How to Make a Smoothie Thicker

Whether you’re looking for a meal on the go or want to wake up to a filling breakfast without actually cooking, there’s no better way to do it then a delicious, thick smoothie. The question arises however, how do you go about making a smoothie thicker? Without making it properly, it may taste watered down and more like a drink, rather than a replacement meal.

It starts with the base. A proper base for a thick smoothie will involve a thicker base than water, typically your choice of milk. Good options include almond, coconut, cashew, walnut, soy, or dairy if you prefer. Unflavored or low sugar greek yogurt can also be an option, but you may need to combine that with a liquid so that your smoothie doesn’t become too thick.

If you want to avoid milk altogether, there are additional ways you can make your smoothie thicker without changing the base. There are five options that not only help make it more filling, but also add a touch of flavor:

– Bananas

– Avocadoes

– Peanut butter

– Dried oats

– Ice cubes (plain or milk of your choice)

Let’s briefly touch upon each and see what they can do for your smoothie.

Bananas are the the typical go to for their ability to easily thicken and add taste to a smoothie. They’re simple to toss in, cost effective, and do a great job at flavoring and thickening your smoothie. They do come with a drawback though – they have a lot of sugar. There are two ways around this – go green, or go less. Green bananas may taste more bitter, but blended in a smoothie hides this perfectly. They are lower on the Glycemic Index, making them perfect for smoothies where you have other fruit, like raspberries or blueberries. The other option is to just use half the banana and save the other half for later. If your smoothie comes after a workout though, don’t sweat it.

Avocados are a great way to thicken your smoothie – but be careful, otherwise it might be too thick! Half an avocado will usually do the trick, and doing so means you can get two smoothies worth out of every avocado. Avocados are full of healthy fats and fiber, a welcome addition to every smoothie. They will add a creamy, rich texture to each smoothie you use them in.

Peanut butter and dried oats also act as great thickeners while providing their own benefits. Peanut butter is another source of healthy fat like an avocado, and can also give your smoothie a quick protein boost. Of course, any nut butter will do – such as almond butter or cashew butter. Freshly made and low in sugar is the way to go. Besides nut butters, dried oats are a great source of complex carbs, helping them to digest more slowly.

Lastly, consider using ice cubes like milk or water to help give it more consistency. It’s an all natural way without changing the content of your smoothie to help thicken it up!

What Do I Need to Make a Smoothie?

If you’ve ever been hesitant to make a smoothie because you’re unsure exactly what’s needed to make one, rest assured: we’ll cover all the basics to get you caught up to speed. With that said, what exactly do you need to make your smoothie? 

The good news is that there are no hard set of rules you have to follow. However, a general guideline will help you maintain a smoothie that is just as healthy as it is delicious. Let’s start by taking a look at what you may need outside of the ingredients:

  • Blender
  • Cutting board
  • Measuring cup
  • Basic utensils

The blender is the obvious one and there are many that can suit your needs. Just make sure yours is large enough to fit everything you want, especially if you plan on storing part of your smoothie for later consumption. A knife and cutting board can come in handy if you want to cut up fruit prior to putting it in, such as cutting the stems from strawberries. The measuring cup can help you figure out how much of your liquid base to put in, such as almond milk or water. And lastly, basic utensils like a spoon will be key for scooping peanut butter or whey protein into your blender.

Super simple! With the essentials out of the way, you might be wondering what do you actually need to make a basic smoothie?

First, you’ll need a liquid base. I call it the base because it’s usually what I put in my blender first, ensuring everything else can go in without sticking. The two most common bases are various types of milk (such as almond, coconut, or just plain cow milk) or water. For your base, its worth noting that the more you add, the less thick your smoothie will be, so plan accordingly. With some recipes you can get away with adding just a little bit of liquid since the water content in some fruit is pretty high, while with others you’ll need to add in a lot more in order to make it drinkable.

Let’s say we chose unsweetened almond milk for our smoothie. After we pour in the almond milk, adding fruit is the next step. Fruit is easily blended so I like to put it in next. Strawberries, blueberries, blackberries, and raspberries are the most common fruit. A good rule of thumb is to not add anymore than a handful of fruit as to not spike the sugar content of your smoothie. Beware of high sugar fruit like bananas, which can quickly turn your healthy smoothie into a sugar laden disaster.

With the almond milk and fruit added, there are a few directions you can go from here. Preferably you add some sort of leafy green such as kale or spinach to reap the benefits of high antioxidants and vitamins. Once again, a solid half handful to handful is a good rule of thumb to follow.

With liquid bases, fruits, and vegetables covered, what’s next? We need to add some sort of protein. One easy way is to add in one heaping scoop of peanut butter. The best kind is fresh roasted at the local grocery store or farmer’s market, where you’ll find it with no sugar or preservatives. Besides peanut butter, now is the time to add in a scoop of your preferred protein powder, whether that’s whey, plant, or another alternative. This should help take your smoothie up to the ideal range of 20-30g of protein.

Lastly, if you want to add flavor to your smoothie, try adding a dash of cinnamon, stevia, flaxseeds, or chia seeds. There are many other ways to add a unique flavor as well, to ensure your smoothie tastes different (and great) everytime.

If you’ve ever been wondering, “what do I need to make a smoothie?”, we’ve got you covered. Now, there’s no excuse to not get out there and start making delicious smoothies today!

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