Your Guide to AIP Smoothies and Protein Powders

Smoothies are a great way to get lots of nutrient dense foods into a delicious, portable snack. They're perfect for whipping up in a hurry and running out the door, or even for sipping slowing on the back porch. However, when many of us start the autoimmune protocol, it can come as a shock that several of our favorite smoothie ingredients are no longer an option. For example, the traditional protein powders, that we used before, will not work on AIP. What's a health-conscious person to do? Never fear- this article is your complete guide to AIP smoothies. Here the issues we're going to go over:

  • The Best Fruits and Vegetables for an AIP Smoothie
  • Which Protein Powder Is Okay to Use on AIP
  • Other Fantastic Smoothie Ingredients 
  • Recipes for Blending

Now that we have that taken care of, let's get down to business. I know you're eager to get the blender out. We'll have you whipping up delicious AIP smoothies in no time. 

The Best Fruits and Vegetables for an AIP Smoothie

Smoothie are traditionally very sweet. That's because they're usually packed with high-carb fruit, such as bananas, mangos and pineapples. But with AIP, we want to avoid spiking your blood sugar. This means, if you still want to enjoy and smoothie every now and then, you'll need to make some important swaps. Aim for fruits with a lower sugar spike, or even skip the fruits all together and do a veggie smoothie. I know that might sound weird, and you're probably a little disappointed if you were hoping for a super sweet treat. But if you adjust your expectations, you can still enjoy a smoothie filled with wonderful, aromatic flavors, that are also going to nourish your body. Remember, you are aren't going to be able to add sugar or artificial sweeteners to the smoothie either. But don't worry, it's still going to be delicious.

First, let's start with the ingredients you'll want to avoid:

  • Bananas
  • Mangos
  • Pineapple
  • Cantaloupe
  • Oranges

Use these fruits and vegetables instead:

  • Blueberries
  • Blackberries
  • Strawberries
  • Raspberries
  • Green Apples
  • Spinach
  • Kale
  • Cucumber
  • Ginger
  • Lemon
  • Lime
  • Avocado

This is not an exhaustive list by far, but it gives you a starting point. Just aim for fruits and vegetables that aren't going to spike your blood sugar, and you'll be okay.

Which Protein Power is Okay to Use on AIP?

Protein powders are tricky. Most of them are not going to work on AIP, but you really need protein in your smoothie to avoid a blood sugar spike. Eggs and nut butters aren't allowed on AIP either. However, there is one that you can use. Powdered collagen protein is the perfect addition to AIP smoothies. Collagen protein is made from the connective tissues of animals, so it offers the same great benefits to your digestive system as traditional bone broth, except in an easy to use package.

Normally, using pre-packaged foods isn't a great idea, but there needs to be a little give somewhere. And the new collagen proteins they have on the market now are made from grass fed animals, and have very few additional ingredients, so it's a good compromise. Collagen protein can help heal the gut barrier, which is perfect for those on AIP. It also improves digestion, and promotes the healthy growth of skin, hair and nails. 

Collagen protein powders are mostly flavorless, so you can add them to any smoothie without worrying about the taste. You use it the same way you would whey protein, just add about a tablespoon to the blender, along with your other ingredients. 


Other Fantastic Smoothie Ingredients

Think outside the box for some great additions to your AIP smoothies. Fresh herbs, such as mint, basil, or cilantro can add a refreshing burst to your smoothie and help balance out the green taste from leafy vegetables. A dash of cinnamon is a fun addition. If you're not avoiding coconut, use some unsweetened coconut cream and a dash of cinnamon on the top of your smoothie. Carob or unsweetened dark chocolate flakes make a nice addition. 

Even though it was mentioned to avoid high carb fruits, they can be used occasionally. Occasionally- Not every day! But if you're really craving a smoothie with banana, it's better to spurge a little every now and then on a fruit, than it would be to go out and buy donuts. Use your best discretion and just be aware that fruit can create a jump in your blood sugar. 

Recipes for Blending

There are some great AIP friendly smoothies out there for you to try. We've listed a few of our favorites below:

AIP Classic Berry Smoothie

This recipe was adapted from the one Micky, at Autoimmune Wellness posted. Don't forget to check out the blog for tons of great ideas and information on the autoimmune protocol. This smoothie is a classic strawberry smoothie, with an AIP spin. It does contain banana and coconut concentrate, so just be aware of that. Here are the ingredients:

  • One banana (also try cooked squash for the same smooth consistency and sweet flavor)
  • 1/4 cup water (cold herbal tea would also work for a burst of flavor)
  • 1/2 cup frozen berries
  • One tablespoon coconut concentrate
  • One tablespoon collagen protein powder
  • One cup spinach (or your favorite green)
  • Ice cubes (optional)

Place the ingredients into your blender, blend until combined, and enjoy. 

Refreshing Detox Green Smoothie

This recipe was adapted from Sophie at A Squirrel in the Kitchen. Her blog is full of great AIP recipes, so definitely take a look. With cucumber and ginger, this smoothie is a refreshing burst, perfect for morning. Here are the ingredients:

  • One green apple
  • 1/2 cucumber
  • Juice of 1/2 lime
  • Juice of 1/2 lemon
  • One tablespoon fresh ginger, chopped or grated
  • One cup of kale (or your favorite greens- classic spinach works too)
  • One cup coconut water (If you're avoiding coconut, just use water or herbal tea)
  • One tablespoon collagen protein powder

Place the ingredients in your blender, blend until combined, and enjoy.

AIP Creamy Peach Smoothie

While this is called creamy peach, it doesn't actually have real dairy cream. Instead, coconut milk is used for a creamy alternative. The recipe was adapted from Cook, Eat, Paleo. Another fantastic recipe blog, and while it's not specifically AIP, a lot of the recipes can be adapted to be AIP. If you're avoiding coconut, you could use avocado instead of coconut milk. It will change the flavor quite a bit, but it will still be delicious. Here are the ingredients:

  • One cup coconut milk, chilled (or 1/2 an avocado)
  • One cup ice
  • Two fresh peaches
  • One tablespoon collagen protein powder
  • Lemon zest to taste

Place the ingredient in your blender, blend until combined, and enjoy.

If you're looking for a different kind of paleo/AIP snack that also uses collagen protein, check out Paleo Angel's Power Balls. A yummy, sweet, portable snack, that's also nutritious and full of super foods. Contact us for more information about this, collagen protein or Power Balls.