Learning to make the perfect smoothie is usually a matter of trial and error. I remember my first few blends I made many mistakes. At one stage I was convinced I’d even broken my blender.
One of the earliest problems I needed to solve was that my smoothies were just too watery. Nobody likes a smoothie that’s too watery, I am not a fan, so in this article, I’ve explained how to make smoothie bowls less watery.
If you’re looking to create your smoothie bowl less watery, the keys to success are using frozen ingredients, healthy fats, and less watery liquid. The more frozen ingredients you can add, the less chance the smoothie will be watery.
Avoiding watery smoothie bowls will prevent your smoothie bowl toppings from sinking to the bottom of your bowl. Understanding how to create a thick base that can easily support your toppings puts you well on the road to creating the perfect smoothie bowl, and that’s exactly what we will talk about in this article.
Why is My Smoothie Bowl Watery?
Before I will answer the question “how to make your smoothie bowl less watery?”, we need to understand why it is happening. Unlike regular smoothies that you usually will drink with a straw, you will eat the smoothie bowl with a spoon, and probably you will add some topping that you want to avoid from sinking.
Smoothie bowl can be watery because of these reasons:
- Too much liquid (usually it will be too much water)
- You don’t have enough emulsifiers fruits
- You don’t use fats in your smoothie (like avocado, yogurt, milk, etc…)
- Too much melted ice
- You don’t use frozen ingredients
Avoid Watery Smoothie Bowls
There are two important steps you need to take to ensure you don’t end up with a watery smoothie bowl:
- Try to use as many fruits and ingredients this could include frozen fruit or vegetables.
- As you’re blending the ingredients, continue to push them down towards the blade.
Depending on your blender, it may come with a custom-fit device to allow you to save you down towards the blade. I have a Ninja blender that comes with a device that is purpose-built to allow you to safely do this without ever coming into contact with the blades.
The device was designed specifically for this purpose to allow you to comfortably process ingredients. If you don’t have this device, don’t worry – just pause your machine after a few seconds of blending, and mix the ingredients with a spoon, and continue to blend until you reach the perfect texture.
In my experience, I always aim to make the smoothies with less liquid as it’s easier to add liquid than it is to remove it, and losing natural vitamins and minerals.
I’ve also learned from experience that you should avoid adding any frozen ingredients in the middle of the blending process. That’s all you’re going to do is end chewing on chunks of frozen fruit or ice. The best advice is to start with a little bit of liquid and continue with lots of different frozen ingredients.
Does Ice Make Smoothies Thicker Or Thinner?
Ice cubes make your smoothie thinner by being melted after some time, and these ice chunks that become water making the smoothie be separated, and make it more watery than before.
But as always, the more accurate answer here should be – it depends. By adding a few ice cubes to your smoothie, while you’re blending, it will help make a thicker smoothie. it will add a “fluffy” volume to the smoothie.
However the more you add it the thinner it will get, once the ice will be melted, the ice will become to water, which will make your smoothie more watery.
When you add your first handful of ice cubes, it homogenizes the ingredients in your blender nothing is really separated out and every sip of your smoothie tastes similar. However, if you make the mistake of adding too much ice, it will form a slushy consistency in your smoothie. Usually, the ice will gather at the bottom and you must constantly stir it to get access to the liquid you want.
To avoid this try using frozen ingredients and use ice very sparingly. Another option here is to add the ice after you finish blending your smoothie, this way you will avoid the separation process and the ice will melt slower.
How To Make Thicker Smoothie Bowl?
There are several ways that you can make your smoothie bowl thicker:
#1 Freeze your fruit overnight and add it to the smoothie
I learned very early on to avoid using ice cubes, so I started to pick up some additional blueberries, strawberries, pineapple, mango, and some bananas in the store, chop them up, and stashed them in the freezer in separated ziplock bags.
It offered me a perfect alternative to ice cubes. if you don’t want to go to the trouble and waste your time on processing the frozen fruit by yourself, you can always buy these in the store which actually works out cheaper and it’s a delicious and budget-friendly alternative.
#2 Pre-Freeze your liquid base
Most people add juice or milk to their smoothies. I have a taste for apple juice and because of this, I learned a lot of smoothie secret hack (don’t tell anyone!). Instead of filling my ice cube tray with water, I make apple juice cubes, which allows me to keep my smoothies thick and tasty at the same time while providing the perfect liquid base.
#3 Keep the liquid to a minimum
If you’re working with a high-quality blender, the need to add a significant amount of liquid at the start is minimal. But since many of us start off using a fancy blender, it’s best that you add liquid a little at a time while you’re bending if you add too much at the start, but you’re going to end up with a watery runny smoothie.
I personally use the Ninja HB152 which is a little bit noisy, but an AMAZING blender that even can make soups for you. (If you are interested in making warm smoothies or soups in your blender, I suggest you read this article)
#4 Raw oatmeal is a neat trick
If you accidentally add too much water to your smoothie, popping in a handful of raw oats without you some additional fiber and protein and quickly add some thickness to a watery smoothie.
Sometimes, I add oats to my smoothie during the blending process and as a topping just because I like it :). Chia seeds can also help make a thicker smoothie and give you some additional healthy fats and more nutrients.
#5 Blend your greens or protein powder first
If you’re looking to make a green or protein-rich smoothie, I’ve learned that adding these ingredients with a little liquid and blending them first has some quick breakdown and provides a nice thick base for your smoothie.
How To Thicken a Smoothie Without Adding Calories?
#1 Adding Xanthan Gum
This is a natural thickener, by adding a single tablespoon of this gum will give you seven grams of carbohydrates, 7 g of fiber, and only 30 calories and it’s also vegan friendly and gluten-free. You don’t need to use a lot of this gum to help thicken your smoothie, a small amount is just more than enough.
#2 Add frozen veggies and fruits
People who are new to making smoothies often make the mistake of adding too much ice. Unfortunately, ice can only end up as one thing, and that’s water. So the longer you let your smoothie sit, the more watery it’s going to become.
However, if you’re using frozen vegetables or fruits as long as you choose the right ones, you don’t have to worry about ending up with a watery smoothie bowl.
#3 Try to use as much soluble fiber
By adding more soluble fiber to your smoothie it helps make a thicker smoothie than soluble fiber will turn sticky as it dissolves. The fiber also helps you feel full for longer, reduces the risk of diabetes, humps regulate your blood sugar levels, and can reduce cholesterol levels.
Citrus fruits such as oranges, apples, pears, and avocados are a rich source of soluble fiber. If your purpose for consuming smoothies is to lose weight, adding a rich source of soluble fiber will help you to do it, and it’s also good for your heart. Nuts legumes, vegetables, and whole grains are also excellent sources of soluble fiber
#4 Add some flaxseeds
A single tablespoon of flax seeds contains only 37 calories and is an excellent way to thicken your smoothie. Similar to chia seeds deform a gel if you leave them to soak for 20 minutes beforehand.
They’re also an excellent source of omega-3, meaning they’re good for your heart and they also help tackle inflammation. the best advice is to buy flax seeds that have been pre-ground as most blenders struggle to grind them efficiently,
#5 Add some pumpkin or sweet potato puree
By adding some pumpkin or sweet potato puree to your smoothie it will help you thicken it and adding a little of a sweet taste without having to worry about excess sugar.
A single tablespoon of either of these purees can contain less than 20 calories. I’ve tried package purees before, but I found that cooking my own is healthier and tastier.
#6 Purchase a high-quality blender
Cheap, inferior quality blenders struggle to create thick smoothies, as I don’t have the power or ability to blend the ingredients correctly.
If you’re serious about making smoothies, invest in a high-quality blender. Buy one that gives you high-quality blades and this will help you avoid watery smoothie bowls as it can efficiently churn your fruit seeds and vegetables.
#7 Gelatin works well too
If you’re looking for an attitude that won’t change the flavor of your smoothie, some dried gelatin powder which is colorless and tasteless is a great way to thicken watery smoothies.
A single scoop is more than enough. Research has shown that the gelatin is also good for your gut health and helps heal the lining of your digestive tract.
#10 Add a probiotic
By adding kefir to your smoothies you’re not only providing yourself with an excellent source of probiotics but it also helps thicken the smoothie bowl. But be careful if you had too much, care for can turn this smoothie sour, especially if you intend to store it because it’s made from fermented milk.
How To Make a Thick Smoothie Bowl Without Bananas?
When I first started experimenting, I found that my smoothie bowls were a bit watery so I was looking for ingredients that I could use to thicken them up that didn’t include one of the most obvious ingredients – a banana.
Smoothie Recipes Without Using a Banana
If you want to avoid bananas, or you just not a fan of the taste, you can get a similar effect by using the next ingredients:
Avocado is a great way to thicken a smoothie bowl. I will add a distinct flavor to the avocado, but it provides a creamy and thick texture.
Another great alternative to using bananas to create a smooth creamy smoothie is to add some yogurt. If you’re after a really thick finish, I recommend using Greek-style yogurt or a strained yogurt and also provide an additional protein boost to your smoothie.
#3 Silken Tofu
This will provide a smooth neutral flavor and adding a creamy texture similar to banana under really works great in smoothies. it’s especially popular for people who are looking for a high-quality vegan protein source.
#4 Adding chia seeds
Chia seeds are pint with healthy ingredients including amino acids and omega-3s. They’re also a rich source of fiber, so adding them to your smoothie will not only provide an excellent source of vitamins and minerals, but they’re also very low in calories.
When you blend them, they become gel-like and soak up liquid helping keep you full for hours. This can be very helpful for anyone who struggles with hunger while on a smoothie diet.
If you’re working with a low-power blender, I found that soaking chia seeds in water for 20 minutes before blending will help them become gel-like and easier to blend. One or two tablespoons of chia seeds are more than enough to help thicken your smoothie without adding calories.
Some Recipes You Could Try Out
How could write an article making smoothie bowls less watery without giving you some of my favorite recipes to try out?
My perfect Strawberry smoothie
If you’re new to making smoothies, I always recommend starting off with something that’s simple, but tasty. Most people love the taste of strawberries, and they’re really easy to make nice thick smoothies with. As I mentioned previously, always use frozen strawberries so you can avoid having to use ice.
The result will be a much creamier and thicker smoothie, and it also offers a much deeper, more flavorful taste. If you want to, you can use fresh strawberries, remove the stems, and just freeze them overnight. Buying frozen berries is always cheaper, but they sometimes taste the same as freshly frozen ones.
For best results, you should let them thaw a little beforehand to make them easier to blend. If you’re operating with a lower quality blender, it’ll also be easier on its motor.
Here is my simple 3 Ingredient Strawberry Smoothie Recipe. The whole smoothie takes about 5 minutes to make.
You must have the following ingredients:
- 300 g of strawberries – roughly 2 cups full.
- you can choose from a liquid of your choice either orange juice, strawberry yogurt, or even a cup of skimmed milk.
- If you want to, you can have the sweetener.
- A teaspoon of cocoa powder adds a neat twist.
This is easy to start up with you simply pop all the ingredients into the bender and with it until they are completely smooth.
If you’re adding liquid I advise that you start with a small amount and make it a thick smoothie, and add a little liquid as you go along to prevent it from becoming too watery
“The Green Giant” – Apple & Avocado Smoothie
Initially, I started making smoothies out of curiosity, but I eventually saw the cleansing benefits of them and started looking for specific recipes. One of my favorites is my avocado and apple smoothie that I called The Green Giant.
This Smoothie combines avocado and apple among some other ingredients and it’s delicious. By adding Apple, avocado, spinach, and some fresh ginger you create a perfectly healthy green smoothie, which is excellent for a healthy breakfast, to help with weight loss, or as a detox.
This recipe takes about 5 minutes to prep and will serve two people:
Ingredients that you need:
- One cup of plain almond milk (I use unsweetened)
- Four cups of spinach
- Half pitted and peeled avocado
- Two medium-sized apples, I peel, core, and quarter these and freeze them overnight.
- Add a banana if you like
- Two tablespoons of maple syrup, or honey
- Half a tablespoon of ground ginger. If you aren’t a fan of the taste, a little less is ok too
- 3-5 ice cubes, and half a cup of soaked chia seeds
This recipe obviously features a few more ingredients, but it’s not too difficult all you do is to blend the ingredients in the order listed above. Keep plenty of good smooth and you can adjust the sweetness or spiciness as you desire by adding a little extra.
The chocolate and oatmeal delight
After a long time experimenting with several recipes to get myself to enjoy different recipes, I stumbled across this recipe for making perfect breakfast shakes that actually tastes like a chocolate malt.
This recipe takes about 5 minutes to prep and 5 minutes to make, and you will need the following ingredients:
- A half a cup of rolled oats or quick oats
- One large banana pre-cut and frozen
- Half a cup of unsweetened coconut milk
- Four tablespoons of malted milk powder
- One tablespoon of dark cocoa powder
- Two teaspoons of maple syrup optional
- I do occasionally add some malted milk candy
Add the cocoa powder, almond milk, the banana, and your four teaspoons of milk powder, continue to blend until it’s smooth. If you want to add some additional taste, try some maple syrup 1 tsp should be enough. Sometimes you might want to maltier taste just had one more tablespoon of cocoa powder.
I hope this guide to making Smoothie bowls less watery proves useful, and I would love you to try out the recipes!