My orange carrot smoothie is not only citrusy and delicious, it's a complete meal. With chia seeds and walnuts, it's super satisfying!
Are smoothies part of your breakfast rotation?
I personally love them but, to be honest, I can be a bit picky with smoothies. It's just that so many smoothie recipes are full of carbs and sugar and not much else.
I actually don't try to eat low carb. I do, however, strive for well balanced meals and snacks that won't spike my blood sugar and leave me feeling jittery or hangry. Even though fruit is of course super healthy, if a smoothie has nothing but fruit, it's not an ideal breakfast on its own. It needs some healthy fats or protein to balance it out.
If you do have a favorite smoothie recipe you love that just contains fruit, just make sure to serve alongside some nuts or eggs.
My orange carrot smoothie is full of sweet, citrusy flavor but the chia seeds and walnuts balance out all of the fruit for a complete meal. Plus, it's pretty delicious!
I hope you love it!
Orange Carrot Smoothie
- 2 oranges
- 2 bananas
- parchment paper
- 4 carrots
- 2 oz walnut halves
- 4 tsp chia seeds
- 2 cups milk of choice*
- 1 tsp cinnamon
- 4 tsp honey (optional)
- Peel & segment 2 oranges. Peel & quarter 2 bananas. Place on parchment-lined sheet pan and freeze for 1 hour.
- Remove orange/bananas from the freezer after 1 hour.
- Place the following in a quart-sized freezer bag: ½ orange, ½ banana (~2 segments)
- Repeat 3 times.
- Place in freezer, laying flat in single layer to keep ingredients from sticking to each other.
- In a blender, add the following: 1 smoothie bag, 1 carrot (~2-3 segments), ½ oz (~7) walnuts, 1 tsp chia seeds, ½ cup milk of choice, ¼ tsp cinnamon, 1 tsp honey (optional).
- Blend until smooth. Add water as needed for consistency.
What's the nutrition like for this orange carrot smoothie?
Like I mentioned, nutrition is important to me when it comes to smoothies. Of course, all of the fresh fruit (and veggies!) provide plenty of vitamins, but you need some protein and healthy fat to really up the nutrition factor.
Here are some of the benefits you can find in this orange carrot smoothie recipe:
Oranges (Vitamin C, Folate, Thiamine (Vitamin B1), Potassium, Fiber)
In addition to being famously immune-boosting, oranges have flavonoids that may help protect against heart disease. Citric acid, found in abundance in oranges and other citrus fruits, helps prevent kidney stones.
Bananas (Vitamin B6, Vitamin C, Potassium, Manganese, Fiber)
High in pectin, bananas may help regulate blood sugar. This is great for a meal like a smoothie that tends to be higher in carbs! The potassium in bananas also helps reduce blood pressure and may reduce the risk of heart disease.
Carrots (Vitamin A, Vitamin B6, Vitamin K, Potassium, Fiber)
Both budget and kid-friendly, carrots are great for eye health, lowering cholesterol, and reducing cancer risk. Another benefit? Carrots last well in the fridge, making it easy to use them up before they go bad.
Walnuts (Vitamin E, Omega-3s, Antioxidants)
Many consider walnuts to be the healthiest nut, in part due to their high antioxidant content. They may help reduce the risk of heart disease, cancer, and type 2 diabetes, as well as supporting healthy brain function and healthy gut bacteria. They are a true super food!
Chia Seeds (Fiber, Omega-3s, Manganese, Phosphorus, Iron, Magnesium, Calcium)
With quite a mild flavor, chia seeds are a great way to add fiber, protein and healthy fats to smoothies. They absorb water, so will also thicken your smoothie if you let it sit for a few minutes. Chia seeds also boast a super high Omega-3 (ALA) content – the highest of any known plant source.
Do you include spices and herbs in your smoothies? I love using them for both a flavor and a nutrient boost!
Frequently used in traditional medicine, cinnamon is good for your heart and also may help stabilize blood sugar. Research also suggests that cinnamon may help lower cholesterol. Cinnamon also shows promise for helping to protect from Parkinson's and Alzheimer's disease.
To be honest, I don't generally find sweeteners necessary for smoothies, especially if they include a super sweet fruit like bananas. However, if your bananas aren't totally ripe or if you just like your smoothies a little sweeter, honey is a great choice.
Honey has antibacterial and antioxidant properties, which are strongest in darker honey. Buy raw local honey when possible as filtering the honey can diminish its nutrients.
Is this a good recipe for a meal prep meal plan?
Yes! Smoothies work well for a little quick meal prep. All you need to do is separate the fruit into individual smoothie bags at the beginning of the week. You can also divide the carrots and walnuts among the bags if you like. When it's time for your smoothie, just add your liquid of choice, cinnamon, chia seeds and optional honey to the blender, then add the frozen fruit and blend. This makes a super quick, nutrient-packed weekday breakfast!
Bonus tip – if you have leftover smoothie, pop it into a popsicle mold and you have an instant healthy dessert!
What should I serve with this citrus smoothie?
This smoothie really is highly satisfying and you may not need anything else. However, if you're the type of person who likes to have something solid to enjoy with your smoothie, here are a few great choices:
- Ham & Egg Cups These little ham and egg cups are as beautiful as they are delicious! If you're serving the smoothie as part of a special brunch, these complete the table nicely.
- Easy Breakfast Hash A breakfast hash is one of my favorite ways to pack in a lot of protein and greens at breakfast. This one makes the perfect accompaniment for my orange carrot smoothie!
- Frittata A simple frittata is another good way to add some protein to your breakfast. It's also great for prepping ahead!
How can I turn this into an orange carrot smoothie bowl?
Have you tried making smoothie bowls? They're basically super thick smoothies that, you guessed it, you eat out of a bowl. Why? Sometimes it's just more satisfying to eat something with a spoon than to drink it. Plus, with a thicker smoothie, you can add *all the toppings*!
To turn my orange carrot smoothie into a smoothie bowl, simply cut the liquid in half (use 1 cup of milk instead of 2). You can add liquid from there as you like. One caveat – you do need a powerful blender, like a Vitamix, to make a smoothie bowl. Otherwise, it simply won't blend with less liquid.
Need some topping ideas? Toasted walnuts, shredded coconut or sliced banana would all be delicious!
What are some other healthy smoothie recipes?
Smoothies are definitely an area where you can experiment and create your own concoction. Sometimes it's fun to start from a recipe though, just to give you new ideas. Here are a few of my favorite healthy smoothie recipes:
Tropical Green Smoothie This one is full of surprising ingredients but, I promise, they all work so well together! Bright and refreshing, it's the perfect breakfast for a hot day.
Chocolate Cherry Decadence Smoothie Bowl Cherries and chocolate are one of the best combinations out there. With the natural sweetness of the fruit, you don't need to add any sweetener to make this one totally decadent.
Mixed Berry Smoothie With only 3 ingredients, this one is a simple classic. Of course, I add spinach to up the health factor. Want to try a new twist? Use coconut water instead of water for the liquid, it's so good!
Blackberry Mango Peanut Butter Smoothie Mango and blackberry are a killer flavor combination. The zucchini adds a subtle nutrient boost while the peanut butter makes this smoothie ultra satisfying.