Trying to reduce your carbs, eat low sugar fruits and stay in ketosis? Trying to reduce your sugar intake - even from natural fruits - but love the taste of that sweet fruity smoothie? Switching to a low-sugar diet can be a serious challenge, whether trying to satisfy diabetic, ketogenic, or any other low-sugar dietary needs. Most smoothie recipes call for heaps of high-sugar fruits, mounds of sweetened yogurt and drizzles of honey. And they claim to be as healthy as can be!!!
While I’m not about bashing different dietary beliefs (definitely not claiming that fruits are unhealthy), I am setting out to help fellow low-sugar dieters – whatever their reasonings may be! Personally, I suffer from severe gut issues, where SIBO (small intestinal bacterial overgrowth) and leaky gut wreak havoc on my digestive system on the daily. For those of you who are not so familiar with gut issues, all forms of sugar - yes, even from natural fruits - is the worst aggravator of symptoms.
Want to enjoy a delicious, healthy smoothie without all those sugars? Below are my top 5 suggestions of ingredients to keep in your kitchen at all times:
- Açaí purée: Meet the delicious, nutritious, and ever-so-versatile acai! I enjoy it almost every day as it is one of the only fruits that is allowed on my diet. One serving of our acai contains 0 grams of sugar and yes, that’s right, 0 grams of net carbs (for those non keto readers, net carbs = total carbs minus total fibre.) And you can switch it up on the daily, incorporating different flavours depending on what you feel like.
- Coconut milk: Full fat, canned coconut milk with only coconut extract and water listed as ingredients is best. I use the Aroy-D brand, which can be found in most grocery stores and isn't too pricey. Coconut milk provides a creamy, tasty texture with minimal sugars and lots of fats to help make the smoothie extra filling.
- Avocado: I keep bags of frozen avocado chunks in freezer at all times as an easy addition to any smoothie. Avocado is packed full of vitamins, minerals, fibre and healthy fats, and has more potassium than bananas! It also adds a delicious, creamy texture to the smoothie.
- Nut butter: Adding a tablespoon or so of your favourite nut butter adds some protein and even more healthy fats to the mix. Hello, long-lasting fullness!
- Monk Fruit or Stevia: A few drops of my favourite monk fruit sweetener (try SweetMonk available online at Switch Grocery ) or Stevia (I use SweetLeaf Sweet Drops) does wonders to bring out the delicious flavour of the acai. No honey or maple syrup needed – though you could add these in if you can handle a little natural sugar!
I also add some water to the mix to help the smoothie blend better. Sometimes I treat myself by adding a tiny piece of a banana and a few blueberries for a hint of sweetness, though I’ll leave this last one up to your own discretion based on your own dietary goals.
One final tip: for an even more filling breakfast, try your acai smoothie in a bowl instead of a glass. Include your favourite low carb protein powder in the mix and top with other keto-friendly treats like grated coconut, keto-friendly granola, and/or cacao nibs for a full meal! Yummmm!!!!