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5 low FODMAP kiwi smoothie recipes for IBS

If kiwis aren’t on your low FODMAP grocery list, then something’s amiss.  So it’s my mission to help you add them to your diet through 5 kiwi smoothie recipes that are low FODMAP, high fibre and bursting with nutrient goodness.

Why you need to eat kiwis

Taste

These goofy-looking hairy brown lumps house a bright green interior that is soft, tangy and delicious.  Kiwis also contain very respectable amounts of fibre to feed your gut microbiome, and two potent antioxidants: vitamin C and vitamin E. 

Healing and antioxidant properties

Vitamin E is a hero antioxidant that prevents free radicals from damaging cells (1).  Vitamin C also acts as an antioxidant, but in addition, it plays a role in collagen production and is therefore essential for tissue healing (2). 

Natural laxative effect

Scientific literature coming mainly from Asia and Australia suggests that kiwi fruit (also known as Chinese gooseberries) can improve constipation. 

Most of the research is on people with functional constipation rather than IBS.  However, one study on IBS-C found shorter colonic transit time and increased frequency of bowel movements in participants who ate 2 kiwis per day over a 4 week period (3).

An Australian study evaluating the effect of eating 2 gold kiwis per day found an increase in bowel movement frequency and stool softness in people with IBS-C and people with functional constipation (4).

A more recent study on American participants with functional constipation compared the effectiveness of kiwi, prunes and psyllium supplementation (5).  They found that all 3 interventions increased bowel movement frequency, with kiwi increasing frequency the least.  However, the participants taking the kiwi had less abdominal pain than the participants taking the psyllium and prunes.  And kiwi participants reported the least amount of bloating.  Overall, participants reported the most treatment satisfaction with the kiwi.

Taste – check.  Nutrition – check.  Natural laxation – quite possible.  The 5 kiwi smoothie recipes that follow are worth trying if you’re seeking healthy, high fibre smoothies and/or struggle with IBS-C.

Want to boost your fibre?
Check out my low FODMAP high fibre foods post.

3 potential pitfalls of smoothies

1. Large smoothies can contain a lot of sugar (albeit natural fruit sugar)

Solutions: 1) keep your smoothie portion below 500mL; 2) use unsweetened dairy-alternative low FODMAP milks; 3) avoid adding sweeteners like maple syrup; 4) use low sugar yogurts; 5) use low FODMAP portions of strawberries, raspberries and blueberries.

2. FODMAP stacking with larger portions

Solutions: 1) keep your smoothie portion below 500mL; 2) aim for low FODMAP portions according to weight in the Monash FODMAP app; 3) no more than 2-3 low FODMAP servings of fruit; 4) use navel oranges which are “FODMAP free”.

3. Hunger

Because the ingredients in smoothies are pureed, your stomach has little digestive work to do. As a result, you may feel hungry sooner.

Solutions: 1) include healthy fats like seeds, nuts, nut butters; 2) include protein from Greek yogurt or extra protein powder; 3) accompany your smoothie with 1-2 boiled eggs or a slice of low FODMAP toast topped with nut butter.

So how should you craft healthy and filling smoothies?

Elements of healthy kiwi smoothie recipes

Low FODMAP milk

Every smoothie needs a liquid component to ensure it’s drinkable. Low FODMAP milks include lactose-free milk, almond milk and rice milk. Make sure any low FODMAP dairy-free milk you use is fortified with calcium and vitamin D.

Healthy fats

Seeds, nuts and nut butters contain unsaturated fatty acids that are heart healthy.  A few, like ground flax, hemp hearts and chia seeds, also contain anti-inflammatory omega-3 fats. Additionally, fat helps your body better absorb fat soluble vitamins like vitamins E, A, D and K.

Protein

Similar to fats, protein slows digestion which maintains satiation longer. Again, nuts, seeds and nut butters contain protein. Lactose-free milk, lactose-free Greek yogurt and lactose-free plain yogurt (or flavoured) also contain protein – unlike almond milk. You can even add low sugar protein powder for extra protein.

Fruits and vegetables

Umm…these wouldn’t be kiwi smoothie recipes if they didn’t have at least 1 kiwi! Kiwi combines nicely with tropical fruit like pineapple, oranges, and strawberries. If you really enjoy kiwis, be a hero and toss in a second one!

Vegetables? Yes, you can add vegetables. Spinach is very popular in smoothies on account of its mild flavour and tender leaves that blend easily. Carrots, cucumber and other leafy greens like kale are also common in green / veggie smoothies. The beautiful think about smoothies that is missing in homemade juices is the FIBRE!

Grains

Oats can work well in smoothies if you have a killer blender that will easily pulverize the oats. This has not been my experience, so oat bran is an easier alternative.

Benefits of a healthy smoothie

  • Great way to get your daily recommended amount of vitamin C.
  • Potentially fantastic source of dietary fiber.
  • Great source of calcium and vitamin D when using lactose-free milk and yogurt or fortified dairy-free milks.
  • Potent antioxidant power from the fruits and any seeds or nuts you include.
  • Healthy way to enjoy some of your favourite fruits.
  • Tasty vehicle for adding more raw greens to your diet.
  • Easy way to include healthy fats in your diet.

Tips for luscious low FODMAP kiwi smoothies

  • Refer to the Monash University FODMAP app for low FODMAP smoothie ingredients.
  • The kiwi smoothie recipes below use 1 kiwi, but you can easily use 2 if your prefer.
  • Use firm bananas that are low FODMAP instead of ripe bananas that are moderate to high FODMAP.
  • Don’t add extra sweeteners, especially high FODMAP honey and agave syrup.  Smoothies have enough natural sugar.
  • Keep your portions modest – aim for a smoothie portion less than 500mL. 
  • Avoid using kiwi juice, orange juice, or apple juice to enhance flavour.
  • For a thicker smoothie – use frozen fruit, frozen banana or ice cubes.
  • For a thinner smoothie  – use fresh, ripe fruit and more liquid.

Equipment

  • First thing you’re going to need is a powerful blender.  I have a Ninja.
  • A good knife and cutting board for removing the kiwi skin.
  • Measuring cups and spoons.

Instructions

Place the ingredients in your blender and turn that sucker up to high speed until it reaches your desired consistency.   (I tend to blitz the hell out of my smoothies so they are actually, you know, smooth).

1. Kiwi spinach smoothie with Greek yogurt

green-kiwi-spinach-smoothie
  • 1 ripe kiwi, peel removed
  • 2/3 cup pineapple (fresh or frozen)
  • 1 cup baby spinach
  • 1/2 medium banana
  • 3/4 cup lactose free Milk
  • 1/3 cup Vanilla Greek yogurt

Nutrition

Calories: 320 Fibre: 6 grams Protein: 14 grams

Notes:

I promise you won’t taste the spinach in this smoothie!  Spinach is such a smoothie-friendly vegetable because it’s mild in flavour and the leaves are fairly tender and easy to blend, unlike kale leaves!

Using Greek yogurt and lactose-free milk in this recipe helps to up its protein game since there are no seeds in this recipe.

2. Kiwi strawberry smoothie with hemp seeds

low-fodmap-kiwi-strawberry-smoothie
  • 1 ripe kiwi
  • 1/2 cup sliced fresh strawberries, or frozen
  • 1 Tbsp hemp seeds
  • 1 Tbsp ground flax, smooth milled
  • 1/3 cup lactose-free strawberry yogurt
  • 2/3 cup milk

Nutrition

Calories: 325 Fibre: 6 grams Protein: 16 grams

kiwi-strawberry-smoothie-ingrdients

Notes

Monash University re-tested strawberries in 2021 and, tragically, downgraded them from low to moderate FODMAP.  Because I couldn’t use as many strawberries as I would’ve liked, I included strawberry yogurt to help boost the berry flavour.

Strawberries come in many different sizes, so when the Monash FODMAP app says that 5 medium strawberries are low FODMAP, I’m not sure exactly how much to use.  That’s why I weigh ’em.  Kitchen scales are invaluable tools when you’re on the low FODMAP diet!

3. Kiwi orange smoothie with smoothed milled flax seeds

kiwi-orange-smoothie-ingredients-with-leo
Leo, sous chef 😉
  • 1 kiwi
  • 2 small navel oranges or 1 large one
  • 1 Tbsp smooth milled ground flax seeds
  • 1/4 cup vanilla yogurt
  • 2/3 cup almond milk

Nutrition

Calories: 280. Fibre: 6-8 grams (6g if you remove some pulp). Protein: 7 grams.

Notes

This recipe is yummy, but a bit pulpy. 

To smooth it out, I recommend using smooth milled ground flax (see picture above) which is more like almond flour in consistency. 

Next, cut the peel and pith off the orange rather than hand peeling it. 

You can even cut out the orange segments, leaving the fibrous membranes behind.  If you do this, you’ll need 3 or 4 small navels to make up for the lost volume. 

If you just want to pop 2 oranges into the blender, then consider putting the smoothie through a colander (not a fine sieve!) to strain out A BIT of the fibre (you still want some fibre afterall!)

4. Kiwi banana smoothie with peanut butter

kiwi-banana-peanut-butter-smoothie
  • 1 kiwi
  • 1 firm banana, medium
  • 1 Tbsp peanut butter
  • 1 tsp chia seeds
  • 2/3 cup low FODMAP milk (I used lactose-free milk)
  • 2 eye-drops worth of pure vanilla extract

Nutrition

Calories: 325 Fibre: 6 grams Protein: 12 grams

Notes

This smoothie has a great nutty flavour with very mild kiwi. You can use natural nut butter or Kraft – whatever you prefer. Also, feel free to add a second kiwi for more kiwi flavour. If you do this, use 3/4 cup low FODMAP milk.

Remember to choose firm greenish-yellow bananas to ensure they’re low FODMAP.

I used chia seeds in this recipe because it’s less fibrous than the other smoothies so it can handle the bit of grit from the chia seeds.

5. Kiwi pineapple smoothie with coconut milk

kiwi-pineapple-coconut-smoothie
  • 1 kiwi
  • 2/3 cup crushed canned pineapple
  • 1 Tbsp smooth milled ground flax seeds
  • 1/3 cup light canned coconut milk
  • 1/3 cup low FODMAP milk (I used lactose-free milk)

Nutrition

Calories: 280 Fibre: 5 grams Protein: 8 grams

Notes

Pineapple is quite fibrous, so blend this smoothie for a bit longer than you normally would.  You can also use frozen pineapple, but don’t use too much or the pineapple flavour will overpower the coconut flavour.

I chose to use the light canned coconut milk because it’s a bit more flavourful than the Silk brand of coconut milk.

The Monash app states 1/4 cup canned light coconut milk is low FODMAP, and 1/2 cup is moderate.  I felt 1/4 cup wasn’t enough so I bumped I up to 1/3 cup.  If you really like coconut, you could always use 1/4 cup coconut milk and a drop of coconut extract.

As always, drop me a line in the comments section below if you have any questions 🙂

xoAndrea

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