Whether you’re lactose intolerant, or just don’t like diary, this post is for you!
We’ll be going over how to make a smoothie without milk, how to make a smoothie without yogurt, and the best dairy alternatives for smoothies.
Let’s get into it…
How to Make a Smoothie Without Milk
Milk is often the liquid of choice for smoothies. It creates a creamy and filling beverage, and goes well with many fruits and other ingredients. It also has plenty of protein, vitamins, and minerals, making your smoothie more nutrient-dense.
However, milk is not always the best option for smoothies. Some smoothies, such as green smoothies, usually aren’t the best when blended with dairy – the flavours clash and the texture is not ideal.
The good news is, you do not need milk to make a smoothie; you can easily make a delicious, nutritious, thick, and creamy smoothie without milk!
To make a smoothie without milk, you can either:
1. Drop the milk altogether.
Many smoothies require very little liquid or no liquid at all!
For example, smoothies with juicy fruits like orange, apple, or cucumber can have a drinkable consistency without any liquid or with only a small amount of liquid. They can also be more flavourful without any liquid watering them down.
Other examples of the types of smoothies that may not need any milk or liquid at all, are thick smoothie bowls, or smoothies made up of mostly creamy ingredients like yogurt, banana, or avocado.
To make a smoothie without liquid:
- include juicy ingredients
- include soft and creamy ingredients
- use a tamper and/or frequently stop to scrap down sides
- use a powerful blender
2. Use a milk alternative. (listed below)
There are many ingredients you can use instead of milk in a smoothie to get the same effect as milk would have.
For example, creamy ingredients or a substitute liquid base.
Can You Make a Smoothie With Water?
You can absolutely make a smoothie with water instead of milk.
Water is an excellent option for the liquid base of a smoothie because it does not have a flavour so it will not interfere or clash with any other ingredients in the smoothie. For example, green smoothies often go much better with water than milk.
While water is nutrient-void, especially in comparison to milk, you can still blend a nutrient-dense smoothie by focusing on the other ingredients you include in the blend, and not adding too much water so as to not water down the smoothie.
Similarly, you can make a smoothie with ice instead of milk.
Ice will add that hydration to the smoothie, while also creating a thicker consistency and a lovely cold and frosty smoothie. Just note that adding too much ice can have the same watering-down effect as water.
Best Milk Substitute for Smoothies:
Milk and water are not the only liquids you can use as the liquid base of a smoothie – there are so many other options that will result in an excellent smoothie.
See our comprehensive Smoothie Ingredients List for more ideas of liquids to make smoothies with.
In addition to water and ice, other alternatives for milk in smoothies include:
- Coconut milk or coconut water – Coconut milk is one of the best alternatives for milk because it’s dairy-free but it is still creamy like milk and has excellent nutritional benefits. It is high in healthy fat, making for a creamy and filling smoothie. Alternatively, coconut water tastes amazing in so many smoothies, but isn’t thick and creamy – it’s more like a yummy version of water.
- Dairy-free milks like almond milk or oat milk – The obvious option for those with lactose-intolerance. These milks can be very tasty, slightly creamy like milk, and usually contain plenty of protein and nutrients. Even if you aren’t lactose-intolerant, these are still great options for so many smoothies. Almond milk or oat milk can add that slight nutty/oat-y flavour to a smoothie to add some dimension and tastiness to the flavour profile. I find they add a kind of coziness to a smoothie. Other dairy-free milks include: soy milk, rice milk, hemp milk, cashew milk, and hazelnut milk.
- Fruit juice or vegetable juice – Juice can add a lot of flavour, fruitiness, sweetness, and/or zest to a smoothie. Juice can also be slightly more pulpy than water, but not creamy like milk – a nice middle option.
How to Make a Smoothie Without Yogurt
Yogurt is typically added to smoothies for texture/consistency or health benefits. Yogurt is thick and creamy, especially Greek yogurt, and is known for health benefits such as protein, calcium, and probiotics.
Yogurt can also be used to add flavour (however, I generally stick to plain, unsweetened yogurt to avoid additional sugar or competing flavours).
That being said, you can definitely make smoothies without yogurt. Here’s how…
To make a smoothie without yogurt, you can either:
1. Drop the yogurt altogether.
Yogurt is not a necessity for smoothies. A smoothie can have a great consistency with just the basics – liquid base, fruit/veg, etc. Yogurt is more of an extra that helps boost creaminess, flavour, texture, and nutrition.
For thickness and creaminess, many other ingredients can cover that aspect (see below). And if you are using milk, dairy-free milk, or another nutritious milk alternative, you are already including many of the nutrients that yogurt would provide.
2. Use a yogurt alternative/substitute. (listed below)
Instead of leaving yogurt out entirely, another option is to use a yogurt substitute with many of the same properties as yogurt.
For example, a thickening ingredient to make it creamy like yogurt would.
Alternatives for Yogurt in Smoothies:
- Dairy-free yogurts – Again, if you are lactose-intolerance, just like there are so many dairy-free milks, there are many options for dairy-free yogurts. These include: coconut yogurt, soy yogurt, and nut-based yogurts.
- Coconut cream – Super thick and creamy, just like Greek yogurt. You can get coconut cream in a can – the thickest cream usually separates and will be on top.
- Cottage cheese – Adds lots of healthy fat, protein, nutrients, and probiotics, just like yogurt.
- Banana/Avocado (especially frozen) – These are two of the best creamy and thickening ingredients that are super versatile and go well in most smoothies. Banana can be used to add both creaminess and natural sweetness to a smoothie. Avocado is high in fat (as well as fibre and many important nutrients!) and is a tried and true way to create a thick and creamy blend every time.
- Frozen fruits/vegetables – Some other fruits like mango can have a similar creamy/thickening effect when frozen. Frozen vegetables like cauliflower and zucchini are other ingredients that, like avocado, won’t change the flavour much, but will improve the consistency and nutrition of the smoothie.
- Nut butters
That wraps up this guide on how to make a smoothie without milk and/or yogurt. I hope you found it helpful!
Be sure to check out these Dairy-Free Smoothie Recipes for some ideas on delicious and nutritious smoothies that you can make without milk or yogurt!