Adding citrus to your green smoothie


You sure can tell when spring is here—  Allergies. Colds. Diet ads promising to get you in shape for bikini season. Not our favorite things, for sure. Then there's the farmer's market, the local garden center opening their outdoor section and the birds chirping by your window. Now that's what we LOVE about spring!

Citrus fruits are filled with vitamin C, fiber, and a fresh taste. If want to truly capture all the benefits that citrus fruits can provide then try blending them whole with your green smoothies (just make sure they are organic if you do the peel and all).

  • Vitamin C is good for beating the common cold and for bolstering your immune system.
  • Fiber slows digesting, which means it is good for weight control by keeping you full and sustains blood sugar levels more evenly for those that struggle to fight diabetes.
  • The fleshy parts of citrus fruits is where you find the fiber, which is one of the biggest reasons to blend them whole instead of using fruit juice.

The fresh and delightful taste of these citrus fruits will make this challenge a breeze, so we encourage you to try as many different kinds as you can. To help you do this we have made a list of our favorite citrus fruits, their benefits, and some “best practices” to help you blend away.


Health benefits of citrus:

lemon green smoothieLemon

When life gives you lemons, make green smoothies! Their tart flavor comes from citric acid which is a contributing factor in causing less kidney stones. Lemons are also a natural diuretic helping the body to flush fluids regularly. Don't be afraid to add a whole lemon to your smoothie–especially with sweet berries and fruits–for all the nutrients and natural flavors.


clementines green smoothieClementines

Ever thought of involving your kids in making green smoothies? Try using clementines! They are easy to peel, seedless, and have a sweet taste. They also contain fiber, potassium, and calcium for healthy bone growth and formation. Kids love making new concoctions of flavors, especially when they get to hit the button that says, “Blend.”



If you are looking to make a change from constantly eating fast food, then look no further than the orange. To go along with Vitamin C and fiber that come in all citrus fruits, they are low in calories, sodium free, and filled with potassium. This means that they keep you full, help to maintain and lose weight, and support a healthy blood pressure. Their nutrients and zesty taste make them a great partner for those raw leafy greens in your everyday smoothie.


bloodorangeBlood orange
Blood oranges are almost nutritionally identical to oranges, but vary in their color and taste. Their pulp is deeper red than an orange, and they contain a taste that is more similar to raspberries. One nutritional difference to highlight is that blood oranges contain a healthy amount of folate–Vitamin B9–which is essential to the early development of the fetus in pregnant women. For this reason we recommend nursing mothers to use blood oranges regularly in green smoothies.


lime green smoothie

The acids found in a lime are are a boost to skin and stomach health. These potent acids exfoliate skin, which help to shed dead skin cells from our body. Skin exfoliation is helpful during winter months when dry skin and dandruff seem unbeatable. Limes' potent acids also fight cholera, which is an intestinal infection caused by eating contaminated foods. Throw a lime in with a cilantro-based smoothie for a pleasant surprise!


grapefruit green smoothieGrapefruit

Carotenoids, limonoids, pectin fiber. These are the all-star nutrients for grapefruits. Carotenoids are powerful with preventing disease and cancers. Limonoids turn toxins into material that can be easily flushed. Pectin fiber makes your heart happy by lowering cholesterol and risk of heart disease. A consistent diet of grapefruit will give your body a diverse amount of health benefits, not to mention a delicious, tangy flavor.


tangelos green smoothiesTangelos
Tangelos carry similar benefits to many other citrus fruits, but some of their greatest may be in the bottom of your trash can. Though tangelo peels may carry a punch of tartness, they also carry coumarins and terpenes. These are phytochemicals that are known for their enhanced ability to fight cancer. Be careful! Not every blender is able to chew up citrus peels. Try cutting the peels up before throwing them into your pitcher to keep your motor and blades running smoothly.


tangerines green smoothieTangerine
The tangerine is another example of a citrus fruit with a power-packed peel. The fruit inside is low in fat and calories, cholesterol-free, sodium-free, and carries many cancer and disease fighting antioxidants. But the peel is especially effective with lowering bad cholesterol, while maintaining good cholesterol, which is an important distinction! Tangerines have a sought after sweet and tart taste, which makes them a great choice for your next green smoothie.


Sweet tip: If you want to truly capture all the benefits that citrus fruits can provide, then try blending them whole with your green smoothies (just make sure they are organic if you use the peel and all. Don't go crazy on the peels because the taste is strong (Jen figured that out the hard way).

All these citrus fruits carry a healthy dose of vitamin C and fiber, but many of them have their own, special traits that make them unique. We encourage you to try as many different varieties as you can! Look for which citrus fruits will give you the benefits that you need, and then experiment with different combinations to find something that you love. Giving your body the nutrients it needs is simple, fun, and tastes good, too! Cheers!


Roely 10.13.2015 at 5:00 pm

If you blend whole citrus fruit should we worry about pesticides?

SGS Rawkstar 10.14.2015 at 4:07 am

Hi Roely,

Yes! Especially if you’re including the peel! Try to reach for organic citrus + give your citrus a great wash (not just rinse) prior to blending. Learn how we wash our produce here…

Karen 7.24.2015 at 6:59 pm

I saw an earlier comment concerned with the potential greater difficulty in absorbing calcium from plant sources. Just wanted to share that sesame seeds, & so also tahini, are excellent calcium sources. They’re also both really good in smoothies, too, especially those with bananas or avocados as some of the ingredients.

SGS Rawkstar 7.24.2015 at 7:05 pm

Hi Karen,

Great tips! Thank you so much for sharing!

Cheers 🙂

Charvee 7.14.2015 at 11:13 pm

Wouldn’t the lemon seeds give a really bitter flavour to the smoothie? Is there a way to cut that bitterness if adding by mistake?

SGS Rawkstar 7.15.2015 at 11:04 am

Hi Charvee,

Great question! I’ve blended the seeds and haven’t found a bitter taste. If you find your smoothie bitter, try adding a natural sweetener to help balance the favors. Here are a few of our favorites…

SmoothieNewbie 8.7.2015 at 2:37 pm

I just cut a lemon in half and squeeze each half into a small sieve. The sieve is just the width of a coffee cup. No seeds go in. Dump the seeds, pour in the juice.

lindamay 6.21.2015 at 5:41 pm

I had read recently that drying orange peels and grinding them makes it easier to add natural vitamin c to your smoothies. always looking for an easier way, i tried adding the whole orange to a green smoothie, (base was blood orange water kefir) and found that the taste was not bitter. I am wondering if there is much difference in the amount of vitamin c between the two options?

SGS Rawkstar 6.22.2015 at 7:52 pm

Hi Lindamay,

We love including fresh citrus peel in our smoothies. The peel is packed full with fiber + vitamins! But we’d hate for the rest of the fruit to feel left out. In addition to containing many of the same benefits of the peel, the citrus pulp’s pectin helps lower cholesterol, ease digestion and improve the removal of fat and harmful chemicals from the body.

elly 6.8.2015 at 11:01 am

Don’t forget to mention that it is more difficult to absorb the calcium from plant based sources like broccoli, spinach and kale,etc. So MUCH more is needed to be ingested to meet the RDA and above, because not all that is in the plant is absorbed….
Calcium is often bound more tightly with other nutritients when in plants.

SGS Rawkstar 6.9.2015 at 7:02 am

Hi Elly,

We prefer to get our calcium from plant-based sources. It’s definitely a personal choice, and you just have to decide what works best for you.

FlavaDave 5.27.2015 at 11:53 pm

Whoa! I always heard that the only citrus rind that was safe to consume was lemon, and the others had a toxic oil or some toxic component..? (akin to citronella?) Great web site btw.. I wound up here when I searched Blendtec vs Vitamix…

SGS Rawkstar 5.28.2015 at 6:36 am

Hi Dave,

A major concern with eating a citrus peel is its origin. If you eat a non-organic peel, you could be eating a peel steeped in chemicals. Unless the citrus came from a certified organic farm or orchard and displays a white and green USDA Certified Organic sticker, there is no way to know what types of chemical pesticides or herbicides invaded the peel.

Don’t go crazy on the peels because the taste is strong (Jen figured that out the hard way)!

Claire 5.8.2015 at 5:07 pm

In this article, it says to not be afraid of putting a whole lemon into your smoothie. Do you have any smoothie recipes incorporating lemon? If so, I am very interested in trying some! 🙂

Cristina 4.20.2015 at 6:32 pm

Do you guys have any advice in prepping oranges for smoothies? Or do you guys just blend seeds and all?

SGS Rawkstar 4.20.2015 at 8:10 pm

Hi Cristina,

I like to peel my orange, and blend the segments (w/ seeds) + liquid base before adding any other ingredients or leafy greens. It helps ensure I get a really smooth creamy consistency!

If your blender is a power house (like a Vitamix or Blendtec), blend the oranges whole! You’ll truly capture all the benefits that citrus fruits can provide (just make sure they are organic if you use the peel and all. Don’t go crazy on the peels because the taste is strong (Jen figured that out the hard way).

Too add a little bit of the nutrients from the peel and whites of the orange, without overdoing it, try using a vegetable peeler before blendin’ and just add the amount that works for you!

Hope those suggestions help! 🙂

Michelle 4.16.2015 at 8:20 am

Thanks for your reply to this question but it appears you only answered half of the question (kinda) and skipped the part I am interested in as well.

Will the citrus curdle the soy milk, or any other type of dairy replacement options?


SGS Rawkstar 4.17.2015 at 7:15 am

Hi Michelle,

We personally choose not to blend with soy milk, small amounts of organic, non-GMO soy are fine (like tamari and tempeh) but we recommend staying away from highly-processed unfermented soy products which can interfere with nutrient absorption and leach nutrients from your body. Soy milk, soy burgers, and soy ice cream are all in this category.

Therefore I can’t give you an exact answer! Casein in milk products, is what causes milk to curdle. If you find a milk replacement option that does not contain casein, you should not have to worry!

We suggest using almond or coconut milk in place of soy products!

Becky 4.9.2015 at 12:30 pm

Do you run into issues with curdling when you put lemon into a smoothie with soy milk or yogurt?

SGS Rawkstar 4.10.2015 at 3:01 pm

Hi Becky,

Great question! We’ve talked with a lot of nutritionists and milk isn’t all that it’s been hyped up to be. Dairy is one of the highest diet allergies (and often goes undiagnosed), yet can cause inflammation and if you aren’t buying organic milk, you’re also getting doses of antibiotics, hormones, etc that can tip your own body out of whack. We just avoid milk for our family (and opt for almond milk). We get our calcium from plant-based sources mainly— broccoli, spinach and kale.

It’s definitely a personal choice, and you just have to decide what works best for you and your family.

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