Smoothies are one of my all-time favorite things to eat (or drink).
Having a smoothie for breakfast is one of the best ways to get your daily dose of nutrients during the morning while enjoying a refreshing drink. However, they usually leave us with one problem: smoothies usually leave us hungry very soon after.
Luckily, you can add some tweaks here and there to make your smoothie as fulfilling as possible. With these little additions to your smoothie, not only will you have a delicious and nutritious smoothie, but also have a smoothie that can actually fill you up.
Here are just some of the things you can do to make your smoothie more fulfilling:
1) Add Fiber
One simple way to make your smoothie more fuller is by simply adding fiber. According to Mia Rigden, a Nutritionist, and Holistic Health Coach, “High fiber foods tend to make us feel fuller longer because they digest more slowly.” So, where can you find fiber? Luckily, fiber can be found in some of the common foods we eat – in fact, we mostly consume them without even knowing it!
Some great sources of fiber include bananas, apples, berries, pears, barley, beans, and nuts.
Add these fiber-rich foods to make your smoothie more filling and nutritious.
2) Do not fear fats — and add them to your smoothie!
One of the most common misconceptions when it comes to eating is that fats are bad. Our fear of fat is so blown out of proportion that we can easily miss out on a lot of health benefits that can bring us. And not to mention, we need fats to function to optimum levels.
This is not to say that fats won’t cause you harm, because unhealthy fats (think processed foods) can lead to a variety of chronic illnesses.
Here I am talking about healthy fats (like monounsaturated or polyunsaturated omega-3 or omega-6 fats), not just fats. Some of the sources of healthy and plant-based fats are avocados, coconut, nuts, and even dairy (but of course, you can skip the dairy if you are allergic to it).
Now, how do fats make us fuller? Simple: fats make you fuller longer.
“Adding a small amount of fat to a meal helps slow down the rate at which your stomach empties during digestion,” said Madelyn Fernstrom, NBC News health and nutrition editor. “And the longer some food remains in your stomach, the longer the sense of fullness lasts — sending that signal to your brain.”
So, fill your smoothie with (healthy) fats for a fuller, nutritious and delicious breakfast! I love adding MCT oil, frozen avocado, and chia seeds.
3) Use Coconut Water or Hemp Milk
Fruit juice may sound healthy because it has the “fruit” in it, but in reality, fruit juices, especially artificial ones, often cause more harm than good for our health. For one, fruit juices often have high sugar content. Also, these fruit juices are usually stripped off of their fiber, riding the fruit of one of their main benefits.
So instead of using fruit juice, you can use coconut water instead. Here are some benefits of coconut water – it has a hint of sweetness (making it a natural sweetener), it is a great source of electrolytes (which helps hydrate your body) and oftentimes, coconut water has lower sugar content compared to fruit juices.
You can also try hemp milk which actually has more calcium than dairy milk, protein, and the benefits of omega 3 and 6 essential fatty acids in the ideal 1:3 ratio.
4) Pack Your Smoothie With Protein
One of the reasons why you feel hungry an hour or two after finishing your morning smoothie is probably because it has low protein content. In this case, you can simply add more protein to your smoothie to avoid the hunger pains that come after you drink your morning smoothie.
If you are thinking of buying expensive protein powders, do not worry, you don’t have to unless it’s what you want. But there are protein sources which can probably be already found in your kitchen.
Cottage cheese is one big source of protein – and also, it can make your smoothie creamier.
Nut butter and even your dark leafy green vegetables are actually good sources of protein, so be sure to add them up to your smoothie!
5) Seeds are Actually Little Nutrition Powerhouses
They may be small, but never underestimate the power of what seeds can do for your body. Seeds, specifically the likes of hemp, chia, and flax, are considered to be “nutritional powerhouses” – these seeds are loaded with fiber, protein, healthy fats, and full of vitamins and minerals. Imagine how much you can get just from these little seeds!
Taste-wise, seeds can also add a great taste to your smoothies. All in all, seeds are simply good for you – they can help you stay full, are rich in nutritious benefits, and add up to your smoothie’s taste!
I add different seeds to my smoothies depending on what phase of my menstrual cycle I’m in. This helps add a good source of nutrients as well as balance out my hormones. You can learn more about seed cycling here.
6) Sweeten Up with Dates!
If you find that smoothies aren’t sweet enough for you, you can add dates for sweetener. Dates, fruits that are popular in the Middle East, Northern African, and even South Asian regions, are packed with health benefits. They can help lower cholesterol, increase bone health, and are a great source of protein, vitamins, and other nutrients!
What’s more, you can use dates as your “natural sugar,” without taking the risk of spiking your blood sugar, making it a healthier alternative to actual sugar.
You can add dates to your smoothie by using a powerful blender, but if you don’t have one at home, you can instead soak your dates in a bowl of water. Wait for around 30 minutes before adding them to your blender.
7) Add Veggies
Even if you love veggies, you may be a little nervous about adding them to your smoothie. However, there is a way to add vegetables without having them influence your smoothie’s taste, by adding the right ones!
You can add cauliflower rice, avocado, zucchini, spinach, kale, or even carrots. The good news is most of these veggies don’t have much taste and they simply add an abundance of nutrients to your drink. I also make sure to freeze all of my veggies so that they add a creamier taste to each smoothie I make.
Here are some of my favorite superfood recipes:
- Blue Majik Smoothie
- Spirulina Smoothie
- PB&J Smoothie Bowl
- Adaptogenic Peanut Butter Smoothie
- Berry Cashew Smoothie Bowl
Hope this is helpful and your smoothie game just got all the more better! As always, let me know if you try out these chocolate coconut bites and how they are. Oh and tag me on Instagram if you share it there!