Guide to Keto Smoothie Recipes and Ketogenic Ingredients
Three main dietary characteristics are the hallmarks of the Ketogenic Diet: extremely low carbohydrate, very high fat, and moderate protein intake. Fat is no longer your diet’s number one enemy; it’s now one of your primary sources of calories.
In this guide we will explain how the Keto Diet works and provide you with the best ingredients to use in Keto Smoothies as well as 4 Keto smoothie recipes to get you started.
Table of Contents
Understanding the Keto Diet
When you eat a food that’s high in carbohydrates (also called saccharides), such as breads or pasta, your body breaks it down into glucose. Glucose is a simple sugar that is small and water soluble, which allows it to pass through a cell membrane into a cell. The mitochondria in your cells converts the glucose into energy and uses it as fuel for the cell’s normal processes.
However, while your cells use the glucose, they aren’t using the stored fats within your body. You’re simply burning off the sandwich you ate today, not the fat you want to burn off your stomach.
The Keto Diet is so named because it is a diet that effectively keeps your body in a metabolic state called ketosis. It takes place in your liver. Normally, your liver uses that glucose for energy, just like every other organ. But when your liver doesn’t have enough glucose, it starts drawing from your fat cells instead. The broken-down fat creates ketones.
Ketones are an organic compound. They contain a carbonyl group =C=O that is bonded to two hydrocarbon groups. After ketones have been created, they pour into the blood and some enter the urine. When ketones build up inside the body, that creates ketosis.
Keeping your body in a state of ketosis, which can be measured with special ketosis testing strips, lets you know that you’re burning fats instead of carbohydrates.
That’s why you want to eat a diet high in fats. But there are ‘good fats’ and ‘bad fats.’ The good fats are the Omega-3 and Omega-6 fatty acids and unsaturated fats found in olive oil, walnuts, avocado, and salmon. Bad fats are trans fats and saturated fats, found in fried foods, microwaved popcorn, vegetable shortening, and margarine.
On a Keto Diet, your ratio of fats, proteins, and carbohydrates (called macros) should be roughly 70-75% fats, 15%-20% protein, and 5%-8% carbs. One of the easiest ways to get these ratios is by drinking smoothies.
You can pack in a lot of nutrition into a quick and easy ketogenic smoothie or ketogenic protein shake. Below, we’ll share four easy recipes.
But first, let’s look at the keto-friendly ingredients found in them.
Ingredients for Keto Smoothies
A medium avocado has about 23 grams of fat packed into its light green flesh. It also contains 40% of your daily fiber needs and has a creamy texture that goes perfectly in smoothies. Avocado oil is also excellent in a smoothie.
The dark greens family – fresh spinach, kale, and Swiss chard – give you that dark green nutrition boost, and they’re also low carb.
Coconut Oil/Coconut Milk
Besides their tropical yumminess, coconut oil and coconut milk are high in good saturated fats, too. You can purchase coconut milk in cans or in cartons. If you purchase it in cans, mix it together before measuring it out to add to a smoothie.
Macadamia nut oil, almond oil, walnut oil, and peanut oil add different flavors and textures to your smoothies, while giving you plenty of high fats. When you add nut oils to smoothies, you’re increasing the fat intake just like you would with olive oil, but it tastes better. Macadamia oil has a nutty taste.
MCT stands for medium-chain triglycerides, which are a form of saturated fatty acid. Coconut oil already has MCTs in them, but you can now purchase separate MCT oil. All fatty acids are made of strings of connected carbon and hydrogen. Medium-chain fats have between six and twelve carbons.
MCT oil is digested quickly and easily, sent directly to your liver, and boosts your metabolism. It is a good alternative to just eating coconut oil. (Our personal favorite MCT oil is this one because it has no taste, absorbs well in the body, and is very well priced).
Regular cow’s milk isn’t on the Keto Diet, but unsweetened almond milk certainly is. It contains 3 grams of fat and only 2 grams of carbohydrates. Since it’s unsweetened, there won’t be any sugars within it to convert to glucose.
Heavy Whipping Cream
On a low-fat diet, heavy whipping cream seems too much of an indulgence. But heavy whipping cream has 3.5 grams of fat and only 0.4 grams of carbohydrates. It’s perfect for the ketogenic diet. It’s a great ingredient in a smoothie and will help your smoothies taste more like milkshakes.
Not too many sweeteners are allowed on the Keto Diet, but you can have Stevia. It doesn’t have any fat. A one gram serving has about one gram of carbohydrates. Add just a pinch, or about ½ a teaspoon, to your smoothies for a sweeter flavor. The less Stevia and sugars you have, the fewer carbohydrates.
Except for lemons and limes, most fruits are not allowed on the Keto Diet because of the sugars (carbohydrates) in fruits. There’s just too many carbohydrates. Lemon juice adds a delicious acidic tang to smoothies, and it also helps add electrolytes to your system.
4 Keto Smoothie Recipes
All of these recipes can be easily modified to meet your desired taste. They are portioned as a single serving so that they can work with any size blender. If you are new to smoothies, here are our favorite smoothie blenders.
1. Keto Green Smoothie
Ketogenic ingredients used: avocado, kale, spinach, chard, coconut milk, heavy whipping cream, macadamia nut oil.
- ½ avocado
- 1 bunch kale leaves
- 1 cup spinach leaves
- ½ cup chard
- ½ cup chopped broccoli florets
- ½ teaspoon Stevia
- ½ cup coconut milk
- 1/3 cup heavy whipping cream
- 1 tablespoon macadamia nut oil
- 1 tablespoon avocado oil
2. Keto Avocado Smoothie
Ketogenic ingredients used: avocado, almond milk, and heavy whipping cream.
- 1 avocado
- 6 ounces almond milk
- 3 ounces heavy whipping cream
- ½ teaspoon Stevia
- 3-5 ice cubes
3. Keto Breakfast Smoothie
Ketogenic ingredients used: coconut milk, lemon juice.
- ½ cup fresh or frozen blueberries
- 14 ounces coconut milk
- 1 Tablespoon lemon juice
- ½ teaspoon vanilla extract
- Optional: Add serving of Keto Protein powder (Here is a popular brand)
4. Keto Protein Shake
Ketogenic ingredients used: sugar-free protein powder, almond milk, coconut oil.
- 1 scoop sugar-free Keto protein powder (Try this chocolate Keto powder)
- 8 ounces almond milk
- 2 Tablespoons coconut oil
- 1 cup of ice
For all the diets out there, the Keto diet is one of the most effective for losing weight and is backed by sound medical research. There is a even more research now confirming the benefits of a low carb, high fat diet like Keto.
Smoothies are a great way to keep you on track when you need a fast meal and can easily be adapted for whatever ingredients you have on hand.
- Medline Plus: Carbohydrates https://medlineplus.gov/carbohydrates.html
- Long-term effects of a ketogenic diet in obese patients https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC2716748/
- Web MD: What is Ketosis? https://www.webmd.com/diabetes/type-1-diabetes-guide/what-is-ketosis#1
- WebMD: Good Fats vs. Bad Fats https://www.webmd.com/diet/obesity/features/skinny-fat-good-fats-bad-fats#1