It’s getting warmer and we may be craving more smoothies. I love love love smoothies when it’s hot out as a meal because they are so refreshing. A lot of the time people throw in some milk (or water) and fruit and call it a day and they’re left feeling hungry an hour later. I do enjoy a simple smoothie like that occasionally but more so as a snack. If you’re looking to eat a smoothie as a meal, there are key ingredients you need to add. Bulking up your smoothies with other ingredients besides a liquid and fruit will keep you feeling full for hours.
A balanced meal is a combination of protein, carbs and healthy fats. For some unknown reason fats are the first thing to go in a meal since the word has such a negative connotation to it. I don’t know if it is a mental thing or what, but I feel like when I drink a meal I don’t stay as full as long. The fats and protein combination helps fight that hunger.
Another important part of having a smoothie as a meal is to make it large. Honestly, the single serving blender is sometimes not enough. If I am making a smoothie for breakfast or lunch (basically a meal before my workout) then I’m fine but if I already got a sweat on for the day then I need a full blender and those smoothies come out to be about 3 cups. Yes I drink it all. It honestly sounds like a lot but it is important to remember that this is a meal (unless it is a snack). Might seem like a lot of liquids but you’re eating your calories in drink form. Ultimately play around with the size of your smoothie so you can fuel your own body!
Protein powder is a must. It is a quick and easy source of protein for the day. I go with a simple vanilla flavor so I can mix any combination of fruits and have it still taste good. One scoop of protein powder can contain 15-22 grams of protein on average, making it a quality serving for a meal such as this one. Choose a protein powder you know you enjoy whether its plant based or way. Choose a protein powder and flavor that will work for you. If you have the ability to buy or sample other flavors then you can use those in more flavor specific smoothies. We love variety.
Chia seeds/hemp seeds/flax seeds
We have reached a healthy fat. These little guys are going to be what keeps you full longer. I rotate between chia and hemp. I add chia seeds to my oatmeal a lot of the time, so I picked up hemp seeds to add to my smoothies for a balance as I find I tend to have both of these meals in one day. They do also have a small small amount of protein which is an added bonus. I wouldn’t rely on it as your primary source of protein though, so I add these in as my fat source. You can blend them up or toss them in at the end. I can’t tell the texture of them either way.
I love peanut butter. A lot. My love for peanut butter got so bad at one point I restricted myself to half a serving twice a day. If I hadn’t done that I would be eating double servings every chance I got, which is just not balanced.
October 2021 update: I still be eating peanut butter a lot. This time I’m just not tracking it anymore. I legit just stick the knife in the jar and try to scoop out as much as I can in one shot. It is too good and if you don’t agree, i’m sorry.
I also have these flavored almond and cashew butter options. These are great to stick on a rice cake and have as a little snack. I toss them in oats or on a rice cake more so then in smoothies but still a noteworthy option.
Back to what I was saying…
Nut butters are awesome to add to a smoothie as they are a healthy source of protein and fat. Now if you can’t have nut butters because you’re allergic, I am so sorry. BUT if you can have them, add them in. So yummy.
Great source of healthy fat and makes your smoothie ultra creamy. And avocados are great. End of story. I typically use bananas in my smoothies and use the other fat source options, but this is a great choice if you can’t have or don’t like bananas
Some other ingredients you can add in to bulk up its content are diary products. I personally do not eat dairy so thats why I don’t include them but some good options include, greek yogurt, normal yogurt or normal dairy milk. All of those products have a decent protein amount. They will help flavor your smoothie or make it thicker. Before I stopped eating dairy, I enjoyed adding in a flavored greek yogurt like strawberry or blueberry for an added flavor boost.
All of these ingredients I mention are the secret to success with creating a smoothie to keep you full for hours. I usually have the protein powder and a seed every single smoothie and then use the avocado and nut butters as an additional yummy item. Throw these few things in with whatever fruit you’re craving, add some water or milk and VOILA a filling yummy smoothie.
If you have any smoothie staples that you incorporate to help keep you full or just enjoy, please please comment down below. I legit make a smoothie almost everyday when it’s hot so I’m always up to try something new.