Drinks

How to Make a Filling Smoothie

Making a smoothie is easy and healthy. All you need is a blender, fruit, and milk or yogurt. You can also use ice cubes if the fruit isn't frozen enough.

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How to make filling smoothies

Choose from 4 delicious smoothie recipes that are ready in less than 10 minutes AND learn how to make smoothies that are healthy and filling!

If you’re ever made a smoothie and felt hungry an hour later, this guide was made for you!

Reading: how to make filling smoothies

I’ll walk you through how to make four different filling and balanced smoothies. All of these recipes can be modified to meet your dietary needs without sacrificing texture or flavor.

What you’ll find in this guide

  • My go-to “formula” for making a balanced smoothie
  • Four different smoothie recipes (and only one has bananas in it!)
  • Recommended equipment

Build a better smoothie

All of my smoothies use a simple formula to make a satisfying smoothie: fiber + healthy fats + protein.

I always add one of each of these components to my smoothies to make them more balanced. A lot of these ingredients overlap across categories.

Let’s break down each part.

Fiber

Strawberries, pineapple, blueberries and kiwi in a glass bowl

Fiber has so many benefits, one of which is that it helps you keep full for longer.

Some of these ingredients are higher in fiber than others. I don’t worry about the specifics too much as long as I’m adding a variety of ingredients.

  • Fruit: Both frozen and fresh berries, peaches, pears, apples, and bananas. Leaving skin on peaches etc. increases fiber but may effect the texture, so I usually remove the skin.
  • Veggies are surprisingly good in smoothies. Add fresh or frozen spinach, kale, shredded zucchini, etc. for a boost of fiber and nutrients. Avocados are also a great addition.
  • Rolled oats are a fiber-rich whole grain. I usually add them right to the smoothie but you can soak rolled oats in milk overnight to make them easier to blend.
  • Seeds like chia seeds, flaxseed and hemp seeds add a small amount of fiber.

Protein

Clear food processor filled with walnut butter

Protein is also important because it helps keep you full and gives long-lasting energy.

  • Nut/seed butters like almond, cashew, peanut and sunflower seed butter. I think peanut and almond butters go best with apples and bananas, whereas cashew and sunbutter are more neutral and versatile.
  • Beans: Yes, beans are great in smoothies! Try cooked black beans, white beans and green lentils for the most neutral flavor. Start with ¼ cup and increase as desired.
  • Yogurt: I like to use Greek yogurt because it’s high in protein, but soy and pea-based yogurts are great vegan options because they have more protein than most almond and coconut yogurts.
  • Milk: Soy and pea-based milk provide a similar amount of protein as cow’s milk. Oat milk, cashew milk and almond milk are lower in protein but are still delicious in smoothies.

Read more: How to make cold brew coffee concentrate

Learn more about the best vegan sources of protein.

Fats

Close up detail of walnuts, pumpkin seeds and nuts

Healthy fats contribute to heart and brain health, among many other things. Fats help slow digestion and when this happens, you stay full for longer.

Adding fats is also a great way to make smoothies creamier. I mentioned most of these in the fiber and protein sections:

  • Avocado: Try adding ½ an avocado to make a super rich and creamy smoothie.
  • Nuts and nut butters
  • Seeds like chia seeds, hemp hearts, flaxseeds

Extras

What about the fun stuff? A smoothie needs to taste good to be enjoyed.

  • If using bitter fruit like blackberries, consider adding fruit juice for additional flavor and sweetener. I like adding orange juice, mango juice or apple juice. Choose juice that has “no sugar added”.
  • Chocolate: Make it a chocolate smoothie by adding one tablespoon of cocoa powder.
  • Toppings: Add shredded coconut flakes, granola, chopped nuts or chia seeds for texture and extra nutrition.

4 Smoothie Recipes

Before we jump into these recipes, I want to say that one serving size does not fit all, especially when it comes to smoothies!

You can always add in or take out more nut butter, extra seeds and fruit to make a smoothie fit your needs.

  1. Triple Berry Smoothie
Red smoothie being poured into tall glass with ingredients list

Frozen berries combine with orange juice, yogurt and sunflower seed butter in this bright and zesty spring smoothie.

2. Chocolate Peanut Butter Smoothie

Brown smoothie being poured into tall glass with ingredients list

This one is somewhere between breakfast and dessert. I like to add coffee to make it mocha flavored, but that’s optional!

Read more: The most common smoothie problems (and how to solve them)

3. Ginger Peach Smoothie

Yellow smoothie being poured into tall glass with ingredients list

This smoothie is super creamy and zesty thanks to a lot of frozen fruit and fresh minced ginger.

4. Lemon Blueberry Smoothie

Purple smoothie being poured into tall glass with ingredients list

This recipe combines frozen blueberries with lemon and rolled oats to make a light and satisfying smoothie.

Blenders

Most smoothies can be made with a simple, inexpensive blender.

I use an old Oster blender that I found at a thrift store and have never had trouble making any of the above smoothies.

A high-powered blender can be beneficial but really isn’t needed for most recipes, so don’t worry if your blender isn’t top of the line.

If you ever have trouble getting a smoothie to blend just add an additional ¼ cup liquid or more. This usually does the trick.

How to freeze fruit

Buying frozen fruit is convenient but it gets expensive quickly. It’s easy to freeze fruit if you have a little extra time and freezer space.

Cutting board with sliced bananas being held above a wood table

Here is how I freeze fruit for more than just smoothies:

Read more: healthy vegetable smoothies for weight loss

  1. Rinse and slice/chop the fruit. Let air dry completely or pat dry with a towel to remove any water.
  2. Layer on a cutting board or parchment paper lined baking sheet. Be careful not to overlap pieces.
  3. Transfer to the freezer. It’s okay to leave it uncovered because it won’t be in there for too long. It will take anywhere from 1-4 hours to freeze the fruit, depending on size and type.
  4. Place frozen fruit pieces in a freezer safe container. Keep frozen for up to 3 months.

Smoothie FAQ and expert tips

  • Added sugars can add up fast. Start with plain yogurts and unsweetened non-dairy milk if you’re watching your sugar intake. This way, if you need extra sugar you can add it to taste later.
  • Flavors: Some ingredients go better together than others. It’s hard to go wrong with fruit smoothies, but be careful when adding in vegetables and nut butters. Start with small amounts and add as you go. Too much of a strong ingredient like peanut butter or kale can really overpower a smoothie.

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