Low Glycemic Green Smoothie

March 11th, 2014 at 6:06 am

Low-Glycemic Green Smoothie (Daily Bites)

Are you up for trying something new?

I can’t wait to share this smoothie with you! It’s very different from my usual smoothie recipes in that it’s not sweet.

Now before we go on, let me just call out the elephant in the room here. A non-sweet smoothie? What are you thinking, Hallie? Yuck!

Well don’t slam on the brakes just yet, because I have good reason for sharing this new—albeit a little unusual—smoothie with you. I’ve been giving non-sweet smoothies I try for about 2 weeks now. They contain virtually zero sugar, so there’s very little increase in blood sugar levels when this is gulped down. As delicious as they are, I’ve found that fruit smoothies can contribute to bloating and digestive distress for many people—including myself. Taking the sweet fruit out of the equation and instead focusing on lots of healthy fats is a key step in eliminating smoothie-related blood sugar spikes, bloating, and the I’m-hungry-1-hour-later problem.

This Low Glycemic Green Smoothie has a very low glycemic load (meaning that you’ll be energized without spiking your blood sugar to the roof), and packs in some nutrient density at the same time.

Let’s take a look at our ingredients, and then I’ll get to the part about how I’m adjusting to “non-sweetness.” :)

  • Avocado: This is an essential ingredient for this smoothie! It makes it creamy, a little extra rich, and very palatable despite the lack of sweetness.
  • Cucumber: While technically a fruit, cucumbers contain zero sugar while offering great moisture and subtle refreshing flavor for this smoothie.
  • Almond butter: We’re getting protein, fat, and flavor from our trusty almond butter here, but feel free to swap in sunflower seed butter or coconut butter for a different flavor that’s still rich and satisfying.
  • Hemp seeds: These all-stars boost our protein content just a bit more, so we say satisfied longer with this beverage in our bellies.
  • Spinach: You know I love my greens! Any lovely leafy will work here. Spinach is my go-to.
  • Cinnamon and ginger: While both are anti-inflammatory, ginger in particular is a great choice for soothing the gut and alleviating tummy troubles. Cinnamon is very balancing for blood sugar and also tastes naturally sweet.

Now, about the non-sweetness factor. Upon first sip, you’ll likely be thinking, “Hmm. I’m not sure how I feel about this.” I say this from experience, because I completely felt that way when I first started drinking these. But now that I’ve been enjoying them almost daily for about 2 weeks, I’m completely hooked! My taste buds have grown to love the creaminess and the all the energizing nutrients this drink supplies.

My absolute favorite thing about drinking these non-sweet smoothies is that I truly believe they’ve changed my palate. I wake up CRAVING my smoothie, and not because I’m craving a sugar boost. My body has truly grown to crave the greens, the avocado, the cucumber, the spices…the entire thing has just won my heart.

So if you can get through the initial phase of adjusting to the lack of sweetness and instead appreciate the creaminess, the metabolic stability you’re get from the healthy fats, and anti-inflammatory powers of the spices, you’ll be loving them in no time!

Low Glycemic Green Smoothie (Daily Bites)

Did you know that the average American consumes 150+ pounds of sugar per year? I’m not joking.

We’ve got a serious sugar addiction problem! And unfortunately there’s no easy way to cut the sugar out beyond doing just that—cutting the sugar out. Breakfast is a great place to start, because when you think about it, most breakfast staples in kitchens across American are starchy and sugary fake foods like cereal, pastries, baked goods, and convenience shakes made from a bunch of junk.

Start your day with a smoothie like this one and you’ll be well on your way to a day of balanced blood sugar.

A few notes before you get blending:

  • Change is uncomfortable. If you’re used to sweet smoothies made with bananas, mangoes, dates, yogurt, and other sweet ingredients, this one will likely come as a shock to your taste buds. I promise it won’t taste bad, just different! Embrace the change and give your palate time to adapt.
  • If you must sweeten up your smoothie a bit, I recommend adding some pure liquid stevia (4-5 drops should do it), or a very small amount of honey or maple syrup (1-2 teaspoons). Gradually you can back off of the sweetener until your taste buds adjust.
  • This recipe is a starting point. If you drink this and find yourself hungry within 1-2 hours, then add more avocado, almond butter, or hemp seeds. The recipe as I’ve written it generally keeps me satisfied until lunch, but you’re not me. So bump up the ingredient quantities if needed to meet the needs of your own unique body.

I’d love to know what you think of the smoothie if you give it a try. Cheers to embracing something new! :)

Happy blending.


Low Glycemic Green Smoothie

Yield: Serves 1

This low-glycemic smoothie is free of sweet fruits but packed with healthy fats. Don't expect it to be sweet—it's not. But the almond butter and avocado add delicious creaminess that you'll become addicted to over time! If you do wish for a sweeter smoothie, add pure liquid stevia to taste.


1 (4-inch) chunk of cucumber (I prefer to peel mine)

4-5 ice cubes

1/4 - 1/2 ripe avocado

1 tablespoon unsweetened almond butter, sunflower seed butter, or coconut butter

1 tablespoon hemp seeds

1 (1/2 to 1-inch) chunk fresh ginger root (peeled)

1/2 - 1 teaspoon ground cinnamon

1 cup spinach or other greens

2/3 cup water or unsweetened almond or hemp milk (more if needed)


Place all of the ingredients in a blender in the order listed. (I use a Vita Mix.) Blend on high until creamy and smooth. (Add more water/milk if needed to reach the desired thickness.)

Enjoy immediately.



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  1. Thanks so much for this recipe.

    I can’t eat avocadoes. Is there something you could suggest that I substitute to still give the smoothie that same creaminess?


  2. This is interesting Hallie! Pete and I tried an apple-less green juice last night and while we didn’t like it, we did drink it! I could be talked into trying this! I actually find hemp hearts to have a little sweet flavor to them.

  3. This was great! I substituted my essential oils, ginger & cinnamon bark which added to the flavor & health wellness.
    Thank you for a new twist on green smoothies.

  4. I burp cucumber extremely bad. Does peeling it solve this problem or do you have a suggestion for a substitute? Maybe zucchini? Appreciate your imput.

  5. Thanks for this. I just had the suggestion to make two nutritious all green no fruit smoothies a day to help me regain my health, and this sounds like it will be extra nurturing and nutritious..thank you and keep these ideas coming!!

  6. Thank you thank you for this recipe! I am a smoothie fanatic and this one has won my heart as well! I love fruit smoothies but I find they too can sometimes contribute to digestive woes for me. This one seems not to at all. Therefore, I’ve been having it for breakfast pretty much every other day over the last few weeks. You can’t go wrong with leafy greens in the morning :).

  7. You are so right about sugar free foods changing your palate. I have been eating a low sugar diet for a couple of weeks now and already I can genuinely say I do not crave sweet foods any more. This recipe is a great one to try. Thanks!

  8. I just made this for my husband and me. It was DELICIOUS!!! I have been searching for a smoothie recipe like this for a while. Thank you so much!

  9. I love this SO MUCH! I tried for the first time today. I used cashew butter instead of almond, because it’s raw organic and the grocery didn’t have raw organic almond…and i also added a peeled meyer lemon. Next time i may add some parsley as well. I also use a black bean protein powder from Shaman Shack called Morning Jing, and added a couple tablespoons. It was SO DELICIOUS! I also love ginger so may add some more of that. Thank you, thank you, thank you for posting this!! I don’t feel the horrible crash i am used to from my old smoothie which i loaded with frozen fruit (my husband doesn’t like things tasting too “healthy” lol, he’ll get used to it) Added a little spirulina powder as well.

  10. Hallie

    Are you sure eating large amounts of fruit will spike blood sugar levels? All one has to do is buy a glucometer (cheap, I believe) and check their blood sugar after ingesting the fruit. If it stays steady, fruit is not the culprit, and eating large amounts shouldn’t be a concern. I see where some people blame fruit for their digestive distress. Wouldn’t a weakened, toxic body experience temporary discomfort when suddenly switching to a high-nutrient, no-junk diet? Could it be that fruit is not the cause of the problem, but highlights the already-existing condition? Would like to hear some thoughtful responses from viewers, not just what they want to believe.


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