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 these dairy-free smoothie recipes a blend n’ sip, then try to tell me I’m wrong!
While this recipe list includes smoothies already made without dairy, I’m also giving you all the swaps to turn any smoothie into a dairy-free one with just an ingredient or two. You might even find a new favorite option!
Table of Contents
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. If you’re like me, 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!
The Best Dairy-Free Smoothie Recipes
These recipes are all delicious, whole-food options that can be blended in minutes and enjoyed as a snack, meal or dessert. They are so easy to make and enjoy. Let’s get blending!
A quick note: Just because a smoothie is dairy-free doesn’t make it vegan. Make sure you read the ingredient list to ensure these don’t use honey, collagen powder or another ingredient that’s not what you’re looking for.
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 (or my stomach). I’d much rather reach for lighter nut milk or coconut water.
Nut Milk Options
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.
Use store-bought or learn how to make your own almond milk (or any other milk) for a creamy texture and to know exactly what ingredients are in it.
Nut-Free, Dairy-Free Milk Bases
I tend to choose my dairy-free smoothie recipes based on what my body needs that day. If I’m looking for a fiber and 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.
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 a metabolism mover. Herbal teas work great to soothe the stomach and calm the body. Try a smoothie like my Green Tea Smoothie for a boost of energy without the crash.
Use tea to your advantage by incorporating the one that will help you the 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 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 first Coconut Water 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 and delicious options.
Kombucha– I’m not kidding! This is a great probiotic option, and the sky’s the limit on flavors. My Probiotic Smoothie is equal parts delicious and unique.
Fresh squeezed juice– While 100% juice has natural sugar, it is still a higher sugar option. Remember that when adding it to your smoothie. My Pineapple Smoothie uses both whole pineapple and pineapple juice for the best flavor.
Coffee– This base works great in smoothies including cocoa or cacao, nut butter, vanilla, you name it. I love blending my Coffee Smoothie to combine my morning beverage with my morning breakfast of choice. 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 and match any of these bases until you find your favorite.
How to Thicken a Smoothie
A lot of people use dairy milk or yogurt because it naturally thickens whatever beverage is in your blender. You can make an epically thick smoothie with a super creamy texture without the dairy. Here are my go-to thickeners:
- Vegan yogurt: There are several dairy-free yogurts that produce the same level of creaminess as regular, yet without dairy.
- Frozen fruit: This not only chills your smoothie, but it can also help thicken it more than fresh fruit.
- Hemp seeds, chia seeds or flaxseed: These superfoods are great additions to smoothies for extra omega-3s, protein, fiber and can be used to thicken a smoothie that’s on the thinner side.
- Nut butter: Peanut butter, almond butter and more can be used to thicken your drink. Plus, they taste delicious!
- Protein powder: I love turning smoothies into meals using my homemade protein powder. It can be added to any smoothie you make and helps to thicken as well as provide extra protein.
Dairy-Free Smoothies FAQs
Dairy is often used to make beverages creamy, yet it’s not necessary for 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.
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!
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!