The Absolute Best Berries For Smoothies
If you are not drinking berry smoothies, then you should start now. Berries are among the healthiest ingredients to use in smoothies. They are the ultimate antioxidant fruit with a range of other health benefits.
But what are the best berries to use in smoothies? The best berries for smoothies are berries that pair well with other ingredients. We recommend blueberries, raspberries, blackberries, strawberries, acai berries, goji berries, mulberries, and cranberries.
Use these berries on their own or blend them with other fruits and vegetables. Either way, berry smoothies are delicious and highly nutritious.
Continue reading to learn about the benefits of these berries, which berries are best when combined, and tips to make your berry smoothies healthier.
The Best Berries For Smoothies
Our favorite berries are ones that add sweetness and tartness while blending up smoothly in the blender. While most berries will have seeds in them and add some texture to your smoothie, the best berries are so flavorful that you won’t even notice.
When you think of antioxidant foods, blueberries are the first that come to mind.
Due to their extremely healthy qualities, blueberries are often referred to as a superfood.
These sweet, slightly tart berries are one of the best smoothie ingredients. They have anti-inflammatory properties and are a fruit not to sleep on if you are looking for an anti-aging smoothie ingredient.
Blueberry Nutrition Facts
100 grams of blueberries provides:
Fiber: 2.4 g
Vitamin C: 16% of the DV
Vitamin B-6: 5% of the DV
Potassium: 77 mg (2% of the DV)
Blueberries also contain vitamin A, iron, magnesium, and vitamin K.
Health Benefits of Blueberries
Blueberries have a range of health benefits, including:
- Lowered blood pressure
- Prevention of heart diseases
- Improved brain function and memory
- Anti-diabetes effects
Blueberries pair well with other berries. They also taste delicious with citrus fruits, bananas, mangoes, and pineapples.
For an unusual combination try to make a blueberry smoothie with figs.
Can You Use Dried Blueberries in Smoothies?
If you don’t have fresh or frozen blueberries at hand, feel free to use dried blueberries instead.
While dried blueberries are lower in antioxidants, they are higher in calories which makes them a good choice for sportsmen who need smoothies for a good energy boost.
Before blending dried blueberries with other ingredients, let them sit in hot water for 20 minutes.
Raspberries taste tart and sweet at the same time. However, in comparison to other berries, such as blueberries and cranberries, they taste much less tart and are quite ‘light’.
If you like sweet berries for your smoothies, ripe raspberries are your best bet. The riper they are the sweeter they taste.
Raspberry Nutrition Facts
100 grams of raspberries provides:
Fiber: 7 g
Vitamin C: 43% of the DV
Vitamin B-6: 5% of the DV
Calcium: 2% of the DV
Iron: 3% of the DV
Magnesium: 5% of the DV
Potassium: 151 mg (4% of the DV)
Health Benefits of Raspberries
Raspberry smoothies come with a range of health benefits:
- Blood sugar control
- Reduced risks of cancer
- Improved arthritis
- Anti-aging properties
Raspberries pair well with the following fruits: grapefruit, blackberry, grape, lemon, apricot, nectarine, peach, and plum.
How to Get Raspberry Seeds Out of a Smoothie
While raspberry smoothies are exceptionally healthy, some people avoid drinking them because of the seeds.
If the seeds are not a dealbreaker for you, they are actually good for you, as they contain dietary fiber, antioxidants, and fatty acids.
However, if you do want to get rid of the seeds, pour the smoothie through a sieve.
To bring back the frothy texture of the smoothie, blend it again after straining.
These inky berries are some of the best ingredients to put in a smoothie if you expect your drinks to provide you with a ton of nutrients.
Blackberries are quite sweet. They also have an earthy undertone and slight tartness if they are not fully ripe.
Blackberry Nutrition Facts
100 grams of blackberries contains:
Fiber: 5 g
Potassium: 162 mg (4% of the DV)
Vitamin C: 35% of the DV
Vitamin A: 4% of the DV
Magnesium: 5% of the DV
Blackberries are also a good source of such minerals as calcium and iron.
Health Benefits of Blackberries
Using blackberries in smoothies has many benefits, including:
- Improved brain function
- Cancer-preventing properties
- Improved digestion
- Stronger immune system
Blackberries pair well with apple, apricot, mango, peach, citrus fruits such as lemon and orange, other berries (raspberries, strawberries, and blueberries).
If you want to spice up your blackberry smoothies, you can add some cinnamon, ginger, or vanilla.
You can also use nuts in blackberry shakes. Almond and hazelnut will compliment your blackberry smoothies while adding some extra healthy fats.
Blackberry Puree for Smoothies
If you don’t like the seeds in blackberry smoothies but still want to get all the benefits these berries provide, here’s what you should do.
Make a blackberry puree by blending the berries at high speed. Strain the puree to get rid of the seeds. Freeze the puree in portions for ease of use.
If the seeds in blackberry smoothies are the only reason you are missing out on this healthy fruit, this is the best way to use them in smoothies.
Frozen berry puree will last for around 6 months in the freezer, much longer than fresh berries ever would.
Strawberries are probably the most widely-used and well-loved berry variety. They are sweet with a slight acidity.
Strawberries are exceptionally rich in vitamin C, a fact hard to overlook. This is one of the many reasons to use strawberries in smoothies more often.
Strawberries are also rich in folate (vitamin B-9), a vitamin highly recommended to use during the periods of pregnancy and infancy.
Strawberry Nutrition Facts
100 grams of strawberries contains:
Fiber: 2 g
Potassium: 153 mg (4% of the DV)
Vitamin C: 97% of the DV
Strawberries also contain iron, calcium, and magnesium.
Health Benefits of Strawberries
Incorporating strawberry smoothies into your daily diet will:
- Stimulate metabolism
- Control blood sugar levels
- Reduce inflammation
- Lower the risks of chronic diseases
- Contribute to the health of the heart
When it comes to fruit pairings, strawberries are diverse. They go well with a range of fruits, including other berries, apples, bananas, kiwi, citruses, melon, pears, mango, pineapple, etc.
Strawberries also make a delicious smoothie blended with rhubarb.
Are Strawberry Smoothies Good for Weight Loss?
Strawberry smoothies, if made right, are very low in calories.
One cup of strawberries contains only 49 calories. This makes strawberry shakes a good option for those who are trying to shed some pounds.
Strawberries also contain anthocyanins, a type of compounds that reportedly suppress appetite.
5. Acai Berries
Acai berries, native to Central and South America, are purple berries similar to blueberries in appearance.
In comparison to other berries that have sweet or sour flavors, these berries have an earthy tropical flavor.
Acai berries are usually hard to find fresh. It is easier to find frozen acai berries or acai berry puree.
Acai berry powder is a popular ingredient in smoothies and breakfast bowls. It tastes delicious and is packed with lots of essential elements, including such fatty acids as omega-3 and omega-6.
All berries are a good source of antioxidants but acai berries are claimed to be richer in them than other berries, including blueberries and cranberries.
Acai Berry Nutrition Facts
3 grams of acai berry powder contains:
Fiber: 1 g
Calcium: 6 mg
Acai berries contain healthy fats and are rich in iron, zinc, copper, and potassium.
Health Benefits of Acai Berries
Here is how acai berries will contribute to your body if you make them a common ingredient in your smoothies:
- Preventing high blood pressure
- Fighting high cholesterol levels
- Lowered risk of age-related diseases
- Healthy heart
- Lowered risk of cancer
Acai Berry Pairings
You can pair acai berry powder with your favorite tropical fruits, such as bananas and papaya. It also pairs well with non-tropical fruits, including apples, pears, and berries (blueberries, raspberries, strawberries, etc.).
How to Use Acai Berry Powder to Make Smoothies
To make a healthy smoothie with acai berry powder, blend 2 and a half teaspoons of the powder with fruits and other ingredients of your choice.
6. Goji Berries
Goji berries, otherwise known as wolfberries, have a Chinese origin and are closely related to tomatoes.
Goji berries are almost always sold dried. They have an orangey-red color and have a sweet-sour taste.
Gogi Berry Nutrition Facts
28 grams of goji berries (dried) contains:
Fiber: 3.7 g
Vitamin A: 42 % of the DV
Vitamin C: 15% of the DV
Dried goji berries also contain iron, potassium, zinc, thiamine, selenium, and copper.
Health Benefits of Gogi Berries
Goji berries are so healthy and nutritious that you can often find them in the supplements section in supermarkets.
Here are the benefits of incorporating goji berries in your diet:
- Lowered inflammation
- Healthy eyesight
- Improved blood quality
- Anti-aging properties
- Cancer prevention
- Improved blood sugar levels
- High energy levels
- Improved cholesterol levels
Goji Berry Pairings
Goji berries pair well with sweet fresh fruits. You can pair a handful of goji berries with other berries, including strawberries.
These berries also pair well with orange, kiwi, peach, and banana.
Dried goji berries go exceptionally well with dark chocolate which gives you room for experimenting to come up with unique berry smoothie recipes.
How to Use Dried Goji Berries in Smoothies?
To use dried goji berries in your smoothies you can put a handful of these berries in the blender together with other ingredients and blend at high speed until you reach a smooth consistency.
Alternatively, you can soak the berries for 20 minutes prior to using them to make a drink. This way the berries will be much softer and easy to blend.
Goji Berry Smoothies for Weight Loss
Goji berries are widely known for their great use in losing weight.
These berries are high in fiber and have a low glycemic index. Thus, using a handful of goji berries in your weight loss smoothies is a good way of keeping your cravings at bay.
Goji berry smoothies will keep you feeling full longer than your regular smoothies, thus preventing more calorie intake.
If you are looking for a berry option for your smoothies that doesn’t have an overpowering taste, then mulberries are your best bet.
These berries have a sweet mild flavor and pair well with many fruits, including citruses.
Though mulberries are not as common as blueberries or strawberries, the high nutritional value is one reason to use them more often in smoothies.
Mulberry Nutrition Facts
Fiber: 1.7 g
Vitamin C: 60% of the DV
Magnesium: 4% of the DV
Vitamin B-6: 5% of the DV
Health Benefits of Mulberries
Here is how you can benefit from mulberries:
- Treating high blood pressure
- Improved blood clotting
- Reduced risk of heart problems
- Lowered cholesterol levels
- Improved blood sugar levels
- Reduced risk of cancer
Mulberries pair well with citrus fruits, such as oranges. It also tastes great with banana, pear, and apple.
You can also use mulberries to make delicious and healthy triple berry smoothies.
Mulberries go well with blueberries and raspberries. Blend the three together with some milk and yogurt and the tastiest triple berry smoothie is ready.
Breakfast Smoothie with Dried Mulberries
If you have never tried dried mulberries in smoothies, you are missing out.
A handful of dried mulberries blended with one frozen banana, with the addition of some almond milk and almond butter makes a filling breakfast smoothie. Add vanilla and cocoa powder for extra taste.
When making smoothies with dried mulberries make sure to soak them for 20 minutes before using.
If you love sour-tasting fruits, then cranberries may work great for you in smoothies.
These berries have a very sharp taste. Thus, they are not used raw very often.
However, when it comes to making smoothies, fresh cranberries make delicious shakes paired with other fruits that will balance out its sourness.
Because cranberries are quite sour, you may also need to add some kind of a sweetener to your smoothie. Monk fruit sweetener will work well for that matter.
Cranberry Nutrition Facts
100 grams of fresh cranberries contains:
Fiber: 4.6 g
Vitamin C: 16% of the DV
Potassium: 85 mg
Cranberries are also a source of vitamin A and calcium.
Health Benefits of Cranberries
Cranberries are rich in minerals and vitamins and it is not surprising that they have so many health benefits:
- Healthy skin
- Improved digestion
- Lowered risk of heart diseases
- Improved eyesight
- Cancer progression slowdown
- Prevention of urinary tract infections
Fresh cranberries pair well with apple, pineapple, orange, pear, goji berries, and tangerine.
Cranberries also taste delicious if you add some ginger or cinnamon to your smoothies.
Cranberry and beets smoothie is another great smoothie option if you want to give your immune system a boost.
Using Dried Cranberries for Smoothies
Dried cranberries are as nutritious as fresh cranberries. However, it is worth knowing that vitamin A and vitamin C content are slightly reduced during the drying process.
Dried cranberries often contain added sugar. If you are someone that is following a sugar-free diet or tries to track the sugar intake, look for sugar-free dried cranberries.
You can easily use dried cranberries to make smoothies. Combine about ¼ cup of dried cranberries with other fruits, such as apple, and blend all ingredients together.
Dried cranberries are convenient to use and you can keep them at room temperature for around 12 months. You can also freeze them.
How to Freeze Berries for Smoothies
Freezing berries for smoothies is a good way to preserve these delicate fruits for a longer period of time. You can freeze berries whenever they are available and use them all year round.
Another reason for freezing berries for smoothies is that frozen berries give more body to the smoothie, making it frosty.
Shakes with frozen berries are especially good in the summer season when you need a cool drink to cope with the heat.
Here’s how you should freeze berries for smoothies.
Step 1: Wash and dry the berries
Wash the berries and leave them to dry. Putting the berries in the freezer before they are completely dry will result in freezer burn.
Small berry varieties, such as blueberries and blackberries, can be frozen as is. If strawberries are smaller in size, you can freeze them whole. If they are bigger, it is best to cut them in half.
Step 2: Place the berries on parchment paper
Put the berries on a sheet pan lined with parchment paper. Make sure to arrange berries so that they don’t pile onto each other.
Don’t skip on the parchment paper as it prevents the berries from sticking to the pan once they are frozen.
Step 3: Place the berries in the freezer
Put the pan in the cold storage and wait until the berries freeze.
If you skip freezing berries on the pan first and simply put them in a plastic bag and throw in the freezer, they will clump together. The single frozen brick they will form will not be easy to use to make smoothies.
Step 4: Once frozen, transfer the berries to a freezer bag
When the berries are frozen, put them into a sealable plastic bag. If you are planning on using the frozen berries for smoothies, keep them in portions for ease of use.
Frozen berries keep in the freezer for more than 12 months. This makes it possible to freeze your favorite seasonal berries and enjoy them year-round.
How to Make Berry Smoothies Healthier
While berries are extremely healthy, some smoothie mistakes may diminish the value you can get from these drinks.
There is always a way of making your berry smoothie healthier, and here is how.
Make It Thick
Using frozen berries for smoothies is not only pleasantly cooling but also more filling.
Thicker smoothies will make you feel full for a longer period of time than watery smoothies.
Using frozen berries or simply adding more ice will make your smoothies thick and frosty while leaving the calorie count unaffected.
Add Leafy Greens
Adding green vegetables to your berry smoothies will boost the nutritional value and make them even healthier.
Kale and spinach are good options to add to your blueberry, raspberry, or strawberry smoothies. In fact, you can add a few leaves of kale and spinach to any berry smoothie recipe if you like the taste.
Kale in smoothies is not everyone’s favorite as it may have a grassy taste. You can use red kale or baby kale for a mild flavor but a bunch of nutritious elements.
As for spinach, its taste is not overpowering in combination with such flavorful fruits as berries.
Use Non-Fat Dairy
If your smoothie recipe calls for a dairy product, such as milk or yogurt, use low or non-fat ones.
They will add the necessary amount of protein while keeping the calories at bay.
Add Healthy Fats
Adding a small number of healthy fats will make your smoothies more filling.
Adding a few slices of avocado or 2 tablespoons of flax seeds to your berry smoothie is a good option to get all the healthy fats you need.
Skip on Excessive Sugar
When adding liquid to your berry smoothies, don’t use fruit juices as they contain sugar that you don’t need if you are trying to stay healthy.
If you don’t want to use plain water, use coconut water.
Coconut water works well with blueberries, raspberries, strawberries, cranberries, blackberries, etc.
What Berries Taste Good Together in Smoothies?
Berries pair well with a variety of ingredients. But what if you want to make the ultimate berry mix smoothie with a few berry varieties?
Strawberries, blueberries, raspberries, and blackberries pair well with other berries. Thus, you can blend all of them together for the most delicious berry smoothie that is packed with antioxidants.
Here is a simple berry mix smoothie recipe.
- 400 g mixed frozen berries
- ½ cup low-fat yogurt
- 1 cup low-fat milk
- 1 tbsp. chia seeds
Blend all ingredients together until you reach a smooth consistency and enjoy.
For a similar variation of this smoothie, but with the addition of honey, you can watch this video by Yes Kitchen on YouTube:
Are Berry Smoothies Good for Weight Loss?
If you are on a weight loss journey, incorporating berry smoothies into your meal plan is a good idea.
Berries are sweet but they don’t contain much fat and sugar and are not high in calories.
If you want to ingrate berries into your smoothies to assist you in losing weight, here are the best options to make use of:
- Acai berries
- Goji berries
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