Smoothies are a simple and convenient way to pack a ton of healthy foods, nutrients, and supplements into a delicious package that is easy to consume. Smoothies can be sweet or savory, and you can have a lot of fun with them.
A common ingredient in smoothies is yogurt, which gives your smoothie a creamy texture and thickens it up. However, if you cannot eat yogurt or aren’t a fan, It’s easy to find a substitute for yogurt in smoothies that won’t take away from its flavor or nutritional benefits.
How To Choose A Substitute For Yogurt In Your Smoothie?
Before choosing a substitute for yogurt for smoothies, you want to consider which ingredients you are going to use. Your ingredients are going to determine if your smoothie is going to be fruity and sweet or hearty.
If your smoothie is full of vegetables, for example, it is most likely going to be watery if you don’t add something to thicken it up. With fruit, if it’s frozen, you may run into the same problem. Fresh fruits won’t have as much moisture, but they’ll make for a somewhat runny smoothie without something to add a creamy, thick texture to it.
With yogurt being a source of protein, it is also responsible for helping to make your smoothie filling. Without it, you may be lacking that satisfaction you’re used to in a smoothie. This is something to consider when choosing a substitute for yogurt, especially if you’re looking to maximize the health benefits of your smoothies.
No matter what your goal is with your smoothie, you can reach it without adding yogurt. There are many substitutions for yogurt in smoothies that are just as delicious and nutritious and we are going to review them in this article.
1. Plant-Based Milk
If you don’t want to use yogurt because of a lactose intolerance, opting for a plant-based milk will work. Even if you are not plant-based or lactose intolerant, plant-based milks are full of goodies and will also thicken up your smoothie.
Some plant-based milks are made of nuts, such as almond or cashew, while others are made from soy, oat, and rice. Most plant-based milks have a good source of protein, fats and other vitamins you’ll love.
The protein and fat will help the smoothie become more satiating without the yogurt. It’s important to read the label to ensure you pick a milk without too many additives.
Most plant-based milks will have a mild flavor that adds richness to your smoothie, but it will not overpower it to the point where it completely changes the taste. It’ll complement any type of smoothie you’re craving, including fruit and vegetable based, dessert style, or anything in between.
There are also plant-based yogurts available that you can use as a substitute for yogurt in smoothies, but they are much harder to find and more expensive than a plant-based milk.
2. Chia Or Flax Seeds
If you’re seeking out a thickening agent that will also pack a nutritious punch, you’ll be surprised to know that chia or flax seeds are exactly what you’re looking for. These small seeds come with a ton of vitamins and minerals, are relatively inexpensive, and they’re shelf stable.
Chia seeds are a wonderful source of fiber, fats, and protein that will fill you up and keep you full. They are also a rich source of calcium, magnesium, and B vitamins. You can mix chia seeds in with some water and let them soak for a few minutes to create a gel that’ll thicken up your smoothie very well.
Flax seeds are full of fiber and are a vital source of Omega-3 fatty acids. They also contain iron, calcium, and B vitamins. They also have an antioxidant called lignans, which have been linked to decreased cancer risk. Similar to chia seeds, you’ll want to soak a small amount for a few minutes to get rid of any grainy texture and turn them into a gel.
Either of these seeds won’t add a ton of calories to your smoothie, which is nice if you’re on a health kick. It would be wise to only go with one or two teaspoons of the seeds; you don’t need more than that. Again, soaking your seeds will take away most of that grainy texture.
3. Nut Butters
Nut butters will add a delicious, creamy, and thick texture to your smoothie. They are packed with flavor, so you’ll want to consider that when you’re pairing it with your other smoothie ingredients. Thankfully, there are a variety of nut butters that will mix with any type of flavor you’re trying to achieve.
Any nut butter has a good amount of healthy fats and protein that will satisfy you for longer periods of time. Each nut butter, from peanut to cashew to almond, comes with its own set of vitamins and minerals that are important to any diet. However, it’s vital to read the label before purchasing, because the health benefits can be erased by additives and sugar.
If you cannot consume nuts, you can opt for sunflower butter or tahini to get a mild nutty flavor without the nuts, and you’ll still get lots of healthy benefits in your smoothie.
4. Protein Powders
Protein powders can be found in many forms, so you will be able to find one that suits any dietary restrictions you might have. Similarly, protein powders can be found in just about any flavor you can imagine. You can add a dash of yummy vanilla or chocolate flavor to your smoothie, add a sweet fruity flavor, or make your smoothie a healthy dessert with sweeter flavors.
As the name implies, protein powders will add a boost of protein to your smoothie. Depending on the powder you choose, you’ll also get a nice serving of added vitamins, minerals, and more. The powder will also help thicken up your smoothie as yogurt usually would.
To avoid any grains getting into your smoothie, you can mix it with a bit of water before pouring it in. You can also add to the thickness of the protein powder by mixing it in with a mashed banana.
Avocados are a major part of the health food craze and for good reason. They add a delicious, creamy, and somewhat nutty pack of nutrients to any dish, including a smoothie. Their flavor is mild enough that it can be masked by fruits or vegetables, so it won’t alter the taste of what kind of smoothie you’re going for that much.
Avocados are filled with very good fats, including Omega-3s, and fiber that will satisfy you and give you energy for your day. Avocados are also a yummy source of vitamins and minerals, including Vitamin E, Vitamin B6, folate, and lutein. A diet rich with avocados has been linked to numerous health benefits and decreased risk for lots of illnesses.
Mashing up either half or a whole avocado, depending on the size of your smoothie, will thicken it up and add that creamy consistency that you want in a smoothie.
Yogurt is not the end-all-be-all for adding creaminess to a smoothie. You can play with what you add into your smoothie to satisfy any craving while also boosting its healthfulness. No matter your flavor preferences, your dietary needs, or lifestyle, there is a smoothie out there for you.
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