A smoothie can be a healthy beverage option if you need an afternoon treat or are looking for an energizing preworkout snack. Dairy-free smoothies are a sensible choice for people who are vegans, who dislike the taste of dairy products or who cannot tolerate dairy due to an allergy or lactose intolerance. Smoothies are an effective way to add more fruits and vegetables into your diet.
Choose dairy-free substitutes such as almond milk, rice milk or coconut milk instead of the cow's milk or yogurt in your favorite smoothie recipe. These dairy-free milks are typically fortified with the vitamins and minerals found in cow's milk, including calcium and vitamin D. Read the labels carefully, however, to assure that the dairy alternative you choose is fortified with extra vitamins and minerals. Some nondairy substitutes like almond milk are lower in fat and calories than traditional milk. If you want to add calcium while still omitting dairy products, choose other calcium-rich foods such as collard greens, oranges, kale, soy beans or figs. Smoothies don't need to have a dairy substitute at all. If desired, just add a bit of water in the place of dairy or dairy substitutes.
Create a nondairy watermelon mint smoothie by blending together diced seedless watermelon, fresh mint leaves, agave syrup and ice cubes. Or make a pineapple coconut smoothie by adding fresh chopped pineapple, coconut milk, nondairy yogurt, sweetened flaked coconut and ice to a blender. Blend the mixture until it is smooth and then garnish it with more flaked coconut. You can also mix fresh ginger, apple cider, ice cubes, kale, an apple, frozen banana and lemon juice in a blender to create a kale ginger smoothie.
Make a plum, grape and almond smoothie by blending together plums, grapes, vanilla extract, almond milk or another dairy-free beverage, almond meal and ice. Or whip up a peach vanilla smoothie by adding peaches, granola, almond milk or another dairy-free beverage, vanilla extract, almond extract, fresh lemon juice and ice cubes to your blender. Whip all of the ingredients until you have a frothy smoothie. You can also make an apple melon smoothie by blending up grapes, an apple, honeydew melon cubes, kiwi and soy milk or another dairy-free beverage.
Tips and Tricks
Watch your portion sizes when drinking nondairy smoothies. Although these smoothies can be healthy, large portions can be high in calories. Try not to add sweetened juice, frozen yogurt, sweetened nondairy yogurt or ice cream to your smoothies, since these ingredients can also boost the amount of calories and sugar in your smoothie. If you don’t have access to fresh fruit for your smoothies, the Produce for Better Health Foundation recommends using frozen fruit or fruit canned in 100 percent juice. Frozen and canned fruits last longer than fresh fruit and contain similar amounts of vitamins and minerals.
- Cooking Light: Healthy Smoothie Recipes
- Eating Well: Health Benefits of Juicing Vs. Smoothies
- Shape: 5 Vegan Foods That Make You Fat
- Produce for Better Health Foundation: Know the Facts
- New York Times: Fruit Smoothies Without the Dairy
- National Osteoporosis Foundation: A Guide to Calcium-Rich Foods
- Food Allergy Research & Education: Milk Allergy
- Santa Monica Mirror: The Lowdown on Dairy Alternatives: Soy, Rice, Almond, Oat and Coconut Milk
- Levana Cooks Dairy-Free!; Levana Kirschenbaum