I know many people who are following low-sugar diets. While smoothies can pack tons of nutrients, they also usually come with plenty of sugar. I generally think the sugar in my smoothies is offset by all the fiber and nutrients, but I wanted to see what I could do for the low-sugar folks. I designed this smoothie to be a filling meal with ample fat and protein. It is bright and energizing—perfect for a summer morning.
My understanding is that for people going low-sugar, one big idea is to make sure to eat plenty of fat to help with satiety. This is one of the key points of the book Always Hungry? by David Ludwig.
1 cup unsweetened soy milk (230 g)
1 heaping Tbsp chia seeds (15 g)
1 cucumber (290 g; trim stem, do not peel)
2 big handfuls spinach (70 g)
4 sprigs mint (7 g)
¼ cup (scant) walnuts (20 g)
4 ice cubes (64 g)
juice of 1 lemon (40 g)
Makes ~24 oz.
Blend on high until smooth, about 45 seconds.
If you don’t start blending right away, the lemon juice will curdle the soy milk. (That’s why I list the lemon juice last.) However, I found that even if the soy milk curdles, it will still blend up into a perfectly smooth smoothie. There are no ill effects, other than possibly being more likely to need the tamper to get it circulating.
You could of course substitute your favorite milk, or even water, although that would make it less filling. And you could use other nuts and seeds. The key ingredients here are the cucumber, lemon, and mint.
I was curious how much sugar I ended up with, and I figured I might as well calculate the rest of the nutrition facts. I tallied the figures for each ingredient from the FDA database and plugged them into a label generator:
What does low sugar actually mean? The FDA does not define what constitutes low sugar. The European Commission and Food Standards Australia New Zealand define low sugar as below 2.5 g sugar per 100 mL. This smoothie comes in at 1.3 g sugar per 100 mL, so it would easily qualify there.