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Mar 21, 2008 03:36 PM

Making Thick Smoothies For Diabetics

It is so hard for me to make a thick rich smoothie as I am unable to use a lot of fruit. Bananas are especially bad.... but oh soooo good, as are all fruits. I usually use frozen strawberries, non-fat milk, vanilla, some homemade yogurt and Splenda and a few ice cubes.

My old Braun blender which made them exactly the way I love them, is finally kaput. After doing A LOT of research, I decided to buy a very powerful Breville 600XL. I have been using the same measurements and ingredients and using the smoothie setting but I think that it makes them too watery and not very flavorful. I eliminated the ice cubes and it was a little thicker, but still not what I want. I like them very thick and icey (but not with ice chips floating around). Tomorrow I'll try using just the pulse setting and hopefully that should help some.

I was thinking about adding strawberry extract, can you recommend a good brand that doesn't taste artificial. Hopefully one that can be bought in local stores and not online. I tried one from Rainbow (S.F.) - Frontier Strawberry Flavor, which contains no actual strawberry, but I don't think it adds any flavor.

Any suggestions or recipes (sugar free and minimal fruit). I make one a day and miss the kind that plops into my glass, not pours like a very thin milkshake. Blueberry recipes need not apply!

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  1. I think some people use silken tofu in smoothies. Also, have you tried draining your yogurt to remove some of the water before you use it?

    1 Reply
    1. re: Ruth Lafler

      This (silken tofu) was my first thought, second thought was Fage Total greek yogurt (that stuff is certainly thick, even after blending). Ground almonds or pecan meal is another good alternative, as is unsweetened peanut or almond butter.

    2. I find that adding ground flaxseed thickens a smoothie up.

      5 Replies
      1. re: Miss Needle

        I do make yogurt cheese and have used it in the past in my smoothies, thanks Ruth, I'll try that again instead of the tablespoon or two or yogurt. I just thought that it would improve the flavor, but I will try it for thickness too,. I don't know anything about flaxseed, but I''ll try it. I give my dog flaxseed oil. Do I just buy whole seeds and just throw them in? How many? Maybe a cheap blender works better as the Braun (8 years old) took some work, but the end results were perfect.

        1. re: Canthespam

          I have a new Vita-Mix and I have the same problem - drinks don't come out as thick as they did in my old less powerful blender.

          1. re: Canthespam

            For that matter, you can use nuts. One of my favorite beverages is a liquado (Mexican milkshake) flavored with ground pecans.

            1. re: Ruth Lafler

              I just made a fairly thick smoothie in my Breville. I did not use the smoothie mode exclusively I played around with the mix, pulse and a few seconds of the smoothie mode. Easy enough and tastes pretty good. I did use yogurtcheese and a small amount of ice. Tomorrow I'll leave out the ice, I hope that the frozen strawberries will make it cold enough. I had enough left over to pour some into one of my individual little plastic ice cream bar molds and froze it. A 2-fer.

            2. re: Canthespam

              Try a Tbl of flaxseed meal to start and let it sit in the liquid for a minute.

          2. I put cold cooked oats/oatmeal prepared with ground flaxseed in my smoothies to make them thick. (You can also throw in a few spoonfuls of uncooked quick oats, but the cooked ones are a little smoother. I use the steel-cut.) Usually I just cook the oats and the flaxmeal at the beginning of the week, store it in a container in the fridge, and then just use some as I make smoothies during the week.

            1 Reply
            1. re: Nonsenseprecious

              In addition to cooked oats, you can also use uncooked oats pulsed in a processor to form a finer powder.

              If you can tolerate the carbs, try mixing in some Fiber One or All Bran cereal.

              Another option that is non-carb/sugar would be to add a little cream cheese (fat free or low fat if you prefer) or ricotta cheese or mascarpone cheese.

            2. Look for shake mixes made for people who have had gastric bypass... they can't have sugar either.

              1. You may be a victim of too much power in your blender. Shortening your blending time may or may not help. Would you consider an old fashioned milk shake? Instead of ice cream, use sugar free frozen yogurt (I like it better than ice cream), and use 2 scoops of frozen yogurt, fruit of choice (if any) or other flavoring and about a half cup of milk. Pulse until thick and just blended.

                You might also consider picking up one of those cheap milk shake machines. Well, I guess "cheap" is a relative term. You can find them in prices ranging from under fifty bucks to over a hundred.. They are designed for making thick drinks like smoothies, shakes, and malts. They're still on my, "Oh, God, I WANT one of those!" list... But I did use them regularly when I was a teen and my grandparents owned a real honest to goodness '50's malt shop. Great machines! My hips are still wearing some of their output.