I cannot stand watery smoothies, I drink them way too fast and they end up feeling more like a juice! I have found the solution to end all of your watery smoothie problems: Xanthan Gum!

Instead of the usual, “Maybe my smoothie will get thicker if I just add one more banana… no maybe 1/4 cup more oats… and an extra Tbsp of nut butter!” We’ve all been there, and before we know it, our smoothies have doubled in calories, carbs, and fat!
Xanthan Gum a simple way to thicken your smoothie without adding unnecessary calories, fat, carbohydrates, etc.

So what is Xanthan Gum?
It is made from a tiny microorganism called Xanthomonas campestris and is a natural carbohydrate. Xanthan Gum is a thickener and byproduct of fermentation of glucose or sucrose given off by specific bacterium. The xantham byproduct is dried and forms a powder which is added to liquid to form the “gum.”

Show me the stats!
One tablespoon contains only 30 calories, 7g of carbohydrates, 0g of fat, and a whopping 7g of fiber! Xanthan Gum is gluten free and from my research, it’s vegan too.

If there were such thing as fairy dust, this would be it. Who am I kidding, this stuff is magical, it’s the modern day fairy dust in my book!

All you need is 1 teaspoon of Xanthan Gum and your smoothie can go from this…

to this!!! 


PB Kale Smoothie
Serves 1

2 cups chopped kale
1 frozen banana
1 cup unsweetened almond milk
2 Tbsp unsalted peanut butter
1 tsp Xanthan Gum
1 tsp pure vanilla extract
1/2 tsp cinnamon

Combine all ingredients in a blender and blend until smooth.


Where to buy Xanthan Gum:
I buy Bob’s Red Mill Xanthan Gum at Whole Foods, but you can also purchase it online on Bob’s Red Mill’s official website. An 8oz bag is about $12 and will last you quite some time!

40 Comments on The Secret To Thick Smoothies

  1. Erin @ erinberries
    August 2, 2012 at 6:11 pm (9 years ago)

    I put chia seeds in my smoothies and I feel like it thickens them up quite a bit due to the gel chia seeds form in liquid.

    Reply
    • Catherine
      August 2, 2012 at 6:24 pm (9 years ago)

      I love chia seeds in my smoothies too, but if I have already used a plant based fat (in this case peanut butter) in my smoothie, I don’t want to add more plant based fat such as chia seeds, so Xanthan Gum is a great way to add thickness without going overboard on fats!

      Reply
  2. Jade
    August 2, 2012 at 6:13 pm (9 years ago)

    Would chia seeds give you similar thickening, or no?

    Reply
    • Catherine
      August 2, 2012 at 6:25 pm (9 years ago)

      Chia seeds definitely thicken liquid after they have been absorbed, but I like using Xanthan Gum in smoothies where I have already used a plant based fat (peanut butter) and don’t want to add more (chia seeds). Chia seeds are so much fun though! I love using them 🙂

      Reply
  3. Sheena
    August 2, 2012 at 6:13 pm (9 years ago)

    thank you!! i’ve seen this pop up in a few recipes lately & have been skeptical because it sounds like a chemical! but now that i know it’s not, i’m buying some tomorrow. 🙂 thanks again!

    Reply
    • Catherine
      August 2, 2012 at 6:26 pm (9 years ago)

      Yayy I’m glad I could! It’s amazing, you will love it!

      Reply
  4. Kate
    August 2, 2012 at 6:34 pm (9 years ago)

    What about gelatin?

    Reply
    • Catherine
      August 2, 2012 at 7:01 pm (9 years ago)

      I haven’t used gelatin in smoothies but I’m sure it would give similar results. The only downside to gelatin for some people is that it is not vegan. Health & Happiness xo

      Reply
  5. Niki
    August 2, 2012 at 9:43 pm (9 years ago)

    Oh wow that is awesome. I will definitely be trying this out. You are truly helping me stay on track without feeling like I’m dieting. Sometimes I feel like I’m cheating when I’m not. Truly my inspiration, you probably think I’m crazy because I tag you all over Instagram. Thanks so much though!!!!

    Reply
    • Catherine
      August 2, 2012 at 9:54 pm (9 years ago)

      You are so sweet! Isn’t it crazy how much your tastebuds change from eating clean? Fruit dishes start to taste so rich and decadent, it’s awesome! I love seeing your Instagram tags, they always bring a smile to my face! xo

      Reply
  6. McKenna Ryan
    August 2, 2012 at 10:35 pm (9 years ago)

    Thank you so much for posting this!! This is great information. It would probably be great to put into homemade sorbet to thickien it up.

    Reply
    • Catherine
      August 2, 2012 at 10:55 pm (9 years ago)

      You are very welcome! This would work perfectly to make thick creamy sorbets! xo

      Reply
  7. Julia
    August 2, 2012 at 10:58 pm (9 years ago)

    You could also just use frozen fruit. That always makes my smoothies thick.

    Reply
    • Catherine
      August 2, 2012 at 11:06 pm (9 years ago)

      Of course you could always use frozen fruit and other ingredients, I just wanted to share this little trick with my readers 🙂 xo

      Reply
  8. Victoria
    August 3, 2012 at 6:31 am (9 years ago)

    I’m so jealous of your adorable jars! Where do you get your jars w/lids? I’m always stuck having to remake things after washing out the small containers i have.

    Reply
    • Catherine
      August 3, 2012 at 11:18 am (9 years ago)

      Thank you! I got my jars at the grocery store. They were in a random freezer isle up above the freezers haha. I have also seen them at Target below the spices in the baking aisle! Mine are the 16oz Wide Mouth Kerr Jars! I use them for EVERYTHING, they’re great 🙂 You can also find them online!

      Reply
  9. Jodi
    August 3, 2012 at 8:08 am (9 years ago)

    Maybe I goofed somewhere, but I used 1 tsp. of XG and my smoothie came out so thick it looked like marshmallow fluff. It created so much air in the process it lifted the top off my blender. I dumped that batch and used 1/4 tsp. with great results. BTW, xanthan gum is used in gluten-free baking, so it’s becoming easier to find all the time.

    Reply
    • Catherine
      August 3, 2012 at 11:13 am (9 years ago)

      Oh my gosh that sounds crazy and hilarious! I wonder why it did that? It could depend on how watery or thick your smoothie is to begin with? My kale was super juicy so my smoothie was very luiquidy and needed 1 tsp to get the right thickness! Glad you got it to work! xo

      Reply
  10. Lilly
    August 3, 2012 at 11:13 am (9 years ago)

    Yum! I’m going to try it!
    I think you should have a PDF version of your Section “Rabbit Food Pyramid”
    I would love to print it out and put it on my fridge. Keep it handy when I need to consult something. 🙂 Just throwin’ it out there… hehe

    Reply
    • Catherine
      August 3, 2012 at 11:15 am (9 years ago)

      Great idea Lilly! xo

      Reply
  11. kristle
    August 3, 2012 at 11:18 am (9 years ago)

    i also use chia seeds since i normally have those on hand, and the price tag on a bag of xanthan gum is a little hefty. but now that i see that i can get away only using 1/4 teaspoon, maybe i will buy it so i’m not adding too much plant based fat to my pb smoothies! great advice everyone.

    Reply
    • Catherine
      August 3, 2012 at 11:31 am (9 years ago)

      Chia seeds are awesome for thickening smoothies! There are so many great ways to add thickness to smoothies 🙂

      Reply
  12. Linda
    August 5, 2012 at 7:41 pm (9 years ago)

    Bananas always make my smoothies watery, so I try to only use 1/2 of one.

    Reply
  13. Sam
    August 6, 2012 at 11:00 am (9 years ago)

    Xanthan gum is made from severely processed corn. It isn’t very healthy…or natural in its state.

    Reply
    • Catherine
      August 6, 2012 at 11:58 am (9 years ago)

      I only use Xanthan Gum in small amounts, but never fear, if you don’t feel comfortable using Xanthan Gum, you can always use chia seeds for thickness!

      Reply
  14. Bethany Barkey
    August 8, 2012 at 7:37 am (9 years ago)

    This looks sooo good! So what machine do you use to whip up these smoothies? My blender just broke and I’ve had my eye on this: http://www.nutribullet.com

    I’ve also heard good things about the vitamix.

    I have been looking into masticating juicers a lot too. The thing with the nutribullet though is I like that it grinds everything down and uses EVERYTHING. I dont like all the leftover pulp that masticating juicers would leave behind. AND it’s so much easier to clean. I feel like I would use it all the time since it’s easy to clean, instead of always dreading cleaning up with the masticating juicers.

    Reply
    • Catherine
      August 8, 2012 at 3:25 pm (9 years ago)

      Hi Bethany! I have a Vitamix and LOVE it! It is seriously amazing and will blend any food you desire! Definitely worth the high price 🙂 I also have a Magic Bullet that I have had since my freshman year of college, and it has done a great job, but lacks a bit in the green smoothie department hah

      As for juicers, I have a Breville JE98XL Juice Fountain Plus – 850-Watt Juicing Machine. I bought a certified refurbished juicer on amazon from the official Breville store and it works wonders. The pulp comes out dry which makes me happy that I am getting the most juice as possible from my produce! xo

      Reply
      • Bethany
        August 11, 2012 at 4:31 pm (9 years ago)

        Awesome! I will have to check those out 🙂 Thanks for the response.

        Reply
  15. Therapeutic Wholefoods
    August 11, 2012 at 10:12 pm (9 years ago)

    Hi there! I love your blog and your RFFMBT pyramid, it helps me balance out my meals and is a great way to do a mental checklist to see if I have everything I need in the meal. The PB Kale smoothie sounds delicious! so gonna try that out!! 🙂

    Reply
    • Catherine
      August 11, 2012 at 10:18 pm (9 years ago)

      Thank you so much! I’m glad that the pyramid is a helpful guide for you to build meals 🙂 Health & Happiness

      Reply
  16. Alexis
    December 7, 2012 at 10:33 am (9 years ago)

    Hello! I just stumbled upon your blog last night when trying to figure out how much Xanthan Gum to use in smoothies. I just got a Vitamix 7500 (yeah!!). Do you use xanthan and guar gum in all your smoothies? Should I add it with the protein powder?

    Reply
  17. Adrienne
    December 15, 2012 at 3:33 pm (9 years ago)

    Working my way through a bunch of you RFFMBT recipes and #1 This smoothie is delicious and something I never would have tried – THANK YOU. #2 I can’t wait for a RFFMBT cookbook. Any chance for that in the future?

    Reply
  18. Lena
    February 17, 2013 at 8:29 pm (8 years ago)

    Love your site and I’ve only just stumbled upon it! I was hoping you could recommend a substitute for bananas in smoothies and other energy boosting recies? I recently went healthy and found out I’m allergic to the darned things and they are unfortunately in everything delicious it seems. Thanks for any help you can provide!

    Reply
  19. Donna
    February 19, 2013 at 10:37 am (8 years ago)

    I discovered an awesome Oster immersion blender. Got out at Walmart…$30. I just put it into my smoothie a push the button and it mixes it perfectly. I also use it to make salad dressings, puree soups, you name it. It blends much better than a blender, and I don’t hafta drag out my blender, then clean it, ugh!
    I tried the Cuisinart one, but the oster is much better. It has variable speed and it’s max power is higher than the cuisinart and it’s less expensive. The immersable part comes off and is dishwasher safe.

    Reply
    • N
      November 1, 2020 at 5:35 pm (9 months ago)

      I have been surprised and pleased by Oster blenders too. They last a long time, are stronger than more expensive. Purchased at Walmart.

      Reply
  20. Rayca
    June 26, 2013 at 11:10 am (8 years ago)

    Nice! I was thinking about adding guar gum, which is used in uncooked food for thickening. Xanthum gum is for cooking but it’s all good. That texture is just right. I can (we all can) make them really thick but yep, up go the cals. I LOVE watermelon smoothies but they in particular are really watery. –Thanks a bunch.

    Reply
  21. Everett
    April 12, 2014 at 7:20 am (7 years ago)

    I truly love your site.. Excellent colors & theme. Did you build this web site yourself?
    Please reply back as I’m trying to create my own personal blog and would like
    to find out where you got this from or exactly
    what the theme is named. Thanks!

    Reply
  22. Ann
    July 12, 2014 at 5:50 pm (7 years ago)

    How about strawberry smoothie or sherbet for our men? using Frozen Strawberries, Stevia,
    Xanthan gum?

    Reply
    • Catherine
      July 13, 2014 at 10:42 pm (7 years ago)

      Great idea! I need to try that!

      Reply
  23. Ann
    July 12, 2014 at 5:52 pm (7 years ago)

    Oops for four men. How much of each?

    Reply

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