How to Thicken a Smoothie

Strawberry milkshake.
Two strawberry fruit smoothies. (Image: Vitalina Rybakova/iStock/Getty Images)

A glass of juice is a good accompaniment to a hearty breakfast, but if you need a meal on the go, a thick smoothie is the perfect choice. You can make a tasty, substantial smoothie with ingredients you already have in your pantry and refrigerator. Pour the drink into a thermos and sip it on your way to work.

Choosing a Base

Instead of milk or juice, choose a thicker base for your smoothie, such as low-fat cottage cheese or Greek-style plain yogurt. Pour fruit juice into ice cube trays and freeze it so you can chill your drink without making it thin and watery.

The Right Fruit

Dense and creamy fruits such as bananas or avocados are the ideal ingredients for thick smoothies. Juicy fruits, including strawberries and mangoes, can still be part of your drink -- just throw them in the freezer for an hour before you drop them in the blender.

Nuts, Seeds and Grains

The flavors of peanut, almond or cashew butter meld perfectly with banana, but they'll add a lot of calories and fat to your smoothie. Limit yourself to a tablespoon of nut butter per smoothie. Another thickening option: chia seeds, which absorb liquids and expand. Although it sounds strange, you can also add a few tablespoons of uncooked oatmeal. Blend well to keep your drink grit free.

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