Want to know how to make a smoothie thicker? Maybe you’ve blended all your ingredients together but things are looking a bit watery. Or you love the thick consistency of smoothie bowls and want to make something spoonable instead of drinkable.
In this article – we share 10 ways to make your smoothie thicker (plus some thinning options if you’re having the opposite problem).
Whichever camp you’re in, these tips will help you achieve the perfect smoothie consistency with zero fuss.
- What makes smoothies thick?
- 10 ways to thicken a smoothie
- How to make a smoothie thinner
- Smoothie consistency FAQs
What Makes a Smoothie Thick?
Creating a thick smoothie is about balancing the ratio of ingredients perfectly. It sounds simple but is actually surprisingly tricky. Different fruits and vegetables have varying levels of water content so it can be hard to judge the right amounts.
A thick smoothie requires plenty of your base ingredient – banana, mango, avocado, or anything similarly dense. You’ll also need to use minimal liquid – enough to bind everything together but not so much that it goes watery.
You might also like… learn how to make a delicious and creamy smoothie without a blender.
How To Make a Smoothie Thicker
There are lots of ways to thicken a smoothie, even with limited ingredients. Some of them are about the preparation whereas others can help you rescue a watery situation. Here are 10 ways to make your smoothie thicker…
- Limit the liquid
- Don’t blend it for long
- Add more of the base
- Thicken with oats
- Include chia seeds
- Add protein powder
- Blitz some avocado
- Use frozen fruit
- Add nut butter
- Leave it to separate
Let’s look at each of these in more detail…
#1 – Limit the Liquid
For a really thick fruit smoothie, add your liquid a little at a time. This will prevent you from accidentally adding too much and making it watery.
#2 – Don’t Blend It For Long
The longer you blend it, the more the ingredients are broken down into smaller parts, resulting in a thinner consistency. Blending it for a few short bursts will help you achieve a thicker smoothie.
#3 – Add More Of The Base
If you find yourself with a liquidy (that’s a word right?) smoothie after you’ve blended it, try adding more of your base ingredient. This should thicken it up in no time.
#4 – Thicken With Oats
Adding oats will also thicken your smoothie and make it more filling too. It’ll also add some slow-release carbs to keep your energy levels up. Traditional porridge oats or instant oats are fine.
#5 – Include Chia Seeds
Chia seeds have a magical* thickening property so are a fantastic add-in to any smoothie. In fact, they can absorb up to 10x their weight in liquid to form a gel! Plus, they’re packed with fibre, calcium, and omega-3 fatty acids too.
*The nutritionist in me feels compelled to clarify that it’s probably more scientific than magical.
#6 – Add Protein Powder
Adding protein powder can also make your smoothie a bit thicker. Some brands of powder have a thickening agent which helps them to form delicious workout shakes. Plus, protein powder can add an extra layer of flavour (call us boring but we think vanilla rules).
#7 – Blitz Some Avocado
Avocado is super-dense so will instantly thicken a smoothie. It also has a pretty neutral taste so won’t overpower the flavour of other ingredients.
#8 – Use Frozen Fruit
Frozen fruit creates thicker smoothies than the fresh stuff. You can buy ready-made frozen fruit packs from most supermarkets so there’s no need to make your own. We usually have a stash of pineapple and berries in the freezer at all times.
#9 – Add Nut Butter
Peanut butter is our go-to for thickening purposes. You know the way PB glues your mouth together? Well, it can perform the same miracle for your smoothies. Feel free to experiment with other flavours of nut butter too.
#10 – Leave It To Separate
Our last tip involves a bit of patience. You’ll need to leave the smoothie for a while so that it separates. Then pour away the liquid that settles on top and give it a very quick blitz to mix it all again thoroughly.
Following these tips will ensure you enjoy super-thick and filling smoothies no matter what ingredients you have to hand.
You might also like… 7 Ways To Make a Smoothie Sweeter Without Adding Sugar.
How To Make Smoothies Thinner
But what if you have the opposite problem? You’ve blended your ingredients and now it’s too thick to drink… Here’s how to make a smoothie thinner…
- Add more liquid – water, juice, or almond milk will all work.
- Blend it for longer – this will release more water from the fruit and veg.
- Use less base – reduce dense ingredients like banana and mango.
- Add ingredients with high water content – such as melon, cucumber, and pears.
This will help you achieve a thinner smoothie consistency that you can sup through a straw.
Smoothie Consistency FAQs
Here are answers to the most common questions about achieving the perfect smoothie consistency…
Does ice make smoothies thicker or thinner?
Adding crushed ice to your smoothies will make them thicker. However, you’ll need to drink it pretty quickly. As the ice melts it’ll start to have the opposite effect and slowly make it thinner.
Does milk make smoothies thicker or thinner?
Dairy milk and almond milk both make smoothies thinner. But there are lots of ways to make a creamy smoothie without any milk or yogurt.
Do oats make smoothies thicker or thinner?
Oats are great for making smoothies even more thick and filling. They absorb excess liquid and blend smoothly to help you achieve the perfect consistency.
Does protein powder make smoothies thicker or thinner?
Protein powder usually makes smoothies thicker but it varies by brand. Some have thickening agents that help to produce super-thick shakes. Others will just make them marginally thicker.
Does ice cream make smoothies thicker or thinner?
Ice-cream makes smoothies immediately thicker and creamier but can have the opposite effect if left too long.