight free radicals. It’s also one of the best sources of vitamin K. It can have a strong flavor, however, so if you don’t find it palatable, you may want to blend it with plenty of fruit.

Try Blending With:

Berries, yogurt, bananas, apples, and milk all make great combinations with kale. Thickeners like protein powder and almond butter are good ideas, too, since kale will blend into a watery substance. For a tropical treat, try adding kale to a pineapple and coconut smoothie.

kale

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8. Bell Peppers

Vitamin C-packed bell peppers are sweet, nutritious, and easy to blend. They’re great for your blood and your eyes and have been shown to fight cancer. They may even increase your metabolism, which could help boost weight loss.

Try Blending With:

Bell peppers make a nice companion for bananas, oranges, pineapple, and other tropical fruits. They’re also a great complement for mangoes and kiwis. Since they’re sweet, they’re versatile enough that you might just try experimenting with them.

bell peppers

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9. Broccoli

Cruciferous broccoli is a folate and vitamin C powerhouse. It’s great for your tissues, your heart, and your digestion. It can have a strong flavor, though, so you may consider masking it with sweet fruits, ginger, honey, or protein powders.

Try Blending With:

For a balanced sweet-and-savory mixture, try tossing broccoli in with bananas and peanut butter. Strawberry and mango are great options, too, and the sourness of plain or vanilla yogurt can help mask some of the earthy broccoli-ness.

broccoli

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10. Celery

As another veggie with a strong flavor, celery can be used with anything, but you’ll probably still taste it. Fortunately, its spicy juiciness can be refreshing. You also burn more calories eating celery than you get by ingesting it. It’s great for blood sugar and weight loss, too.

Try Blending With:

If you want to balance the celery flavor, try blending it with carrots and apples. Pears, ginger, lime, and even cucumbers go well with it, too.

celery

Image credit: Pixabay, Pexels

Conclusion

Have fun with your smoothie concoctions. Just because you’re adding veggies to your blend doesn’t mean it has to become a liquid salad. Experiment with complementary flavors, search for different recipes, and don’t limit yourself to the above veggies. You can blend just about any vegetable successfully.

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