The low sugar craze is in full force right now and I am loving it! As a child of the 90’s, when fat was shunned and sugar was disregarded, sugar was a major part of my diet. Sweet tea, sodas, ice cream, cakes, boxed cereal, doughnuts…I ate it all. And the more sugar I ate, the more I craved. It’s a vicious cycle, if you’ve ever been down that road. But thankfully, sodas and sweet tea were the very first unhealthful foods I eliminated from my diet at the age of 16. Ever since that turning point, I’ve made changes (big and small) to continue down the path of better health. Why? Because just by removing these two beverages in my diet, my transformation was drastic! I was:
- less bloated
- fitting in my jeans without my tummy hanging over the top
- noticing shinier/smoother skin
- less moody
- more focused
- more motivated to continue to exercise and eat healthy
It helped me realize the power of how one change (and then another, and then another, etc.) can make an impact over time. It’s what got me to where I am now.
As you probably guessed, there are no bananas in this smoothie. One banana can add upwards of 20 grams of sugar to smoothies. And that doesn’t include the sugar in all the other ingredients, which doesn’t work for a low sugar smoothie. In place of bananas, I used frozen and steamed zucchini. So the only sugar in this smoothie is from the blueberries, milk, and the almond butter. When it comes to milks and almond butter, every company is different in the amount of sugar they add. However, I can tell you the amount of sugar in this smoothie is somewhere in the ballpark of 20 grams total. That’s really good! And it’s just as enjoyable as sweeter smoothies.
Lastly, I want to touch on what some of you may be thinking. What’s wrong with adding bananas to smoothies?
The short answer is: nothing. The long answer is: some may be more sensitive to fruit sugar than others and it’s all about balance.
As a registered dietitian, I always bring it back to balance. If I am drinking a smoothie for breakfast, chances are it’s going to have banana in it. It keeps me satisfied longer and the amount of carbohydrates from the banana help me start my day.
However, if I’m drinking a smoothie for a snack, I want it to have less sugar. So I go for this zucchini blueberry smoothie.
You’ve got to go with your gut feeling on this one. Do you feel the same way drinking banana-sweetened smoothies as you do when you drink other sugar-sweetened beverages? If so, you might want to start drinking low sugar smoothies. But if banana-sweetened smoothies work well for you, then I see no problem with continuing.
However, you should at least try this zucchini blueberry smoothie so we can all agree on how awesome a low sugar smoothie can taste!
- 1 cup zucchini, steamed and frozen
- ¾ cup frozen blueberries
- 3 tablespoons almond butter
- 1 teaspoon cinnamon
- ¾ cup soy milk
- Toppings: coconut flakes, fresh or frozen blueberries, and almond butter
- Here is my process for preparing zucchini for smoothies:
- Wash and scrub the zucchini, chop off the ends, cut it in half lengthwise and then cut into slices.
- Add zucchini to a double boiler/steamer pot and steam until zucchini is soft and fork tender.
- Add zucchini directly to an ice bath to stop it from cooking.
- Drain zucchini from the ice water and add it to a freezer-proof container. Once the zucchini is fully frozen, it's ready to be made into a smoothie!
- To make the smoothies:
- Place all ingredients in a blender in the order listed.
- Blend on high until a smooth consistency is reached. Drink immediately.
If you make this smoothie, snap a picture and tag me on Instagram so I can see!
Looking for more beverage recipes? Check out these: