Can coconut oil be used in smoothies?

Smoothies have become an increasingly popular way to get a nutritious breakfast or snack on the go. Blending together fruits, vegetables, and other superfood ingredients creates a tasty beverage packed with vitamins, minerals, and fiber. Coconut oil is growing in popularity for its multitude of health benefits. But can you safely add coconut oil to your morning smoothie? Here’s what you need to know about using coconut oil in smoothies.

The Benefits of Coconut Oil

Coconut oil has recently earned superfood status due to its many nutritional benefits. Here are some of the reasons to add coconut oil to your diet:

  • High in healthy fats – Coconut oil contains medium-chain triglycerides (MCTs), a type of fat that is easily digested and used for energy by the body. Other oils like olive oil contain long-chain triglycerides that are more readily stored as fat.
  • May promote weight loss – Studies show that MCTs can increase satiety and boost metabolism, helping you eat less and burn slightly more calories.
  • Antimicrobial properties – The lauric acid in coconut oil has antibacterial, antiviral, and antifungal properties that support the immune system.
  • Brain function – MCTs are an excellent brain fuel and have been associated with improved cognition in those with memory disorders like Alzheimer’s.
  • Heart health – Natural coconut oil raises HDL (good) cholesterol levels. The MCTs may also reduce risk factors for heart disease.
  • Skin and hair – Coconut oil is an excellent moisturizer. It can be used to cleanse and hydrate skin and scalp.

The fatty acids in coconut oil provide energy, fight pathogens, and support many important body functions. Adding it to your diet can improve health from head to toe.

Reasons to Put Coconut Oil in Your Smoothie

Beyond its many health benefits, there are several reasons why you may want to include coconut oil in your smoothies:

  • Healthy fat source – Smoothies often rely on fruits and vegetables for nutrients. Coconut oil adds a dose of beneficial MCTs.
  • Increased absorption – Blending coconut oil into a smoothie helps emulsify it so the fatty acids are better absorbed.
  • Creamy texture – Coconut oil makes smoothies richer, creamier, and more satisfying.
  • Delicious coconut flavor – Coconut oil adds a pleasant coconut taste to smoothies.
  • Antimicrobial boost – The lauric acid in the oil provides extra antimicrobial, antiviral, and antibacterial action.
  • Easily Portable – Adding coconut oil to your smoothie provides a quick and convenient way to get your daily dose of healthy fats.

If you aren’t getting enough healthy fats from foods like avocados, nuts, and fatty fish, coconut oil can be an easy way to integrate more into your diet. Blending it into a smoothie helps disguise the oil’s texture while providing all the same benefits.

How Much Coconut Oil to Use in Smoothies

Wondering how much coconut oil you should add to your smoothies? Here are some general guidelines to follow:

  • 1 teaspoon – This is a good starting amount to introduce your taste buds to coconut oil.
  • 1 tablespoon – For most smoothies, 1 tablespoon or roughly 14 grams will provide sufficient healthy fats without overpowering flavor.
  • 2 tablespoons – In a larger smoothie, you can use up to 2 tablespoons. But too much oil may leave a greasy mouthfeel.
  • 1/4 cup – When making a smoothie bowl, you can add up to 1/4 cup of coconut oil to give a rich, creamy base.

Pay attention to how much solid food versus liquid you are blending to find the right oil balance for your smoothie. You want enough oil to benefit from the healthy fats but not so much that it doesn’t incorporate well. Start small and add more coconut oil as desired.

Tips for Adding Coconut Oil to Smoothies

Here are some helpful tips for easily getting those coconut oil benefits in your morning smoothie:

  • Use melted or softened coconut oil to blend more smoothly with other ingredients.
  • Add oil last and blend for 30+ seconds to fully disperse the coconut oil.
  • If your smoothie separates, use an immersion blender to fully incorporate the coconut oil.
  • Start with a teaspoon and gradually increase the amount as your taste buds adjust.
  • Pair with tropical fruits like pineapple and mango that complement the coconut flavor.
  • Add extra sweetener like dates or honey if you need to counter the oil’s richness.
  • Use full-fat canned coconut milk instead for a lighter, creamier background texture.

The key is slowly acclimating your palate and blending long enough to create an emulsion. With some trial and error, you’ll find the right mix to make coconut oil disappear into luscious, satisfying smoothies.

The Best Smoothies for Coconut Oil

Coconut oil can be added to just about any smoothie recipe. But some ingredient combinations are particularly well suited for highlighting its flavor and benefits. Here are some of the best smoothies to mix with coconut oil:

Piña Colada Smoothie

Pineapple, banana, coconut milk, and coconut oil mimic the flavors of a tropical piña colada. The fruit masks the texture of the oil for a creamy, coconutty sip.

Mango Lassi Smoothie

Blending mango and plain yogurt with warming spices like cinnamon and cardamom provides contrast to cool coconut oil. Traditional and tasty.

Chocolate Peanut Butter Smoothie

Chocolate and peanut butter taste delicious with a hint of coconut. Use cacao powder and peanut butter powder to make a protein-packed post-workout treat.

Blueberry Coconut Smoothie

The creaminess of coconut oil works nicely with the sweetness of blueberries. Boost fiber with chia seeds for a thick, satisfying smoothie.

Green Tropical Smoothie

Spinach, kale, pineapple, mango, and coconut oil create a sweet green smoothie packed with antioxidants, protein, and healthy fats.

In general, smoother, creamier fruits tend to complement the coconut flavor and texture. Bananas, mangoes, and pineapples disguise the oil well in tropical-inspired smoothies. Berries, peanut butter, chocolate, and spinach also pair nicely with coconut’s richness.

Should You Use Coconut Oil in Your Smoothies?

Adding coconut oil to your smoothies can provide a range of health benefits. But it may not be for everyone. Here are a few things to consider before incorporating it:


  • Excellent source of easily digested MCTs
  • Antimicrobial and brain-boosting properties
  • Increases absorption of fat-soluble vitamins
  • Adds creamy texture and tropical flavor
  • Safe for most people in moderation


  • High in saturated fat
  • Can cause diarrhea or stomach upset in excess
  • Adds significant calories
  • Not recommended for oil-free or low-fat diets
  • Has a greasy mouthfeel if not well blended

In the end, pay attention to how your body responds. The fatty acids in coconut oil affect everyone differently. Start small with a teaspoon and gradually work up to find the right amount to harness the benefits without side effects.

Healthy Coconut Oil Smoothie Recipes

Ready to start blending? Here are some delicious and nutritious coconut oil smoothies to try.

1. Piña Colada Smoothie


  • 1 cup pineapple chunks
  • 1 banana, frozen
  • 1/2 cup coconut milk
  • 1 tablespoon coconut oil
  • 1/4 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 2-3 ice cubes


  1. Add all ingredients to a high-powered blender.
  2. Blend until smooth and creamy, about 1 minute.
  3. Add more ice to thicken or coconut milk to thin as desired.
  4. Pour into a glass and enjoy!

2. Chocolate Peanut Butter Smoothie


  • 1 banana, frozen
  • 2 tablespoons peanut butter
  • 1 tablespoon cacao powder
  • 1/2 cup milk of choice
  • 1 teaspoon coconut oil
  • 1/2 cup ice


  1. Blend all ingredients until smooth and creamy.
  2. Add more milk or ice to adjust consistency if needed.
  3. Pour into a glass and top with crushed peanuts if desired.

3. Green Tropical Smoothie


  • 1 cup spinach
  • 1/2 cup pineapple chunks
  • 1/2 banana
  • 1/4 cup mango chunks
  • 1/4 avocado
  • 1 tablespoon coconut oil
  • 1/2 cup coconut water


  1. Add all ingredients to blender and blend until smooth.
  2. Add ice to thicken or more coconut water to thin as desired.
  3. Garnish with pineapple wedge if desired.

4. Blueberry Coconut Smoothie


  • 1 cup blueberries
  • 1 banana
  • 1/4 cup Greek yogurt
  • 1/4 cup coconut milk
  • 2 tablespoons coconut flakes
  • 1 tablespoon coconut oil
  • 1/2 cup ice


  1. Blend all ingredients until smooth and creamy.
  2. Add more coconut milk or yogurt to adjust consistency if desired.
  3. Top with extra coconut flakes and blueberries.

Don’t be afraid to experiment with combinations featuring your favorite fruits, healthy fats, protein sources and superfood add-ins. Coconut oil can blend nicely into just about any smoothie recipe.

Potential Side Effects of Coconut Oil in Smoothies

Coconut oil is generally well tolerated, but some people may experience mild digestive side effects when consuming it, especially in larger amounts. Here are a few potential side effects to be aware of:

  • Diarrhea or loose stools – Too much coconut oil at once can have a laxative effect.
  • Stomach upset or pain – High-fat foods may aggravate sensitive digestive systems.
  • Nausea or headache – Coconut oil can sometimes trigger migraines.
  • Allergic reaction – Though rare, coconut allergies do occur.
  • Weight gain – At 120 calories per tablespoon, coconut oil is very calorie-dense.

Start with small amounts of coconut oil in your smoothies and gradually increase to find your comfort level. Stop consuming it if you develop any reactions. Seek medical advice for serious side effects.

Coconut Oil vs. MCT Oil in Smoothies

Both coconut oil and MCT oil contain high amounts of medium-chain triglycerides. MCT oil isolates just the MCTs and is more concentrated. Here’s how the two oils compare:

Coconut Oil MCT Oil
Contains approx 60% MCTs Contains up to 100% MCTs
Solid at room temperature Liquid at room temperature
Coconut flavor Neutral flavor
Up to 130 calories/tbsp Up to 120 calories/tbsp
Less concentrated More concentrated

MCT oil may be preferable for those who want a purer source of MCTs without the coconut flavor. But coconut oil provides additional nutrients like lauric acid. Both can be blended into smoothies in small amounts.

Other Tips for Adding Healthy Fats to Smoothies

Besides coconut oil, there are plenty of other ways to integrate beneficial fats into your smoothies:

  • Use avocado, nut butters, flaxseeds, chia seeds, or hemp seeds.
  • Blend in Greek yogurt or kefir for creamy texture.
  • Add oils like olive, avocado, walnut, and almond in small amounts.
  • Use full-fat coconut milk, almond milk, or oat milk.
  • Top with nuts, seeds, shredded coconut, cacao nibs, or granola.
  • Blend in silken tofu or vegan protein powder.

Focus on incorporating a variety of healthy mono- and polyunsaturated fats from nuts, seeds, avocados, olives, and fatty fish whenever possible. But the concentrated medium-chain triglycerides in coconut oil make it an excellent occasional boost.


Adding a bit of coconut oil to your smoothies is a safe and easy way to take advantage of its many health benefits. The creamy texture and tropical flavor of coconut oil pair deliciously with fruits and superfoods commonly found in smoothies. While too much coconut oil can cause digestive issues, using 1-2 tablespoons per smoothie provides a healthy dose of fat-burning medium-chain triglycerides and lauric acid. Start slowly with the amount to find what works best for your body.

With a little trial and error, coconut oil can become a staple ingredient to blend satisfying, nutritious smoothies that fuel your day with energy and health. So go ahead – pour a little coconut oil into your blends to amplify nutrition and indulge in some tropical flavor.

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