Can I put olive oil in my smoothie?

Quick Answer

Yes, you can add olive oil to smoothies. Olive oil is a healthy fat that can provide creaminess and beneficial nutrients. The key is to use high-quality extra virgin olive oil and limit the amount to 1-2 tablespoons per smoothie. Too much olive oil may lead to an unpleasant greasy mouthfeel. Many people enjoy the flavor olive oil imparts to smoothies with greens, berries, bananas, and citrus.

An Overview of Olive Oil

Olive oil is a plant-based oil that is extracted from olives, the fruit of the olive tree. It has been consumed for centuries around the Mediterranean region and valued for its culinary, health, and cosmetic benefits. Olive oil contains primarily monounsaturated fatty acids, along with smaller amounts of saturated and polyunsaturated fats. Its predominant monounsaturated fat is oleic acid, which comprises 55-85% of olive oil (1).

Here is a nutrition breakdown of one tablespoon (13.5g) of olive oil (2):

Calories 119
Total Fat 13.5g
Saturated Fat 1.9g
Monounsaturated Fat 10.0g
Polyunsaturated Fat 1.4g
Vitamin E 1.9mg (10% DV)
Vitamin K 8.1mcg (7% DV)

As you can see, olive oil is 100% fat, mainly monounsaturated and some saturated fat. It provides a small amount of fat-soluble vitamins E and K. Olive oil does not contain protein, carbs, fiber, or other micronutrients.

The predominant monounsaturated fat, oleic acid, is linked to several health benefits when consumed in moderation. These include reducing inflammation, blood pressure, and heart disease risk (3, 4).

Extra virgin olive oil comes from the first cold pressing of olives and has a bright, peppery flavor. It retains more antioxidants like polyphenols compared to more refined olive oil varieties (5). For the greatest health benefits and flavor, opt for a high-quality, fresh extra virgin olive oil.

Nutrition Benefits of Adding Olive Oil to Smoothies

Adding a small amount of olive oil to smoothies can provide the following nutritional perks:

Healthy Fats

Olive oil contributes heart-healthy unsaturated fats to smoothies. Getting adequate monounsaturated and polyunsaturated fats in your diet can help reduce LDL (bad) cholesterol and provide essential fatty acids like omega-3s (6).

Vitamin E

A tablespoon of olive oil provides 10% of the Daily Value for vitamin E. This fat-soluble vitamin acts as an antioxidant in your body to neutralize free radicals and lower oxidative stress (7).

Vitamin K

Olive oil contains some vitamin K, which plays a key role in blood clotting. Vitamin K also supports bone health. Many smoothies contain leafy greens like spinach and kale that provide this vitamin as well (8).

Absorption of Fat-Soluble Vitamins

The fat in olive oil helps your body absorb and use fat-soluble vitamins from other smoothie ingredients. For example, carotenoids like beta-carotene in carrots and lycopene in tomatoes (9).

Anti-Inflammatory Compounds

Extra virgin olive oil provides anti-inflammatory antioxidants like oleocanthal and oleuropein (10). Adding olive oil to smoothies can increase the overall antioxidant and phytonutrient content.


The fat from olive oil can promote feelings of fullness and satisfaction after a meal. One study in obese adults found that a meal high in fat from extra virgin olive oil resulted in increased satiety and reduced food intake later in the day compared to meals high in carbs or protein (11).

Potential Downsides of Olive Oil in Smoothies

While olive oil can make a nutritious addition to smoothies in moderation, there are a few potential downsides to keep in mind:

High in Calories

Like all fats, olive oil is very high in calories. Each tablespoon contains 119 calories and 14 grams of fat (2). If you are watching your calorie intake, use restraint with olive oil portions.

May Cause Greasy Mouthfeel

Excess olive oil without anything to emulsify it may coat your mouth and have a heavy, greasy texture. Limit olive oil to 1-2 tablespoons per smoothie.

Can Lead to Excess Fat Intake

It’s important not to go overboard on any one nutrient. Consuming too much of your calories from fat can lead to weight gain over time. Use olive oil moderately as part of a balanced diet.

Not Compatible with All Ingredients

While olive oil nicely complements many smoothie ingredients, it may not work well in some combinations. For example, smoothies made only with juice or coconut water. Taste and adjust recipes accordingly.

Extra Cost

Quality extra virgin olive oil is one of the more expensive oils. Adding it to smoothies regularly can drive up your grocery bill. Other oils like avocado or coconut oil may be more budget-friendly.

How Much Olive Oil Should You Add to a Smoothie?

When adding olive oil to smoothies, a little goes a long way. Here are some guidelines for appropriate olive oil portions:

– Start with 1 tablespoon (15ml) olive oil per 2-3 servings of smoothie.

– Limit to no more than 2 tablespoons (30ml) olive oil per 3-4 servings.

– For individual smoothies, use 1 teaspoon (5ml) olive oil as a moderate amount.

– Children’s smoothies should contain less, no more than 1/2 tablespoon (7.5ml) olive oil.

Measure it carefully! The calories and fat add up quickly if you eyeball and over-pour olive oil.

Ideally, choose an extra virgin olive oil with a mild, buttery flavor. A bold, peppery olive oil may overpower the other smoothie ingredients.

Tips for Using Olive Oil in Smoothies

Here are some tips for incorporating olive oil into smoothies successfully:

– Combine the olive oil with room temperature or cold ingredients first, rather than adding it to hot liquids.

– Add ingredients that emulsify like yogurt, cottage cheese, nut butter, oats, or chia seeds.

– Use a high-powered blender for the smoothest, creamiest texture.

– Start with a small amount of olive oil and adjust to taste preferences.

– Store opened olive oil away from light and heat to prevent spoilage and rancidity.

– When adding olive oil to a large batch of smoothies, mix or shake well before pouring each serving.

– Try olive oil in vegetable-based green smoothies for a pleasant, mild flavor.

– For fruit smoothies, berries and citrus pair well with olive oil.

– Savory smoothies are a great opportunity to add more olive oil.

– Use caution with high water content liquids like juice or coconut water.

Healthy Smoothie Recipes with Olive Oil

Here are some delicious smoothie recipes that use extra virgin olive oil:

Chocolate Banana Smoothie

  • 1 ripe banana
  • 2 tablespoons cocoa powder
  • 1 1/2 cups non-dairy milk like almond, soy or coconut
  • 1 tablespoon peanut butter or almond butter
  • 1 teaspoon olive oil
  • 1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 2-3 ice cubes

Berry Green Smoothie

  • 1 cup baby spinach
  • 1/2 cup frozen mixed berries
  • 1 banana
  • 1/4 avocado
  • 1 tablespoon olive oil
  • 1 cup almond milk
  • 1 tablespoon ground flaxseed

Carrot Cake Smoothie

  • 1 cup carrots, peeled and chopped
  • 1 banana
  • 1/2 cup plain Greek yogurt
  • 1/4 cup rolled oats
  • 2 tablespoons almond butter
  • 1 teaspoon olive oil
  • Dash of cinnamon
  • 1 cup unsweetened almond milk

Tropical Fruit Smoothie

  • 1/2 cup pineapple chunks
  • 1/2 banana
  • 1/4 cup mango chunks
  • 1/4 cup non-dairy or Greek yogurt
  • 1 tablespoon ground flax or chia seeds
  • 1 teaspoon olive oil
  • 3/4 cup coconut water

Green Protein Smoothie

  • 1 cup spinach
  • 1/2 banana
  • 1/4 avocado
  • 2 tablespoons vegan protein powder
  • 1 tablespoon almond butter
  • 1 teaspoon olive oil
  • 1 cup unsweetened almond milk

Feel free to get creative and use olive oil to add healthy fats, creaminess, and flavor to your own favorite smoothie recipes!

Smoothie Alternatives to Olive Oil

While olive oil can work nicely in smoothies for some people, others may prefer to use different sources of healthy fats. Here are a few great alternatives:


Avocado delivers monounsaturated fat plus fiber, vitamin E, potassium, and phytonutrients (12). Use 1/4 to 1/2 avocado in place of olive oil.

Coconut Oil

With its creamy texture and subtle coconut flavor, coconut oil is one of the most popular choices for smoothies. Use 1 teaspoon to 1 tablespoon per smoothie.

Flaxseed Oil

Flaxseed oil provides anti-inflammatory omega-3 alpha-linolenic acid. Use 1 teaspoon and store away from light to prevent rancidity.

Chia Seeds

Chia seeds thicken smoothies and contribute fiber, protein, magnesium, and plant-based omega-3s. Use 1-2 tablespoons per smoothie.

Hemp Seeds

Nutty hemp seeds offer protein and omega-3s. Add 1-2 tablespoons to smoothies.

Nut Butters

A spoonful of nut butter (almond, peanut, cashew) adds plant-based protein and healthy fats.

Full-Fat Dairy

Full-fat milk, yogurt, kefir, or cottage cheese all provide dairy fat to smoothies.

The Bottom Line

Olive oil can be an excellent addition to smoothies in small amounts. It provides monounsaturated fatty acids, vitamin E, vitamin K, and antioxidants. For best results, use 1-2 tablespoons of extra virgin olive oil per smoothie along with ingredients that emulsify and complement the flavor.

Potential downsides of olive oil include unwanted greasiness, high calories, and cost. But combined properly, olive oil can add nutrition, creaminess, and satisfying flavor. Experiment with recipes to find your favorite olive oil smoothie combinations.

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