Use this guide to build a better smoothie.
Finding the right liquid as the base for your smoothie is important to help create the best taste and achieve the right consistency. With so many dairy and dairy-alternative products out there, it can be hard to know which base meets your needs. Use this breakdown to help you navigate the choices.
Cow’s milk is a classic dairy option to use as a liquid base for your smoothie. Milk is filled with nutrients and is a significant source of calcium and vitamin D. Using milk will give you a creamier smoothie, but make sure to check the nutrition label and watch the amount of fat and calories you’re adding into your smoothie.
Almond milk is one of the most popular dairy alternatives and is a great smoothie base for anyone with allergies: It is free of dairy, gluten, lactose, and soy! Although it is not high in protein, almond milk contains almost half your daily serving of vitamin E. Using almond milk in your smoothie will give you the same creaminess as cow’s milk but with healthier fats and fewer calories per cup. If you’re not a fan of almond milk there are plenty of other non-dairy milk options to try like cashew, oat, and soy.
While it’s not considered a liquid, Greek yogurt is the perfect option if you’re looking to thicken your smoothie and add protein and probiotics. Containing more protein than milk, this type of yogurt is naturally gluten-free and the probiotics will help your gut stay healthy. When buying this product, check the label: You should be buying authentic Greek yogurt with no additives and one that is not high in sugar. You might need to add a little water in for an easier blend.
While this option won’t add nutritional benefits to your drink, water is a great dairy-free option and it contains zero calories. If you’re struggling to keep up with drinking enough water during the day, using water as a smoothie base will help you stay hydrated. Be careful not to add too much water as it will make your smoothie less thick.
This fermented milk beverage will give your smoothies an added creaminess and help create a thick consistency. Kefir is a cross between milk and yogurt and has live cultures of probiotics which are good for your gut health. When buying kefir, check the label to make sure you’re getting a product without too many additives or sugars.