There is a difference when it comes to making smoothies as a snack or as a replacement for a meal. If it is meant to replace a meal, you want to make it more filling so its not just a healthy drink but it staves off your hunger.

Here are five things you can do to make that snack more like a meal:

1) Use a nut butter

Adding in a nut butter, such as almond or pecan, increases the protein content quite a bit. More protein means you will stay satiated longer. To make it a meal, try adding a tablespoon of your favourite nut butter to a smoothie made from banana, plain yogurt, almond milk, honey and ice.

2) Add chia seeds

Chia seeds expand in liquid to form a gel-like substance. Not only does it tend to thicken up a smoothie, but the fiber in it slows down the absorption of nutrients so you stay feeling full longer. While you can add chia seeds directly into a smoothie, it will turn out better if you first soak the seeds in water for ten minutes so they turn into a gel. It is easier to get the right consistency if the seeds have expanded first before adding them to your smoothie.

3) Try some tofu

With its neutral flavour, you might not even taste it is there. But the advantage of adding in crumbled tofu is much the same as adding nut butter – it boosts the protein content and helps keep you fuller longer. It might take some experimenting as far as how much to add as it can thicken up a smoothie quite a bit.

4) Yogurt is key

If dairy products do not bother you, adding in a full-fat plain yoghurt is key to making a filling and satisfying smoothie that will last until your next meal. Just make sure the yoghurt doesn’t have a lot of added sugar. That can defeat the purpose of using yogurt in the first place. Greek-style yoghurt works about the best in smoothies.

5) Up the fat content

Drinking a smoothie containing some dietary fat is satisfying. One easy way to add it to your smoothies is to use coconut oil as part of your smoothie liquid. The type of fat in coconut oil is healthier than many other types of fats. Not only is it better for you, but it will make your smoothie creamier plus adding in a little natural sweetness.

Using these 5 tips will take your average snack smoothie to a new level that will keep you full until your next meal. Try them all for a satisfying meal replacement smoothie.