We all know about adding greens to our smoothies, but what about vegetables as a smoothie ingredient? Yes you can blend up vegetables just as easily as leafy greens. And I’m talking about your root vegetables, your brassicas and your squash here. These smoothies are very filling and nutritious and can be turned into complete meal replacements. Plus you will get the most amazing colors, from vivid reds, to bright oranges and pale greens.
Some vegetables can be added raw to your smoothies, others definitely need to be cooked. The milder tasting vegetables such as celery, carrots, cucumber and zucchini can be used raw.
Stronger tasting vegetables such as broccoli or cauliflower can be eaten raw or cooked. If you find their raw taste too overpowering, then try cooking them first. Cooking dilutes the flavor and makes them more palatable. Hard root vegetables such as beets may need to be grated or cooked first. They are simply too hard for ordinary blenders to handle. The flavor of starchy vegetables such as pumpkin and sweet potato is definitely improved by cooking first.
Also don’t overlook vegetable juices. Adding vegetables juices as a liquid base is an easy way to add extra nutrients to smoothies.
Beets have the highest sugar content of any vegetable which accounts for their sweet taste. Nevertheless they are low in calories, high in vitamin A, fiber and rich in iron. An excellent source of potassium, they also contain the enzyme betaine, which is great for cleansing for the liver, kidneys and gallbladder.
Beets are best blended with sweet fruit or mild greens and can be added raw or cooked. Try baking or steaming. Peel and chop into small pieces before adding to your smoothie.
And don’t forget the green tops. These are even more nutritious than the roots, with double the amount of potassium, folic acid, calcium and iron.
A member of the cabbage family, broccoli is the most nutritious of the cruciferous vegetables. All of these vegetables contain nitrogen compounds, but broccoli contains especially high amounts of enzymes and nutrients such as carotenoids. Besides being calcium-rich and high in fiber, broccoli is also a good source of vitamin C, folate, riboflavin, potassium and iron.
When adding to your smoothie use only a few florets, because it can be quite bitter tasting.
Red or green cabbage can be added to smoothies. In fact red cabbage will give your smoothies a wonderful red hue. Cabbage is surprisingly mild tasting and gives your smoothies a great consistency.
Cabbage is also highly nutritious. High in vitamin E. a very popular smoothie ingredient and is full of nutrition. The sulfur and iodine in cabbage help cleanse your stomach and intestines. It also contains calcium and vitamin C.
Shred or cut the cabbage into chunks for adding to your blender.
Carrots make a great smoothie ingredient and add a touch of sweetness. In fact carrots can be used as a sweetener for green smoothies. If you are buying fresh carrots, don’t forget to look for carrots that have their green tops. The carrot tops can also be added to smoothies. They have a fairly strong and bitter taste, so start with one or two stalks, but are extremely nutritious.
If you have a high speed blender chop them into chunks. Otherwise you may have to try shredding them finely first.
Carrots are very nutritious and get their yellow-orange color from carotenoids. Carrots contain large amounts of carotene and vitamin A, along with useful amounts of vitamins B3, C and E. When eaten raw, they also provide good quantities of potassium, calcium, iron and zinc. They cleanse the liver and digestive system, help prevent the formation of kidney stones and relieve arthritis and gout.
An excellent source of nutrition, this vegetable is widely available and affordable. But celery also has a distinctive taste, so it’s better to start with one stalk, then you can add more if required. Both the celery stalks and leaves can be added to smoothies. Cut the stalks into chunks before adding to your blender.
Celery is a good source of potassium, calcium and magnesium and some vitamin C.
Cucumbers are a refreshing, hydrating addition to smoothies. With a mild taste, a high water content and few calories they are great for weight loss smoothies. They add thickness without adding too much flavor.
Cucumbers are a very good source of potassium, high amounts of vitamin K, as well as vitamin C. The hard skin of the cucumber is rich in fiber. Their high water content makes them a great fat burner and diuretic, encouraging the elimination of waste products from the body.
A whole cucumber can be used in smoothies. Just cut into chunks and leave the seeds intact before adding to your blender.
Pumpkins make an excellent smoothie base, giving them a creamy texture. To give them flavor use the same wonderful spices that you use in cooking, such as allspice, cinnamon, cloves, vanilla and ginger. Pumpkins have a delicate flavor, so when making green smoothies use mild greens.
Pumpkin is one vegetable that tastes much better cooked. Not only does cooking it first soften it and make it far easier to blend, but it also enhances the flavor. I would recommend either steaming or baking. Purchasing canned pumpkin is the easier option, but be sure to look for an organic brand that has no added sugar.
When adding pumpkin to smoothies use about 1 cup.
As their name implies, sweet potatoes have a rather sweet flavor and so lend themselves well to smoothie making. Use sweet potatoes in much the same way as pumpkins in your smoothies. They will blend up well with the traditional spices and also taste much better if cooked first. Raw sweet potato is rather starchy.
Sweet potato are a great source of beta-carotene, and also contain folate and vitamins B6, C and E. Low in calories and high in fiber, sweet potatoes are great for weight loss smoothies.
Mix them with bananas or pears. They also go well with citrus fruits.
Zucchini have a very bland flavor, so adding half a zucchini will add nutrients but won’t affect the flavor. It blends well with other sweeter and stronger tasting ingredients.
They are an excellent source of manganese and vitamin C as well as containing magnesium, vitamin A, fiber, potassium, folate, copper, vitaminB2 and phosphorus.
You don’t need to peel them, in fact leaving the skin on increases the fiber. Just chop coarsely before adding to your blender.
Part 1 - The Liquid Base
Part 2 - All the Fruits
Part 3 - List of Healthy Greens
Part 5 - Nuts, Seeds, Herbs & Spices
Part 6 - Sweeteners
Other - List of Superfoods
Home » Smoothie Ingredients - Vegetables