Cucumber in a smoothie? It’s SO much better than you think! This easy 6-ingredient, vegan cucumber smoothie with kiwi and mint is light and refreshing, with a sweet-tart taste. Packed with cooling cucumber and mint, it has a bit of a spa-vibe plus plenty of gut-friendly benefits too. Gluten free and low FODMAP option.
This smoothie was inspired by one of our community members who requested a cooling cucumber smoothie recipe to help beat the heat. I hope you love it, K! As a gut health dietitian, I loved creating this plant-based recipe filled with sneaky gut boosters like mint, kiwi and apple. If you are looking for even more gut-friendly recipes, be sure to check out my plant-based gut health cookbook, Good For Your Gut.
How to make a cucumber smoothie
If you’re new to the idea of putting cucumber in a smoothie, this is the perfect starter recipe for you! All you need for this cooling cucumber smoothie is 6 basic ingredients (plus ice and water!), a blender and 5 minutes. It’s the perfect smoothie for when it feels too hot to make much effort in the kitchen.
- Step one: pop a 6-inch (15 cm) piece of English cucumber into your blender jar along with ¼ cup of lightly packed mint leaves, 1 ripe peeled kiwi, 1 medium cored apple, ¼ of a small avocado, the juice of half a lime, plus 1 cup of water and ½ cup of ice. Add a little pinch of salt (do not skip this!)
- Step two: Blend on high for 30-45 seconds and enjoy!
Cucumber smoothie benefits
This smoothie is packed with sneaky nutrition, making it a nutrient-dense option for breakfast or snack time. And it also boasts a surprising amount of gut health benefits too, including about 10 grams of fibre per smoothie which is about ⅓ of your daily average requirement!
- Apple: apples are a high fiber food, with roughly 4 grams of fibre per and they contain soothing soluble fibre that forms a gel in the gut, helping to hold water and make stools easier to pass
- Kiwi: kiwis contain about 2 grams of fibre per fruit, which doesn’t seem all that impressive. Buuuut…research suggests that kiwis help fight constipation. The fibre plays a role, as does an enzyme in kiwi called actinidin. So kiwi is great for supporting regular elimination.
- Mint: cooling mint is a carminative, meaning that it helps to calm the smooth muscles of the digestive tract and relieve intestinal spasms. In fact, enteric coated peppermint oil is an evidence-backed supplement for IBS! The only folks who might want to steer clear of mint? Those with chronic reflux, or GERD, as relaxed muscles may mean more reflux.
- Avocado: we think of avocado as a healthy fat – which it is – but avocado is also high in fibre. ¼ avocado has 2-3 grams of fibre!
We don’t often think about cucumber as a nutrient-dense vegetable – it’s not kale – but let me be straight with you: ALL veg are good veg. And yes, cucumbers have a few benefits of their own so they deserve a regular place at your table!
- Hydration: cucumber is an extremely high water vegetable (perhaps 96% water), and yes, the foods you eat contribute to hydration status
- Fibre: cucumbers do contain some fibre; a 6-inch (15 cm) piece of English cucumber with skin will net you about 1.5 grams of fibre
- Vitamins + minerals: you might be quite surprised to know that cucumber with skin contain a hefty amount of potassium, about 330mg per 6-inch piece, as well as plenty of beta carotene. It’s also a source of choline, important on a plant-based diet, as well as small amounts of calcium, magnesium, selenium, manganese and folate
- Phytochemicals: that deep rich green hue of cucumber skin is your first clue that cucumbers are rich in antioxidant phytochemicals like lutein, zeaxanthin and beta-cryptozanthin.
Cucumber smoothie tips + substitutions
This smoothie is super versatile and customizable, no matter what your tastebuds or dietary needs! It’s already vegan, gluten free with zero added sugar but can be customized for reflux, IBS and those looking for more protein too.
- Low FODMAP? Replace apple with ½ cup pineapple and ditch avocado. Need more low FODMAP breakfasts?
- Got reflux? Leave out the mint…maybe add a bit of lime zest as a flavour booster
- Looking for protein? The one thing this smoothie doesn’t have is much protein, so if it becomes your daily go-to, consider this plant-based protein booster: swap 1 cup (250 mL) unsweetened soy milk for the water, plus add 3 tbsp of hemp hearts (you might want to ditch the avocado so it doesn’t become too thick) for a whopping 17 grams of protein per smoothie.
- Like it sweeter? Use unsweetened apple juice in place of water or add ½ cup frozen pineapple in place of the apple. If your kiwi isn’t ripe, you may need a sweet boost!
- Want it juicier, and less creamy for extra hot days? Skip the avocado
This smoothie recipe would also make delicious popsicles (we call them smooth-cicles around here!). Just pour into popsicle molds and freeze.
Even more healthy vegan smoothies
Cucumber smoothie with kiwi + mint
This easy vegan cucumber smoothie recipe with kiwi + mint is high in fibre and so refreshing on a hot day! Makes a great popsicle too.
- 6 inch piece of English cucumber, skin on
- 1 medium apple, skin on, cored
- 1 ripe kiwi, peeled
- ¼ cup fresh mint leaves
- ¼ small avocado, peeled
- ½ lime, juiced
- tiny pinch salt, don’t skip it!
- 1 cup water
- ½ cup ice
Place cucumber, apple, kiwi, mint, avocado, lime juice, salt, water and ice in a high speed blender. Blend on high for 30-45 seconds and serve.