Today I’m sharing the secret sauce, er… liquid, that is dairy free smoothies. Your smoothie doesn’t need dairy to be creamy, delicious, smooth, or drinkable. Don’t believe me? Give one of the below dairy free smoothie recipes a blend n’ sip, then try to tell me I’m wrong!

What’s Wrong with Dairy?

Nothing… if you’re one of the 30% of the world’s population that doesn’t have a dairy intolerance. Yet if you’re like me, then dairy often gives you issues with digestion. Instead of suffering through the painful side effects of consuming dairy, I started searching for non-dairy options.

Discover the incredible world of plant based milk and dairy free smoothies along with me!

Table of Contents
  1. What’s Wrong with Dairy?
  2. What Can You Use Instead of Milk in a Smoothie?
  3. 20 Dairy Free Smoothie Recipes
  4. Dairy-Free Smoothies FAQs

What Can You Use Instead of Milk in a Smoothie?

SO. MANY. THINGS. I’m not kidding; once you start exploring the world of dairy free smoothies, you’ll find a vast amount of liquid bases. A smoothie with dairy milk no longer sounds appetizing to me; I’d much rather reach for a lighter nut milk or coconut water.

Nut milk in smoothies

With the explosion of non-dairy milk brands on the market, it’s no surprise that nut milk is a popular base for dairy free smoothies. Almond milk, cashew milk, coconut milk, pecan milk, walnut milk, macadamia milk and more can all be used in smoothies.

Nut-free, dairy-free milk bases

If nut milk isn’t an option for you, then no sweat. Check out oat milk, hemp milk, flax milk, rice milk, soy milk… the possibilities are seemingly endless.

I tend to choose my dairy free smoothie recipes based on what my body needs that day. If I’m looking for a fiber + healthy fat boost, I’ll make some hemp or flax milk. Rice milk is super thin and great for a tasteless option so that the other smoothie ingredients can shine.

Tea

This unique liquid base totally takes that smoothie to the next level. Choose a caffeinated tea like green tea for a natural energy boost as well as metabolism mover. Herbal teas work great to soothe the stomach and calm the body.

Use tea to your advantage by incorporating the one that will help you most. I believe ingredients should work for us instead of against us, so I typically gauge what my body needs before deciding on the right liquid base for my smoothie.

If using matcha powder, then combine it with water or cashew milk for smoothies. Matcha typically comes in powder form instead of in a tea bag, so I view it more as a supplement instead of a true liquid base. It creates a creamy, light base for dairy free smoothies.

Water or coconut water

The number one, best green smoothie in the whole wide world uses *gasp* WATER. It’s 100% dairy free and proud to be… and people can’t get enough of it. I know a lot of you hesitate to use water in a smoothie, but trust me, when you’ve got the right formula, water is a great smoothie base.

Coconut water is a unique beverage that has been touted as nature’s gatorade. It’s loaded with electrolytes, and is a must in workout recovery. It can be an acquired taste, so if you’re new to coconut water, try doing half coconut water and half regular water in your next smoothie, then increase your ratio as you fall in love.

More dairy-free liquids

While the above liquids are more popular, I like to get creative with my liquid bases. Here are a few more super fun + delicious options:

Kombucha- I’m not kidding! This is a great probiotic option, and the sky’s the limit on flavors.

Fresh squeezed juice- While 100% juice has natural sugar, it is still a higher sugar option. So remember that when adding it to your smoothie.

Coffee- This base works great in smoothies including cocoa or cacao, nut butter, vanilla, you name it. Need a caffeine free option? Just use strongly brewed decaf coffee to enjoy the flavor without the buzz.

As you can see, dairy milk is far from the only liquid base for smoothies. Don’t be afraid to get creative; mix + match any of these bases until you find your fav.

20 Dairy Free Smoothie Recipes

The best green smoothie ever– New to smoothies? Then def give this one a blend first! Tropical + perfectly sweet.

Fat burning smoothie– Deliciously designed to kick that metabolism into high gear.

Meal replacement smoothie– Dairy free smoothies are the healthiest fast food, and this fun creation is no exception!

Weight gain smoothie– Tastes like Dole Whip, yet uses 100% whole food, plant based ingredients.

Smoothie for bloating– Cut down on belly bloat, gas, and cramping with natural ingredients.

Smoothie for clear skin– Fuel your body with foods that leave you glowing.

Anti-inflammatory smoothie– Calm inflammation quickly with this great smoothie.

Pre-workout smoothie– If you’re looking to make the most of your workout, then start it with this dairy free smoothie.

Iron-rich smoothie bowl– I’ve struggled with iron deficiency for years, until I discovered foods that help boost it naturally.

Coconut water smoothie– hydrate naturally with this tropical creation.

Pregnancy smoothie– fuel your body and your baby with the best foods for both of you.

Spinach berry smoothie– This delightful smoothie is loaded with antioxidants as well as flavor.

Chocolate protein shake– You’ll never guess this smoothie is dairy free as well as loaded with protein + flavor.

MCT oil smoothie– Boost healthy fat intake, as well as help ease digestion with this superfood smoothie.

Island green smoothie– Take one sip of this smoothie with your eyes closed, and you’ll be immediately transported to a beach paradise.

Kale banana smoothie– Add banana to turn dairy free smoothies into cream machines.

Banana oatmeal smoothie– Take breakfast on the go with this scrumptious beverage.

Cherry açaí smoothie– The perfect afternoon pick-me-up smoothie.

Mango smoothie– Refreshingly simple (and pretty!), sip this smoothie poolside and soak in the goodness.

Cinnamon date smoothie– Breakfast time, dessert time, or anytime with this decadent dairy free smoothie recipe.

The ultimate dairy free smoothie- Try this fruit fusion smoothie recipe below for a smoothie so creamy you’ll swear there’s dairy in it!

All the Smoothies

This post has a huge list of dairy free smoothies. Would it blow your mind to know we have more? Hop on over to our Rawkstar Shop and check out Simple Green Smoothies, our smoothie-filled recipe book. It’s packed with tons of green (and other color!) smoothie creations.

Which one will be your next fav? Which dairy free liquid base will you use? Will you add a homemade protein powder to make your smoothie a meal? The possibilities are endless and I can’t wait to see what you blend and love best!

Dairy-Free Smoothies FAQs

How do you thicken a smoothie without milk?

Dairy is often used to make beverages creamy, yet it’s just not necessary in a smoothie. If I’m looking for an extra creamy base that’s dairy free, then cashew milk, oat milk, or full fat coconut milk are all great options. Avocado, coconut cream, banana and dairy free yogurt as well as hemp hearts and chia seeds are also great smoothie thickeners.

Which dairy-free milk is best for smoothies?

My go-to milk option is currently cashew. It is virtually tasteless, yet adds protein, healthy fat, and a creamy texture to smoothies. Although, as you can see from the list above, you can use any dairy free milk you want!

Are smoothies better with milk or water?

Honestly, it depends on the smoothie. I like water better in green smoothies, and milk better in protein shakes. Everyone’s preferences are different, so there’s no right or wrong answer. Just get in that daily smoothie!

So, which one of the above dairy free smoothies are you ready to make? Drop a comment and let me know your fav!


About the Author

Jen Hansard

I went from exhausted mama to running across the Grand Canyon, riding & hiking to the top of the tallest waterfall in North America with my kids. How? I fell in love with the smoothies and plant-based meals you can find on my blog.

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Comments

  1. And it’s okay to use almond milk with greens in powder form? Someone told me to only use water???

  2. I put 12 ounces of craft beer and a slice of sausage pizza into my blender. For vegetables, I added some mushrooms and green pepper. It resulted in exclamations all around!!

    1. Hi Tim,

      You get two thumbs up for the mushrooms and green peppers!! 🙂 Want a laugh? You may be interested in the smoothie we blended for April Fool’s this year. Check it out here…

    1. Hi Gary,

      Thanks for reaching out. Small amounts of organic, non-GMO soy are fine (like tamari and tempeh) but we recommend staying away from highly-processed unfermented soy products which can interfere with nutrient absorption and leach nutrients from your body. Soy milk, soy burgers, and soy ice cream are all in this category. Two great alternative to soy milk are unsweetened almond milk and coconut milk.

      We love them both!

  3. HI. I love coconut water as liquid-base for my smoothies, but am using in can coconut water purchased from grocery stores, is this OK?

    1. Hi Marielle,

      Don’t worry too much about the container. When reaching for a liquid base we suggest reaching for organic, sugar-free options, free of any yucky additives or preservatives. So take a quick peek at the ingredients before purchasing.

  4. Thanks for the valuable info you are providing to us.
    I’ve been using yogurt for the smoothie liquid base.
    Is it okay? 🙂

    1. Hi Jane,

      You definitely can! Especially adding greek yogurt to your green smoothie adds a great boost of protein to any green smoothie recipe. Personally, we reach for coconut milk yogurt, over dairy, as dairy can be pretty tough on your digestion. It’s also the #1 undiagnosed food allergy, so for that reason we leave it out of our diet for ourselves and our family. But it’s all about finding what’s best for you + your body!

      Cheers!

    1. Hi Amy,

      Of course!! We love switching up our liquid base options!

  5. Thanks for the valuable info you are providing to us.
    just a question,is okay if i make my green smoothies with same fruits every day? say watermelon, apple, pineapple & mango plus baby spinach). What can i add to make it more filling?

    1. Hi Esther,

      Thanks for blendin’ with us! While you definitely can blend the same fruits each day, we do suggest changing it up a little bit to fuel your body with a wide variety of nutrients. Also, it’s important to rotate your greens to help prevent oxalate build-up in your body. Learn more here…

      https://simplegreensmoothies.com/leafy-greens

      Looking to make your smoothie more filling? When using your smoothie as a meal replacement we suggest adding protein + healthy fats to ensure you’re fueling your body with a complete meal. Learn more about our favorite meal replacement booster combos here…

      https://simplegreensmoothies.com/meal-replacement-smoothie

  6. I make water kefir and have a ton of it right now. I want to add it to my smoothies (and get back on the smoothie bandwagon because I have seemed to fall off). I was going to use it in place of water or juice, but I’m having a hard time locating recipes with those bases. Most of the recipes I see have almond milk, coconut milk or coconut water. I like to stick with a tried and true recipe because I’ve made some pretty nasty smoothies in the past.

    1. Hi Shannon,

      Our recipes are here to inspire you, so please don’t feel like you need to follow them to a T. Feel free to swap in any liquid base you enjoy!

      Cheers 🙂

    1. Hi Spee,

      We love reaching for dairy free options. Do you love Kiefer Milk? Then go for it! We’re all about making green smoothies work for you + your body!

  7. Hi!!

    So I just recently discovered the power of the smoothie and bought a Vitamix as smoothies cost so much at the juiceries :(. I’m trying to cut back on the sugar in one that I particularly like, it calls for Kale, Spinach, a banana, 1 C frozen mango, a bit of lemon juice and enough apple cider to balance it out. The apple cider adds close to 50g of sugar alone…. Any thought on what I could replace it with for this recipe? I don’t think almond milk or coconut water will be very good here.

    Thank you so much! Awesome new favorite site!!

    1. Hi Jason!

      Thanks for reaching out! We always say you can’t go wrong with good, old-fashioned filtered water :). If you want a little extra sweetness, you could always replace 1/2 of the normal amount of apple cider with filtered water. It may take a little experimenting to find what tastes best to you personally :).

      Cheers!

  8. I have found your site very helpful during my challenge. I have made several of the smoothies with no problems but when I made the coco-Cherry smoothie it did not settle well with me. I believe it was the coconut milk because that was the first time I had used it in my smoothies. i think I will exclude this and try another liquid base when coconut milk is in the receipe

    1. Hi Amber!

      Thanks for reaching out! We’re all about making green smoothies work for you. We definitely encourage our community members to play mini-chef with their blenders to find what tastes/sits best with them :).

      Thanks so much for blendin’ with us! Cheers!

  9. I just made my first green smoothie. I LOVE IT.
    I added water to it. How do you add tea to the green smoothie?
    I have a lot of different tea: lavender, green tea, mint, sleepy time, and detox tea.
    Thanks

    1. Hi!

      Thanks so much for reaching out! We’re so happy to have you as part of our community!

      Feel free to swap out the 2 cups water in your smoothie for 2 cups brewed and cooled tea :). Herbal teas are always great, and green tea is wonderful if you need a little boost of energy!

      Cheers!

  10. Hi, I just found yalls site from today’s email of 100daysofrealfood.com I can say I’m very impressed, as well interested in your recipes. I just have a couple of question? If I don’t have fresh spinach for in the morning since one I want on can I use frozen? If so how do you calculate that? What brands of Coconut water do y’all like the best? Do you prefer the canned coconut milk vs. the refrigerator kind? I can’t wait to explore your site!

    1. Hi Julie!

      Thanks so much for reaching out! We’re so happy to have you as part of our community :).

      You can definitely use frozen spinach in your smoothie (1.5 cups frozen greens = 2 cups fresh), however, we’ve found that the frozen spinach you buy at the grocery store doesn’t have the best flavor in green smoothies. We personally like to buy big containers of greens and freeze them ourselves!

      https://simplegreensmoothies.com/freeze-leafy-greens

      As for coconut water, my personal favorite is Zico (it’s what they carry at my local Trader Joe’s!). But we like any brand where the only ingredient is coconut water (no added sugar). For coconut milk, most of our community members use refrigerated coconut milk for our recipes (the canned version is much more rich!), but we like to make our own!

      https://simplegreensmoothies.com/make-coconut-milk

      Hope that helps! Cheers + Happy Blendin’!