Smoothie Hacks: How To Make Smoothies Without Yogurt
Maybe you’re lactose intolerant, or maybe you’re avoiding dairy, but whatever the reason, you want to make a smoothie with all the creaminess yogurt provides while leaving the yogurt out. Don’t worry; it can be done. You may find you like the alternatives better, anyway. Read on for some tips to keep your smoothie thick, creamy, and dairy-free.
The Best Substitutes For Yogurt
You can opt to leave the stuff out completely, but chances are you’d rather swap the yogurt for an equitable alternative. Here are the top substitutes for yogurt in your smoothie.
1. Coconut Cream
Though high in calories, coconut cream is rich in nutrition and healthy fats. Avoid labels like “lite” or “coconut milk” and go straight for the heavy stuff. It’s thick, creamy, and ridiculously delicious.
2. Almond Milk Yogurt
You get a lot of additives in yogurt substitutes, like guar gum and acacia gum for thickeners, and added sugars for flavor. But plain almond milk yogurt is generally a healthy and tasty alternative. It’ll give your smoothie some extra nutty flavor, too.
3. Chia Seeds
Omega 3-packed chia seeds aren’t exactly creamy, but they can be a great thickener. Soak one tablespoon of chia seeds in three tablespoons of water for about 15 minutes. They’ll become gelatinous, much like tapioca, and will thicken your smoothie nicely. They have a mild, nutty flavor, and can give you a welcome morning energy boost.
4. Protein Powders
Protein makes a great additive to smoothies, as it gives you energy, keeps you full longer, and helps your muscles grow. If you’re avoiding dairy, steer clear of whey powders. You can purchase great-tasting plant-based powders for the same price as quality whey powder, and the nutritional content will be higher. Check out Vega Sport Premium Protein for an option with great flavor.
Forget the Yogurt
If you don’t need to echo the flavor and texture of yogurt, but you still want a decent thickener, try some of these options. You can add essential fats, fiber, and vitamins without spending money on trying to create fake yogurt.
Avocadoes are full of essential fatty acids and fiber. They’re thick, creamy, and tasty in just about any concoction. Add fruits, nuts, or a sprinkle of raw cacao for an excellent flavor punch.
2. Sweet Potato
Don’t try to blend a raw sweet potato. You’ll just end up with a glass full of hard chunks, and probably burn out your blender in the process. Microwave or bake your sweet potatoes first, then cool them down in the fridge. When you’re ready, remove the peel and chuck them in your blender with fruits, veggies, hazelnuts, cinnamon, or maple syrup for a satisfying and filling smoothie.
Sweet, delicious, and potassium-packed bananas will thicken any smoothie instantly. They’re easy to blend and mess-free, too, so they’re high on the list of dairy-free smoothie hacks. Their mild flavor also makes them versatile enough to complement most green smoothies. Too many bananas can spike your blood sugar, though, so don’t go crazy.
4. Nut Butters
Almond butter and peanut butter are top contenders for any smoothie, but hazelnut butter, sunflower seed butter, or even a combo of these can make a deliciously thick and creamy smoothie. You’ll also get an extra load of healthy fats, fiber, and protein.
Don’t Forget the Liquid
While the above thickeners are good alternatives to yogurt, don’t forget to add liquid to your smoothie or you’ll end up with a glob and jam your blender’s blades. Don’t worry about adding milk. Coconut milk, water, juice, or even spiced chai tea can add flavor and texture balance without the dairy.
Who needs yogurt? Not you. Try a few of the simple tricks above until you find that sweet spot of perfect thickness and flavor. Don’t be afraid to experiment and remember to thin with non-dairy liquids as needed. Enjoy your yogurt-free concoctions!
Here are some of our other hacks:
- Smoothie Hack Series: Freeze Your Spinach!
- TRUE or FALSE: does blending destroy nutrients and fibers?
Header image credit: Ken Hawkins, Flickr