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16 Simple Renal Diet Smoothie Recipes – Renal.PlatoHealth.ai

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Are you looking for tasty way to add more nutrients in your diet while also delighting your taste buds? Then these renal diet smoothie recipes are for you!

Smoothies are perfect for a quick breakfast on-the-go or a snack to make sure you have reached your nutritional needs for the day. 

In this article we will explore what ingredients are appropriate for chronic kidney disease (CKD) and dialysis, the benefits of smoothies, offer tips on how to enjoy smoothies according to individual needs, and explore some pre-made nutrition drink options. 

Table of Contents

Understanding the Importance of Potassium and Protein in the Renal Diet

The kidneys regulate how much potassium is in your body. When kidneys aren’t working properly, excess consumption of potassium can’t be excreted and can build up in the blood.

Potassium needs are individualized. Those with CKD may not need to limit potassium intake. However, those that have very low kidney function or on dialysis may need to follow a low potassium diet. 

Choosing low potassium smoothie ingredients will be important.

Protein needs vary as well depending on the stage of CKD. A low protein diet is recommended for those not on dialysis to slow progression of the disease. 

Dialysis requires a high protein intake due to losses during treatment. High protein food choices are beneficial and smoothies are a great way to get additional protein. 

Carrot cake smoothie in a clear mason jar with a green bowl filled with sliced carrots and pineaplpe in the background
Carrot Cake Smoothie

The Role of Smoothies in a Renal Diet

Smoothies enhance kidney health and overall health by providing various benefits such as: 

Hydration: usually made with milk, water or ice which provides fluid

Vitamins and Minerals: packed with healthy ingredients provides a great source of essential nutrients

Fiber: adding whole fruits and vegetables instead of juices to smoothies increase the fiber content to keep you regular, improve cholesterol levels, and keeps you feeling full.

Protein: adding high protein foods or powders to smoothies can help meet daily protein needs and help regulate blood sugar levels

Antioxidants: using various fruits and vegetables in smoothies provide beneficial sources of help ride free radicals

Convenience: a delicious smoothie makes a quick and easy breakfast or snack to enjoy or take with on the go!

Balanced meal: smoothies offer protein, carbohydrates, healthy fats provide a well rounded nutritious meal

Selecting Low Potassium Fruits and Vegetables

Depending on potassium needs, the following charts can help you select the best fruits and vegetables to add to renal diet smoothies.

Potassium in Vegetables. A list of high potassium vegetables and low potassium vegetables
Potassium in fruits. An infographic with a list of low potassium fruits and high potassium fruits.

Protein Sources for Renal Diet Smoothie Recipes

Smoothies can be a easy way to get additional protein. The recommendation for CKD is a lower protein diet with plant sources of protein. 

Plant-based proteins for smoothies:

Silken tofu

Nut butters: peanut, almond, cashews

Seeds: chia, hemp, flax, sunflower

Powders: pea, rice, hemp

Dialysis requires a high protein diet and smoothies are a wonderful way to add more protein to your daily intake.

High protein choices in smoothies for dialysis:

Whey protein powder: look for no added phosphate in the ingredients 

Yogurt: regular or greek yogurt

Milk: Cows milk

Any plant sources of protein listed above

Choosing the right protein powder

Protein powder can have some added ingredients that the kidneys aren’t able to process easily. For CKD, it likely isn’t necessary to consume protein powder due to low protein needs, but if it’s difficult to get adequate protein in, protein powders can be help

When looking for protein powders on dialysis, be sure to look for one that has at least 20 grams of protein, no added phosphorus, and 20% or less potassium. 

Controlling Fluid Intake in Smoothies

Dialysis may require a fluid restriction as the kidney function declines and produces less urine. When enjoying smoothies on dialysis, it’s important to count the smoothie volume as part of your daily fluid allowance. 

Portion size will need to be adjusted and smoothie size should be 8 ounces or 1 cup. 

Any extra smoothie can be placed in an airtight container in the freezer and enjoyed the next day.

Renal Diet Smoothie Recipes: Ingredient Selection

Here are some ideas to include kidney healthy smoothie recipes.

Base: almond milk, cows milk, soy milk, rice milk, oat milk, water

Fruit: (fresh, frozen, or canned) berries, pineapple, banana, apples, applesauce, peaches, pears

Vegetables: kale, pumpkin, cauliflower, cucumber, celery, spinach

Protein: tofu, protein powder, nut butters, seeds

Sugar: natural sweeteners such as honey, agave, stevia, fruit

Add in: granola, chia seeds, hemp seeds, sliced almonds, ginger, cinnamon

Apple pie smoothie in a small mason jar with a yellow straw and an apple displayed in the background.
Apple Pie Smoothie

Blending Tips for Renal Diet Smoothie Recipes

To get the best results for smoothies, it’s important to have a high speed blender.  This allows the ingredients to incorporate well and blend frozen ingredients with ease. 

If you don’t have a high speed blender, you may need to chop up the fruit into bite sized pieces in order to blenderize without issue. This will save you time and be less tough on your blender. 

I recommend adding the base ingredients to the blender first, which is liquids, then add the fruits and vegetables, protein, and finally the add in ingredients last. 

For smoothie bowl, which results in a thicker product, you can add less liquid. Pour into a bowl and eat with a spoon. Smoothie bowls would be a great option for those on a fluid restriction.

What about Pre-made Protein Smoothies and Supplements?

Most of the pre-made smoothies and supplements have added ingredients such as potassium, sodium, and phosphorus. It’s best to make smoothies from home, but if you need a grab-and-go supplement on occasion, these are what I recommend:

For CKD:

For Dialysis:

Renal Diet Smoothie Recipes

For higher protein smoothie, add vanilla protein powder to any of the smoothie recipes. I like Orgain or Bob’s Red Mill. You may need to add more milk if you plan to use protein powder.

I recommend Silk almond milk in these recipes because it doesn’t have any added phosphates.

For each smoothie, blend ingredients together in a high-speed blender and enjoy! All recipes serve 1.

Apple Pie Smoothie

1/2 cup unsweetened applesauce

1/4 cup unsweetened almond milk

1/2 frozen medium banana

1 Tablespoon peanut butter

1/2 Tablespoon maple syrup

1 teaspoon vanilla extract

1/4 teaspoon cinnamon

1 pinch of nutmeg & allspice

3 ice cubes

Nutrition: Calories 237, Fat 9 g, Carb 38 g, Protein 4.5 g, Fiber 5 g, Sodium 112 mg, Potassium 466 mg

Carrot Cake Smoothie

1/2 cup cooked and cooled chopped carrots

1/2 cup vanilla yogurt

1/2 frozen medium banana

1/2 cup unsweetened almond milk

1/2 cup frozen pineapple

2 Tablespoons Walnuts

1/4 teaspoon cinnamon

pinch of nutmeg

Nutrition: Calories 301, Fat 8 g, Carb 45 g, Protein 13.6 g, Fiber 6 g, Sodium 173 mg, Potassium 567 mg

Blueberry Blast

1 cup frozen blueberries

1 cup almond milk

1/2 frozen cauliflower rice

1/2 medium frozen banana

1 tablespoon almond butter or peanut butter

Nutrition: Calories 258, Fat 12 g, Carb 33 g, Protein 7 g, Fiber 7 g, Sodium 233 mg, Potassium 551 mg

Mixed Berry Delight

1 cup almond milk

1 cup frozen mixed berries

1/2 cup vanilla greek yogurt

1/2 frozen banana

Nutrition: Calories 273, Fat 2.5 g, Carb 60.5 g, Protein 6.7 g, Fiber 7.5 g, Sodium 257 mg, Potassium 644 mg

Peachy Keen

1 cup frozen sliced peaches (or frozen from canned in water or juice)

1/2 cup cauliflower rice

1/2 cup almond milk

1/2 cup vanilla greek yogurt

1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract

Nutrition: Calories 238, Fat 1.2g, Carbs 40g, Protein 11.5 g, Fiber 1.7 g, Sodium 154 mg, Potassium 322 mg

Strawberry Fields

1 cup almond milk

1/2 cup vanilla greek yogurt

1 cup frozen strawberries

1/2 frozen medium banana

Nutrition: Calories: 209, Fat 2.6 g, Carb 33.5 g, Protein, 11.5 g, Fiber 3.5g, Sodium 214 mg, Potassium 630 mg

Pumpkin Spice

1/4 cup pumpkin puree

1/2 cup vanilla yogurt

1/2 frozen banana

1 Tablespoon almond butter

1 teaspoon vanilla extract

1/2 teaspoon pumpkin pie spice

1 Tablespoon ground flax seed

Nutrition: 385, Fat 12 g, Carb 61 g, Protein 10 g, Fiber 6.5 g, Sodium 97.5 mg, Potassium 758 mg

Pear Ginger

1 cup frozen pears (or frozen from canned in juice or water)

1 cup almond milk

1/2 cup vanilla greek yogurt

1/4 teaspoon ground ginger or 1 Tablespoon fresh

1 Tablespoon honey

Nutrition: Calories 273, Fat 2.5 g, Carbs 52.5 g, Protein 11 g, Fiber 5.5 g, Sodium 219 mg, Potassium 458 mg

Tropical Glow

1/2 cup almond milk

1/2 cup vanilla greek yogurt

1/2 cup frozen pineapple

1/2 frozen banana

1 mandarin orange (or 1/2 cup canned in juice or water)

Nutrition: Calories 232, Fat 1.5 g, Carbs 43 g, Protein 11 g, Fiber 3.4 g, Sodium 127 mg, Potassium 523 mg

Cool Cucumber

1 cup almond milk

1/2 cup silken tofu

1/2 cucumber, peeled

1 cup spinach or kale

1/2 cup frozen pineapple

1 tablespoon hemp seeds

1/2 tablespoon honey

Nutrition: Calories 176, Fat 7 g, Carbs 25.8 g, Protein 6 g, Fiber 4.6 g, Sodium 177 mg, Potassium 217 mg

Banana Nut

1/2 cup almond milk

1/2 cup vanilla yogurt

1/2 frozen banana

1 tablespoon peanut butter

2 tablespoons walnuts

1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract

1/2 tablespoon honey

Nutrition: Calories 346, Fat 16 g, Carbs 42 g, Protein 10 g, Fiber 3 g, Sodium 215 mg, Potassium 610 mg

Easy Breezy

1/2 cup frozen strawberries

1/2 cup frozen pineapple

1 mandarin orange

1/2 cup almond milk

1/2 cup vanilla yogurt

1 Tablespoon chia seeds

Nutrition: Calories 371, Fat 6.3 g, Carbs 77 g, Protein 8 g, Fiber 8 g, Sodium 156 mg, Potassium 678 mg

Tutti Frutti

​1/2 cup almond milk

1/2 vanilla greek yogurt

1/2 cup canned fruit cocktail

Nutrition: Calories 255, Fat 10g, Carbs 27.3 g, Protein 17g, Fiber 2 g, Sodium 206.8 mg, Potassium 485 mg

Watermelon 

​1 cup frozen diced watermelon

1/2 cup frozen strawberries

1/4 cup vanilla greek yogurt

1/4 cup almond milk

1/2 tablespoon honey

mint leaves (optional)

Nutrition: Calories 248, Fat 1.2 g, Carbs 55.3 g, Protein 6.7g, Fiber 3 g, Sodium 65.7 mg, Potassium 362 mg

Cran-Apple

1/2 cup cranberry juice

1/2 cup applesauce

1/2 cup vanilla yogurt

1/8 teaspoon cinnamon

Nutrition: Calories 205, Fat 0.2 g, Carbs 48.6 g, Protein 4 g, Fiber 2.3 g, Sodium 70 mg, Potassium 356.5 mg

Razzle Dazzle

1/2 cup frozen raspberries

1/2 frozen pineapple

1 cup almond milk

1/2 cup greek vanilla yogurt

1 tablespoon almond butter

Nutrition: Calories 303, Fat 12 g, Carbs 35 g, Protein 15 g, Fiber 8.7 g, Sodium 235 mg, Potassium 498 mg

Recap on Renal Diet Smoothie Recipes

​Smoothies can be a refreshing way to get more nutrients into your renal diet. By choosing low potassium fruit and vegetables, you can be sure to meet you potassium requirements if you are on a low potassium diet. 

Smoothies count toward your allotted fluid requirement so be sure to include this in you daily fluid intake. 

By adding protein powders and other higher protein foods to smoothies can boost your protein intake and help meet your protein requirements for the day.

Enjoy a smoothie for breakfast or a quick snack to add more servings of fruits and vegetables to you renal diet.