10 ways to upgrade your Huel game

Filed under posts • Tagged: Nutrition, Huel, Weight loss

I’ve been using Huel for over 2 years now. If you’re new to Huel, it’s a nutritionally complete meal replacement. I recently wrote about all the reasons you might want to give it a go.

Whether your goal is weight loss, training for an event, or just making healthy eating more convenient, there are plenty of reasons to consider Huel.

But doesn’t it get boring? Not in my experience. There are lots of different flavours and flavour sachets to keep things interesting. Personally, I stick with the Original Vanilla most of the time.

That said, there is a lot more to Huel than just adding water. I prepare Huel in a lot of different ways, for many different situations, and I wanted to share some ideas that might work for you.

1. Get a good blender

First things first: a good blender will improve the consistency of your shakes, whilst opening up lots of other upgrades to your standard Huel.

I use a Nutribullet. They are well-known, powerful and easy to clean. Job done.

2. Add Milk

Most people start preparing Huel by adding water. That’s fine. But if you want something that tastes even better, experiment with milk.

Semi-skimmed milk is my go-to, but I also use oat, coconut and rice milk. Some of the dairy alternatives are also very low calorie (20kcal per 100ml) which is useful if you are trying to lose weight. Oatly oat milks are a current favourite of mine.

Oatly is my favourite
Oatly is my favourite

3. Overnight Huel

Once you’ve started playing with milk, try leaving it overnight.

Put 3 scoops Huel into a shaker with 500ml milk. Blend or shake it up and then put it in the fridge overnight, ready for breakfast.

The taste is much creamier than just mixing it up on the spot, and the Huel absorbs much more of the liquid. It will also be chilled to perfection. Finally, you also get to walk downstairs to an already made breakfast!

4. Pimp your porridge

Adding a scoop of Huel to your porridge is an easy way to add 11g protein to your breakfast, whilst also sweetening it without extra sugar. I often workout mid-morning, so this breakfast sets me up perfectly in terms of carbohydrate and protein.

The standard Vanilla flavour will work well for this. The night before, mix:

Huel porridge
Huel porridge

Here’s the breakdown:

Huel porridge macros
Huel porridge macros

Leave it overnight. The oats will soak up the milk, and it will all soften. Everything will get tastier and creamier. I don’t know what sorcery goes on in the darkness, but the resulting flavour is uncannily like a Milky Bar.

I just eat it cold. If you heat it up, it might be better to add the Huel after heating.

If you want a higher protein fruit-flavoured version, check out my favourite Huel overnight oats recipe.

5. Make it more filling

Liquid calories are generally thought to be less satiating than solid calories, meaning you’re hungry again sooner. However, the evidence for this is questionable, and mostly based on sweetened drinks.

Either way, the wider issue is that liquids are often too easy to neck.

If you’re not feeling as full as you first did, or if you find that you’ve swallowed half of your shake before coming up for breath, try experimenting with different consistencies, and adding some texture.

a. Mix your Huel with less fluid. For breakfast put 3 scoops of Huel in a bowl, and then mix in milk until all the powder is blended, but it’s still really thick. More like a heavy gloop than a liquid. Sounds delightful, right? This means it has a bit more chew and will help you to eat it like a normal person.

b. Try adding something crunchy like cacao nibs or chia seeds. These force you to chew your way through your Huel, without just swallowing it. They also add some welcome crunch into what can be an otherwise monotonous consistency.

I am a huge fan of cacao nibs—they add chocolate flavour, a good crunch and extra fibre and iron. I like them enough to buy them in 1kg bags.

Just be aware that they pack a much higher caloric punch than you might realise, due to their high-fat content. A serving is listed as something near 30g, and that would add 180 calories to your shake.

Cacao nibs nutrition
Cacao nibs nutrition

6. Chilled Morning Mocha Huel

I often make a smaller version of this the night before I go on long rides, so that I can eat and get caffeinated without trashing the downstairs at 5:30 am.

Mocha Huel
Mocha Huel

You could just buy the Coffee flavour of Huel, but I prefer adding my own coffee when I want.

These quantities are rough, so adjust to your own taste:

If you’re making this in the morning, the ice will stop the coffee warming up the shake, which isn’t very palatable. If you make it the night before, the fridge will chill it for you.

The cocoa powder makes it deliciously rich, and will also thicken up the shake. If you want to up your chocolate game, try sprinkling on some cacao nibs, or squirting on some Sweet Freedom Liquid Chocolate. At only 13 calories per tsp, it’s a great way of soothing a sweet tooth.

7. More Micronutrition

Huel is made to meet all of your nutritional needs. But adding extra fruit or vegetables is a great way of upgrading your micronutrition, as well as providing extra fibre and flavour.

As a happy bonus, frozen fruit and vegetables will chill your shake for you and improve the texture. Tesco and most other supermarkets now have a huge amount of frozen options, from watermelon balls to spinach, mango and kale smoothie mixes:

Tesco frozen fruit and veg options
Tesco frozen fruit and veg options

Here are some ideas to get you started:

If your blender doesn’t quite get through the fruit/veg, then pour a little boiling water over the frozen goods before adding everything else in.

8. Lower carb (chocolate) Huel

If you are limiting your carbohydrate intake, then you can easily swap in a scoop of protein powder. It still tastes great (in some cases, better) and will also create a higher-protein, lower-carb and lower-fat shake.

I use Bulk Powders Chocolate casein. I prefer casein for “meals” as it is a slower release protein. Whey is absorbed more rapidly, and so is more suited to pre- or post-workout.

Bulk powders
Bulk powders

Here’s what it 2 scoops of Huel to 1 scoop of casein looks like:

Huel with casein
Huel with casein

9. Recover faster

Huel alone is one of my favourite post-workout recovery foods. It’s high protein and easy to prepare. But I sometimes like to upgrade it with berries and bananas.

The banana provides extra carbohydrate for glycogen replenishment, and the berries contain Vitamin C and anthocyanins, which have anti-inflammatory and antioxidant benefits. This can help promote the right muscular adaptations after intense training.

10. Bake Off

Personally, I have only baked once with Huel, but there is a long list of baking options on the Huel website. Anything from waffles to bread to sweet potato brownies!

10% off your first order

Huel is great on its own, but its also incredibly flexible. There are so many ways to mix it up and keep it interesting. These are just a few of my favourites—I hope you enjoy, and please let me know what your favourites are 🙏🏻

If you’ve not bought any Huel yet, good news! I can offer you £10 off of your first order. By happy coincidence this is will also give me £10 off of my next order. You’d be putting food on my table, and for that I thank you.

Click here for £10 off your first order.

—Dan Bartlett
11 Nov 2018

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