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10 Tips for Making Thick Smoothies

With spring in the air, you may be thinking of starting up your smoothie habit again. And a smoothie isn’t a smoothie unless it’s thick, in my opinion. If it’s not thick, I think it of it more as a juice. So today I’m sharing 10 tips for making thick smoothies!

how to make a thick smoothie

As soon as spring starts knocking on my door, I feel the urge to start making smothies again. I love having a daily smoothie, and it is something that is usually part of my daily routine. But somewhere in between Thanksgiving and Christmas, it usually gets too cold, and I get out of the habit until spring rolls around again.

I am picky about my smoothies and their consistency. I think that smoothies (just like milkshakes) should be very thick. Thick enough to eat with a spoon at first or difficult to sip through a straw. If a smoothie is not thick, it just seems like juice.

So, today I’m sharing 10 tips for making thick smoothies. These are tricks I use every day when I make my smoothies and when I create smoothie recipes. Be sure to check out my Mango Berry Smoothie, Tropical Cranberry Smoothie, or my Healthy Orange Julius.

tropical fruit stand

1. Use a High Powered Blender

Using a high powdered blender can help you get a thicker smoothie because you will blend it for less time. I have a VitaMix and it was a game changer when I bought it and switched from the KitchenAid blender I had before! So if you’re thinking of upgrading, do it!

2. Use Less Liquid

If you’re following a smoothie recipe, try using less liquid than it originally calls for and blend before you add more. Try reducing a recipes liquid by 2 to 4 tablespoons at first, depending on how much liquid it calls for. Blend, and add more only as needed.

3. Use Fresh Banana (not frozen)

Bananas are great thickeners for smoothies! But, using fresh bananas is better than frozen. Why? Frozen bananas will take more effort to blend up, which will be more work for the blender and you’ll need to add more liquid in order to blend a frozen banana then you would a fresh one! Bananas also don’t have as much water content as other fruits like berries, so using them fresh allows you to benefit from their thickening properties the most.

how to make a thick smoothie

4. Use Frozen Fruit

Contrary to the above, the rest of the fruit you use should be frozen and not fresh! Fruit has high water content, so using fresh fruit will release that water into your smoothie quicker than using frozen. When you use frozen fruit, even fruits with high water content like strawberries or blueberries can thicken easier!

5. Cut Fruit into Small Pieces

If you cut your fruit (fresh banana and frozen fruit) into small pieces, the blender won’t have to work as hard to blend it up. This will allow the smoothie to thicken naturally and prevent you from adding more liquid. Frozen blueberries don’t have to be cut smaller, haha. But if you have big frozen strawberries even that can cause the blender to get stuck and in your frustration you think you may need more liquid when you may not! So, if you’re freezing your own fruit for smoothies be sure to cut it small before adding to the freezer. If you’re buying frozen fruit for smoothies you can cut up larger chunks before blending! For example, don’t add a trio of strawberries that is stuck together, at least break apart and cut up if needed. When all your fruit is about the same size, your smoothie will blend together easily!

rainbow smoothie bowl

6. Use Yogurt

Yogurt is an amazing thickener for smoothies! It also adds protein, probiotics, and flavor! You can use even use Greek yogurt or vegan yogurt. Kefir is also a great option as it’s very thick and has similar benefits to yogurt!

7. Use Milk in Place of Water

Using milk in place of water will automatically thicken the smoothie! I actually love using coconut milk, even though I drink regular milk, because I love the coconut flavor! You can use any kind of milk you drink — cow’s milk, coconut milk, almond milk, oat milk. Any kind of milk is going to help thicken your smoothie better then water!

how to make a thick smoothie

8. Add Ice Cubes

Ice cubes are a great way to thicken smoothies. But when you use regular ice cubes, you can actually water down your smoothie more, as they melt. So if you add your milk to ice trays and make milk ice cubes, that is even better!

9. Add Nut Butter

Just like nut butter can be used as binder in cookies or brownies, you can also use it as a binder in smoothies! If you’re looking for a neutral flavor, then cashew butter is going to be your best friend. But if you want to add flavor to your smoothie, use almond butter or peanut butter!

10. Use a Blender Tamper 

A blender tamper is going to help you make a thicker smoothie! If you have a VitaMix they come with this, and some other blenders do as well. But if you don’t have one you can use a rubber spatula, but just be careful not to blend up your spatula! The blender tampers will fit into the blender and are meant to be used when the blender is blending. This will help you mix up all the ingredients or get things that are stuck to the sides as you’re blending, which will prevent you from adding more liquid!

how to make a thick smoothie

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