Smoothie

How To Thicken A Smoothie Without Losing Health Benefits

A thick smoothie, especially a green smoothie, will leave you feeling full for longer, especially if laden with nutrients and help with weight loss. You can thicken a smoothie by adding sugar, for instance, and end up with enough calories to power an elephant charge plus little else.

We already add many great ingredients to our smoothies, such as fruit juice, almond milk, peanut butter, coconut oil and coconut water, Greek yogurt, castor oil, oak milk and other non-dairy milk, and a whole host of fruit and vegetables.

However, they are sometimes a little runny and need thickening. The good thing is that there are ways you can increase the thickness of your smoothie and keep it healthy. Find out how the following contribute to a thick, healthy smoothie recipe:

  • Frozen ingredients
  • Green vegetables
  • Avocado and Banana
  • Nuts and Seeds
  • Sweetening
  • Blender and Ratios

Frozen Ingredients

The easiest way to make a thick smoothie is by freezing the fruits. This technique works for all types of fruits, whether berries, avocados, oranges, and any other fruits you might use in your smoothie.

To freeze fruit, you need to make a few basic preparations. If you freeze fruit whole, you might find it messy to separate what goes into the blender from what goes into the rubbish. It will make a strange smoothie too.

For bananas, peel them and take out the fibrous strands that you find after peeling. Slice the bananas into smaller pieces like half inch intervals. Seal them in a freezer safe bag and put them in the freezer.

Frozen ingredients

Berries require less work, clean them and rinse with water then put them in a freezer safe bag. Arrange them in a single layer before putting them in the freezer.

For larger fruits like mangoes, oranges, and apples, you need to get rid of the seeds and slice the fruit into smaller pieces.To make the smoothie, take your fruit out of the freezer and let the frozen fruits thaw for a while, about half an hour.

Frozen Juice

Since most fruit juices you buy from a supermarket have sugar additives, you can avoid the calorie overload by squeezing fresh juice from your choice fruits. Your smoothie will pack more vitamins and nutrients.

Frozen juice

Once you have extracted the juice, pour it into an ice cube tray.Wrap the tray with a plastic cover and let the juice freeze into cubes. To get your ratios right, regard one juice cube equal to a tablespoon of ice.

Fun Fact

You can use fruit pulp once you have extracted the juice. It contains nutrients and fiber while adding body to your smoothie.

Ice

There are a variety of reasons you can use ice or ice cubes in your smoothie. It makes the smoothie thicker for starters. Ice has no calories, so you won’t be going off your diet if you include ice in your ingredients. Your smoothie will also be cooler with ice. If you love a little texture in your smoothie, ice cubes are the way to go.

Green Vegetables

Green vegetables will make your smoothie thicker as they have little fluid. You also get more minerals and vitamins. Always choose fresh, healthy vegetables for the best taste and maximum nutrition. Here are some of the plants you can use.

Green vegetables

Kale

Kale is a common vegetable with protein, fiber, vitamins A, B, C, and K, folate and low levels of omega 3 fats. It has zeaxanthin and lutein—nutrients that help prevent cataracts and macular degeneration. Kale also contains minerals like phosphorus, calcium, potassium, and zinc. All these have numerous health benefits.

Taste

The main drawback with kale is taste. It is quite bitter to a first timer. Of course, some people love this. If you don’t, try baby kale leaves.They have a milder taste.

Did You Know?

Raw kale is far more nutritious than cooked kale. Heat destroys some of the nutrients when cooking.

Combinations

To get the best smoothie with kale choose recipes with sweet fruits in the ingredients to reduce the bitter taste. These include mangoes and bananas. You could also add honey for sweetening. There are many other recipes you can find if you explore. Share them in the comments below.

Swiss Chard

It shares most of the nutrients found in kale including calories, protein, fat, carbohydrate, fiber sugar, calcium, iron, magnesium, phosphorus, potassium, vitamin C, A, E, and K, as well as folate. Swiss chard also contains lower amounts of thiamin, riboflavin, niacin, pantothenic acid, vitamin B6, calcium, phosphorus, zinc, and selenium.

Swiss Chard

It shares most of the nutrients found in kale including calories, protein, fat, carbohydrate, fiber sugar, calcium, iron, magnesium, phosphorus, potassium, vitamin C, A, E, and K, as well as folate. Swiss chard also contains lower amounts of thiamin, riboflavin, niacin, pantothenic acid, vitamin B6, calcium, phosphorus, zinc, and selenium.

Spinach

You can use spinach as a substitute for kale though it is not a like for like replacement. To sample some of its nutrients, it has calories, protein, fiber, carbohydrates, vitamins K, C, A, folate, manganese, iron, magnesium, calcium, and potassium.

Spinach

Spinach is more popular in smoothies than kale owing to its milder taste. Though you might find spinach a tad bitter, if you use tender baby spinach the bitterness becomes less pronounced. Alternatively, you can use spinach with sweet fruits to make a tasty smoothie.

Beet Greens

Beet greens are rich in vitamins as well as minerals. They look like a cross between kales and Swiss chard. However, they taste like a combination of spinach and chard. You can use beet greens instead of either and get a slight difference in the taste of your smoothie.

Beet greens

As with Kale and spinach above, you can use beet greens with sweet flavorsome fruits to hide the slightly bitter flavor. Pineapple, strawberries, and the ever reliable bananas are some of the fruits you can use along with beet greens.

Avocado And Banana

Some fruits can help thicken a smoothie. They include bananas and avocados.

Bananas

You have noticed bananas feature in many recipes. They thicken smoothies and serve as natural sweeteners. They are rich in goodies too, with calories, fat, carbohydrates, sugar, fiber, protein, vitamin B6, manganese, vitamin C, potassium, copper, biotin, and magnesium. If you don’t like the banana flavor or you can consider using other fruits and then use natural sweeteners.

Avocados

Avocados taste good and contain healthy fats. You can blend them with a variety of ingredients. Avocados contain unsaturated fats, calories, fiber, folate, vitamins K, B5, and B2, as well as minerals like copper and potassium.

Avocados

Since it is high in calories, limit the amount you put in your smoothie, especially if you are on a weight management program or dieting.Bananas and avocados are easy to find at your local grocer. Mix them with many other ingredients to make your favorite smoothies. Pawpaw is another fruit you can use.

Nuts And Seeds

Three things can increase the satisfying effect of a smoothie, thickness, fiber, and proteins. Seeds and nuts add the latter to your smoothie.

Flax Seed

It is one of the most nutritiously rich food items in the world. In ground form, it will thicken your smoothie while arming it with numerous nutrients. Its repertoire of goodies ranges from omega-3 essential fatty acids, fiber, vitamin B1, and copper.

Flax seed

They are also an excellent source of minerals especially magnesium, phosphorus, and selenium. Usually, you can buy ground flaxseed from your local store or order from online sellers.

Chia Seeds

They have a whole package of nutrients from omega-3 fats, calories, protein, carbohydrates, fiber, and vitamins A, B, D, and E. They also possess minerals, including sulfur, manganese, phosphorus calcium zinc copper potassium iron, iodine, magnesium, manganese, niacin, and thiamine.

Chia seeds are a great source of antioxidants. It is no wonder they are categorized as super-foods. You will probably have to purchase chia seeds online. There are many ways to add chia seeds to your smoothie; you can soak them or use ground chia seeds.

Chia seeds

If you like a crunchiness in your smoothie, you can use the chia seeds dry. A few chia seeds will suffice for your smoothie, as little as one spoonful is enough to increase the thickness. It also adds texture and flavor to your smoothie.

Coconut

For a thick smoothie, you can use coconut flesh. It is one of the better tasting ingredients you can add to your smoothie if you don’t like it sugary. Puree the coconut flesh to the right consistency when you are making the smoothie.

Coconut

Coconut flesh contains calories, fiber omega-6 fatty acids protein vitamin C, E, and K, thiamin, niacin folate, and pantothenic acid. It is also a source of calcium iron magnesium phosphorus potassium sodium zinc copper manganese selenium to the body. Coconut also offers a lot of versatility; you can try many recipes or experiment to come up with your unique combinations.

Almonds

Almonds are rich in protein, if you add them to your smoothie, you’ll keep hunger pangs away for a longer time. Almonds also make your smoothie thicker due to their low water content.

A powerful blender can easily turn your almonds into small particles that will add body to your smoothie. To blend almonds, set the blender to a high speed. If your blender is not powerful, you can buy almond powder.

Almonds

Soaking almonds in water might work, but it leaches some of the flavor away. Almonds contain vitamin E, copper, magnesium, and high-quality protein. They also contain high levels of healthy unsaturated fatty acids.

Bonus Recipe

You can try out this easy-to-make strawberry and banana almond smoothie. All you need is a small banana, 7 hulled strawberries, 3 tablespoons of yogurt, 3 tablespoons of skimmed milk, and 2 tablespoons of ground almond.

Slice the banana then add all the other ingredients into the blender or bowl if you use a hand blender. Blend till it becomes smooth then enjoy. Almonds are versatile, you’ll find them in numerous recipes and they make your smoothie way more powerful in nutrient content.

Strange Fact

While domesticated almonds will do you a world of good, wild almonds are a different proposition. They release hydrogen cyanide when chewed or ground. This is a poison that kills quite fast. Stick to buying your almonds—don’t get them from the wild.

Sweetening

If you love sweet stuff, you might find some healthy smoothies taste appalling unless they are sweetened. Since you need a thick yet healthy smoothie, natural sweeteners are always the best.

Sweetening

You’ve seen the benefits of bananas above. Honey is another healthy sweetener you can always consider. If that is not for you, coconut milk has some sweetening qualities. The same applies to vanilla extract.

Stevia

Stevia is a great sweetener, more than 20 times stronger than sugar. You can buy white stevia granules from a store. If you like it original, go for stevia powder which is dried and crushed stevia herb. It also comes in liquid form. Stevia is a potent, healthy and calorie-free sweetener. Use small amounts to sweeten your smoothie.

Medjool Dates

Medjool dates offer natures sweetness minus the drawbacks of processed sugars. They are also rich in minerals like selenium, magnesium, zinc, calcium, and iron. Any fruit or vegetable that has a sweet taste will improve the taste of your smoothie. However, do not use sweet fruits unreservedly, as they contain natural sugars.

Medjool dates

The Blender And Ratios

A weaker blender won’t produce a thick smoothie, especially if some of the ingredients are tough. The more powerful your blender, the more control you’ll have over the thickness of your smoothie.

blender

With a weak blender opt for ground ingredients where possible.If finances allow, go for a blender that can handle all those healthy recipes that you dig up from combing the web or friends suggestions.

Pro Tip

For ingredients that are harder to blend but absorb water, try soaking in water for some hours or even a day to make them softer.

Ratios

You can determine the thickness of your smoothie by controlling how much of the fluid base you will use. If you follow recipes, then adjust those ingredients that increase thickness you can achieve your goal.

Conclusion

Thickening a smoothie without compromising its health benefits is not the hard work. In fact, keeping the health benefits and thickness is only a challenge when the taste is of concern.Like cooking, you can find your unique way of making smoothies by copying tested recipes and tweaking them to fit your preferences as well health needs.

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