“Why would I ever want to add fat to a recipe, let alone a green smoothie?” That’s a great question, and I have a great answer. You’re probably accustomed to thinking of fats as undesirable, a dieter’s nightmare, all round bad for you. But that’s not completely true. In fact, your body needs a certain amount of dietary fat in order to stay healthy. Of course, the type of healthy fats you consume is super important. Let’s talk about what are healthy fats, as well as healthy fat sources.
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The Benefits of Healthy Fats
Good fats have a multitude of health benefits, which is why I personally love adding them to my green smoothies, as well as my homemade protein powder. Here are a few of the benefits of adding healthy fats to your diet:
- provides essential fatty acids
- helps to keep skin soft
- delivers fat-soluble vitamins
- protects the heart
- a great source of energizing fuel
- helps curb overeating
- promotes healthy hair, nails, and bones
What are Healthy Fats?
As you can see, good fats are an essential part of a healthy diet, as well as a healthy body! The best fats to consume are monounsaturated and polyunsaturated fats, because they help lower cholesterol levels. Here are some of the best healthy fat sources, which are all plant based!
Healthy Fat Sources
Coconut oil: This source of fat is known as an appetite suppressant, an incredible energy booster and has antibacterial properties. Add two tablespoons of coconut oil to your smoothie for good healthy fat boost, as well as a slight tropical flavor profile. Not a fan of the coconut-y taste? Try MCT oil! It zeros in on just the MCTs (medium-chain triglycerides) in coconut oil, but without the tropical after taste. Just remember, a little goes a long way with MCT oil!
Avocado: This fruit is a great source of monounsaturated fats, which help raise your “good” cholesterol levels. Using avocado will not only give you great fat content, but will also make your green smoothie extra creamy!
Cashews: These nuts have a rich source of omega-3 fatty acids, which promote a healthy heart. Add just a couple of tablespoons, or use cashew milk in your next smoothie to reap some major healthy fat benefits!
Flaxseeds: Containing both omega-3 and omega-6 fatty acids, flaxseed supports healthy brain development and is great for your heart. It’s also high in fiber to keep things moving regularly.
Chia seeds: Just 1 oz of chia seeds contain over 8 grams of fat, most of which are made up of omega-3 fatty acids. This superfood also adds in extra fiber + protein, making it a must have when boosting a smoothie.
Olive oil: While I opt for coconut oil in smoothies over olive oil, I do love to cook plant-based meals with extra virgin olive oil. It’s full of monounsaturated fat which helps keep the heart healthy and thriving, along with several vitamins + minerals. Add it to dressings or veggies before roasting to reap its benefits.
How to Boost Your Smoothie
I get a lot of questions about the natural sugar in green smoothies. Depending on what fruit you toss into that smoothie the sugar count can get high! Yet, did you know that adding in healthy fat + protein to your smoothie helps your body break down those sugar carbs and then uses them as long, slow energy? No sugar crashes here!
Whenever I want to turn a smoothie into a meal replacement, I boost it with fat and protein. Any of the plant based fats listed above can be used (and some even double as the fat AND the protein!), or you can keep it simple by adding in a plant-based protein powder.
Plant-based protein powder
I created my protein powder recipe after a loooong journey of trying… and failing… to make a clean, helpful protein powder. I was told over and over that I needed odd ingredients + fillers to create this powder, but eventually I figured out the perfect formula.
Combining organic hemp protein, organic chia seeds, and organic flaxseed, I created the protein powder that dreams are made of: not gritty, virtually no taste, all organic, and 100% plant powered. 1 serving adds 10 grams of protein, 4 grams of healthy fats, and 7 grams of fiber to any smoothie.
I created these recipes as another way to help boost smoothies. These cubes are basically coconut fat bombs of goodness, and can help you stay full longer, maximize the energy from your smoothie, keep digestion moving, and help give you glowing skin.
They are super simple to make + freeze, and can be added to a variety of smoothies. I love smoothie cubes, because they are like personalized superfood boosters that I can have on hand for whatever I need that day. Here are some more smoothie cube recipes I think you’ll love:
- Chocolate fiber smoothie cubes
- Alkaline veggie smoothie cubes
- Anti-inflammatory smoothie cubes
- Antioxidant smoothie cubes
- Natural electrolyte smoothie cubes
Make a few varieties of smoothie cubes, and you’ll have a plant powered apothecary in your freezer. Let me know your fav healthy fat sources to add to your smoothies and plant-powered meals.
I’ve been adding healthy fats to my smoothies, and my skin is thanking me!
I just made a batch of these to grab and toss into smoothies. I’ve been on a coconut kick lately, and these are great!
So awesome Erin!
Hi a question regarding measurements. Your recipes use cups. What size cups? In England we do not measure in cup sizes. Sorry bit confused. Looking forward to joining in with healthy smoothies.
Blending on the other side of the pond? We’ve got you covered! Check out our Rawkstar Conversion Guide here…
So glad to have found you via Assortment blog. I have been on the cleanse for a week. The smoothies are delicious and easy. The only problem so far is bloating. Is this to be expected? Any suggestions how to reduce this naturally?
Thanks for reaching out! Make sure you drink lots of water to help flush everything out as well. Sometimes when you make sudden changes in your regular diet, or you add more fiber into your diet, your body needs to adjust.
Every body reacts to food differently. If you feel bloated, you may have some personal allergies to certain fruit combinations, that is something you would have to consult with a healthcare provider about.
Also, make sure you don’t eat any other foods 30-60 minutes before after you drink your green smoothies to give your body time to digest the fruits.
Hope this helps!
i was just wondering, when it says 2tbs is that for two smoothies?
You’re right! The above suggestions are for two servings.
Hello again! I inadvertently ordered Flaxseed Oil gel caps instead of the liquid. I have already broken the seal so I can’t return. Can I just open the gel caps and add to my smoothie that way.. Thanks again for your help!
Great question! Because we’re not doctor’s or nutritionist, we suggest following the packaging’s directions when consuming flaxseed oil in gel cap form.
Just started enjoying and learning from your websight, so I have many questions.
I noticed your recipe for skin cleanse, when you post a recipe specifically for a particular function, how often should you make that smoothie in order for it to begin to work on the average person.
My husband and I are 72 & 74 we started with your smoothies about 3 weeks ago. I find I can finally lose weight, but can, as usual, gain at the drop of a hat.
I am starting to make more than I should and end up drinking all. What is the protion size??
I have only 12#s to lose but have been trying to lose those same 12#s for 20 years. I started the gym the 6th of Feb.
I’m trying to find a balance between the fruit – vegetable – protein smoothies so I can get stronger while also losing those 10 #s.
Hope this wasn’t too wordy. Any suggestions. Kitty
We’re so excited to have you + your husband blendin’ with us! There’s no set amount. If you drink it once, you are gaining those benefits each time you drink it. We like to mix it up to make sure our bodies are getting a wide range of vitamins and nutrients. 🙂
The majority of our recipes make two (16oz) servings, perfect for sharing with your husband or saving for later! Did you know our recipes will keep in your refrigerator for up to two days in an airtight container? Adding a little bit of lemon juice will help preserve all of their green goodness!
Looking to use your green smoothie to help reach your weightless goals? Have you read our co-founder Simple Green Smoothies’ story? She lost over 25lbs by replacing one meal with a green smoothie.
We suggest adding protein + healthy fats when using your green smoothies as a meal replacement to ensure you’re fueling your body with a complete meal. Learn more about our favorite meal replacement booster combos here…
Hope this helps!
Does the healthy fat in the smoothie have to be an oil? For example can you use flaxseeds instead o flaxseed oil
Of course you can reach for flaxseeds! Just an FYI, to receive all of flaxseed’s nutritional benefits we suggest grinding the seeds prior to blending! Chia seeds are another great source of healthy fats and they don’t need to be ground prior to enjoying!
Thanks for reaching out! We prefer to reach for raw organic unrefined (virgin) coconut oil. This coconut oil with be solid below 24 °C (76 °F), and become a liquid when the temperature exceeds 24 °C. When blending coconut oil we suggest melting your coconut oil, not hot, just melted. Then once you’ve blended your entire smoothie, set your blender to its slowest speed and slowly pour in your coconut oil. This will ensure the oil fully incorporates into your smoothie with no pieces of solid coconut oil left behind.
Looking for liquid flaxseed oil? Amazon, or your local health food store are both two great locations!
Hope this helps!
Just came across your website and love all the great info, as well as recipes. Quick question, when adding healthy fats to your smoothie, are the portions listed above based upon a 2 serving 32 oz smoothie recipe or per single 16 oz serving?
YAY! We’re so excited you found us in this busy internet world! The above suggestions are for one 32oz recipe (2 servings).
Does the coconut oil need to be extra virgin?
Great question! Organic, virgin or extra-virgin, cold-pressed coconut oil is our top choice because it retains all of the vital nutrients.
Hope this helps! 🙂
Would help protein powder provide enough fats or do I still have to add a fat source? Thanks!
hemp, not help! 🙂
Great question. We love adding hemp protein to our green smoothies! If you’re using your green smoothie as a meal replacement we suggest adding an additional source of healthy fats to ensure you’re fueling your body with a complete meal.
Check out our favorite healthy fat sources + meal replacement combos below…
I’ve just started this smoothie journey! This morning for breakfast I made spinach, coconut water, mango and grape smoothie. How much cashew butter should I add to this? I need to add some protein as its not satisfying me
Thanks for joining us! We’re so happy to have you as part of our community :). Your smoothie sounds delicious! When using your green smoothie smoothie as a meal replacement we always recommend that you add some healthy fat + protein to keep you fuller longer and to help your body thrive. Cashew butter is a great option! Everybody’s protein requirements are different, but a typical “serving” for most nut butters is two tablespoons. Feel free to add more or less–it’s all about what works best for you!
Here are some other great healthy fat + protein options:
Hi! I am allergic to almonds, so would I be able to substitute almond butter for sunflower butter?
Sunflower seed butter is a great option if you’re allergic to almonds!
It’s especially a great source for magnesium, zinc, iron + vitamin E!
Can you use almonds instead of almond butter?
Of course! Just as a tip, soaking most nuts in water can help some people who have a hard time digesting nuts by making them gentler on your tummy. It reduces the naturally occurring phytic acid and helps your body break it down properly.