How do you fix a runny smoothie?

What causes a runny smoothie?

There are a few main reasons why your smoothie may turn out runnier than you’d like:

Too much liquid

The most common reason for a runny smoothie is adding too much liquid. Smoothies are meant to be thick and creamy, so you don’t want to overdo it on the juice, milk, water or other liquids. As a general rule, you’ll want to use around 1 cup of liquid per 2-3 cups of solid ingredients. If your smoothie is runny, try reducing the liquid amount next time.

Not enough ice

Ice helps thicken up smoothies. If you didn’t add enough ice, or if the ice melted too much before blending, your smoothie can end up thin. Aim to fill your blender about halfway with ice before adding the other ingredients. You can also try freezing your fruit ahead of time to act as “ice cubes” in your smoothie.

Lack of thick ingredients

Smoothies get their creamy texture from thick ingredients like bananas, avocados, Greek yogurt, nut butters, and protein powders. If your smoothie is mostly made up of watery fruits and veggies like strawberries, pineapple, spinach or kale, it may turn out runny without enough of these thickening ingredients. Make sure to include at least 1-2 bananas, a few spoonfuls of nut butter or protein powder, or a dollop of yogurt or avocado.

Not blending enough

If you don’t blend your smoothie for long enough, the ingredients won’t fully break down and emulsify into a creamy texture. Make sure to blend for at least 30-60 seconds, stopping to scrape down the sides of the blender if needed. Blending too much can incorporate extra air and make smoothies foamy rather than thick and creamy.

Old or overripe produce

Using produce like berries or bananas that are past their prime can result in a runnier texture. Overripe fruits and veggies contain more water. For the best texture, use fresh, ripe produce. Frozen fruits and veggies are a good option too. Just avoid anything old, mushy or overripe.

How can you fix a runny smoothie?

If your smoothie is already made and turns out runny, don’t pour it out! There are a few tricks you can try to help thicken it up:

Add more ice

Pop your runny smoothie back into the blender with 1-2 more handfuls of ice and blend again briefly. The ice will help absorb some of the excess moisture.

Blend in instant oats or chia seeds

Uncooked oats and chia seeds are great smoothie thickeners. Stir 1-2 tablespoons of dry oats or chia seeds right into your runny smoothie to instantly add more thickness. You can also blend them in for a few seconds.

Mix in Greek yogurt or avocado

Stirring in a dollop or two of thick Greek yogurt or mashed avocado can work wonders for thinning out a runny smoothie. The creaminess helps bind everything together.

Add more frozen fruit or veggies

Frozen produce helps thicken smoothies thanks to all the ice crystals. Adding more frozen fruit like bananas, pineapple, mango or spinach can help soak up excess moisture.

Blend in protein powder

Protein powders have a thick, creamy consistency. Blend a scoop or two of protein powder into your runny smoothie to stabilize it. Whey, casein, or plant proteins like pea and hemp all work.

Let it sit for 5-10 minutes

Waiting 5-10 minutes after blending gives time for the ingredients to soak up some of the extra moisture. Then give your smoothie a quick stir or re-blend before enjoying. The texture should improve.

Drink it over ice

If all else fails, pour your runny smoothie over a cup of ice to enjoy it. The ice cubes help temper the thin consistency.

How can you prevent a runny smoothie next time?

Now that you know some ways to fix a runny smoothie, here are tips to help prevent it in the first place:

Use frozen fruit and veggies

Frozen produce contains less moisture than fresh, helping create thicker smoothies. Fill your blender halfway with frozen fruit and veggies.

Add Greek yogurt or avocado

These creamy ingredients act as natural thickeners when blended into smoothies.

Include plenty of ice

Ice not only thickens smoothies, but helps blender blades whip up smooth textures. Aim for 1-2 cups of ice.

Limit liquid to 1 cup per 2-3 cups solids

Smoothies get watery if you overdo it on the juices, milks, or water. Stick to a 1:2 or 1:3 liquid to solids ratio.

Blend for 30-60 seconds

Proper blending is key. Blend for 30-60 seconds to fully break down ingredients without adding excess air.

Use banana, avocado, nut butters

These rich, creamy ingredients guarantee a nicely thickened smoothie texture.

Add oats, chia seeds or protein powder

These will stabilize your smoothie and prevent it from separating or getting watery.

Avoid old or overripe produce

For the best texture, use fresh, ripe fruits and veggies. Anything old or mushy adds excess moisture.

Tips for making the perfect smoothie consistency

Follow these pro tips when mixing up smoothies for flawlessly thick, creamy and smooth results:

– Use at least 1 frozen ingredient – Freezing fruit or veggies adds thickness and chilling power. Bananas, pineapple, mango and spinach work great.

– Add a creamy element – Greek yogurt, cottage cheese, avocado, nut butter, or even cream cheese helps achieve a thick, milkshake-like texture.

– Include raw oats or chia seeds – 1-2 tablespoons of dry oats or chia seeds instantly boosts the thickness factor. They seem to absorb moisture.

– Limit liquids – Stick to 1 cup liquid max per 2-3 cups solid ingredients. Liquids include juice, milk, water, yogurt drinks, etc.

– Use very ripe bananas – The riper the banana, the more natural thickening power it contains when blended. Bananas should have plenty of brown speckles.

– Don’t skimp on ice – Ice makes smoothies thick, chilled and refreshing. Aim for at least 1-2 cups of ice cubes. Crushed ice blends faster.

– Get the blend just right – Blend for 30-60 seconds, stopping to stir or scrape down the sides as needed. Overblending or underblending can ruin the texture.

– Add powders last – Boosters like protein powder, greens powders, etc. should be added after the main smoothie ingredients are blended. Just give them a quick spin to incorporate.

– Work fast – Have ingredients prepped and ready before blending to prevent excess melting. Assembling everything in the blender jar ahead helps.

Follow those tips and you’ll be whipping up perfect, thicker-than-a-milkshake smoothies in no time! The ideal smoothie has a thick, frosty and spoonable – never watery – texture.

Common smoothie mistakes to avoid

While smoothies seem simple, there are some crucial mistakes that can lead to disappointingly runny or unpleasant results. Avoid these all-too-common smoothie mix-up fails:

Not enough ice

Lack of adequate ice is one of the top reasons smoothies end up runny or warm. Always fill your blender at least halfway with ice – crushed ice if possible for fastest chilling and blending.

Overripe produce

Those last few overripe bananas on your counter may seem tempting for smoothies, but their higher water content can thin out your drink’s texture. Opt for just-ripe or frozen.

Too much juice or milk

It’s easy to pour liberally from that juice or milk carton when making smoothies, but too much liquid is a guaranteed way to ruin the thick texture. Stick to 1 cup liquid max per 2-3 cups solids.

Underripe bananas

On the flip side, bananas that are still too green or firm won’t blend up into a smooth, creamy texture. Wait until bananas are speckled brown and soft.

Not blending enough

Smoothies need those 30-60 seconds of solid blender time to fully puree ingredients into a creamy texture. Blend too little and you’ll get a chunky, icy mess.

Letting smoothies sit

Made smoothies in advance? The texture tends to deteriorate as they sit. Drink smoothies immediately after blending for best thick, creamy mouthfeel.

Weak blender

Blenders need a strong motor and sharp blades to properly puree tough frozen produce into smoothies. Weak blenders result in annoying frozen chunks. Time to upgrade!

Adding powders before blending

Protein, greens powders and other supplements should be added after the main smoothie is blended. Adding them too early can mess with textures.


There is a sweet spot for smoothie blending times. Go longer than 1 minute and you risk overblending, which can ruin the creamy mouthfeel.


In summary, a runny smoothie texture usually comes down to a few issues: too much liquid, not enough ice, lack of thick ingredients, inadequate blending, or using overripe produce. Luckily, runny smoothies can be easily fixed by blending in more ice, instant oats, chia seeds, yogurt, frozen fruit or protein powder. And you can prevent runny smoothies in the first place by following some simple mixing tips, like limiting liquids, including creamy ingredients, using ample ice, and blending thoroughly but briefly. With the right ratios, ingredients and blending technique, you’ll be whipping up frosty, spoonably thick smoothies in no time. Avoid common mistakes like adding too much juice, underripe bananas and weak blending, and your smoothie texture woes will be a thing of the past. So grab your blender, fill it with frozen fruit and ice, and get ready to slurp down a perfectly thick and delicious smoothie!

Runny Smoothie Causes Fixes Prevention Tips
Too much liquid Add more ice Limit liquids to 1 cup per 2-3 cups solids
Not enough ice Blend in oats or chia seeds Include 1-2 cups ice
Lack of thick ingredients Mix in yogurt or avocado Use frozen fruit and vegetables
Inadequate blending Add more frozen fruit/veg Blend for 30-60 seconds
Overripe produce Blend in protein powder Use ripe (not overripe) produce

Frequently asked questions about smoothie consistency

Here are answers to some common smoothie texture questions:

Why is my smoothie watery?

The most likely culprits for a watery smoothie are too much juice/milk or not enough ice and frozen fruit. Try cutting back on liquids and adding more ice and frozen ingredients like bananas or pineapple.

How can I thicken up a runny smoothie?

Quick fixes for runny smoothies include blending in more ice, a spoonful of chia seeds or oats, mashed avocado, Greek yogurt, or protein powder. Bananas and frozen fruit also help stabilize smoothies.

What is the best thickness for a smoothie?

The ideal smoothie texture is thick enough to spoon up or slurp through a straw without being watery. It should be chilled and creamy but not overly thick like soft serve ice cream.

Why are smoothie shop smoothies so thick?

Smoothie shops use commercial blenders that blend smoothies at very high speeds. This purees ice and frozen ingredients into extra thick, spoonable textures. They may also add thickeners like xanthan gum or guar gum.

Should smoothies be drinkable or spoonable?

The perfect smoothie texture is somewhere in between – thick enough to spoon up but still drinkable through a straw. The thickness depends on your own preference. Add more liquid for a thinner, juice-like consistency or more ice and frozen fruit for spoonable thickness.

How do I keep smoothies cold and thick for hours?

Using a thermal bottle or jar helps keep smoothies chilled for hours. Adding extra ice and freezing ingredients also extends chilling time. Letting smoothies sit will make them deteriorate, so drink immediately for best texture and temperature.

Can I use ice cubes instead of crushed ice?

Yes, regular ice cubes work fine in smoothies too. The main difference is that crushed ice blends faster since it’s already in smaller pieces. For the smoothest texture, use an ice crusher or blender to crush regular ice before adding to your smoothie.

Smoothie Inspiration: 10 Tasty, Thick Smoothie Recipes

Try out these deliciously thick and creamy smoothie recipes:

Very Berry Smoothie

– 1 cup frozen mixed berries
– 1 banana
– 1 cup Greek yogurt
– 1/4 cup milk
– 2 tbsp chia seeds
– 1 cup ice

Chocolate Peanut Butter Blast

– 1 banana
– 2 tbsp peanut butter
– 1 tbsp cocoa powder
– 1 scoop chocolate protein powder
– 1 cup milk
– 1/2 cup ice

Green Machine Smoothie

– 1 banana
– 1 cup spinach
– 1 cup kale
– 1/2 avocado
– 1 cup pineapple
– 1 cup coconut water
– 1/2 cup ice

Coffee Banana Smoothie

– 1 banana
– 1 shot espresso
– 1 tbsp almond butter
– 1 cup milk
– 1 scoop coffee ice cream
– 1/2 cup ice

Almond Joy Smoothie

– 1 banana
– 2 tbsp almond butter
– 1/4 cup shredded coconut
– 1 cup almond milk
– 1/2 cup Greek yogurt
– 1/2 cup ice

Green Piña Colada Smoothie

– 1 cup pineapple
– 1 cup spinach
– 1/2 banana
– 1/4 cup coconut cream
– 1/4 cup coconut water
– 1 cup ice

Chocolate Chip Cookie Dough Smoothie

– 1 banana
– 1/4 cup oats
– 2 tbsp peanut butter
– 1 tbsp cocoa powder
– 1/4 tsp vanilla extract
– 1 cup milk
– 1/2 cup ice

Matcha Latte Smoothie

– 1 banana
– 1 tsp matcha powder
– 1 cup milk
– 1 shot espresso
– 1 tbsp maple syrup
– 1/2 cup ice

Mint Chip Smoothie

– 1 banana
– 1/4 cup spinach
– 1/4 cup fresh mint
– 2 tbsp cacao nibs
– 1 cup milk
– 1/2 cup ice

Mango Tango Smoothie

– 1 cup mango
– 1/2 banana
– 1/4 cup Greek yogurt
– 1/4 cup orange juice
– 1 tbsp honey
– 1/2 cup ice

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