Flickr: Joanna Slodownik

Smoothies are a great way to start your day. If you use the right ingredients, they can be tasty, filling, and filled with nutrition (I always make mine a green smoothie buy adding a handful of spinach or kale). If you're running short on time, you can pre-make the smoothie mix and just toss it into the blender on your way out the door. All in all, this breakfast or midday snack is pretty easy to make once you know how to thicken a smoothie.

It's not that there's anything wrong with a thin smoothie - they still have all the health benefits and help with weight loss. It's just that they're just not as exciting as a thick and creamy smoothie! There are a few different ways to thicken your smoothie, so don't worry if you're dairy-free or gluten-free. We have a way to get your smoothie thicker for everyone!
1. Chia seeds

View this post on Instagram #chiaseedsmoothie #weightloss #fatloss #smoothie #youtube #youtuber #fitindianmom #healthcoach #healthyrecipes #breakfastrecipe #weightlossfood

A post shared by Hetal Trivedi | Health Coach (@hetalt87) on Mar 20, 2018 at 5:46pm PDT

Chia seeds are my preferred way to thicken smoothies. These tiny little seeds create a gel when they're exposed to liquid. They're pretty popular for making puddings or thickening jellies and jams, but I love the tiny little crunch they add to a thick smoothie. In addition to their ability to thicken, they also provide a burst of energy thanks to their omega-3 fatty acids, protein, and fiber contents.
2. Nut butters

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Dessert for breakfast - why not! This is an almond butter maca banana smoothie based on coconut water but set like a pudding for a more filling feed thanks to those superfood chia seeds. It boasts cinnamon and goji berries too. Great pre-post workout or to set you up in the morning ☆☆☆ #nutbuttersmoothie #puddingforbreakfast #chiaseeds #lovecoconutwater

A post shared by Ali Migliorini (@cooksimplycook) on Feb 2, 2018 at 2:18am PST

If you're allergic to peanuts, never fear: there are all kinds of delicious nut butters on the market today! You find almond butter, cashew butter, or sunflower seed butters at the grocery store. And, if you're feeling ambitious, you can even make your own DIY nut butters!

Any kind of nut butter will add body to your smoothie, thickening everything up while also bringing beneficial fats and proteins to your smoothie.
3. Ice cubes

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Fruit-infused ice is one of our favorite party trends -- instantly turning any beverage into something Instagram-worthy! [Source: @theprettyblog]

A post shared by BLACK TWINE (@blacktwine) on May 6, 2017 at 9:21am PDT

Any kind of crushed ice will thicken up your smoothies without adding any allergens at all. If you don't have an automatic ice maker, never fear! You can have a ton of fun with making fruit-infused ice in your ice cube trays. Freeze whole fruit or fruit juice in ice trays, or you can even make coconut milk ice cubes to add to your smoothie.

If you don't want to bother with making ice cubes, other frozen alternatives are available. Frozen fruit will thicken everything up just as nicely: apples, pineapple, berries, or mangos freeze really well.
4. Sweet potato

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Just when I thought I had done everything with a sweet potato... NOPE! Throw it in a smoothie🤩🙌🏻 - The weather today is callin’ for some fall vibes🍂 So I did just that🥤 deats: sweet potato, riced cauliflower, strawberries, coconut milk & water, cinnamon, nutmeg, @vitalproteins collagen and chia seeds!!!! Packed with gut happy foods and will keep you full for the morning☺️ - Happy Friday🥳👩🏻‍🍳

A post shared by Share The Deats! (@sharethedeats) on Oct 4, 2019 at 9:07am PDT

Adding a cooked sweet potato to the blender is an amazing way to thicken your smoothie. It's naturally sweet and it will bring a silken texture to your drink. We all know about sweet potato's superfood status: it boosts the immune system, is a powerful source of vitamins and minerals, and it adds a vibrant color to your morning drink. How great is that?
5. Flax seeds

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🔆 Lee en inglés y español ‼️ 🇺🇸🇺🇸 To make this high fiber smoothie soak 3 tbsp of flaxseeds for 30 minutes. After 30 minutes blend together with 1 cup of almond milk, 1 cup of mixed berries, 1 banana, and a splash of vanilla extract. I topped mine with homemade granola which recipe I will share in a separate post. Love and light 🙏🏻 . . 🇨🇴🇪🇸 Para hacer este smoothie alto en fibra remoja 3 cucharadas de semillas de linaza por 30 minutos. Después de remojadas Licúa junto con 1 tasa de leche de almendras, 1 tasa de moras mezcladas, 1 banana y un chorrito de extracto de vanilla. Lo serví con granola casera, compartiré la receta de la granola en un post diferente. Love and light 🙏🏻

A post shared by Yenny Vegan Fitness (@yennymandola) on Jan 16, 2018 at 3:18pm PST

Make a high-fiber version of your favorite smoothie just by adding a few tablespoons of flax. You can soak them in water if you don't like their grainy texture, or you can add ground flax seeds directly to the blender if you don't mind a little bit of grit in your smoothie. You'll get a burst of nutrition and a thickened smoothie, all at the same time.
6. Protein powder

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Sunday smoothie 🍊RECIPE🍊 I like to end the week by balancing my body after some Chocolate-Saturday. I made the right one this morning with a scoop of vanilla protein powder. I just feel so full and satisfied for a longer time when I get my protein serving for breakfast. 〰️ 〰️ Recipe 〰️ 〰️ 💛 Right one 💛 🔸1/2 mango, 🔸1 papaya, 🔸1 orange - peeled, 🔸20g shredded coconut, 🔸juice of 1 grapefruit 💜 Left one 💜 🔸1 flesh of one mango 🔸200 red grapes 🔸1/2 apple Put ingredients in a blender or a food processor and mix until soft and creamy. I added some ice and 1 cup water to the recipe because it was too thick with the protein powder. ✔️ NO gluten ✔️ NO dairy ✔️ NO added sugar ➕ Vegan-friendly (use bean protein powder/plant based) ➕ Paleo-friendly (use egg white protein powder) Recipe and photo author; Marie Dorfschmidt @therawberry. She makes lovely vegan & sugar-free recipes. #healthysmoothie #coconutsmoothie #orangesmoothie #paleosmoothie #vegansmoothie #fitforeverybody #healthygut #scddiet #paleorecipes #getrecipes #healinggut #healthydrink #fitforever #scdlifestyle #scd #cleansedrink #getfit2018 #eatcleanfood #tropicalsmoothie #proteinboost #proteinaholic #proteinpowdersmoothie #proteinsmoothierecipe #veganshake #mangosmoothie #smoothieday #healthysunday #papaya #sundayrecovery

A post shared by Healthy World Online (@healthy_world_online) on Mar 4, 2018 at 4:08am PST

This method is not only a great way to add protein to your drink, but it also helps thicken things up! Many protein powders also contain xanthan gum, a naturally occurring ingredient that adds body and thickness when it comes in contact with liquid. You'll reap the nutritional benefits of the powder and can potentially add some fun flavors to your smoothie. Personally, I'm a strawberry smoothie fanatic, so I love the berry flavored kinds!
7. Cottage cheese

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Sweet morning 😇☀️ #morning #fitmorning #homemade #healthy #healthyfood #healthylife #healthybreakfast #breakfast #smoothie #breakfastsmoothie #apple #applesmoothie #cottagecheese #cottagecheesesmoothie #cinnamon #cranberries #almonds #yummy #sunnymorning #happyday #happymorning #végresütanap #turmix #smoothielover #fitness

A post shared by Vivien Stubán (@stubanvivi) on Mar 14, 2017 at 1:57am PDT

This method won't exactly work if you're dairy free (and you're probably using almond milk instead of cow's milk!). But, it works wonders for those without allergens. Cottage cheese adds a ton of protein to your smoothie (in addition to giving it body), so this really is a meal in a cup.
8. Silken tofu

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Smoothie time!🍹 I looooove smoothies. This time I made it a bit different though.✌🏼 More protein, but without any powder. Perfect for after your workout.😏 Or any other time. #whatsthesecretingredient #canyouguess #gocheckitout #linkinbio . . . . #smoothie #vegan #protein #foodlover #foodpic #whatveganseat #healthyeats #veganprotein #smoothielover #plantpowered #healthyhabits #foodie #foodblogger #smoothieaddict #tofusmoothie #silkentofu #plantbaseddiet #vegansofig #veganlife #foodrecipe #plantbasedlife #veganfoodporn

A post shared by ↠ A N O U K ↞ (@the_loveof) on Jul 24, 2017 at 3:03am PDT

Using silken tofu is the perfect way to thicken up a smoothie while also adding protein. This plant-based protein is completely vegan, dairy free, and gluten-free. Because tofu is a complete protein, you'll get all of your essential amino acids without having to add protein powder.
9. Banana

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Good morning 💛 I start day with banana and ananas smoothie bowl. 🍴Perfect for fresh start, because today I have to be at work all day 😒Wish you an amazing day! 🌿

A post shared by Lenka Koutova (@lem0n_ka) on Apr 1, 2018 at 11:00pm PDT

I love the taste of bananas, so I always use them for my smoothie bowls! But, if you don't like the flavor of a banana smoothie, you might still be able to use a banana as a smoothie thickener. The flavor of the banana is easily covered up by berries and nut butters!

You should use fresh bananas for maximum thickening power because they still have all their starches. Browned bananas have more sugar content than starches, so they would make a thick but sweeter smoothie.
10. Avocado

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Healthy lunch after a 16km run 🏃🏻‍♂️😄. Avocado-banana-smoothie and a grapefruit 😋. #smoothie #avocado #avocado🥑 #banana #banane #avocadosmoothie #avocadobananasmoothie #stayhealthy #healthyfood #grapefruit

A post shared by Martin Wuethrich (@shanghaier) on Apr 5, 2020 at 4:37am PDT

In addition to being a source of healthy fats, the addition of an avocado will give your smoothie a creamy texture. And, don't worry, your smoothie won't just taste like avocado! Avocado has become a popular addition to vegan brownie and mousse recipes because its flavor is completely covered up by cacao powder.

This article was originally published on May 25, 2018.

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The post How to Naturally Thicken a Smoothie with Everyday Ingredients appeared first on Wide Open Eats.
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