Recipe Review

These 5 Smoothies Prove That Smoothies Can Be Hearty and Filling

updated May 1, 2019
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Smoothies are a fast and delicious way to pack many nutrients into one quick-sipping glass. Whether you’re running out the door at the start of your day, or seeking an afternoon pick-me-up, blended concoctions make it easy to slurp up the vitamins.

But smoothies aren’t just liquid fruit and vegetables. When you boost your smoothies with hearty ingredients, they can keep you satisfied and energized for longer periods of time. Here are five smoothies that prove smoothies can be hearty as well as wholesome, and filling as well as fresh.

(Image credit: Emma Christensen)

3 Tips for Hearty Smoothies

Trying to make a smoothie last you from breakfast to lunch? Here are three tips to consider. When I keep these guiding tips in mind for my smoothies, I always come up with a blend that energizes me throughout the day.

1. Think beyond frozen bananas.

Bananas are often turned to in a smoothie because they thicken the blend. Replacing the banana with alternative frozen fruit and vegetables makes for equally frothy and delicious results, a wider array of nutrients, and less sugar as well. Frozen avocado, zucchini, and cauliflower all integrate seamlessly in a blend with other flavorful additions.

To freeze these yourself, simply peel (if necessary or desired), chop, and spread out in a single layer on a parchment-lined baking sheet. Freeze the produce until pieces are solid. Then, transfer your new smoothie bases to labeled freezer bags.

Freeze your own veggies: Kitchn’s Guide to Freezing Produce

(Image credit: Laura Wright)

2. Choose your ingredients for flavor and satisfaction.

When you start with flavor combinations that work well together, you can incorporate more energy-boosting and vitamin-rich foods, like greens, healthy fats, and the nutrient-rich additions that are often called superfoods. These are the additions that truly make a smoothie hearty.

It’s common to add some form of protein to a blend, but it’s equally important to get some healthy fats in the mix to keep you full over a longer period of time. Nut and seed butters, coconut milk, and full-fat dairy will all do the trick.

Incorporating accents like vanilla extract, citrus zest, dates, sea salt, and spices make it easier to sip strongly flavored items like greens, vegetables, and certain superfoods. We usually seek some sort of combination of delicious flavor and wholesome goodness from our meals, so why should smoothies be any different?

(Image credit: Laura Wright)

3. Blend thoroughly and enjoy immediately.

This reads like a typical recipe instruction, but it’s especially relevant for smoothies with hidden vegetables, greens, and certain seeds. There’s nothing worse than a “chewy” green smoothie. And if left to sit too long, ingredients like flax and chia can make smoothies almost too thick to drink.

Also, alternative frozen bases like cauliflower and zucchini start to showcase some of their vegetal flavor if the smoothie is made too far in advance.

5 Recipes for Hearty Smoothies