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I’m Jen Hansard, mom of two, ultra runner and lover of green smoothies, coffee & tacos. I took my family's health into my own hands while broke and without health insurance...and have helped 1 million+ other families along the way.

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How to Make a Smoothie Without Milk

There are countless liquids that you can add to green smoothies—and most of them aren’t dairy! This article will show you how to make a smoothie without milk.

Every ingredient in your green smoothies should be placed with a purpose.

When making green smoothies the liquid-base is one that is often overlooked, but the reality is that the liquid that you use for the base of your smoothie is just as important as any other part.

The main reason for changing the liquid base is similar to the reason that we rotate our greens: When we use different liquid bases we give our bodies the opportunity to use many more available nutrients. Sticking with just one liquid base gives your body the same nutrients over and over, which can be good, but why waste the opportunity to receive a variety of nutrients that can work in harmony with the lifestyle that you live? In order to help you know which liquids are best for you we made a list of the most popular bases and highlighted how they affect your health.

How to make a smoothie without milk (or dairy):


water
Water

Many confuse fatigue with lack of hydration. When you are properly hydrated you have more energy, not to mention how it flushes out the nasty toxins in your body. Water is essential for your body, and its simply good for you. Use water in your smoothies when you are looking for an easy, cheap, and simple base for your smoothie.

CLICK HERE for a smoothie recipe with water.


almondmilk
Almond Milk

Almond milk is a lactose-free, warm flavored liquid that will provide you with vitamin E, protein, and fiber. Since it is lactose free it is easily digestible, and its even low in fat and cholesterol free. If possible, find an unsweetened kind of almond milk to stay away from the high amounts of sugar. Its a great base for those fall months!

CLICK HERE for a smoothie recipe with almond milk.

coconutwater

Coconut Water

If you are looking for an all-natural sports drink, then you’ve found it! Coconut water is filled with electrolytes and potassium, which are two nutrients your body craves when expending lots of energy. It’s low in calories, fat, and sugar meaning that this is the liquid-base you want when working out. Use it in the morning to kickstart your action-packed day.

CLICK HERE for a smoothie recipe with coconut water.


coconutmilk
Coconut Milk

Coconut milk is squeezed from the meat of the coconut which produces a sweet and tasty liquid. Though it is high in protein, fiber, and other micronutrients, it is also high in calories and fat. For this reason we recommend using coconut milk as a liquid-base only for special indulgences–maybe for date night desserts. This milk does help to protect your heart, but it will cost you in other areas if used on a regular basis.

CLICK HERE for a smoothie recipe with coconut milk.


juice
Fresh-Squeezed Juice

Many fresh squeezed juices offer beneficial antioxidants and helpful enzymes. They offer an array of vitamins and taste good, too. The thing to keep in mind about fruit juices is their high sugar content. When using fresh squeezed fruit as a liquid-base, be sure to use plenty of raw leafy greens and low glycemic fruits (berries, peaches, apples) to balance out the sugar content. You can also add water to your juice base— like 1 cup fresh squeezed orange juice and 1 cup water.

CLICK HERE for a smoothie recipe with orange juice.


ricemilk
Rice Milk

If you struggle to digest lactose in milk, or are just looking for something different, then try using rice milk as a liquid-base in your green smoothie. Though it is lacking in protein, it is fortified with calcium and low in cholesterol, which makes it a slightly healthier option than cow’s milk–and you can get the lacking protein through various superfoods and leafy greens. It is naturally sweetened, fructose free, and goes great with your daily smoothie.


greentea
Green Tea

Green tea is a fighter against four of the biggest health issues in the western world: cancer, heart disease, weight, and diabetes. The secret? It contains a high concentration of polyphenols, which are a specific type of antioxidant. These antioxidants are also known to rejuvenate skin cells and give you a clearer complexion. Sweet! Right? Green tea does contain caffeine, which makes it a great base for those who are trying to transition from a morning cup of coffee to a green smoothie (no headache this way).

CLICK HERE for a smoothie recipe with green tea.


7-Days of Dairy-Free Smoothies:

Try drinking one green smoothie a day for a week, all without using dairy milk as a liquid base. The Simple 7 Challenge gives you seven recipes, a shopping list, and tips on how to blend your smoothie in under seven minutes each day!

Click here to start the 7-day smoothie challenge.

COMMENT BELOW: Which liquid base from the list above sounds the tastiest?

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  1. Ebony

    April 5th, 2013 at 9:09 am

    Would you suggest using Trop 50 as a fruit juice base? Or would it be better to get some fresh oranges and juice them myself? Also, can you suggest a good brand of organic green tea?

  2. Jen H

    April 5th, 2013 at 12:23 pm

    Hey Ebony— get my green tea from Trader Joes— it’s their own brand and it’s organic. I have never used Trop50, but I would think it would have some additives to preserve the shelf life…right?

  3. Matt

    September 27th, 2013 at 7:43 pm

    I see all this talk about different milk substitutes, any reason there is never any mention of good ol’ fashioned Milk? It is certainly a more natural substance than rice, almond or soy milk and much higher in vitamins and protein. You can also choose your fat content, I can picture skim milk plus being excellent in certain recipes! I haven’t tried it personally, because I am strictly following Jen and Jada’s recipes, which are very good, but I agree with some others and I just can’t get on the almond milk train. I also dislike soy and really don’t see the point to milk substitutes, unless of course you’re lactose intolerant, or milk just doesn’t taste right with the recipies?

  4. Melisa Nielsen

    April 5th, 2013 at 9:17 am

    I also use a raw milk home made kefir for my base. Tons of wonderful probiotics from kefir. I wouldn’t use regular or even organic milk, but the RAW milk is so good for you!

    You guys are great. I am enjoying rotating my greens and on my trip out of town last week I used almond milk since it is shelf stable and travels nicely 🙂

    Enjoying this very much!

  5. Jen H

    April 8th, 2013 at 7:51 am

    Thanks Melisa for letting us know— we feel the love and appreciate it!!!

  6. Sonni

    April 5th, 2013 at 9:29 am

    I don’t know what these ladies suggest, and I haven’t tried it yet, but Steaz just came out with an organic green tea made with coconut water! I bought it at Whole Foods yesterday 😉

  7. Sunny

    April 5th, 2013 at 9:34 am

    I noticed unsweetened soymilk wasn’t on your top 7 liquids list. Why? I prefer to use Eden Soy Unsweetened b/c it doesn’t contain careenegen (sp?) – almond milk has it. Can’t say it (or spell it) don’t want to ingest it.

  8. Erin

    April 5th, 2013 at 11:50 am

    I really want to know as well if we can use unsweetened low fat soy milk as I am intolerant to almond milk. Thanks!

  9. Jen H

    April 5th, 2013 at 12:32 pm

    Hey Sunny— it depends on what brand of almond milk you buy (I get Silk unsweetened and it doesn’t contain it.) Some of us actually make it from raw almonds in our blenders, which tastes amazing. But yes, carrageenans are not a good ingredient and should be avoided. As for soy— it’s a low mineral food that many people are allergic to. And the majority of soy in the USA is genetically modified— which is also no bueno. That’s just a few of the reasons we avoid soy milk… I will eventually write an article sharing more. 🙂

  10. Lori

    November 11th, 2013 at 10:13 am

    Hi Sunny, You may want to do some research into soy milk. It is a very unhealthy choice right now because of the way it is grown and processed. Sorry I don’t have a link for you. Maybe someone else could post one or more links for you so you can read about it.

  11. Erin

    April 5th, 2013 at 9:37 am

    Trying coconut water for the first time this week! Any favorite recipies that are especially good with this base??

  12. Jen H

    April 5th, 2013 at 12:25 pm

    I really like Peach Coconut Dream, Erin. Lately, I have changed it up a bit and do2 cups peaches a 1 cup grapes with it and it’s so good.

  13. Joanie

    April 5th, 2013 at 9:54 am

    This is awesome! I am excited about using the different liquids next week. I actually tried one today not knowing the challenge would be like this next week. I ran out of all liquid, but tend to keep gallons of water with hibiscus leaves floating on the bottom. I bought the hibiscus tea bags from tea republic. Usually keep a stash at home since we are totally addicted to the springy taste and the beautiful color. Used it today as a base in my smoothie and WOW. Vitamin C power at virtually no cost with a lovely subtle smooth flavor. If you add blueberries and kale, your drink will be sorta purple! Neat!

  14. Lori

    November 11th, 2013 at 10:10 am

    HI Joanie, I am very new to smoothies and have not reviewed many recipes yet on this site, but the ones I’ve seen so far, say to use spinach for the greens. I am intrigued that you mentioned kale. I think it is a nutrition powerhouse and I use it every week in soup. So, I ask you if the flavor is very strong when you add it to smoothies and do you use it with other greens in your smoothies with fruit? Can you tell me a bit about how you use it in smoothies?

  15. Sabrina

    April 5th, 2013 at 10:09 am

    I also have a juicer, so sometimes I’ll make my go-to juice base (beets, cucumbers, lime, carrots, apples, and ginger) then blend this liquid with my greens and fruits of choice.

  16. Hina

    April 5th, 2013 at 10:18 am

    My husband and I started drinking green smoothies about a month before your 30 day challenge–using recipes from your website of course! I am addicted. Normally I used to drink about two cups of tea or coffee a day and now haven’t had the need to drink caffeine at all. Only thing is now I wake up wanting a green smoothy. My daughters have been been sampling as well and depending on the type, they also drink a serving! I was wondering about your thoughts on aloe vera juice. I have it in my pantry but afraid to try it…
    Thanks for all your efforts in creating health:))

  17. Ebony

    April 5th, 2013 at 12:36 pm

    Hi Jen! Thanks for the reply! I will definitely try TJ’s Green Tea…I suppose Trop 50 does have some preservatives:(…Could you suggest a fruit juice that’s low in sugar that’s additive-free? Otherwise I’ll probably just skip the juice for coconut wtaer instead:) Thanks again!!!

  18. Jen H

    April 8th, 2013 at 7:50 am

    Hey Ebony— I really recommend using raw fruits for your juice. So for ornage juice, why not just peel 2-3 naval oranges plus 1/2 – 1cup water and blend them up first. Next add your leafy greens and blend until creamy. Then add the remaining ingredients. You can do this approach with oranges, grapes and melon. This is as close to nature as you can get, cheap and really yummy!

  19. Kerry

    April 5th, 2013 at 4:28 pm

    I brew kombucha made with a blend of green, black and white teas, all organic and fair trade. I’ve been using this as my liquid base this week and I really like how it enhances the taste. Are there any issues doing this I need to know about? Thanks!

  20. Jadah and Jen

    April 6th, 2013 at 9:49 pm

    You might just want to be careful of caffeine with this combination of mixed tea leaves— we try to limit caffeine in our smoothies (and in life in general). Green tea and white tea have less caffeine content that black tea— so it might be good to nix the black tea in it. Yet I am not one to talk much, since I am still cutting back my coffee and haven’t been able to say adios for good yet. 🙂 —Jen

  21. Deb Cooper

    April 5th, 2013 at 6:04 pm

    I received green tea from Nuts.com this week. There weren’t any instructions at all. I made some with hot water and it tasted…green and gross primarily. I drank the whole cup but didn’t like it much. I ordered some Do Matcha from Amazon and was reading some buyer comments. Is it necessary to use the whisk type thing to make any green tea properly? I really want to use the best brand since I have a terribly case of fibromyalgia and for a long time I have heard green tea is good for this. Now I find out all the “green” teas I was buying in the stores apparently was just a name or something. Hope you can inform me a bit more on this.

  22. Jadah and Jen

    April 6th, 2013 at 9:55 pm

    Deb, these are all great questions! We recommend green tea from Trader Joe’s if you have one— yet we know not everyone is as lucky as us. Plain green tea, to many, will not taste great by itself. It has a slightly bitter, dry taste to it. Yet when you add it as a base, the fruit enhances the flavor and it actually really good. When it comes to matcha, it is usually in the form of a powder. It is still from a green tea leaf and you can totally add it as a boost to your smoothie when you have water as your liquid base. I hope this helps! Keep up the good work!

  23. Kimberlea

    April 8th, 2013 at 5:31 am

    Deb- I purchased the green tea from nuts.com too(it’s a great deal!). I use 1/2-1 tsp per 8oz of water. I add just a tiny bit of water and whisk it into a paste, then add the rest of my water to the cup. I’m successful in dissolving it all this way. It is very bitter alone because it’s the pure matcha and unsweetened. I add turbinado sugar or my guilty pleasure, Coffeemate Vanilla.

    As far as for my green smoothies, I add 1/2 tsp of the powder to my blender.

  24. Eva

    June 14th, 2013 at 4:21 am

    Hi Deb,

    here’s my recommendation for the matcha green tea (if u drink it pure with water, not in your smoothie): if you use tea leaves, you don’t need the whisk thing, but if you use matcha powder (I do) I strongly recommend the whisk thingy because by just pouring water (don’t use boiling water, let it sit for like 10 mins after boiling) on, the powder will stay mostly at the bottom of your cup and might get chunks of it, which is gross, I agree. With the whisk thing it gets kinda foamy & creamy, and I use hot almond milk or rice milk to make matcha latte, which is waaay more delish than pure matcha (in my opinion 🙂 ). Matcha is green tea in its best form, and it contains the most antioxidants. If you add matcha powder to your smoothiue you don’t have to whisk it before – your blender will do the job! 🙂

  25. rob

    April 6th, 2013 at 6:32 am

    I use water and milk kefir as my base. 2 cups water in the beginning to grind the solids and thin out the mix. Milk kefir, 1-2 cups, blended at the end for a few seconds to add probiotics. If you add a prebiotic like dandelions then I think you are really maximizing the benefit of the probiotic. I make about 50 oz for 2 breakfast servings.

    I find this makes the drink creamier and richer. My bowel problems disappeared rapidly after instituting this and have 13 pounds and a couple of inches in girth over the year without even trying.

  26. miranda

    April 6th, 2013 at 11:31 am

    What about using aloe vera juice as a base? I’ve heard great things nutritionally about it, and think it would be optimal to use in a smoothie. However, would you limit it to a few tablespoons rather than using a couple of cups per smoothie? Anyone have any ideas? Thanks!

  27. Lori

    November 11th, 2013 at 9:58 am

    Hi Miranda, I think using aloe vera is a very interesting idea and I would think that one dose would be a great addition. It seems like that is 2 T or a little more. I don’t see how it could hurt to add it, but I am not a smoothie expert. lol.

  28. rob

    April 6th, 2013 at 6:58 pm

    I thought of doing that also but when I read medical research articles from pubmed, I found that it seems to revere up the intestinal mucosa called hyperplasia. Too much stimulation.

  29. Kerry

    April 7th, 2013 at 5:57 am

    Rob, that study referred to “nondecolorized whole leaf aloe vera extract taken internally.” Most commercial aloe vera juice, as far as I have experienced, is “decolorized whole leaf (DCWL) aloe vera.” The study “found this DCWL aloe vera juice to be nongenotoxic in histidine reversion and DNA repair assays.”
    http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/23554812

  30. Nyree

    April 8th, 2013 at 7:04 pm

    Filtered water, coconut water, homemade almond or hazelnut milk are my liquids of choice for my green smoothies. I use the milks when I want a super creamy smoothie. I use coconut water when I need to up my potassium (bananas are not my favorite). I use filtered water by itself and in conjunction with the others to thin out consistency.

  31. Mary Fernandes

    April 8th, 2013 at 7:18 pm

    Hello Jadah and Jen
    Thank you for sharing your green smoothies and for including green tea as liquid bases. My daughter shared your site and her children are enjoying the smoothies. Just a note regarding green tea. If your green tea is bitter, it just means you are letting the tea brew too long. When brewing loose-leaf or tea bags don’t boil the water, should the water boil let it sit for about a minute. On an average, brew 1 teaspoon per 8oz cup. If you want the tea stronger increase the amount of tea. I suggest for smoothies try 1 ½ teaspoons. Pour the hot water over the leaves or tea bag and brew you green tea for 2-3 minutes. Brewing time depends upon the type of green tea. Strain or remove the tea bags. Pour into a heatproof container to cool. Your green tea is ready for a smoothie. If you brew in advance, only keep brewed green tea for two day in refrigerator.
    Visit Vermarje.com for reasonable priced loose-leaf green tea.

  32. Jen H

    April 8th, 2013 at 7:37 pm

    Thanks MAry— I just learned some new and very valuable. I appreciate you sharing this with our community and have a feeling you saved quite a few bitter green teas — can’t wait to check out your store.

  33. Deb Cooper

    April 9th, 2013 at 4:56 pm

    Do you use hot water after you make the paste?

  34. Kimberlea

    April 9th, 2013 at 6:55 pm

    Yes, Deb, I use hot water after my paste. Hopefully this is posting under your question. 🙂

  35. Deon

    April 9th, 2013 at 8:49 pm

    I have been switching between So Delicious coconut milk and almond milk. I’m assuming the coconut milk mentioned in the post is the full fat variety.

    I never thought of Green tea as a base. I will likely try it over the weekend and rice milk next week.

  36. Stace

    April 11th, 2013 at 7:04 am

    I’ve been using kefir as my base. It has 10x the probiotics of greek yogurt, and makes smoothies creamy and delicious!

  37. Deb Cooper

    April 16th, 2013 at 12:33 am

    Can’t find any Trader Joe’s in Illinois besides Chicago and I am a couple hours from there so I won’t be using their green tea. I’ll try to use up the stuff from nuts.com and the Damatcha from Amazon. Is there anyone else knowledgeable and experienced with their green tea usage. If so I’d like to hear your thought too. Kimberlea your message about the hot water didn’t post under mine but I got the message. Thank you.

  38. Evie

    July 14th, 2013 at 7:16 pm

    I love mightyleaf.com.

  39. dmep69

    January 1st, 2014 at 9:40 am

    Try Chinese grocery store. You can get good quality green tea from there.

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