When it comes to making smoothies, I always throw a few spices into the blender. Spices have been used for thousands of years for their healing powers and adding a pinch to a smoothie is an easy and tasty way to add some extra health benefits to your diet. Below is a list of 16 spices for smoothies.
Also in this post, I’ve included some of my smoothie making tips as well as options for dairy-free milk. Enjoy – and let me know what spice is your favorite!
Cardamom is my favorite spice. I use it in everything sweet and savory. It has a warm, floral-like flavor and is very aromatic. I try to buy cardamom pods and remove the seeds myself – it’s more flavorful than powdered cardamom.
Make: Spinach Cardamom Smoothie or Creamy Cashew Cardamom Smoothie
Turmeric has a slight peppery flavor, but when used in small quantities in a smoothie, the taste isn’t noticeable. This spice is known for its anti-inflammatory properties and has traditionally been used as a natural painkiller. I love adding freshly grated turmeric root to my smoothies but if you can’t find turmeric root, just add a pinch of powder.
Make: Mango Chai Smoothie
Did you know that cloves are dried flower buds? They have a sweet and warm aroma, perfect for savory dishes as well as fruity ones (making them a great choice for smoothies). Traditionally, this spice has been used as a healing remedy for toothaches and is also known to fight inflammation.
Make: Cantaloupe Clove Creamsicle
Cumin, a member of the parsley family, and has an earthy, almost smoky flavor to it. Cumin is often used when making an Indian spiced yogurt called raita and so it’s surprisingly tasty when used in smoothies that call for yogurt. Use this spice to make yourself a savory smoothie, perfect for a lunchtime meal or an afternoon snack.
Make: Green Smoothie with Cucumber and Cumin
I love adding a pinch of freshly grated nutmeg to my smoothies. Nutmeg has a rich, earthy, nutty flavor. Don’t use too much of the spice though, as it can make you nauseous.
Make: Apple Nutmeg Smoothie (or if you’re in a mood for a cold-weather treat, make Egg-Nog)
Cinnamon, a sweet and comforting spice, is known to be an energy booster and has shown to regular blood sugar. I find that using the spice makes things taste sweeter than they are. I love using cinnamon in coffee flavored smoothies or in green smoothies.
Make: Cinnamon Bun Smoothie
Saffron, one of the most expensive spices on the market, requires just a pinch to impart flavor and its beautiful golden color onto any dish. You can use this spice when you’re in the mood for a regal smoothie. Soak a couple threads of saffron in a tablespoon of water and then add that to your blender along with the rest of your ingredients.
Make: Banana Saffron Smoothie
8. Fennel Seed
Fennel seeds have a sweet, licorice type flavor. In Indian restaurants, you’ll almost always find a bowl of candy-coated fennel seeds by the door. That’s because fennel seeds are typically eaten after a meal to help aid digestion. This spice is also often used in making Indian desserts. A pinch of freshly ground fennel powder goes very well with fruity smoothies.
Make: Avocado and Fennel Smoothie
I love the flavor that a pinch of freshly grated ginger adds to smoothies. Truthfully, I like using ginger in just about anything. It’s said to help with nausea and known for its anti-inflammatory properties. I suggest freezing ginger and using a microplane to add it to your smoothies.
Make: Sweet Ginger Smoothie (or make this Masala Chai for something warm)
10. Fenugreek Seeds
I use the herb (fenugreek leaves) more often than I use the spice (fenugreek seeds) but you can use both when making smoothies. If you use the seeds, lightly roast them before you grind them to help rid some of their bitterness. Fenugreek has been used as an alternative medicine for helping increase breast milk supply, however it’s not suggested for consumption while pregnant – something to talk to your OB about if you’re expecting.
Make: Milk Supply Smoothie
When it comes to spices, it seems like everyone forgets about allspice. Even though allspice looks like a peppercorn, it tastes like a combination of nutmeg, clove and cinnamon. It’s a package deal all wrapped in one little bundle. It’s mild in flavor and works well in both sweet and savory recipes.
Make: Banana Spice Smoothie
A pinch of cayenne pepper can help bring out the flavor in other ingredients and when used in a small amount, you shouldn’t feel the heat. Cayenne is said to help stimulate metabolism and can possibly suppress appetite.
Make: Red Hot Fruit Smoothie
13. Star Anise
This spice is a star (literally… it looks like a star). It has a sweet, licorice-like flavor and is often used in both sweet and savory recipes. Star anise pairs well with citrus and other fruits, making it a good choice for smoothies.
Make: Mango Mint Lassi (this recipe is not dairy-free)
It’s not very common to see freshly ground black peppercorn in a sweet/dessert recipe, but it does happen. Freshly ground black pepper has a sharp bite and it also enhances the flavor of other ingredients in a recipe. If you’re getting bored with your smoothies, try adding a small pinch of black pepper for something a little different. You can also use pink peppercorns for a milder flavor.
Make: Strawberry Black Pepper Smoothie
15. Coriander Seed
Unlike cilantro, coriander seeds are very mild in flavor. Even if you’re a cilantro hater, give coriander a chance. The seed’s flavor is sweet, nutty with subtle notes of lemon. While there are plenty of cilantro smoothies out there, I personally would rather use the seed in a smoothie.
Make: Peach Coriander Seed Smoothie
16. Vanilla Bean
Vanilla is anything but boring, especially when you’re using the real thing. This spice (yep, it’s considered a spice) enhances smoothies and adds a touch of sweetness to any recipe.
Make: Persimmon Vanilla Bean Smoothie
Smoothie Making Tips:
- Use whole spices: freshly ground spices provide the most flavor. You can use a microplane or a coffee grinder to freshly grate or grind whole spices for maximum flavor.
- Add a little fat: adding some avocado, a spoonful of nut butter, or leftover coconut milk will help keep you full.
- Freeze Fruit: for a colder, smoother smoothie. Plus, this way you can use less ice which means a less diluted drink. Plus, it’s a great way to use overripe fruit.
Enjoy making smoothies – let us know what combinations you try!
Disclaimer: I’m not a scientist or a doctor, so I can’t give you any expert health or medical advice. I’m just a paleo food blogger who likes to eat. The information on my blog should not be construed as professional medical advice. You assume full responsibility for how you choose to use this information. If you have any health concerns, contact your physician or another health care professional.
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