7 Unexpected Smoothie Ingredients You Should Be Using (But Aren’t)

Move over, berries.

Smoothies are a quick, healthy, grab-and-go option for breakfast, but when you just stick to the expected — i.e. loads of fruit — you’re actually sabotaging your breakfast, nutrition-wise.

Luckily, there are simple fixes to make sure you get the most out of your blends. Here, we’ve rounded up eight unexpected ingredients (think: chickpeas, brine — really! — and roasted sweet potato) that will up the health factor of your smoothies and keep ’em tasty.


Cauliflower is in everything these days: pizza crust, pulsed in the food processor to make rice, in taco shells, etc. And it’s also a great low-calorie add-in to give your smoothie a hefty dose of vitamins C and K, folate, and fiber. And don’t worry — the strongly scented veggie surprisingly doesn’t mess with the flavor of a smoothie one bit. We’ve rounded up all sorts of smoothie recipes that work in cauliflower for you here.


Yep, that’s right: We said chickpeas. For a protein-packed smoothie, sans the protein powder, you can simply blend some of these legumes in and reap the benefits. You can find a beautiful (and unexpectedly chickpea-filled) smoothie bowl recipe here.

Roasted Sweet Potatoes

As food-for-beauty guru Jolene Hart pointed out to us awhile back, when you want to give your smoothie skin-clearing powers, you can toss in some roasted sweet potatoes. The veggie is loaded with beta-carotene, which is good for cell turnover (hey, Kardashian-like skin) and helps to give your skin that elusive summer glow, even when you’ve been glued to your desk all month.


Apples and pears aren’t the first fruits you’d think to toss into your smoothie, but according to health experts, they are some of the better options, since they sit low on the glycemic index. This means they won’t shoot your blood sugar levels up and out of whack, which other fruits can.


Yep, we’re talking about the stuff in your sauerkraut. Tossing a little bit of brine into your smoothie is an easy way to up your digestive health, according to health expert Jolene Hart. Plus, it’s got skin-clearing benefits, too.


Beets are really good for you — and they can help your liver in the detoxification process, and lord knows we all need some help in that department after a happy hour gone wrong. So, blend ’em in, people! You can find a smoothie recipe working in beets here.


Skip the avocado toast and save your avo for your smoothie. Avocados have a similar texture to bananas, keeping smoothies thick and creamy. Plus, as nutrition pro Juliet Burgh pointed out to us, avocados are a healthy source of fat, and because many vitamins in fruits and veggies are fat-soluble, getting some healthy fat into your blender is essential. The healthy fats will help to keep you full well past your usual mid-morning hanger-tantrum time. (Hey, it happens to the best of us.)

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