How to make a filling smoothie. Here are a registered dietitian’s tips to make a delicious and satisfying breakfast smoothie that will keep you full for hours.
Do you love drinking smoothies for breakfast, just to find yourself feeling hungry soon after? While there’s nothing wrong with enjoying a smaller breakfast, followed by a snack later in the morning, there are some things you can try to make your breakfast smoothie more satisfying and nutritious.
Here are my tips as a registered dietitian to make a filling and nutritious smoothie. These tips are mostly focused on plant-based nutrition, but there are tips for everyone!
How to Make a Filling Smoothie:
1. Drink Enough:
It’s important to eat enough to feel full and the same goes for smoothies. Don’t expect to drink a small smoothie for breakfast and to feel full for hours. Experiment with different smoothie recipes and portions to find what works for you. Smaller smoothies are also a great option for snacks!
2. Add Protein:
Protein helps us feel satisfied and full after our meals. If you find yourself being hungry soon after having your smoothie, you might want to try adding more protein!
How to add protein to a smoothie:
- Add a few tablespoons of hemp hearts or chia seeds.
- You can use soy milk or pea milk for a high-protein liquid, instead of juice or lower protein milks, such as oat or almond milk.
- If you’re not vegan, Greek yogurt is also an easy way to add a significant amount of protein.
- For those who are more adventurous, tofu is also a great option. Start with a small amount and increase it to taste. You shouldn’t taste it in the smoothie!
- For a convenient option, you can add protein powder.
Should you use protein powder? Protein powder is not always necessary, but it is a convenient way to add protein. Just note that most people don’t need large amounts of protein powder to meet their protein needs. Most people can get all the protein they need from whole foods (vegan or not).
3. Add Fiber:
Fiber is important for so many reasons. It helps balance blood sugars, it can help lower cholesterol and support a healthy digestion. It can also help you feel full for longer.
How to add fiber to a smoothie:
- Use your favorite fruits. Berries are especially high in fiber, but use fruits that you enjoy.
- Add vegetables. You can easily add spinach or frozen cauliflower without changing the taste of the smoothie.
- Add a few tablespoons of oats or wheat bran. Psyllium is also a great option for adding soluble fiber.
- Use seeds, such as hemp hearts, chia seeds and ground flax seeds.
- If you have a strong blender, try adding whole nuts, such as almonds or walnuts.
- Add nut or seed butter. Keep in mind that peanut butter has a strong flavor and will not work well with every smoothie.
4. Don’t Be Afraid to Add Carbs:
Carbs provide us with energy and help us feel satisfied and energized. Try choosing whole grains or high-fiber carbohydrates most of the time. Fiber will promote satiety AND help with your digestive health, as discussed above.
Most smoothie recipes will naturally contain carbs from fruits. You don’t need to avoid certain fruits (unless you have an allergy or intolerance of course), simply choose the ones that you love. Berries are a great option if you’re looking for a higher-fiber smoothie.
Another great way to add carbs to a smoothie is to use oats. It blends well in a smoothie and makes it more filling and satisfying. You can also make a smoothie sweeter by adding a date.
5. Add a Source of Fats:
Similarly to protein, fats will promote satiety. Fats are also important to help us absorb fat-soluble vitamins, including vitamin A, D, E and K.
That being said, not all fats are the same. It’s best to limit saturated and trans fats, while focusing on getting more unsaturated fats.
How to add fats to a smoothie:
- Again, seeds are a great addition to any smoothie. Hemp hearts, chia seeds and ground flax seeds work very well.
- Try using some frozen or fresh avocados.
- Add nuts or nut butters.
- If you’re looking to increase your omega-3 intake, try adding a small amount of flax oil.
Omega-3’s: You can get plant-based omega-3 fatty acids in your diet from ground flax seeds, flax oil, chia seeds, walnuts and hemp hearts. Try getting 2-3 tablespoons of chia, flax or hemp seeds daily OR 1/4 cup of walnuts. Another option, which can be more convenient and reliable is to take an EPA/DHA algae supplement. You can find them in liquid form, which can easily be added to smoothies.
6. Make Sure it Tastes Good:
Nutrition is important, but so is enjoying your food. For that reason, make sure that you prepare a smoothie that you truly like. Don’t try to make a smoothie as nutritious as possibly by adding a large amount of seeds, nuts, oats and protein powder, just to end up with a smoothie that tastes awful.
Try different recipes to find your favorites and add small amounts of seeds, oats and other filling and nutritious ingredients.
Filling Smoothie Recipes to Try:
- Nourishing Banana Oat Smoothie
- Pink Berry Lime Smoothie
- Simple Strawberry, Banana and Orange Smoothie
- Green Protein Smoothie
And remember, you can easily make any smoothie recipe more filling by adding protein, fats and fiber.
This information is intended for educational purposes only and is not meant to replace individualized nutrition or medical advice.