Simple Ways to Add Extra Calories To Your Smoothies
High-calorie smoothies are an amazing tool for gaining weight in a healthy way. The problem is, most smoothie recipes focus on low-calorie smoothies and weight-loss smoothies. There are few resources out there for us smoothie-lovers who are looking to gain weight/muscle.
Smoothies provide whole foods filled with fiber, vitamins, minerals and other essential nutrients. They can also give you a generous amount of calories. High-calorie smoothies have been a staple of my diet ever since I began lifting weights. I used to scour the Internet looking for high calories smoothie recipes. Eventually, I realized there are some common ingredients in a lot of the recipes I found.
Using the recipes I found and the ones I created myself, I soon realized that most smoothie recipes can be altered to be high-calorie. There’s a few simple additions or substitutions which generally do not change the flavor or texture of a smoothie recipe but add a lot of calories.
This is a quick list of some of the ways in which you can alter a smoothie recipe to add more calories to it.
Use Whole Milk
A cup of whole milk has about 150 calories in it, along with 8 grams of protein. Milk is a great way to get extra calories and protein in your diet. If smoothies call for juice or water, see if you can use milk instead.
Milk definitely tastes different from water. But the flavor of milk goes well with most fruit and most smoothie ingredients. This is why ice cream comes in so many flavors. Ice cream is dairy based, but the dairy works great with most fruit flavors.
If you are lactose intolerant or vegan, try soy milk as a cow milk alternative.
Add Protein Powder
This one may be obvious to some of you, but protein is essential for building muscles. Plain and simple, if you want muscles, you need protein. You can add a scoop of protein powder to your smoothie without changing the texture of the smoothie. And protein powders come in so many flavors that you should be able to find a flavor that goes well with the smoothie ingredients that you are using. A single scoop comes to about 120 calories and 24 grams of protein.
For example, when I am making a smoothie that has a lot of tropical fruits like mango or papaya, I usually pair that up with a strawberry flavored protein powder. If I am making a smoothie with a strong nut butter flavor I will use chocolate protein powder. See what works for you.
If you are avoiding dairy/whey, there are a number of alternative protein powders which you can try.
If you are looking to build muscle, make sure you get enough protein. Anytime a smoothie recipe calls for yogurt, use Greek yogurt. The number of calories is actually going to be pretty equal between plain yogurt and Greek yogurt. However, Greek yogurt has about double the protein as regular yogurt.
Kale for the Green Smoothie
If you are making a green smoothie, try using kale. This isn’t going to make a huge difference, but every calorie counts. Kale has about 33 calories per cup while most other greens have less than 10 calories. If you substitute kale for spinach in a recipe you are getting over 20 more calories per cup.
If your smoothie recipe calls for berries, try using blueberries. They have more calories than other berries and are actually one of the higher calorie fruits available. A cup of blueberries will have about 85 calories, which is almost twice the calories of a cup of strawberries. Blueberries are thicker than most other berries, so your smoothie will be thicker.
Check out our 1000 calorie smoothie recipes for more ideas on how to get the most calories out of your smoothies. And you if have any other ingredient substitution ideas, please leave a comment.