Breakfast smoothies can be a lifesaver when your family is running late. The nutritious liquid meals are quick to create and easy to drink while travelling to school or work. The drinks are also easy to customize according to each family member's needs. However, the liquid breakfast can leave big and little tummies feeling empty. The key to boosting the "filling" quality of the smoothie is to add fiber.
Fiber has several health benefits when incorporated into a daily diet. Fiber doesn't digest in your stomach the way other nutrients do; instead, it's like a tiny brush that helps scrub away the gunk and flush it out of your system. Ultimately, a high-fiber diet can help improve digestive tract health, lower blood sugar and lower blood cholesterol. By remaining undigested, the fiber also stays in your stomach for longer before being flushed from your system, so you feel full for longer.
Basic breakfast smoothies usually contain fresh produce, liquid ingredients and thickening ingredients. While vegetable smoothies are an option, it tends to be much easier to convince kids to drink a strawberry smoothie rather than a carrot one. Water, juice, milk or soymilk all work as liquid ingredients. Banana, yogurt, tofu, cottage cheese and nut butter are all well-suited as smoothie thickeners, both in terms of taste and nutrition. Most smoothies contain some fiber naturally if they use ingredients such as apples and strawberries.
Fiber for Smoothies
Oatmeal is a low-cost way to add extra fiber to smoothies, as well as an easy way to thicken up the mixture. Throw uncooked rolled oats into your smoothie recipe for a quick fiber boost. However, the uncooked oatmeal can leave a gritty texture that kids may not like. Soak the oatmeal in water or milk first to soften it up before adding it to the smoothie. The softened oatmeal gives the drink a creamy texture without adding grit or an obvious oatmeal taste.
Other high-fiber ingredients suitable for a smoothie include cooked brown rice, wheat bran, oat bran and whole-fiber breakfast cereal, as well as basic fresh produce. Like oatmeal, the bran and breakfast cereal may benefit from a soak in water or milk before being added to the smoothie.
Fruit and Fiber Combinations
Fruity or nutty, there are many fiber-filled smoothie selections for breakfast. Mix strawberries, banana, ice, milk, raspberry yogurt and softened oatmeal for a berry-flavored breakfast. Blend apples, banana, ice, apple juice, peanut butter and softened oatmeal for a rich smoothie. Combine peach, ice, soy milk and cooked brown rice for an ultra-healthy drink or pineapple, banana, coconut milk and oat bran for a tropical taste.