Are you looking for a more satisfying smoothie that will make you feel full for a long time? Adding oats to smoothies will do just that. Oats are loaded with fiber and nutrients that will help you to feel full for longer.
Adding oats to smoothies is similar to a satisfying bowl of oatmeal loaded with nuts and fruit. Adding oats to your smoothie will make it more satisfying, nourishing, and will help thicken it.
If you want to add oats to your smoothie, it can be as easy as adding a scoop of whole rolled oats into the blender with the other ingredients.
Depending on how important texture is to you, there are different options for oats to use and how to prepare them. Let’s dig into the different ways you can use oats in your smoothies to help thicken them, get more nutrition, and stay full for longer.
Why use oats in smoothies?
- They taste good: Oat flavors vary from neutral to mildly nutty, making them a great addition to any smoothie recipe.
- Stabilizes blood sugar levels: The fiber in oats helps to slow down digestion, which can stabilize your blood sugar levels.
- Weight loss: Oats are loaded with soluble fiber, which turns into a gel in your digestive system. This means that adding them to your smoothies will help you to feel full for a long time – making you snack less.
- Lower cholesterol: The soluble fiber in oatmeal can help lower cholesterol, especially LDL (“bad” cholesterol).
- Boosts energy: Oats are a good source of carbohydrates for boosting your energy and endurance. This makes them great to get you through a workout or hectic morning.
- Prevents constipation: Oats contain both soluble and insoluble fiber which helps in regulating bowel movements, helping to prevent constipation.
- Good source of fiber: This means when you add oats to your smoothie you will stay full for longer.
How to use oats in smoothies
You can use any type of oats in smoothies. Depending on the kind of oats and your smoothie texture preference, they can be added in whole and raw, ground in a blender, or pre-soaked.
If you just want to know what kind of oats to use in your smoothie and how to use them, I’ll summarize here so you don’t have to read the entire post.
The most common types of oats used in smoothies are whole rolled oats and steel cut oats. They are some of the more nutritious types of oats you can buy in the store. Most recipes will call for either of these, although the most common seem to be whole rolled oats because they are the easiest and fastest to prepare.
The easiest method is to just add whole rolled oats into the blender with the rest of your smoothie ingredients and blend.
1/4 cup to 1/2 cup of oats is all you need to get the nutrition and satisfaction boost in your smoothie. Remember, oats will thicken your smoothie. The amount you add will vary depending on how thick your smoothie already is. Start with 1/4 cup and add more if you want to make your smoothie thicker.
There are a few methods for preparing oats to use in smoothies: dry, soaked, or cooked. Adding oats dry vs. soaked/cooked will change the texture of your smoothie in different ways.
Adding dry oats directly into your smoothie is definitely the easiest method. Whole rolled oats, quick oats, and instant oats work the best.
Some oats can be added dry to your smoothie and not change the texture too much. Instant and quick oats, added dry, will mostly just thicken your smoothie.
You can also add dry whole rolled oats and oatmeal to your smoothie. These two are the most commonly added oats in smoothies and will thicken and change the texture of your smoothie.
If you want a smoother texture, you can blend them first to make more of a flour, or you can soak them for a few minutes in the same liquid you will use in your smoothie.
Soaking oats before adding them to your smoothie will make the texture smoother and creamier than adding dry oats.
You don’t have to soak all oats before adding them to your smoothie. Instant, quick, whole rolled oats and oatmeal do not have to be soaked first. They can be added directly to your smoothie dry and will thicken it. Dry whole rolled oats and oatmeal will change the texture of your smoothie. If you don’t want that, just soak them first for a few minutes in the same liquid you will use in your smoothie.
To soak instant, quick, or whole rolled oats, just add them to the same liquid you plan on using in your smoothies. They only need to soak for a few minutes to become softer.
You’ll need to pre-soak steel cut oats, oat groats, raw oats, and some oatmeal before putting them in your smoothie because they are thick and tough. Soaking them overnight is recommended to help make them softer and easier to blend. You can soak them in the same liquid you will use in your smoothie.
It is not necessary to cook any of the types of oats before adding them to your smoothie. Most oats you can buy in the store have already been heat-treated and you can eat them right out of the package.
People cook oats because they are too dry or tough to eat without cooking. Simply adding liquid to your oats and giving them enough time to soak (anywhere from a few minutes to a few hours) will soften their textures for eating or adding to smoothies.
You can speed up the prep time of steel cut oats and oat groats by cooking them for about a half hour before putting them in your smoothie. This is faster than letting them soak overnight, but remember to leave time for them to cool.
If you want to add cooked oats to your smoothie, it is best to plan in advance to give the oats time to cool before adding them to your smoothie. Make them the night before for your breakfast smoothie, or at least a couple hours in advance.
If you can’t wait to add cooked oats to your smoothie, toss in a few extra ice cubes to help chill it.
Oat types and how to use them in smoothies
If you’re interested in the different kinds of oats and how to use them in your smoothies, I’ll go through them here.
Listed below are the different types of oats and techniques from simplest to hardest. Something to note is that the easier they are to prepare, the less nutrition they have. This is because of the processing they have gone through.
Most people drink smoothies as meal replacements because they are fast to prepare. That’s one of the reasons I drink them. Some of the oats listed below can be time-consuming to prepare so they aren’t commonly used in smoothies.
Instant oatmeal: These have a flour-like consistency and are heavily processed. They are the easiest to blend into a smoothie but are the least nutritious. Flavored instant oats have added sugar, so only use plain instant oats. Instant oats cook in a minute or two (follow package instructions) and turn into mush when cooked.
Quick oats: Quick oats are a mixture of oat flakes and flour. They are not as nutritious as whole rolled oats or oatmeal and are more nutritious than instant oatmeal. Quick oats should be easy to blend into your smoothie. Quick oats cook in just a few minutes (follow package instructions) and turn into mush when cooked.
Whole rolled oats: Whole rolled oats are oats that have been flattened into flakes, steamed, and toasted. They are more nutritious than quick oats and instant oatmeal. Because they are processed less that can be harder to blend in a smoothie. This can give your smoothie a chunkier texture. You can blend the oats by themselves first to turn them into more of a flour to get a smoother texture. Rolled oats cook in 6-8 minutes (follow package instructions) and don’t become as mushy when cooked as instant or quick oats.
Oatmeal: Oatmeal is one of the more nutritious types of oats and comes in three textures: fine, medium, and course. All three have a coarser flour consistency than instant oatmeal. It’s also less heavily processed than instant oatmeal, making it coarse and not as easy to blend as instant oatmeal. This can make the texture of your smoothie lumpy. You can pre-soak oatmeal in the liquid you will use for your smoothie to help make blending smoother. Oatmeal can take around 15 minutes to cook (follow package instructions).
Oat bran: Oat bran is fibrous and nutritious, and can be more difficult for us to digest because the husks are still attached. To help your body digest oat bran, and for a smoother texture in smoothies, soak it in the liquid you are using for your smoothie. The smoothie texture may still be a little grainy but it will be better than if you did not soak them.
Steel cut oats: Steel cut oats have the bran and germ left intact and are one of the most nutritious oats. They are whole grain kernels that have been sliced 3 or 4 times and are coarse and very difficult to blend without soaking or cooking them first. Steel cut oats take around 25 minutes to cook (follow package instructions).
Oat groats: Oat groats are one of the most nutritious kinds of oat because they are the whole oat groats (steamed). They are very difficult to blend in smoothies without soaking or cooking them first. Oat groats will double in size when soaking or cooking them so you only need to use half the amount of other oats. They take about 30 minutes to cook (follow package instructions).
Raw oat groats/raw steel cut oats: These are oat groats that have not been steamed. Raw oat groats are the most nutritious of all oats because they have not been processed at all. This also means they take the longest time for you to prepare before they are safe to consume. Raw oats need to be soaked 8-12 hours, drained and rinsed, and soaked another 8-12 hours before they can be used in your smoothie. Follow package instructions.
Give them a try in your next smoothie!
With so many benefits to adding oats in smoothies, what’s not to love about them? The best part – even if a recipe doesn’t call for adding oats in the smoothie you can go ahead and just add them. They are practically tasteless and blend in nicely with any smoothie flavor.
I’d love to know what smoothie flavor you add oats to – and what you thought about it! Post your experience in the comments below.
If you’re looking for more ways to thicken your smoothies, check out my guide:
If you’d like to learn more about how to create nutritionally balanced smoothies, download my free guide:
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