Healthy Fats: What Are They + How to Use Them

1.27.2021

Discover how to add healthy fats to your smoothies to help vitamin absorption and your skin to stay hydrated and glow.

healthy fats

“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… then I’ve got an epic smoothie cube recipe that will give you a great healthy fat boost.

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 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
nut butters are a great healthy fat source

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!

chia seeds, hemp protein, and flaxseed are a healthy fat plant powerhouse combination

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.

coconut oil is my fav healthy fat

How to boost your smoothie with healthy fats

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 Protein Smoothie Boost 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.

Coconut smoothie cubes

I created this recipe as another way to help boost smoothies. These cubes are basically 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:

Make a few varieties of smoothie cubes, and you’ll have a plant powered apothecary in your freezer. Don’t forget to rate + review this recipe, as well as let me know your fav healthy fat sources to add to your smoothies and plant powered meals.

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Healthy Fat Coconut Smoothie Cubes


  • Author: Jen Hansard
  • Prep Time: 4 hours
  • Total Time: 4 hours
  • Yield: 32 1x
  • Diet: Vegan

Description

Adding healthy fats to your smoothies with coconut milk smoothie cubes can help keep you fuller longer! This recipe is completely plant based and takes just minutes to make.


Ingredients

Scale
  • 2 cups raw cashews
  • 13.5 oz can full-fat coconut milk, at room temperature
  • 8 oz MCT oil (Medium-Chain Triglycerides derived from coconut oil)

Instructions

  1. Blend raw cashews. Pulse 10 times for 1-2 seconds each, or until cashews are finely ground.
  2. Add coconut oil and MCT oil. Blend again until smooth and creamy. You should have about 4 cups of liquid.
  3. Fill two, 16-well standard ice cube trays or equivalent molds, with the coconut milk mixture. Each well should hold about 2 tablespoons each. Rap on counter to remove air bubbles. Place in freezer for several hours or overnight.
  4. To Use add 1 cube per 16-oz serving of your fav smoothie recipe. 

Notes

Other nuts or seeds can be substituted for the cashews, such as macadamia nuts, almonds, peanuts, walnuts, pecans, pumpkin seeds, hemp hearts, sunflower seeds, etc. Use 1 3/4 cup seeds to replace 2 cups raw nuts.

Coconut milk can be substituted with 1/2 cup unsweetened, shredded coconut plus 1 cup water. Blend dried coconut with cashews during first step, then add the water along with the MCT oil.

For those allergic to coconut, substitute another healthy oil such as flax, avocado, or other nut/seed oils that can be tolerated. Substitute the coconut milk with another non-dairy milk

Substitutions will change nutrition information

  • Category: Smoothie
  • Method: Blending
  • Cuisine: Healthy

Keywords: smoothie cubes, healthy fats, healthy fat sources

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About Jen Hansard

Mom of 2, ran across the Grand Canyon and lover of smoothies, coffee & tacos. I transformed my family's health with a plant-based diet. I also found myself again along the way.

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Recipe rating

  1. Kim says:

    Thanks for the breakdown. It’s really helpful!

  2. Amanda says:

    I’ve been adding healthy fats to my smoothies, and my skin is thanking me!

  3. Erin says:

    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!

  4. Mary says:

    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.

  5. Toni says:

    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?

    • SGS Rawkstar says:

      Hi Toni,

      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!

  6. Sel says:

    i was just wondering, when it says 2tbs is that for two smoothies?

    • SGS Rawkstar says:

      Hi Sel,

      You’re right! The above suggestions are for two servings.

  7. Norma says:

    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!

    • SGS Rawkstar says:

      Hi Norma,

      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.

      Cheers!

  8. kitty says:

    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

    • SGS Rawkstar says:

      Hi 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 Jadah’s story? She lost over 25lbs by replacing one meal with a green smoothie.

      https://simplegreensmoothies.com/about

      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…

      https://simplegreensmoothies.com/recipes/meal-replacement-smoothie

      Hope this helps!

      Cheers!

  9. Pam says:

    Does the healthy fat in the smoothie have to be an oil? For example can you use flaxseeds instead o flaxseed oil

    • SGS Rawkstar says:

      Hi Pam,

      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!

      Cheers 🙂

  10. SGS Rawkstar says:

    Hi Rae,

    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!

  11. rachel says:

    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?

    • SGS Rawkstar says:

      Hi Rachel,

      YAY! We’re so excited you found us in this busy internet world! The above suggestions are for one 32oz recipe (2 servings).

      Cheers 🙂

  12. Katrina says:

    Does the coconut oil need to be extra virgin?

    • SGS Rawkstar says:

      Hi Katrina,

      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! 🙂

  13. duy says:

    Hi!
    Would help protein powder provide enough fats or do I still have to add a fat source? Thanks!

  14. natalie says:

    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

    • SGS Rawkstar says:

      Hi Natalie!

      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:

      https://simplegreensmoothies.com/recipes/meal-replacement-smoothie

      Cheers 🙂

  15. Kristen says:

    Hi! I am allergic to almonds, so would I be able to substitute almond butter for sunflower butter?

    • SGS Rawkstar says:

      Hi Kristen,

      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!

  16. Shirley says:

    Can you use almonds instead of almond butter?

    • SGS Rawkstar says:

      Hi Shirley,

      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.

  17. amanda says:

    hi ladies! just i have never used the chia seeds before,do i have to do anything special with them before adding them to the smoothies,like soak them or anything,or can i just throw them in?

    • SGS Rawkstar says:

      Hi Amanda,

      It’s up to you! Go ahead and sprinkle chia seeds on top of your smoothie, blend them up, or soak with water or coconut water prior to blendin’. Whatever works best for you! 🙂

  18. Kia says:

    Hello! I’ve tried you guys smoothies recipes and I love them but they are certain recipes I can’t use due the coconut and me being allergic but I want to try them. For instance one recipe I don’t know which one but want to try it calls for coconut water how can I substitute coconut water for something else without altering the whole recipe?

  19. Elise says:

    Is there a specific coconut oil to use? Refined. …. pressed…..virgin?

    • SGS Rawkstar Jessie says:

      Hey Elisa,

      Thanks for the question. I prefer unrefined organic coconut oil.

  20. becky says:

    Hi! What about using shredded coconut instead of coconut oil? Or flax seeds instead of the flax oil? My understanding is that all the fiber is stripped out of the oil, so you get more calories, but very little nutrients in oil versus the whole food source. Have you tried using coconut shreds?

    • SGS Rawkstar Jessie says:

      Hey Becky,

      Thanks for reaching out. Feel free to use any form that you like best. 🙂 We love coconut shreds + flax seeds. 🙂

  21. Zoey says:

    I’m newbie to juicing. This is my second week. I read a lot about super food. What are super foods?

  22. jlo says:

    So right now I add 1/2 an avocado in my smoothie everyday. I am guess that maybe that is not a great idea and that I need to mix it up … I am not a big banana fan … so I am thinking maybe to alternate each week between avocado and coconut oil … make sense?

  23. Paula says:

    Hi, the quantities of the healthy fats you list above, are they per serving (16oz)? If I’m making one of the 32oz 30 Day challenge recipes, would I double the quantities of healthy fats you show above (i.e. a whole avocado, 1/2 cup cashews etc).? Thanks!

    • SGS Rawkstar Jessie says:

      Hey Paula.

      Great question. Our smoothie recipes make about 4-5 cups (32oz – 40oz). Jadah drinks at least 2 cups (16 oz) everyday in the morning as a breakfast meal replacement. Jen drinks hers for lunch or sometimes as a mid morning snack. Since there is 2 serving in each recipe, we would suggest placing two serving of healthy fat for each recipe. 🙂 Cheers!

  24. Katherine says:

    Hi! Would you put BOTH flax seeds and flax oil in your smoothie, or just choose one or the other? Thanks for your help. 🙂

    • SGS Rawkstar Jessie says:

      Hey Katherine.

      We usually add 1 healthy fat per smoothie. 🙂

  25. Steve says:

    I love peas! Can you recommend a recipe using frozen peas?

    • SGS Rawkstar Jessie says:

      At this time we do not have a recipe with frozen peas. Let us know if you find on that works. 🙂

  26. Ednell says:

    How about adding protein powder to the smoothies?

    • SGS Rawkstar Shauna says:

      Hi Ednell,

      You can totally add protein powders to your green smoothies. We would recommend pea protein or hemp but use what you have/like. 🙂

  27. Gisselle says:

    Can i add a good fat to all my smoothies combined with superfoods?

    • Hi Gisselle!
      That’s up to you 🙂 We believe in having a variety of ingredients, so we definitely wouldn’t add the same “healthy fat” to a green smoothie each and every day. We personally don’t always incorporate one of these items, but it’s good to do it regularly!

    • Gisselle says:

      Hi,

      I read that some people add coconut oil every morning to their smoothies, and in your website you say it makes you loose wait. So if i do it with coconut oil, is it ok?

    • Hi Gisselle,
      Again, it is definitely great to do regularly, but we personally prefer to change up ingredients from time to time instead of having the same thing every day. This helps to give your body the variety of nutrients it needs.

  28. Stephanie says:

    Would you recommend adding more than one fat at a time?

  29. Nick S says:

    I got the Nutiva coconut oil. What’s the best method for adding it to the blender/mix? I blended my greens and liquid base first, then tossed in the fruit, some superfood ingredients, and the coconut oil, and blended it again. When I went to drink the smoothie, there were tons of tiny coconut oil shards all throughout which made for a yucky drinking experience. The oil hardened due to the cold temps.

    • Hi Nick! Try adding it with leafy greens and liquid first. It is a bit hard to make it blend perfectly 🙂

    • Shandi says:

      It blends much better if you blend it in BEFORE you put the cold fruit…coconut oil is naturally a solid at room temperature. You can even heat it up a little bit before putting it in if you’d like but I found it just helps to blend before doing the cold fruit.

  30. Alex says:

    Can you just blend flax seeds into the smoothie for the same effect? Also what is the appropriate serving size to get the benefits of flax seeds?

    • Jadah S says:

      The best option is to freshly ground your flaxseeds to absorb the most nutrients. If you have a high-speed blender, blending them is okay too. 1-2 tablespoons per serving. 🙂

  31. sharon bunim says:

    Do you peel the avocado?

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