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Berry Buttermilk Smoothie

This vibrant Buttermilk Smoothie is super easy to make with just 3 ingredients. It is a quick and easy breakfast or snack, and is loaded with healthy nutrients, antioxidants, and probiotics. And best of all? It is DELICIOUS!!

This recipe is a great way to use up leftover buttermilk.

Berry buttermilk smoothie in a jar
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Healthy buttermilk smoothie

I believe in eating the rainbow, or in this case, drinking the rainbow.

This buttermilk smoothie is a GREAT way to start the day. It has just 3 ingredients: buttermilk, mixed berries, and agave syrup (or you can use a sweetener of your choice).

This is a GREAT way to use leftover buttermilk after you've made pancakes (try my buttermilk churro pancakes!). But I bet after you try this smoothie you will be buying buttermilk specifically for this recipe, because it is so good!

Don't just skip down to the recipe though, read this post to see WHY this smoothie is so good for you, get tips for how to make this smoothie, and get lots of ideas for healthy smoothie add-ins!

Mixed berry buttermilk smoothie in a cup

Related recipe: Healthy Papaya Shake

Benefits of buttermilk

You might be used to using buttermilk for pancakes, then forgetting about it in the fridge only to find it weeks later and tossing it in the trash. And I am here to encourage you to drink your buttermilk because it is SO GOOD FOR YOU!

Buttermilk is high in calcium, which is good for strengthening bones and teeth. And buttermilk is loaded with probiotic bacteria, which help with keeping your gut healthy. Many manufacturers also add vitamins A and D to buttermilk.

Cup of buttermilk

Related recipe: Chocolate Avocado Smoothie

Can you drink buttermilk if you are lactose intolerant?

Buttermilk is made by fermenting milk with lactic acid-producing bacteria, such as Lactococcus lactis or Lactobacillus bulgaricus. Probiotic foods help digest lactose (source), so buttermilk may be better tolerated than milk if you are sensitive to lactose. Of course, check with your doctor and go slow at first. 🙂

How to make a buttermilk smoothie

I found that the perfect ratio for a smoothie is to use 1 cup of buttermilk,  1.5 cups of frozen mixed berries, and about a tablespoon of agave syrup (or you favorite sweetener). Simply add everything to a blender and process until smooth. I have a Blendtec blender and it is AMAZING for smoothies because it pulverizes most seeds in berries, making a smooth drink. 

If you are afraid you might find the buttermilk flavor to be too strong, you can use less buttermilk and add milk, water, or yogurt as well to make about 1 cup of total liquid ingredients.'

Related recipe: Coffee Smoothie

What kind of buttermilk to use

I used a fat-free buttermilk because I want to keep the calories down, but feel free to use low-fat or full-fat buttermilk if you prefer the flavor or if you need more fats in your diet.

I recommend an unsweetened, unflavored buttermilk, because then you can control the flavor by using berries and adding agave syrup (or honey or other sweetener of choice) to the smoothie.

What kind of berries to use

I love frozen mixed berries in smoothies. It's easy, it's tasty, and it gives me a variety of nutrients from the different kinds of berries. You can also use one type of frozen berry (blueberries, raspberries, blackberries, strawberries, or even pitted cherries), or use any other frozen fruit you like (mango, peaches, nectarines, bananas). Just use 1.5 cups of frozen fruit or berries for this smoothie.

This buttermilk smoothie would also be AMAZING with mulberries, if you can get your hands on fresh mulberries during mulberry season. The combination of creamy buttermilk with mulberries is delicious, just like the combination of berries and cream in mulberry ice cream.

You might need to adjust the amount of sweetener based on how sweet your berries are. For example, wild frozen blueberries are typically pretty tart, so I would want to up the amount of agave syrup if using only blueberries!

Related recipe: Ultimate Smoothie Ingredients

Do I have to add sweetener?

I tried this smoothie without adding a sweetener and it just wasn't as good. Buttermilk is pretty tart on its own so it really needs a little bit of added sweetness, even when blended with berries.

If you decide to make a banana buttermilk smoothie though, you might get away without adding any other sugar, since ripe bananas are pretty sweet!

Either way, you can start without any added sugar, give it a try, and blend in some agave or other sweetener if you find that it really needs something for sweetness. Or use a sugar-free keto-friendly sweetener if you prefer!

Can I use fresh berries?

If you want to use fresh berries for this smoothie, then I recommend adding a few cubes of ice to cool the smoothie down and give it a thicker texture, otherwise blending fresh berries with buttermilk will result in a very thin smoothie!

But don't shy away from frozen berries. Fruit (and all produce) starts losing nutrients from the moment it is picked from the vine or the tree. Freezing fruit stops the loss of nutrients. So frozen fruit (and vegetables) may actually contain MORE nutrients than fresh berries by the time you get them from a large grocery store.

Of course, if you pick berries or get them freshly picked from a local farmer then that is the best option. But frozen ain't so bad! Besides, it makes for convenient smoothies. 😉

The other alternative is to use fresh berries and frozen buttermilk (see below).

Can I use frozen buttermilk?

Yes! I often freeze buttermilk in ice cube trays to use for later. I really have no idea how much probiotic goodness it retains that way, but I imagine it still has probiotic benefits, since frozen yogurt companies claim that their products have probiotic benefits.

Important tip for using frozen buttermilk for smoothies: You're going to need to add a splash of water or milk to thin out the smoothie and make sure it blends well. If you try it with just frozen buttermilk and berries, the blender might not blend it well at first.

Can I use kefir instead of buttermilk?

Yes! You can use unflavored / unsweetened kefir to make this smoothie. It also contains gut-healthy probiotic bacteria. Here is the difference between kefir and buttermilk, if you care to read more. 

Fun fact: In Russian, the word "kefir" actually means buttermilk! So if you go to a Russian/Slavik/Eastern European store and look in the dairy section, you'll need to look for the word "Kefir" to find the buttermilk.

Can I just buy flavored kefir or flavored buttermilk instead of making a smoothie?

Great question. Recently, buttermilk and kefir (and other fermented beverages) have grown in popularity so many brands are making ready-to-drink buttermilk smoothies, such as strawberry kefir or blueberry buttermilk.

And I admit, those are delicious. But making this smoothie is SO MUCH HEALTHIER.

This is because the packaged drinks have flavor (and maybe a couple of berries) blended into the buttermilk or kefir, plus sugar to add compensate for the lack of real berries. This buttermilk smoothie is LOADED with 1.5 cups of berries!! Just look at the rich color and you will see that it is a healthier choice.

Other smoothie add-ins:

This adding any of the following to this kefir smoothie before blending (though, maybe not all at once). 

Start with a half a tablespoon of each if you're not sure how much to add at first. You can always blend more in, but you can't remove it!

I hope you enjoy this smoothie as much as we do! If you end up making it, please let me know what you end up adding to it, and please take a picture and tag me on INSTAGRAM or FACEBOOK. You can find me at @babaganoshblog on both. I love seeing your creations!

Looking for more easy healthy blended breakfasts?

If you enjoyed this recipe, let me know with a comment and a star rating below. And don't forget to share it on Facebook and save it on Pinterest for later!/

Berry buttermilk smoothie in a jar
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5 from 1 vote

Buttermilk Smoothie

Just 3 ingredients to make this delicious, healthy, probiotic-rich smoothie! Use your favorite frozen mixed berries or frozen fruit. Read the notes below for lots of healthy and tasty smoothie add-ins.
Prep Time5 mins
Total Time5 mins
Course: Breakfast, Snack
Cuisine: American
Diet: Gluten Free, Kosher, Vegetarian
Servings: 1
Author: Kate

Ingredients

  • 1 cup buttermilk
  • 1.5 cups frozen berries (mixed, or frozen fruit of your choice)
  • 1 tablespoon agave syrup or maple syrup or honey
  • See notes for optional add-ins

Special equipment

Instructions

  • Combine all the ingredients in a blender, and process until smooth. Garnish with fresh or frozen berries.

Notes

Optional smoothie add-ins:
To use fresh berries, add a few ice cubes to the smoothie. Another option is to freeze buttermilk in ice cube trays and use that with fresh berries and a splash of milk or water. 
To omit sweetener, you can add a ripe banana and reduce the berries to 1 cup.

Nutrition

Calories: 332kcal (17%) | Carbohydrates: 56g (19%) | Protein: 9g (18%) | Fat: 10g (15%) | Saturated Fat: 5g (25%) | Cholesterol: 26mg (9%) | Sodium: 255mg (11%) | Potassium: 450mg (13%) | Fiber: 6g (24%) | Sugar: 46g (51%) | Vitamin A: 503IU (10%) | Vitamin C: 6mg (7%) | Calcium: 295mg (30%) | Iron: 1mg (6%)

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