You know that meme that pokes fun at how cauliflower can replace everything in your diet (and your life)? The same may be true about zucchini after scooping up this smoothie tip from holistic nutritionist and founder of Nutrition Stripped, McKel Kooienga. We’re big fans of zucchini roasted, sauteed, in noodle form, and even as a pizza crust. But how do we feel about it as a smoothie addition?
We loved this suggestion from McKell’s gorgeous Instagram feed to boost fiber and decrease sugar by swapping in zucchini for a creamy smoothie texture. Here’s what you should know….
Why Add Zucchini To Your Smoothie (But Really)
According to McKell, “instead of frozen bananas in smoothies, try frozen chopped zucchini — it’ll boost the fiber and decrease the sugar without giving up the creamy smoothie texture.”
“Sugar and carbohydrates from whole foods aren’t “bad” (we have several articles detailing the important role of carbohydrates in our diet), but with smoothies and juices, it’s almost too EASY to squeeze in extra fruit such as bananas which are really common to give smoothies a sweet flavor so being mindful is key! You can also use half banana plus half a low sugar option to retain the flavor, possibilities are endless. The sugar content regardless if it’s from fruit or not, can easily climb up to 50 g of sugar in some smoothies online or at a local smoothie shop. For some people and scenarios that may work really well for their body, but for some, it may be too much at one serving without properly balancing it with protein, fiber, vegetables (like greens), and healthy fats. Try out this substitution in your morning smoothie.
“Zucchinis have a very neutral taste, add fiber, give smoothies a great creamy texture, and they are super easy to freeze (meaning less prep in the morning, woohoo!). Simply chop raw zucchini (1-2 large) into chunks, put them in a freezer-safe bag, and freeze. Zucchinis also add nutrients like potassium, manganese, vitamin C, and vitamin A. Head to the link in bio to read 9 more ingredients you can use in smoothies to make them lower in sugar, and articles about the role of carbohydrates in our diet and tag a friend who might want to learn this!”
How To Make A Zucchini Smoothie
Smoothies offer an excellent opportunity to sneak in an extra serving of veggies. Spinach and kale make regular appearances in our morning concoctions, blending seamlessly in with a rich chocolate protein powder. We’ve even warmed up to the idea of adding cauliflower for an extra boost of fiber. But, zucchini? With health perks like the ones listed above, we’re feeling pretty good about it.
Want to try the trend yourself? Here are a few functional smoothie recipes that are easy to integrate zucchini into simply by swapping out the banana and adding an equal quantity of veg…
Zucchini Berry Smoothie | This nutrient-rich smoothie from Cameron Diaz‘s wellness site, Our Body Book, comes loaded with zucchini and cauliflower. Swap out some of the banana for an even healthier version. READ MORE
Birthday Cake Smoothie | Loaded with protein and celebratory vibes, this birthday cake smoothie is deceptively healthy. Working in some zucchini in place of banana is a seamless swap. READ MORE
Flat Belly Smoothie | This tropical blend includes digestion-enhancing ingredients like papaya and raw ginger. Swap out the frozen banana to reduce sugar. READ MORE
Jet Lag Smoothie | This fermented smoothie features ingredients that help get gut health and hormone levels back to balance after a long trip. The banana adds magnesium to enhance relaxation but can be replaced with zucchini for a version that plays nice with your blood sugar. READ MORE
Thirsty for more wellness inspo? Check out dozens of our favorite superfood smoothie recipes here.