Chocolate Smoothie (that'll actually keep you full)
Why don't I feel full after having smoothies?
I'll be honest.
I've never found smoothies filling. An hour later, and I'm hungry again and thinking 'why did I bother' or 'what's all this hype about?'
And because it's liquid, I blink and I've finished my 'so-called' meal.
So I asked you - my lovely community - and you shared some tips for making a smoothie that keeps you full. And here's the answer:
To make a filling smoothie, add in 'extras'.
a good source of healthy fat
a good source of carbohydrates
a good source of protein
sweetness (more for taste but it also add energy)
So that's why I've added to this recipe; avocado (for fat), oats (for carbs) and milk (for protein). The dates are for sweetness and the other ingredients are for flavour or texture.
Is this a breakfast smoothie or snack smoothie?
I'd consider this a 'meal smoothie', ideal for breakfast. Because it's loaded. Typically 'snack smoothies' are lighter, less loaded with all the 'extras'.
One of the reasons you may not feel full from other smoothies is that they are 'snack smoothies', not intended to keep you full for hours.
How many 'extras' should I be adding?
It depends on how hungry you are and when is your next meal.
If you're not planning to eat for a while (3-4 hours), go for a 'meal smoothie'. If it's only 1-2 hours before eating again, choose a 'snack smoothie'.
A 'meal smoothie' might have 2-4 'extras', with a flavour boost. e.g. Oats, milk, avocado, nut butter for 'extras' (and dates for flavour).
A snack smoothie might have 1-2 'extras' with a little flavour boost. e.g. milk and a banana for 'extras' (and 1 tbs honey for flavour).
Can I add too many extras?
There is a point when too many extras become too many. The aim is to eat what your body needs, not more or less.
For example, I don't think you need to add 1/2 an avocado (which would be 2 'extras') to a smoothie when 1/4 will fill you up just fine.
If you stick to 1/4 (which is one serve of healthy fats), it means you can use another ingredient to add more flavour instead of using up all your 'extras' on one ingredient, and therefore, only one set of nutrients.
The more types of ingredients you use, the more varied the nutrients - and variety is essential.
If smoothies don't leave you feeling full...
Try this recipe. And if it still doesn't keep you feel, then... now you know. Smoothies aren't right for you.
Ultimately, the healthiest food for you is the food that makes you feel good. Don't go hungry because you like the idea of being a smoothie drinker. Eat food for breakfast instead, like this delicious 5-minute breakfast or this overnight oats!
Can I use dried dates?
I use dried pitted dates. The ones that come in a bag as they are much cheaper and easier to find. Use Medjool dates if you have them otherwise, it's all good.
Do I need cacao?
If you can't afford (or find) cacao, just use cocoa powder. It's got slightly fewer nutrients but it's not a big deal. The real win is you still get to enjoy this healthy breakfast smoothie.
This is a chocolate smoothie without banana.
Even though I love bananas and eat them often, I also know some people don't love bananas. So if you like smoothies without banana, here you go! I used 1/4 of an avocado instead, and this gives it delicious healthy fats and makes it creamy.
Avocado too expensive?
If you don't like banana (and avocados are expensive), another option is to freeze zucchini chunks. It sounds like witchcraft but it's ain't. You can't taste the zucchini and it'll give you another serve of veg, without a high price tag. Use about 1/2 cup of zucchini chunks in a recipe that calls for 1/4 avo or 1/2 banana.
Can't eat gluten?
Only some oats are gluten-free so always check the packet. If you don't eat oats, then you can use quinoa flakes instead. If you are gluten-free, quinoa flakes are a good basic to have on hand for breadcrumbs or any 'bread' replacement in recipes.
Which milk to use...
I drink dairy milk because it's always agreed with me and I love it for it's health benefits. If you're vegan or don't tolerate or enjoy dairy milk, use your favourite milk alternative. Personally, I rate oat milk, nutritionally and taste-wise. Moral of the story is; do what feels good for you body, not what's trendy or what you think you should do.
Your body is the expert.
Anyway, that's enough chitchat from me. Here's the recipe!