Breakfast smoothies are a great way to pack a bunch of nutrients in at the beginning of the day—but they can often leave you feeling hangry before noon. There are several simple tweaks you can make based on your personal preferences and dietary needs to make your morning smoothie meal-worthy.
Here are our favorite tips to help make your morning smoothie more filling.
Replace Fruit Juice with Coconut Water
Fruit juice isn't as healthy as you think, and it definitely shouldn't replace whole fruits in a smoothie since it's been stripped of its fiber and is high in sugar. Fruit juice is often used as a liquid base in smoothies for easier blending, but you're better off using another beverage with a lower sugar content.
Coconut water is a great replacement for fruit juice in a smoothie because it has a hint of sweetness but is also a great source of several electrolytes (like potassium and phosphorus). Electrolytes assist in hydrating the body, which helps you distinguish hunger pangs from accidental dehydration! Choosing a lower-sugar beverage will also help prevent blood sugar spikes. Coconut water adds great hydration and a tropical flavor to our Mango-Coconut Green Smoothie.
Pump up the Protein
If your stomach is growling an hour or two after drinking your morning smoothie, the solution might be as simple as adding more protein. You can certainly go out and buy an expensive protein powder, but there are likely several great protein sources already in your kitchen!
Nut butter is a great example, as it not only has protein, but also healthy fats to keep you satiated for several hours. Cottage cheese also makes a great protein-boosting addition—and will make your smoothie seriously creamy.
Even those dark leafy greens that have been sitting in your fridge all week are a sneaky source of extra protein and make a nutritious addition to your morning smoothie. A two-cup serving adds about 3g protein plus a 2g fiber boost. Our Almond Butter & Banana Protein Smoothie is packed with 19g protein and is sure to keep stomach rumbles at bay.
Toss in Some Oats
Another ingredient likely in your kitchen already is oats—which can really help bulk up a smoothie! Oats have the perfect combination of protein and fiber, which promote fullness and pack staying power.
Adding a half-cup of rolled oats to your breakfast smoothie offers a nice 6g protein and 4g fiber boost. Plus, oats will help thicken up your smoothie and give it creamier texture. Try them in our Blueberry-Peach Pie Smoothie that is every bit as delicious as it sounds.
Add Some Seeds
Seeds like chia, flax and hemp are nutritional powerhouses—full of healthy fats, fiber, protein and loads of vitamins and minerals. While these "superfoods" can often be expensive, we love buying bags of these in bulk at Costco or Trader Joe's and storing them in the freezer.
These seeds are game-changers for transforming your morning smoothie, as they provide amazing texture and boost its nutrition value. We especially love a little flax boost in our Strawberry-Banana Protein Smoothie!
Related: How to Make Epic Smoothies at Home
Use Greek Yogurt
Swapping out flavored regular yogurt for plain Greek yogurt in your smoothie will make a huge difference in boosting satiety. Greek yogurt packs between 14-20g of protein per six-ounce container—depending on the fat content—and will make your smoothie taste rich and creamy, like a milkshake!
Plus, ditching the high-sugar yogurt will help prevent blood sugar spikes and keep your tummy content until lunch. Greek yogurt gives our Mango-Almond Smoothie Bowl the perfect thick and creamy consistency!
Sweeten with Dates
Dates are a perfect option for sweetening your smoothie because they are a natural form of sugar, paired with a good amount of fiber to help your body digest the sugars slower than honey, maple syrup, fruit juice or other added sugars. Dates are also an excellent source of potassium for a natural electrolyte boost!
If you don't have a high-powered blender, you may want to soak your dates in a bowl of water for about 30 minutes before popping them into your blender. Try it in our high-fiber Carrot Cake Smoothie!
Don't Fear Fat
The low-fat diet fad is (thankfully) long gone, but there are still remnants of it engrained in many of us. Fat is essential for keeping us full for more than a few hours, and our bodies need it to optimally absorb other nutrients, produce important hormones and promote brain health.
We like to focus on healthy, plant-based fats when it comes to a morning smoothie. Think: nuts and nut butters, avocados, coconut, tahini and, yes, full-fat dairy! Adding healthy fats may actually save you more calories in the long run because you won't need to graze between meals. We can almost guarantee our Spinach-Avocado Smoothie will keep you going all day!
Experiment with Beans
This may sound crazy, but trust us—adding legumes to your smoothie is one of the best things you can do to stay full until lunch. Legumes are some of the most nutrient-dense foods on the planet and pack that all-star protein-and-fiber combo for optimal fullness.
Lentils make a hearty addition to just about any meal and cook quickly, so they are a great meal prep option. Adding a mere quarter cup of pre-cooked and cooled lentils to your morning smoothie adds 4g fiber and 4.5g protein, plus a whole bunch of vitamins and minerals! You'd never know they were in our delicious Chocolate-Banana Protein Smoothie!
Soy Is Your Friend
There are a lot of opinions about soy out there, but we believe it is an amazingly nutritious food when consumed in less-processed forms such as organic tofu and soymilk. Just a half-cup of silken tofu adds 8g protein and gives smoothies that creamy, rich texture we love. Try our power-packed Banana-Cocoa Soy Smoothie to get that plant-protein boost first thing in the morning.
Make It a Bowl
Even the biggest smoothie aficionados need a little crunch sometimes, and making a smoothie bowl is the perfect way to beef up your favorite recipe. Add a low-sugar, high-protein granola and some nuts, nut butter or seeds along with your fruit toppings to help keep you full for hours on end. Our Acai-Blueberry Smoothie Bowl and Raspberry-Peach-Mango Smoothie Bowl both have a whopping 23g protein!