Smoothies can be a wonderful way to sneak in a few extra servings of fruits and veggies. But, if you aren’t careful, smoothies can be dangerously high in oxalate. This is a problem for people who have calcium oxalate stones, AND have high urine oxalate levels (not everyone who has calcium oxalate stones does!).
Read on for a low oxalate smoothie recipe. Plus, my tips to create your own low oxalate smoothie!
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Are Low Oxalate Smoothies Good for Kidney Stones?
They can be! If done right, smoothies can be a very healthy meal or snack or people with kidney stones.
Here are the aspects of smoothies that are good for kidney stones!
Lots of Fruit
Fruit (and vegetables!) are ALL really good sources of citrate. Citrate is a powerful inhibitor of nearly all types of kidney stones. Smoothies are packed this this kidney stone prevention powerhouse!
Counterintuitively, calcium is incredibly important for people with calcium kidney stones. Calcium can reduce how much oxalate is absorbed from the food you eat.
Plus, people with calcium kidney stones are at much higher risk of osteoporosis and weak bones. Calcium is important to keep your bones strong!
Fluid is important for any type of kidney stone. Of course, most of your fluid should be water. But, all fluids count! Milk or other liquids in your smoothie can count towards your daily fluid goal.
Low Oxalate Ingredients (Optional)
Oxalate is not an issue for everyone with kidney stones.
IF you have high urine oxalate levels on a 24-hour urine test, using low oxalate ingredients for your smoothie is a good idea. This recipe is formulated for people who do have high urine oxalate.
Red Flags for Smoothies & Kidney Stones
If you aren’t careful, smoothies can get people with kidney stones in trouble. Here are the most common mistakes I see people make. These smoothie additions could make some types of kidney stones worse.
Too much protein can make calcium oxalate and uric acid kidney stones worse. Despite what the guy at your gym and the food industry want you to think, most of us are eating much more protein than we need.
Smoothies are a common a vehicle for protein powder. For most people, protein powder just adds extra, unnecessary protein to your day. This extra protein can increase urine acid, urine calcium and even urine oxalate. I recommend most people with kidney stones avoid protein powder.
However, protein powder can be helpful for some people. If you are malnourished, or have higher protein needs due to a medical condition, protein powder can be beneficial. Ask your dietitian how much protein is right for you.
A Lot of Very High Oxalate Ingredients
Although not everyone needs a low oxalate diet, smoothies are the perfect storm for incredibly high amounts of some very high oxalate foods.
Some of the more common very high oxalate ingredients I see used in smoothies are:
- Nut butters, especially almond butter
- Swiss Chard
- Almond milk
- Soy milk
- Green and “superfood” powders
If you have calcium oxalate kidney stones, it is best to avoid these very high oxalate ingredients in your smoothie.
What If I Have Diabetes?
Never fear! You can still have smoothies, even if you have diabetes.
People with diabetes should NEVER completely avoid carbohydrate. Instead, the goal for diabetes is to eat carbohydrate in healthy portions, many times throughout the day.
It all comes down to portion size. Many smoothie ingredients, like yogurt, milk and fruit have carbohydrate. If you aren’t careful, smoothies can easily pack quite a bit of carbohydrate!
If you have diabetes, make sure you eat the right amount of carbohydrate at once. Your dietitian can help you learn how much carbohydrate is right for you.
Also, this smoothie is packed with 6 grams of fiber! Having fiber (and protein!) with carbohydrate can help stabilize blood sugar.
How To Make a Low Oxalate Smoothie
Gather Your Low Oxalate Smoothie Ingredients
Here are all the ingredients in this low oxalate smoothie.
I love bananas in smoothies. They give an unbeatable creaminess and delicious flavor.
I went with frozen cherries for this low oxalate smoothie. But, you can use any low oxalate fruit you love!
Frozen fruit is perfect for smoothies because it adds some texture. Plus, it tends to be cheaper than fresh fruit and doesn’t go bad in your refrigerator! Just double check that the fruit you buy doesn’t have added sugar. Most doesn’t!
Fresh or canned fruit works perfectly well too! Look for canned fruit in juice or light syrup to keep added sugar down.
Milk & Yogurt
These ingredients give our low oxalate smoothie some protein and a ton of calcium. All this calcium is a huge bonus for people with calcium oxalate kidney stones!
Flaxseed gives some extra body and texture to our smoothie. Even better, flaxseed gives our smoothie a huge boost of fiber!
Don’t worry, flaxseed is a low oxalate seed.
Get the Right Smoothie Making Equipment
Of course, you can’t make a tasty, smooth smoothie without the proper tools. Unfortunately, most stand or stick blenders just won’t do the trick. Especially if you use frozen fruit (or ice!).
I’m obsessed with my NutriBullet Pro*! I especially love that you can make your smoothie in the same cup that you drink it in. Who doesn’t love cutting down on dishes? Plus, the NutriBullet Pro* doesn’t take up much space on my counter.
Make Your Own Low Oxalate Smoothie!
The options for low oxalate smoothies are endless. This recipe is one of my favorite combinations, but I highly encourage you to experiment with your own favorite ingredients!
Step 1: Choose Your Liquid
Plain old cow’s milk is an ideal calcium source for people with calcium oxalate kidney stones. But, if you prefer, here are some other great options to add liquid to your smoothie:
- Coconut milk
- Rice milk
- Hemp milk
- Oat milk
- Water will work too!
If you have high urine oxalate on a 24-hour urine test, be mindful of the oxalate in some plant based milks.
I would also advise against fruit juice. Fruit juice adds extra sugar, without more fiber. Plus, your smoothie liquid is a chance to get in that very important calcium!
Step 2: Mix It Up with Low Oxalate Fruits
I love cherries! But, there are tons of other wonderful low oxalate fruits to use. Here are some of my other favorites:
- Apples or unsweetened applesauce
Step 3: Consider Low Oxalate Nuts & Seeds
Nuts and seeds add a little protein, tons of fiber and heart healthy fat to your smoothie. Nuts and seeds are often ostracized on a low oxalate diet, but there are plenty of low oxalate nuts & seeds to choose from!
Step 4: Add Low Oxalate Veggies (optional)
I personally don’t love vegetables in my smoothie. I prefer to get my veggies in at other meals. But if you love veggies in your smoothie, you can absolutely add them!
Here are some great low oxalate options:
Remember, if you don’t have high urine oxalate, ANY vegetable (even the high oxalate ones!) are great additions for your smoothie.
Can you Make a Low Oxalate Green Smoothie?
Of course! You just need to use lower oxalate green ingredients to make a low oxalate green smoothie. Many “go-to” green smoothie ingredients, like spinach, are very high in oxalate
Check out this post about low oxalate greens to get some ideas!
Low Oxalate Smoothie
- 1/2 banana
- 1/2 cup frozen cherries (or other low oxalate fruit)
- 1 tablespoon flaxseed
- 1/2 cup 2% milk (or plain kefir)
- 1/4 cup lowfat plain yogurt
- Combine all ingredients in a blender.
- Blend until smooth.
28 thoughts on “Low Oxalate Smoothie”
I started with vegi shakes years ago after a co-worker told me to watch Fat, Sick and Neatly dead because of extreme eczema I was having all over my body. Anyway, that’s the reason I started.
Instead of juicing, I though everything it my Nutro bullet pro whole. I don’t mind the texture and figured it was healthier to keep the fiber. I used all kinds of greens, spinach, etc. I replaced breakfast with these smoothies and ate regularly for lunch and dinner. after a couple years I got my first kidney stone that sent me to the hospital. Several kidney stones later and I started checking if the smoothies could possibly be causing it. First thing on the list, spinach. So I’ve cut most of the stuff out of my vegi shakes.
Now my typical morning shakes usually include a tomato, a banana, a little broccoli, some Kale, a couple strawberries and grapes. Now I’m worried about broccoli as I’ve heard it may be bad for stone sufferers. Is it? And also your thoughts on this combo 5 times week for breakfast before going to work.
Also, I never really searched on smoothies before, just on ingredients I was using. Searching Smoothies brought up your article an enlightened me that people were using milk, yogurt, frozen fruits, etc. in their smoothies. Here’s I’ve been suffering through the taste of what I make (actually got use to it and it’s not so bad).
Hi James! I’m glad you are considering balancing your shakes a bit more. I truly cannot comment on what is good for you without reviewing your 24-hour urine test results. Nutrition for kidney stones is completely different and is really more about learning how to build healthy meal PATTERNS and not about “good” and “bad” foods for stones. I’d love to help you further in Kidney Stone Nutrition School!
Melanie, I love your enthusiasm about the low oxalate diet. I do have a question about kale. My Dr just told me after a year now that Kale is a bad one. He says avoid any leafy dark greens and Southern cooking. High numbers of kidney stone patients apparently in the South. What is your opinion. I was disappointed that my yearly visit didn’t go as I’d hoped it would. I traveled a bunch and probably ate more salt in my foods. Thanks for your positive advice and suggestions.
Thanks, Zena! I’m actually passionate about making sure people actually NEED a low oxalate diet – and most people do not. However, it is something to consider for some people with stones. Kale is actually a very low oxalate veggie. Advice to just avoid “all green leafy veggies” is quite frankly just lazy and removes many healthy veggies unnecessarily!
I haven’t tried it yet but this is the most helpful recipe I have found yet! Would like to know if there is any way to incorporate fresh lemon and honey to your recipes.
I’m glad this is helpful! And sure! You could certainly add lemon or honey to this recipe. Honey of course, adds sugar, carbohydrate and calories to the nutrition information provided.
Did you leave out the sodium count on this recipe? I didn’t see it and I know there is sodium in milk. I am lookin for healthy recipes because I am Stage 4 Congestive Heart failure. Thanks.
Whoops! Yes that was an accident. There is about 104mg of sodium in this recipe. Fixed!
Are Kodiak cakes high in oxalates? My husband has had calcium kidney stones due to a small intestine resection. My friend gave me a box Kodiak cake to make my husband high protein pancakes, and I am not sure this is good for him to eat.
Hi Jane! It would depend on which Kodiak cakes. You can check out the ingredients for products like this. This post about low oxalate bread will likely be helpful for your investigation!
Avocados are very high in oxalates and should not be listed as low oxalate smoothie options.
Carrots cooked are moderate but carrots raw are high!!!
Not a good article for low oxalate eating at all.
Hello! There is no official definition of a “low oxalate” food. Even foods with slightly higher oxalate amounts can be included if portion size is considered. I like to focus on ways to include MORE foods for people, rather than arbitrarily completely avoiding entire lists of foods.
I have avocados nearly every day. I love raw carrots 🥕 peppers with hummus So I need to cut these out of my diet completely!! I hate having Kidney stones they are a nitemare. I’ve had to cut out so in my diet. And the annoying thing is I eat really healthy. I so gutted about spinach almonds Almond butters protien powder chard sweet potato spinach. I drink matcha 🍵 is this ok. I have it every day plus lots of water.
Chances are you definitely DO NOT need to cut out avocadoes or carrots completely from your diet. The first step is to see what your urine oxalate numbers are and if oxalate is even contributing to your kidney stones. Even if it is, incorporating some of these moderate oxalate foods is COMPLETELY do-able, and is probably good for you! Completely avoiding oxalate results in a very unhealthy diet since it so severely restricts so many healthy fruits and veggies (carrots and avocadoes included!). Helping people balance all of this is exactly what I do in my course, Kidney Stone Nutrition School!
Coco, I think matcha tea is very high in oxalates, as they grind up the leaves into a powder. It is not an infusion, you are drinking the leaf powder. Better check!
Can you add pumpkin seeds in place of flax seeds?
Sure! I would make sure you have a REALLY strong blender – otherwise I could see those pumpkin seeds being sort of “strawy” and adding a weird texture. But otherwise, they would absolutely work!
Sounds great! But wish it were dairy free… 🙁
Feel free to adjust the recipe to meet your needs! Here is some information about dairy free alternatives.
I am allergic to bananas. What can I use to place of to create the same type of creaminess?
This smooothie is pretty thick and creamy from the milk and yogurt already. I might just swap in another of your favorite fruits for that banana!
I use 65 grams of frozen grated zucchini to thicken up smoothies. Zucchini has a mild taste; you won’t notice you have a vegetable in your smoothie.
That sounds so good. I will have to try it..thanks
Let us know what you think!
This is similar to the smoothie I’ve been making-but I add a tablespoon of apple cider vinegar.
If you like the taste of the apple cider vinegar, there is no reason you can’t add it! However, there is no research to suggest apple cider vinegar helps with stones if that is why you are adding it!
I love my smoothies. I learned to add a teaspoon of sugar free instant pudding mix to my smoothie. It gives it a great thick and creamy texture. I also freeze banana slices as my bananas begin to get too ripe. Sometimes I do the frozen fruit and pudding with just a little skim milk and eat it like soft serve ice cream. My favorite is frozen banana with banana cream pudding mix and just about a half cup of skim milk. I have even put it on an ice cream cone for a refreshing fat free treat. Frozen strawberries with frozen bananas, vanilla pudding mix and a little orange juice as my liquid taste like eating a rainbow sherbet.
I love it! I’ve never tried that pudding mix trick. I’ll have to try it!