10 Best Smoothies, Gluten-Free: Your Favorite Recipes
Sometimes, a smoothie can serve as a meal in itself: a refreshing, tasty mix of flavors providing you with a boost of energy. Fruits work and vegetables work; all you need is the right recipe.
[Updated February 22, 2017]
As author Matthew Kadey, RD, wrote in a Gluten Free & More roundup feature on smoothies, this popular refreshment has gone mainstream: "You can find [smoothies] in various guises at coffee shops, fitness centers, and big-chain supermarkets.”
The more important point he makes is that “for the biggest nutritional windfall and to avoid calorie bombs with serious waistline repercussions, it’s best to whip up your own blender creations.”
Over the past several years, Gluten Free & More has published all kinds of smoothie recipes. Here, we list our Top 10 based on reader data. “A well-crafted smoothie is so much more than just fruit blended with milk,” Kadey wrote. “You can whirl in all sorts of tasty and healthy ingredients, like leafy greens, dried fruits, and seeds, with delicious results.” Here’s how.
We all know the nutritional value of carrots, yet do we eat enough of them? Try this concoction (one of Kadey’s), and you’ll get your beta-carotene benefits along with such complementary tastes as ginger, orange, honey, and banana. Click here for our recipe.
It looks great and tastes even better: a Fruit-Tomato Smoothie loaded with potassium, calcium, and antioxidants. Our recipe, from Lisa Stander-Horel, features Homemade Tomato Juice along with mango and/or pineapple, pomegranate juice, and raspberries or strawberries, plus optional yogurt and/or honey. Check it out by clicking here.
Author Tess Masters said it best: "This gluten-free green smoothie packs a powerful punch without pushing out the paunch." She goes so far as to call it "a stunner." The blend of spinach, pineapple, lime juice, cucumber, and, yes, finely chopped red onion and jalapeno chile creates a unique zest. You'll find the recipe here.
One of the many beauties of the smoothie: you can prep them ahead of time, as Matthew Kadey notes here. "You don't always have the time to gather up all the necessary ingredients to make a smoothie. These make-ahead smoothie cups are your answer to a quick, refreshing drink. When ready for a cold one, just drop a couple of these into a blender with liquid and you're good to go." Click here for the story.
Strawberries, rhubarb, hemp milk, rolled oats (or quinoa flakes) mint, ginger, lemon... wow! "Whirling hemp protein into the mix slows down digestion, making this smoothie more satiating," notes Matthew Kadey. Get the recipe here.
Sweet! If you'd like a little cheesecake in your smoothie, try this one, from author Tess Masters. The recipe calls for cashews that give the smoothie an extra-creamy texture. Masters also has a nut-free version here that's not as creamy but, of course, safe for those with allergies to tree nuts. Banana and a dash of maple syrup make nice complements to the raspberry and lemon taste. Look for the directions here.
It's such a hot vegetable that Huffington Post maintains a "Kale Trend" page to kover, er, cover the "Kale Kraze." Of course, one of the links on the page goes to a story that ranks it among "10 Overexposed Foods That We Never Want to See Again." Be that as it may, kale has huge following. As reported in Tufts University's Health & Nutrition Letter, "this nutritious leafy green deserves the attention it's getting. WIth a mere 36 caloriees, one cup of kale delivers five grams of fiber, 200 percent of your daily vitamin C, 180 percent of Vitamin A, and 40 percent of magnesium. It's packed with at least 45 antioxidant flavonoids.... It [also] contains glucosinolates—sulfer compounds associated with reduced risk of cancer." So why not build a smoothie around some kale? This recipe shows how; click here to view directions.
This one features not only the spinach you see in the title, but broccoli florets. The peaches subdue their combined vegetal flavorings, and a touch of lemon, mint, and honey help, too. The liquid for this one: unflavored hemp milk, rice milk, or the milk of your choice. Your complete instructions are here.
Blueberries "pack an antioxidant wallop," as Environmental Nutrition, a food and nutrition newsletter, put it. Cherries? Same thing; their dark red color comes from their right content of anthocyanins, which are antioxidants—molecules "that sweep through the body looking for dangerous free radicals to knock out," as Matthew Kadey puts it. Kadey's recipe for a Blueberry Cherry Smoothie serves two and is a wonderfully fruity treat that makes use of a cup of blueberries and a half-cup of pitted cherries. Click here for the directions.
Surprised that our readers' favorite smoothie wasn't a fruity concoction like some of those above? Well, for a lot of us, nothing takes precedence over coffee, especially in the morning.
If you tend to be on the run in the early-dawn hours, this "perked-up coffee breakfast smoothie is just the trick," as Matthew Kadey writes. The ingredients include 1 1/2 cups of strong brewed coffee (cooled to room temperature) as well as rolled oats, flaxseed, cocoa powder, banana, and one-third of a cup of dried dates. If your blender has trouble pulverizing the latter, "try soaking them overnight," Kady says. Click here to see instructions.
Compiled by Larry Canale. Original recipe authors cited above.