The Ultimate Guide To Oat Smoothies

The Ultimate Guide To Oat Smoothies

Looking for the perfect smoothies? Just add oats!

All about oats

Smoothies are one of those things that once you try it out, it’s hard to imagine how you ever struggled through the day without! OK... that might be a bit over the top but they are seriously handy health-wise, easy to throw together on a whim and usually very tasty! Why are we here at Nairn’s so excited by them though? Well, that’s because oats make such a great addition to pretty much any style of smoothie. More on that soon, but first...

If you’re already a convert to the goodness a good smoothie provides, oats are probably already a staple in your cupboard. We could go on all day about why they’re such a hard-working ingredient. Full of cholesterol-lowering fibre, slow-release energy, and more vitamins and minerals than you could shake a protein shaker a – the term ‘superfood’ most definitely applies.

Oats make a great addition to your smoothie and all of the above are great reasons for this. In terms of taste and texture, they add a bit of bulk to your mix as well as that signature flavour that’s slightly sweet and wholesome. If you can leave your oats to soak in the smoothie mix for a while (say 10 to 20 minutes) this will give them a nice soft texture, similar to overnight oats if you’ve ever tried them. It doesn’t really matter if you’re more of a green smoothie type of person or if you’d rather have one that’s a bit on the sweet side, oats fit perfectly into both sweet and savoury kinds.

 

Healthy or unhealthy?

One of the big questions around smoothies is if they’re healthy or not. Given the fact that there’s no one definitive smoothie and the ingredients obviously vary it’s not as straightforward as yes or no. Smoothies and smoothie bowls are so versatile that the answer has to be: both. It all depends on what you put in. Of course, if it’s 50% ice cream… yeah, not so healthy. If you’ve used loads of green veg, oats, nuts berries and other fruit on the other hand – give yourself a pat on the back. That’s one healthy smoothie.

Nutrient absorption

One of the reasons smoothies are so great is that, because they’re in a more liquid state than most of the food that goes in to them, your body finds them much easier to digest. Your stomach has a lot less work to do in breaking down a liquid than a solid. They also make it easier to ‘disguise’ the taste of solid foods that certain people might not normally look forward to eating but know are good for you. In other words, ideal if you have kids (or grown-ups!) who are reluctant to eat their greens. Given this fact, it makes sense to say that making a smoothie that’s ‘healthier’ is a good way to take advantage of the quick nutritious hit that you can pack in to one serving.

Technically, smoothies aren’t really a liquid though. Because they don’t separate the liquid from the fibre, you’re still essentially getting the whole nutritional spectrum of whatever goes into your blender. Fibre is not only important for digestion and gut health but a satisfactory fibre intake (around 30g a day for most of us) is thought to be linked to lower chances of heart disease, type two diabetes, strokes and other serious ailments.
 

What liquids to use with your smoothie?

Choosing a liquid to use in your smoothie is really just a matter of taste (or diet!). Milk is a go-to standard. There’s obviously a lot of choice when it comes to cow’s milk and it’s a great way to increase the protein hit you’re getting in each serving. Milk is also a great source of calcium and helps build strong teeth, bones and helps with vitamin D absorption too. 

If you prefer, there’s loads to choose from in terms of plant-based milks too. Nut milk, soya milk, coconut milk, oat milk… you name it, chances are it works in a smoothie too. Many people also use fruit juice in their smoothie for a sweeter mix. For a thicker consistency it’s as simple as using less liquid. It might take a bit of experimentation at first. We’d recommend starting at half and half in terms of liquid and solid and adjusting your own recipe from there. Remember, drier ingredients (like oats for example) will soak up more liquid. Also the power of your blender is a factor here. Less powerful ones will have to run for a bit longer to make sure everything’s been ‘blitzed’ properly and that you get a smoother consistency.

 

Smoothie ingredient ideas; get creative!

Aside from all the different liquids you can try, you’re going to need a few ingredients too. This is the fun part. The fruit aisle in your local supermarket is a great place to start. Because most fruit has a high water content, it tends to blend up pretty easily. Strawberries and other summer fruit, or berries in general are of course fantastic for this. Fresh mango, pineapple, bananas, diced apple, seedless grapes and so on are all hard workers in the smoothie world too. If you’re feeling particularly exotic and have access to them, acai berries (or saches of pre-mixed paste) make for a truly unique flavour. Commonly used in frozen smoothies in Brazil, these little berries are full of antioxidants. A potential lifesaver if it’s the morning after the night before!

 

While most smoothies tend to be sweet, veg is essential if you’re looking to balance out even the natural sugar that comes with a fruit-heavy mix. Leafy green veg like spinach is amazing for smoothies, full of iron and vitamins it’s very easy to throw in a handful along with some sweeter tasting ingredients. Cucumber too, thanks to its high water content is a great addition (and goes especially well with mint and apple). Avocados are another veg that you may want to test out. As long as they’re ripe enough, they’ll give your smoothie a lovely creamy texture and gorgeous green hue. 

Nuts and seeds work well too (but be careful, not all blenders are built to handle large solids like nuts). We tend to favour nuts with a more neutral taste such as Brazil nuts, cashews or almonds as they go with pretty much everything. Just a handful will do. Chia seeds or cacao nibs can really bring another dimension to the taste and texture too. Peanut butter, of course is a smoothie staple if you’re a big nut… erm, nut. All of the above are a great way to get a few extra grams of protein into your day.

Get inspired with our delicious oat smoothies recipes!

With endless options and combinations, you can really get creative with your smoothies. However, if you need some inspiration, these recipes should get you started!

Mixed Berry and Oat Smoothie Bowl For Breakfast

Berry Smoothie Bowl

Ingredients for 1 serving(s)

  • 2 handfuls frozen mixed berries
  • 1 banana
  • 80ml milk or milk substitute
  • 1 tbsp almond butter or other nut butter
  • 40g Nairn's Gluten Free Porridge Oats
  • TOPPINGS
  • 1 tbsp shredded unsweetened coconut
  • 1 tbsp pomegranate seeds
  • 1 tbsp raw oats
  • Handful of blueberries

Strawberry, Banana and Oat Smoothie Bowl For Breakfast

Strawberry, Banana and Oat Smoothie Bowl

Ingredients for 1 serving(s)

  • 80ml milk or milk substitute
  • 1 frozen banana
  • Handful of frozen strawberries
  • 40g Nairn's Gluten Free Oats
  • 1 tablespoon honey
  • For toppings
  • Sliced fresh strawberries
  • 1 tsp Nairn's Gluten Free Oats
  • 1 tbsp crushed almonds

Strawberry, lime & oat smoothie For Breakfast

Smoothie

Ingredients for 4 serving(s)

  • 60g / 2oz Nairn’s gluten free porridge oats
  • 1tbsp desiccated coconut
  • 30g / 1oz macadamia nuts, chopped
  • 15g / ½ oz cashew nuts, chopped
  • 15g / ½ oz pumpkin seeds
  • 1tbsp ground flaxseed
  • ½ tsp ground cinnamon
  • 400g / 12 oz fresh or frozen strawberries
  • Juice of 2 limes
  • 500ml / 17floz / 2 cups milk or milk alternative

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