12 Tasty, Low-Sugar Smoothies That Won’t Spike Your Blood Sugar

Sip your heart out, friend

low-sugar smoothies: strawberry kiwi smoothie
The Endless Meal

They’re easy to make when you’re short on time, they keep you full and the flavor combinations are endless. There’s a lot to love about smoothies, which is why we crave them on the daily. That said, not all smoothies are created equal when it comes to sugar content. In fact, some of them are so loaded with the stuff that they might as well be milkshakes. The good news? We found 12 of the very best low-sugar smoothies to sip whenever a craving strikes. Read on for some inspired recipes—like a vegan creamy golden milk smoothie, a strawberry-kale smoothie and a blueberry green detox smoothie—plus all the tips you need to whip up a low-sugar smoothie of your own design.

31 Easy and Healthy Smoothie Recipes That Actually Taste Amazing

How Much Sugar Should You Have in a Day?

The answer is a bit complicated, namely because the only hard and fast recommendations you’ll find relate to added sugars, which are far worse for your health than the nutritionally beneficial, natural sugars found in whole, raw fruits. 

According to the 2015-2020 Dietary Guidelines for Americans, no more than 10 percent of your daily caloric intake should come from added sugars (so, 200 calories or 50 grams of sugar per day on a 2,000-calorie-per-day diet). The American Heart Association has more restrictive guidelines, recommending an upper limit of 100 calories or 24 grams of added sugar per day for most women. 

As previously mentioned, there’s no upper limit on the consumption of natural sugars like those found in fruit, namely because they’re often good sources of dietary fiber and nutrients and processed by the body differently than added sugars. That said, if you’re looking to reduce the overall sugar content of your daily smoothie, we have several delicious recipes to get you started. And if you scroll to the bottom of this feature, we've included a few FAQs, including tips to reduce the overall sugar in your smoothie.

12 Low-Sugar Smoothie Recipes

1. Creamy Vegan Pawpaw Smoothie (17g sugar)

  • Time Commitment: 10 minutes 
  • Why We Love It: <500 calories, kid-friendly, <30 minutes 

Pawpaw—a rare but delicious, tropical fruit—boasts a flavor profile that's similar to banana, particularly when cooked. Combine some frozen pawpaw with a handful of ground almonds, a splash of vanilla extract and a scant amount of coconut milk for a creamy, dreamy, low-sugar smoothie that tastes like a vacation.

2. Juicy Green Pineapple Smoothie with Mint, Basil, and Spirulina (11g sugar)

  • Time Commitment: 15 minutes 
  • Why We Love It: vegan, <500 calories, beginner-friendly

Here, the tropical splendor of (frozen) pineapple is elevated by aromatic herbs. The end result is a winning flavor combo that adequately masks the arguably funky taste of spirulina, a nutritional powerhouse that can give any smoothie a serious health boost.

3. Blueberry Green Detox Smoothie (14g sugar)

  • Time Commitment: 10 minutes 
  • Why We Love It: <30 minutes, dairy free, Paleo-friendly 

You don’t have to completely forgo bananas to enjoy a low-sugar smoothie. The recipe calls for a few chunks, plus a boatload of blueberries, a touch of vanilla and a generous dose of spinach. Best of all, this Insta-worthy flavor bomb is decidedly creamy, whether it's prepared with vegan ingredients or Greek yogurt.

4. Raspberry-Coconut Smoothie with Collagen (22g sugar)

  • Time Commitment: 5 minutes 
  • Why We Love It: beginner-friendly, <30 minutes, special occasion-worthy

Don’t be fooled by the slightly higher sugar content of this smoothie; there’s no added sugar whatsoever. It’s just a single sweet banana, which is blitzed with creamy almond butter, tart raspberries and silky coconut milk for good measure.

5. Strawberry Kiwi Smoothie (15g sugar)

  • Time Commitment: 5 minutes 
  • Why We Love It: nut free, gluten free, kid-friendly 

Let’s face it: Strawberry and kiwi are total soulmates. Add some Greek yogurt to the mix (full-fat, please) and nix the honey (or use it sparingly) for a low-sugar smoothie that’s creamy and full of fresh, fruity flavor.

6. Keto Green Smoothie with Avocado (3g sugar)

  • Time Commitment: 5 minutes 
  • Why We Love It: keto-friendly, vegan, low carb 

With a low-carb sugar substitute of your choice and dash of vanilla extract, you can turn what would otherwise sound a whole lot like a glass of guac (avocado, cilantro, lime...) into a subtly sweet and oh-so tasty low-sugar smoothie. Coconut and almond milks keep it rich and decadent without spiking the sugar content.

7. Superfood Spirulina Smoothie (15g sugar)

  • Time Commitment: 5 minutes 
  • Why We Love It: <30 minutes, Whole30, vegan 

Kiwi, avocado and cinnamon are the unique combo we’ll be drinking down every day, thanks to this nutrient-dense spirulina smoothie recipe. For best results, don’t pass on the maple syrup, and consider including the optional cardamom for a warm-spiced flavor boost.

8. Dairy-Free Green Smoothie (7g sugar)

  • Time Commitment: 5 minutes 
  • Why We Love It: <10 ingredients, vegan, <30 minutes

This dairy-free blend of banana, citrus and hearty kale is bulked up with rolled oats and thinned out with coconut water. The end result? A mean, green vegan dream that will please your palate and leave you feeling satiated for quite some time. (Seriously: It contains 6 grams each of protein and fiber per serving.)

9. Strawberry Kale Smoothie (13g sugar)

  • Time Commitment: 10 minutes 
  • Why We Love It: <30 minutes, vegan, beginner-friendly

Bitter greens and sweet, frozen strawberries get along swimmingly in this healthy, vegan-friendly recipe for a low-sugar smoothie that’s as creamy as can be. (Hello, coconut yogurt.) Feel free to supplement any other frozen berries, bananas or mangoes you have on hand, too.

10. Creamy Golden Milk Smoothie (17g sugar)

  • Time Commitment: 5 minutes 
  • Why We Love It: <30 minutes, gluten-free, vegan 

In case you missed it, golden milk is a turmeric-spiked beverage that's believed to offer serious health benefits. Give the creamy, aromatic elixir a dairy-free update with coconut milk and extra body with a banana, and you’ll be rewarded with a truly scrumptious low-sugar smoothie.

11. Green Machine Smoothie Bowl (17g sugar)

  • Time Commitment: 15 minutes 
  • Why We Love It: <10 ingredients, <30 minutes, beginner-friendly

No straw? No problem. Whip up wellness blogger Kerri Axelrod's morning gem in a flash. It includes spinach, avocado, half a banana and maca powder, an energy booster made from the Peruvian maca root. (Green tea lovers, feel free to go wild with the matcha.)

12. Strawberry Coconut Smoothie (14g sugar)

  • Time Commitment: 5 minutes 
  • Why We Love It: <30 minutes, <10 ingredients, no cook

Believe it or not, this sipper toes the line between smoothie and milkshake, even without dairy or added sugar. Vanilla extract and coconut milk make it dessert-inspired and luscious. Don’t skimp on the collagen protein powder—it'll keep you full 'til lunch, and your hair will thank you later.

Frequently Asked Questions

Which Fruits Are Low in Sugar? 

Citrus fruit, avocado, stone fruit, berries, melons and kiwi are all low in sugar, which means that apricots, peaches, cherries, oranges, blueberries and the like are all fair game when whipping up a low-sugar smoothie. (You can also find a longer list of dietitian-recommended low-sugar fruits here.)

How Can I Reduce the Overall Sugar in a Smoothie?

1. Use Unsweetened Non-Dairy Milk 
Cow’s milk is higher in sugar than many non-dairy alternatives, so if you’re looking to add creaminess to your smoothie without increasing the sugar content too much, options like coconut milk, soy milk and almond milk are your best bet. Just be sure to read the label before buying to avoid varieties with added sugar.

2. Opt for Low-Sugar Fruits
Again, the natural sugar found in fruit isn’t really something you need to be terribly concerned with. That said, you can find out which fruits are most favorable for reducing the total sugar content of your smoothie at the bottom of this story.

3. Add More Greens 
Bulk up your low-sugar smoothie by throwing some leafy greens, like kale or spinach, into the blender. They make a fine replacement or pairing for fruit in the right proportions, and adding them to the mix will lower the overall sugar content and boost the nutritional value, too. 

4. Use a Low-Sugar Base 
Bananas are a common smoothie base, but they are high in sugar and have a high GI as well (a medium banana has about 14g of sugar). If you’re watching your sugar intake, we recommend replacing bananas with a low-sugar alternative, like plain Greek yogurt, for a creamy smoothie that won’t spike your blood sugar. 

5. Watch the Serving Size 
It's obvious, but worth calling out: Trading in the Big Gulp travel cup for a 12-ounce serving can help you indulge without going overboard. Use protein powder, yogurt or high-protein and high-fiber produce to keep the bev just as filling.

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Food Editor

Taryn Pire is PureWow’s food editor and has been writing about all things delicious since 2016. She’s developed recipes, reviewed restaurants and investigated food trends at...