Love the idea of a smoothie for breakfast, but wish it filled you up a little more? I hear you, and I'm totally with you. My main criteria for any breakfast, including smoothies, is one that isn't going to leave my stomach grumbling a couple hours later.
My key to a good breakfast smoothie is making sure it has the power to carry me through the morning. One of the easiest ways to do this? Add a scoop of oats!
That's right — whole rolled oats, just like the kind you'd eat for breakfast. Think about it this way: A bowl of oats topped with your favorite fruit or nuts makes a seriously satisfying and nourishing start to the day. Well, oats can do the same thing for your smoothie. They make for a drink that's thicker, heartier, and all around more filling and nourishing. They even impart a subtle nutty flavor.
Make a More Nourishing Smoothie with Oats
First, you need to choose your oats. I prefer using whole rolled oats. They blend well and that's also what I use for oatmeal, so I always have them on hand. Quick oats will also work if that's what you have at home. Because of their thicker, tougher texture, steel-cut oats are a little trickier to use in smoothies and require precooking before you can add them to your drink, so I'd save those for a bowl of oatmeal.
- The easiest way: Pour the oats straight into the blender with the other smoothie ingredients and blend away until everything is smooth. This will give you a smoothie with a thicker, yet very drinkable consistency.
- A little more work: Grind the oats before adding them to the smoothie. If you have a high-powered blender like a Vitamix or Blendtec, that will do the trick; you can grind the oats right in the blender before adding the other ingredients. You can also use a spice grinder to tackle the oats — just make sure it's clean first.
- Some pre-planning: With a little forethought and planning ahead, you can also consider soaking the oats overnight, or at least for a few hours, before adding them to your smoothie. Pour oats and enough milk of choice to cover in a small dish and refrigerate an hour or up to overnight.
The amount of oats you'll add can vary depending on your smoothie recipe, but a good rule of thumb is no more than 1/2 cup of whole rolled oats. Remember: You can always add more. So if you're not quite sure about how much to add, start with less, and you can always use more until you get the consistency you like.