Can You Put a Whole Lemon in a Smoothie?

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Did you know that when you throw away the peel and flesh of a lemon that you are throwing away most of the nutrients? It’s true! Using the whole lemon is way healthier than just the lemon juice, so today we are going to take a look at using a whole lemon in a smoothie.

Spoiler alert – it’s totally okay to blend a whole lemon, even with seeds! Read on for more info on why to use the whole lemon, health benefits and even a great smoothie recipe using a whole lemon.

lemon smoothies with lemon slices in background

Is it OK to Blend a Whole Lemon?

A lot of people might not think to add a whole lemon to their smoothie, but it can be a really delicious and healthy addition! Lemons are a great source of Vitamin C and they have detoxifying properties. Plus, they add a nice tartness that can be enjoyable. So the answer to the question is yes-you can definitely blend a whole lemon in a smoothie!

There are a few different ways you can do this. If you have an immersion blender or a high-powered blender, you can simply add one or two whole lemons to your smoothie recipe and blend them right up. However, if you are using a standard blender that isn’t as powerful, it’s probably best to cut the lemon into quarters or slices before adding it to the blender. This will help ensure that your smoothie is nice and smooth, without any big chunks of lemon in it.

lemons on dark wooden background

Health Benefits of Eating the Whole Lemon

You might think that grabbing a bottle of lemon juice from the store will be enough to get some extra vitamin C and flavor to your smoothie – but you’re wrong. While it does take time to juice a lemon, it’s worth it to use fresh (and even better to use the whole thing).

When you heat lemon juice, like they do to bottle it, you destroy most of the Vitamin C, so you’re not really getting any nutrition at all from bottled juice.

Most people know that the flesh and juice of a lemon contains nutrients, but what about the peel, pith (the white part under the peel), and seeds?

Health Benefits

The pith is the white part of the lemon between the outside peel that you see and the flesh. Most people don’t consume the pith because it’s a little bitter and they throw it out, but you’re throwing out a ton of bioflavinoids and Vitamin C when you do this.

Blending the entire lemon will mask the bitterness in the pith that usually keeps people from eating it, so you get all of the health benefits of the pith without the taste.

According to Dr. Berg in the video below, the citrus bioflavinoids found in the pith can help with bleeding gums and nose bleeds, and also help you breathe better. He also states that these bioflavinoids are helpful for diabetics and joint health.

What about the seeds?

You might have heard that some seeds, like those in peaches, cherries and apples, are actually bad for you. That’s true! But seeds from lemons, limes and other citrus fruits are fine, so don’t feel like you need to remove the seeds from your lemon before you blend.

It’s similar to using nuts like almonds or even chia seeds in a blender. If your blender can handle whole almonds in a smoothie, then it can power through citrus seeds without a problem. If you have a lower powered blender you might find some seed pieces, and if that happens remove them next time before blending for better results.

The only exception will be if it bothers your stomach. Some people are more sensitive to the seeds or they might have gastritis of the stomach, so if you feel any stomach upset after using a whole lemon, try again after removing the seeds. For most people, using the seeds is perfectly fine.

Will Using a Whole Lemon Hurt My Teeth?

Many people are concerned about the acid in lemons harming their teeth, but if you’re using a whole lemon in a smoothie, this isn’t really an issue. Lemons can harm your teeth when you eat them straight, like sucking on the lemon slices you get in your drink.

This gives a concentrated shot of acid straight to your enamel, but when you blend a whole lemon into a smoothie, the lemon juice is diluted with all the other ingredients and won’t have the same effect. Drinking lemon water every morning is a ritual for some people, and since the lemon juice is diluted it doesn’t seem to do damage to the teeth like sucking on a lemon slice.

But if you’re worried about the acidity, just drink your smoothie with a straw, which will bypass the teeth and you’ll still get all the amazing health benefits.

What Blenders Can Handle Whole Lemons?

Let’s face it, not all blenders are created equal. I’ve had my fair share of cheap blenders in the past and they didn’t do that great a job of blending up harder items, even ice.

So if you want to blend up whole lemons, I’d suggest looking into one of these great blenders that can easily handle whole lemons.

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Tips for Using Whole Lemons in Smoothies

If you’re not using one of the blenders recommended above, I would recommend cutting your lemon up into smaller pieces, maybe just in quarters. You don’t have to get too crazy.

Just remember that the harder the items you’re blending, the longer it will take for your blender to do its job. If you’re using a lower powered blender, give it some time and don’t be too aggressive when you blend. It might take a minute or two longer, but if you’re patient you’ll end up with a great smoothie.

If you don’t mind a few seeds in your smoothie, there’s no need to remove them before blending. The only time you might want to remove the seeds is if they bother your stomach, but for most people they’re perfectly fine.

And lastly, if you’re worried about the acidity of lemons harming your teeth, just drink your smoothie with a straw. This will bypass the teeth and you’ll still get all the amazing health benefits.

Easiest Morning Lemon Drink

If you watched the video above, Dr. Berg recommends starting your day with lemon water, and the best way to do this is with a whole lemon and water.

He recommends a cup of water and a whole organic lemon. This makes for a bitter drink, though, so he adds drops of liquid stevia to his drink, which makes like a lemonade.

In my opinion, the best tasting lemons are meyer lemons, so look for organic meyer lemons for best results, but any lemon will do.

It’s an easy way to get all the health benefits of fresh lemon in a delicious package!

Lemon Smoothie with Whole Lemon

Don't let that lemon go to waste! Enjoy all of the health benefits of lemon with this lemon smoothie recipe that uses the whole lemon.
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Prep Time 5 mins
Total Time 5 mins
Course Smoothies
Cuisine Smoothies
Servings 2 servings

Equipment

Ingredients
  

  • 1 cup water
  • 1/2 cup almond milk or coconut milk
  • 1 whole organic lemon
  • 1 scoop vanilla protein powder
  • 1 Tbsp honey or maple syrup

Instructions
 

  • Cut lemon into fourths if using a lower power blender.
  • Blend all ingredients in a blender until smooth.
  • Enjoy immediately.

Notes

If you want more of a frozen smoothie, add a cup of ice to this recipe for a thicker, frozen lemon smoothie recipe.
Keyword lemon smoothie with whole lemon
Tried this recipe?Let us know how it was!

Common Questions about Lemons and Lemon Smoothies

Are lemon smoothies healthy?

Yes, lemon smoothies are healthy! Lemons are a great source of Vitamin C, which is an important antioxidant. Lemons may help with weight loss and reduce your risk of heart disease, anemia, kidney stones, digestive issues, and cancer. (source)

Can I put a whole lemon in my blender?

Yes, you can put a whole lemon in your blender. Just make sure to cut it into quarters if you’re using a lower powered blender.

Do I need to remove the seeds from the lemon before blending?

No, you don’t need to remove the seeds from the lemon before blending. The only time you might want to remove the seeds is if they bother your stomach, but for most people they’re perfectly fine.

Can you eat lemon peel in a smoothie?

Yes, you can eat the lemon peel in a smoothie. The lemon peel is actually where most of the nutrients are found, so it’s a good idea to include it in your smoothie.

Do I need to peel the lemon before blending?

No, you don’t need to peel the lemon before blending. The lemon peel is actually where most of the nutrients are found, so it’s a good idea to include it in your smoothie.

What are some other ingredients that work well with lemon?

Fresh ginger is often added to lemon juice and water for a detoxifying drink. Greek yogurt adds a delicious creaminess to a lemon smoothie, frozen banana and other frozen fruit all play well with lemon, and beet juice and turmeric are other ingredients often added to lemon for detox.
Pineapple, celery juice, orange juice, coconut water and frozen blueberries are also popular additions to a lemon smoothie.

Final Thoughts

So there you have it! You can absolutely blend up a whole lemon in your smoothie and you’ll be getting all the amazing health benefits that come with it.

Happy Blending!
Amanda

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