Tuesday, April 10, 2012

Low Sugar Green Smoothie

Okay, this smoothie doesn't look too green now does it? Berries and greens blended up equal brown. Although the color may not look too appetizing, the flavor is amazing! Our 4-year old twin boys drink it with a straw. They now race to see who is done first. We hear "done" and then "done" and then "no, I was done first" and then "I'm not playing first game." Just so you all know, drinking your smoothie as fast as you can is not optimal for digestion. It is best to let each sip sit in your mouth for at least 30 seconds to allow for enzymes such as amylase to begin to break down the fruit sugars.

We've been asked many times to offer green smoothie recipes that don't contain too much fruit sugar. Normally we use two tart apples and two pears in each smoothie, but by using berries and citrus instead you can lower the glycemic index and keep the overall FODMAP content much lower. FODMAPs are short-chain carbohydrates found in fruits such as apples and pears (and many other foods) that can contribute to gas, bloating, and other GI issues for those who are sensitive, or who have imbalanced gut microflora.

The combination of the berries, cherries, and greens create a superfood smoothie! No need to buy expensive, exotic fruits such as the acai berry! Did you know that blueberry consumption can lead to an increase in beneficial bifidobacterium in the gut? They are also effective at eradicating harmful, pathogenic bacteria in the gut. Another reason to make blueberries a regular part of your diet!

Use a glass or stainless steel straw for children. Straws seem to make green smoothies much more fun to drink!

Berry-Cherry-Green Smoothie

Adding the avocado boosts absorption of beneficial carotenoids in the greens. It also slows the digestion of the smoothie, which helps to maintain blood sugar and keep you satisfied longer....meaning this smoothie can be a meal in itself.

3 cups water
2 tablespoons whole chia seeds
1/2 cup freshly squeezed lemon juice
1 to 2-inch piece fresh ginger
2 cups frozen cherries (or strawberries for low-FODMAP)
1 cup frozen blueberries
1 peeled navel orange
1 small avocado (optional)
1/2 bunch collard greens 
1/2 bunch kale

Add the water, chia seeds, lemon juice, and ginger to a high-powered blender. Blend on high until the chia seeds are pureed. Then add the cherries, blueberries, and peeled orange. Blend again until smooth and creamy. Then add the greens and blend until combined. Source:

More Smoothie Recipes:
Spring Green Smoothie
Strawberry Almond Smoothie
How to Make a Green Smoothie ~ a video!


  1. This sounds absolutely wonderful, Ali! I'll skip the chia seeds this time, but will enjoy it without for sure. :-)


  2. I love that your boys drink the brown green smoothies, Ali. At our house my boys turn up their noses at my brown smoothies.

  3. Looks yummy!! You sound like our house--we have 5 kiddos who adore their daily green smoothies.
    Peace and Raw Health,

  4. For those of us who manage FODMAPs, this is great. Thanks

  5. This sounds crazy simple, but my fav smoothie is only spinach, almond milk, and blueberries!

  6. I wonder about using strawberries. Our store doesn't carry cherries at all. We will try it and see.

  7. I love the sound of this. I will make it just as is, with all ingredients contributing to its' muddy color. I'll probably scream "Done" when I take the last gulp!!!

  8. Sounds great--just what I'm looking for! Thanks for sharing!

    How many servings would this recipe create? I'm often making smoothies for just 1 or 2 people, so just curious how much I'd need to cut everything back by...

  9. Oh I need a good GREEN smoothie recipe!
    LOVE your cookbook by the way!
    Bainbridge Island

  10. Hi Ali, I know my question does not have any thing to do with your smoothie, but I though since this is your last post let's give it a try.

    My question is about xanthan gum. I would like to know if any of this substitutions would work for all your recipes. This first one is the combination of psyllium husk and ground chia seeds? that you used in one of your bread recipe. The other one is one that somebody else suggested and is the combination of potato flour and sweet rice flour? Other option I was thinking was guar gum? I want to make your sandwich bread but without xanthan gum.

    What do you think?

    Thank you for this blog and your help.

  11. Wow! This smoothie is ABSOLUTELY amazing and has jumped to one of our Top 3 Favorites (no easy feat!). I don't know how you managed to create such an amazing balance of flavors but our hats are off to you.

    Smoothie Junkies

  12. Hi! This sounds delicious. Before I try it, can you comment on whether you peel the ginger? I am going to use a borrowed vita-mix for the first time and I am not sure about how much prep to do for certain ingredients. Thanks :)

  13. love this recipe and all of them actually!! thank you! sarah

  14. Hi Ali and family,
    I adore your blog and finally just ordered your cookbook! Several days ago I stumbled upon the blog and started the elimination diet based on the list of eats/don't eats. I was suffering from a migraine and COMPLETELY missed that I was supposed to begin with the 2 day green smoothie detox. I've been following the diet correctly otherwise and definitely felt horrible the first 3 days so thought I was detoxing. I know I could still do those 2 days now, but I've already cut out lemons (all citrus) at this point. Would you suggest I just continue as I have been, or do those days now with (or without) the citrus? Thank you kindly for any input, I know you must be so busy!

  15. I love smoothies and I love greens in my smoothies! I haven't tried collard greens in one yet! :)Happy to be in the Gluten Free Global Community with you! Have a great weekend!

  16. Great recipe! How many will this serve?

  17. 4 cups of fruit?? Too much fruit, too much sugar.

  18. I agree. With all those cherries and other fruit, I don't consider this a low sugar smoothie. But I bet it's delicious!

  19. This is a low fructose green smoothie. For people who are following a low-FODMAP diet this smoothie is ideal….though some may need to lessen the cherries.


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Thanks and Happy Cooking! ~Ali :)