High protein smoothies are classic breakfast “meals” on a low-carb diet. This high protein blueberry smoothie hits the 3 key criteria components of a smoothie for this diet: 1) it tastes great, 2) the blueberries have enough fiber to mitigate their carb level, 3) and it keeps energy levels high until the next meal.
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What “NOT” to Add to Low-Carb Smoothies
It took me a while to buy into the smoothie trend, but I’m fully on board now, as long as you leave out the bananas, high fructose fruit, and the high lactose dairy.
Did you know? Berries or avocados are the only fruit that works in a low-carb smoothie. While berries do have carbs, they are minimal compared with other fruit and they have a lot of fiber per volume. They also are rich in many micronutrients.
Coconut milk or almond milk is a low-carb way to get a dairy-like flavor. You could forgo the milk entirely and just add water if you want to lower the fat. Fat will help you stay satiated, however, so don’t look at fat as a diet enemy.
Smoothies can be a great way of getting leafy greens and protein into our diets, both of which have a high correlation with weight loss success.
If berries are the thing that tips you over to protein smoothies, use them! If you track your carbs, the thing to watch is to stay under your total daily goal for carbs.
Low Carb Substitutions
I never get tired of protein smoothies for breakfast and look forward to my go-to blueberry smoothie each morning.
If you do get bored with the same thing every day, however, here is a range of low-carb compliant ingredients that you can substitute into the above standard (or simply add in):
- romaine lettuce instead of spinach
- undistilled apple cider vinegar (if you have digestion issues or flatulence)
- peanut butter (not much, it’s dense in calories)
- cottage cheese (high protein)
- MCT oil, or coconut oil
- cacao nibs
Health Benefits of Blueberries
Here’s a quick breakdown of the nutritional benefits of blueberries from the University of Pittsburgh Medical Center (UPMC)
- The highest level of antioxidants out of any fruit – can help neutralize free radicals, which have been linked to the development of certain types of cancer, heart disease, and conditions associated with aging.
- Low in calories and fat, and high in fiber. About 80 calories in one cup, plus almost no fat. One handful of blueberries has enough fiber to meet your daily requirements.
- Rich in vitamin C. One cup gives you about 25 percent of your daily value. And who just eats one cup of blueberries?
- They have anthocyanins. Remember these from biology class? These flavonoids, which occur naturally in blueberries, may help counter the buildup of plaque in your arteries and improve heart health.
More Low-Carb Breakfast Ideas:
- Low-Carb Baked Eggs with Chile Verde Sauce
- Low-carb chorizo and Eggs (Breakfast or Dinner)
- Low-Carb Eggs on a Bed of Bacon & Spinach
- Low-Carb Zucchini Frittata for Breakfast
- Low-Carb Blueberry Breakfast Popsicles
Grow Your Own Blueberries
Did you know? You can easily grow your own blueberries in a container (or of course in your garden). As a long-time gardener growing both ways, my post below can inspire you to try it yourself!
If you have never gardened, (or even if you have), growing food in containers on your deck, balcony, or patio can be surprisingly fun, rewarding, and even meditative. You just may get hooked!
If you like my articles about cooking and gardening, subscribe to my weekly newsletter, where I share free recipes and gardening tutorials.
Template for Basic Protein Smoothies
- measuring cups
- ½ cup unsweetened coconut milk
- ½ cup frozen berries can use blackberries, blueberries or strawberries for best taste
- ⅓ cup whey protein powder should be a whey isolate
- 1 tablespoon chia seeds optional
- 1 cup fresh spinach I use 1-2 handfuls
- 1 cup water can use more or less depending on desired thickness
- ½ cup ice cubes can use more or less depending on desired thickness
- Add all ingredients to a blender and blend until smooth. Pour into a large glass and enjoy!1/2 cup unsweetened coconut milk, 1/2 cup frozen berries, 1/3 cup whey protein powder, 1 tablespoon chia seeds, 1 cup fresh spinach, 1 cup water, 1/2 cup ice cubes
- Remember to run hot water in your blender right after making the smoothie so that cleanup is easy (it’s hard to clean if you let it sit without water).