Is putting oatmeal in smoothies good?

Oatmeal is a popular breakfast food that provides fiber, protein, vitamins and minerals. In recent years, oatmeal has also become a popular addition to smoothies. Oatmeal thickens up the smoothie texture while also adding extra nutrition. However, some people wonder if adding oatmeal to smoothies is a good idea. There are pros and cons to putting oatmeal in smoothies.

Quick Answers

  • Oatmeal contains soluble fiber that can help lower cholesterol and control blood sugar.
  • Oatmeal adds thickness and creaminess to smoothies.
  • Oatmeal provides extra protein, vitamins and minerals.
  • Some types of oatmeal have added sugar.
  • Oatmeal contains phytates that can inhibit mineral absorption.
  • Oatmeal smoothies may be too thick for some preferences.

Nutrition Benefits of Oatmeal

Oatmeal is touted for its many nutritional benefits. Here is an overview of the key nutrients found in oatmeal:


Oatmeal is high in soluble fiber. Fiber is an important nutrient that can promote digestive health. Soluble fiber specifically has been linked to reducing cholesterol and controlling blood sugar levels. The soluble fiber in oatmeal becomes gel-like when mixed with liquids, helping to slow digestion and make you feel fuller for longer after eating. Adding oatmeal to smoothies is an easy way to increase the fiber content.


Oatmeal also contains some plant-based protein. Protein is essential for building and repairing muscles, bones, skin and blood. It also helps keep you feeling full. The protein in oatmeal comes from the oat grains themselves. The exact protein content can vary based on the type of oatmeal, but a 1⁄2 cup serving generally provides 2-5 grams of protein. This boosts the protein content when added to smoothies.

Vitamins and Minerals

Oatmeal supplies a range of important vitamins and minerals including:

  • Thiamin
  • Niacin
  • Folate
  • Iron
  • Magnesium
  • Phosphorus
  • Zinc
  • Selenium
  • Manganese

Getting a variety of vitamins and minerals is important for overall health and body function. Adding oatmeal can help increase the micronutrient content of smoothies.

Oatmeal Improves Smoothie Texture

One of the main benefits of adding oatmeal to smoothies is that it changes the texture. Oatmeal makes smoothies thicker and creamier. Here’s how:

Thickens Smoothies

The soluble fiber in oats absorbs liquid and turns gel-like. This helps thicken up smoothies naturally without needing to add ice. Thicker smoothies are also more filling.

Makes Smoothies Creamy

In addition to added thickness, oatmeal also gives smoothies a silkier, creamier mouthfeel. The soluble fiber adds viscosity for a smooth, velvety texture.

Blends Well in Smoothies

Oatmeal integrates seamlessly into smoothies with a blender. The oats break down easily and blend with the other ingredients without clumping or getting gritty.

Potential Downsides of Oatmeal in Smoothies

While oatmeal certainly can improve the nutrition of smoothies, there are some potential downsides to keep in mind:

Added Sugars

Some types of oatmeal have added sugars to enhance the flavor. Things like maple and brown sugar or apple cinnamon oatmeal can contain 15 grams or more sugar per serving. All this added sugar essentially negates the health benefits of the oats. When adding oatmeal to smoothies, it’s best to choose unsweetened, plain varieties.


Oatmeal contains compounds called phytates. Phytates can bind to minerals like iron, zinc and calcium and inhibit absorption. However, phytates are reduced with processing methods. Regular rolled oats or steel-cut oats have lower phytates than whole oat groats. Soaking oats can also help decrease phytates.

Too Thick

While some love the thicker, creamier texture oatmeal gives smoothies, others may find it unappealing. Oatmeal smoothies have a milkshake-like consistency that not everyone likes to drink. It comes down to personal preference.

Best Oat Varieties for Smoothies

With so many oatmeal options on the market, which ones work best in smoothies? Here are some recommendations:

Rolled Oats

Regular rolled oats, sometimes labeled old fashioned oats, are a top choice for smoothies. Rolled oats blend easily for a smooth texture. They absorb liquid well to thicken smoothies without becoming overly gummy. Rolled oats provide about 4 grams of fiber per 1⁄2 cup.

Steel Cut Oats

Steel cut oats are simply oats that have been cut into smaller pieces rather than rolled. This makes them minimally processed. They have a pleasantly chewy texture. Steel cut oats take a bit more time to soften in liquid, so it’s best to soak them first before adding to smoothies. This allows them to reach their maximum thickness potential.

Quick Oats

While convenient, quick oats are more processed than rolled or steel cut oats. They soften very quickly in liquid due to being pressed thinner and partially cooked. This means they can make smoothies overly thick and gloppy if using full-strength. For a smoother finish, use about half the amount of quick oats compared to rolled or steel cut oats.

Oat Flour

Oat flour is made from ground oats, giving it an ultra-fine powdery texture. This allows it to integrate seamlessly into smoothies with zero texture change. Oat flour contains the same nutrition as other oat varieties. It’s a great choice if you want a fiber boost without impacting smoothie thickness.

Oat Bran

Oat bran is the outer layer of the oat grain. It’s exceptionally high in soluble fiber at about 8 grams per 1⁄2 cup serving. It blends up lighter than rolled oats, adding nutrition without excessive thickness. Oat bran works especially well in fruit-based smoothies.

Best Smoothie Combinations with Oatmeal

Oatmeal pairs nicely with both fruit-based and creamy smoothie recipes. Here are some tasty combinations to try:

Fruit Smoothie Combos

  • Berries – blueberry, strawberry, raspberry, blackberry
  • Banana
  • Mango
  • Pineapple
  • Peach
  • Cherry
  • Apple
  • Pear

The sweetness of fruits balances nicely with the hearty oats. Fruits also provide liquid for blending.

Creamy Smoothie Combos

  • Greek yogurt
  • Cottage cheese
  • Almond butter
  • Peanut butter
  • Chia seeds
  • Ground flax
  • Milk – dairy, almond, soy, etc
  • Ice cream

Creamy ingredients match well with thick oatmeal smoothies. They boost the protein and healthy fats.

Green Smoothie Combos

  • Spinach
  • Kale
  • Swiss chard
  • Broccoli
  • Avocado
  • Cucumber
  • Zucchini
  • Frozen peas

Leafy greens, vegetables and avocado blend nicely with oats for an extra nutrient boost. The oats help offset any bitter flavors.

Spice and Flavor Combos

  • Cinnamon
  • Nutmeg
  • Vanilla
  • Cocoa powder
  • Mint
  • Ginger
  • Cardamom
  • Turmeric

Complementary spices, extracts and cocoa powder enhance the flavor. Start with small amounts and adjust to taste preferences.

Tips for Making Oatmeal Smoothies

Follow these tips for making great oatmeal smoothies:

  • Use 1⁄4 to 1⁄2 cup oats per smoothie, depending on thickness desired
  • Soak oats in milk or juice for 5-10 minutes to soften before blending for smoothest texture
  • Add extra liquid if smoothie is too thick
  • Blend on high speed for 1-2 minutes to break down oats fully
  • Use a powerful blender like Vitamix if possible for smoothest consistency
  • Store oatmeal smoothies in fridge and consume within 2-3 days
  • Freeze oatmeal smoothies in popsicle molds for a healthy fudgesicle treat
  • Top with your favorite crunchy toppings – granola, nuts, seeds, coconut

Are Oatmeal Smoothies Healthy?

Oatmeal smoothies can certainly be a nutritious option, providing fiber, protein, vitamins and minerals. However, the health factor depends largely on the other ingredients used. Loading up an oatmeal smoothie with fruit is a healthier choice than adding ice cream and chocolate syrup.

Here are some tips for making your oatmeal smoothies as healthy as possible:

  • Use plain, unsweetened oats to avoid added sugar
  • Boost fiber content by choosing steel cut or rolled oats
  • Skip refined sugar and opt for natural sweeteners like dates, if needed
  • Focus on fruits and vegetables over sugary juices or milk
  • Include healthy fats from nuts, seeds or avocado
  • Use water or unsweetened dairy/non-dairy milk instead of juice
  • Reduce calorie density by adding ice
  • Keep portion size reasonable as oatmeal smoothies can be filling

Ultimately, oatmeal smoothies can be an excellent choice when you’re short on time but want a balanced meal. Packed with fiber, protein and vitamins, they provide lasting energy and nutrition.


Adding oatmeal to smoothies offers several benefits. Oatmeal boosts the nutritional value with extra fiber, protein, vitamins and minerals. The soluble fiber in oats helps thicken and add creaminess to smoothies. Rolled oats and steel cut oats work best to improve texture without getting overly gummy. Oatmeal combines deliciously with fruits, veggies, nut butters, yogurt and more in smoothies. To maximize the health factor, avoid oat varieties with added sugar and load up on whole food ingredients like fruits and greens. Made right, oatmeal smoothies can be a nutritious and satisfying on-the-go breakfast or snack.

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