The homemade smoothie is having a moment. They're catching magazine headlines, showing up in drool-worthy IG posts, and thanks to months of being at home, they've totally inspired the novice home chef to experiment in the kitchen. And while that homemade smoothie might look amazing and even taste amazing, the truth of it is that not all smoothie ingredients are created equal. It's time to take a closer look at what's really ending up in your glass.
Let's start with a quick Google search. "Easy homemade smoothies" brought up 10 pages of search results. Like we said, super popular. The top hit is a “frozen fruit smoothie” recipe that calls for orange juice, honey, and vanilla yogurt. The end result is a frozen concoction that contains 58 grams of sugar per serving. To put this in perspective, a serving of Ben & Jerry’s Half Baked contains 36 grams of sugar per serving.
So what's a smoothie lover to do? Get those readers on and take a look at ingredient labels.
Let's Take A Closer Look At That Ingredient List
Some popular smoothie ingredients are like a Trojan Horse to your homemade smoothie: they sound healthy and harmless on the outside, but on the inside could be adding countless grams of sugar to your glass.
Trojan Horse #1: Yogurt. 1 cup of flavored yogurt can add an additional 20+ grams of sugar. If you love the creamy texture that yogurt gives your smoothie, your best bet is plain greek yogurt with just 5 grams of sugar per cup.
Trojan Horse #2: Juices. A smoothie with a fruit juice base might make for a tasty smoothie, but it’s also loaded with sugar. The proof is in the nutrition label: there are 24 grams of sugar in a cup of unsweetened apple juice, 21 grams of sugar in orange juice, and 23 grams of sugar in a 1 cup of papaya juice. The defense rests.
Trojan Horse #3: Nut Butters. Unfortunately, not all nut butters are created equal. Many contain added sugar, which then, of course, goes directly into your smoothie. That being said, with a little label-sleuthing, you’re sure to find sugar-free options on your grocery store shelves.
Trojan Horse #4: Milks. Flavored and/or sweetened plant milks can also pack on the sugar content of a smoothie. One cup of sweetened (often called 'original') or flavored varieties can add anywhere from 9-16 grams of sugar to your smoothie. Unsweetened and/or unflavored versions are definitely the way to go.
Trojan Horse #5: Added Sweetener. We almost skipped this, but after watching one of our favorite Food Network stars add *an entire can of sweetened condensed milk* to a tropical smoothie bowl recently (cue the collective gasp), we decided this needed to be said: your smoothie can be delicious without added sugar, maple syrup, honey, agave, or any other sweetener. A lower-sugar fruit smoothie recipe can be unbelievably tasty, and we’re here to prove it.
Dare to Compare
Now that we're sugar sleuths, let's take a look at the sugar total in a typical homemade strawberry-banana smoothie recipe:
Strawberry Banana Smoothie
- 1 cup strawberries
- 1 banana
- 1 container vanilla low-fat greek yogurt
- 1 cup "original flavor" almond milk
Total Sugar: 40 grams
- Chia seeds
- Plant-based hulled hearts
- Ground almonds
- Goji berry powder
Total Sugar: 19 grams (blended with ice + water)
At Everipe, we appreciate the conundrum of making a delicious tasting smoothie but managing the sugar content. It is a delicate balance, especially when you're trying to coax a picky eater (hint: this is sometimes ourselves!) into trying healthy superfoods they would otherwise reject. We believe that healthy, lasting habits are best developed through enjoyment not deprivation; that if your smoothie isn't delicious then it's something to be endured. It is that exact feeling that causes many diets to end in failure and frustration. Head to head, our blend contains less than half the sugar of this typical homemade smoothie, and undoubtedly there are other smoothies with lower sugar than Everipe. But we're proud to stack ours against other recipes when considering the relationship between taste and health.
Low on Sugar, Big on Nutrition, Huge on Flavor
Did you know a key indicator of a healthy gut is the diversity of plants inside of it? Our smoothie kits use a variety of plant-based ingredients full of vitamins, minerals, and essential macronutrients--the foods that actually make you feel better when you consume them. We set out to create our recipes with a wonderful breadth of fruits, nuts, and seeds while keeping each smoothie under 20 grams of sugar, which is about the same as 1 large apple.
Yes, you read that correctly: our smoothies contain the same amount of sugar as 1 large apple.
How do we do it? As much as we're fans of winging it in most aspects of life, our smoothie recipes are chef-created and nutritionist-approved. We're pretty particular about what—and how much—goes into each blend. Because nutrition shouldn't come at the cost of flavor, and flavor shouldn't come at the cost of added sugar. And none of it should come at the cost of feeling good about what you and your family are consuming.
Ready to meet your new favorite healthy (and easy!) smoothie? Shop all our blends here.