Smoothies got a quite a boost in popularity with the healthy eating craze and didn’t stop there. Aside from being packed with fresh fruit and vegetables, smoothies also genuinely taste good. Many different elements go into making a good smoothie including, fruit, vegetable, nuts, protein powder and milk. The most important ingredient in the smoothie is yoghurt. It gives smoothies their thickness and the contrasting tangy flavour of yoghurt with fruits and vegetables. So what to do if you want to make a smoothie without yoghurt? Well, there are yoghurt substitutes for your smoothies but which to choose will depend on the reason you are avoiding yoghurt in the first place.
A smoothie is a drink that is made by blending pureed fruit and /or vegetables with liquids including milk and yoghurt. Its commonplace to add nuts, honey, ice, protein powder, chocolate, seeds and other nutritional supplements. The high fruit and vegetable content in smoothies means they are packed full of dietary fibre. This is one of the main reasons the healthy food movement propelled them to fame as a healthier substitute to another similar drink, the milkshake. Many types of smoothies have popped up over the years but the majority still rely on yoghurt as a key ingredient. Lactose intolerance is one major reason people may want to avoid yoghurt in smoothies. Vegans do not eat the products of animals so that is another valid reason. Perhaps your problem is just the taste of yoghurt or you just can’t get your hands on any. So what can you substitute for yoghurt in smoothies?
Coconut cream is a very good substitute for yoghurt in smoothies. It is viable for vegetarians, vegans, the lactose intolerant. On the downside, coconut cream is high in calories. What you’re looking for in this case is full coconut cream, not lite versions or coconut milk. Coconut cream has a thickness similar to that of yoghurt and will give your smoothies the right texture while adding the unique nuttiness of coconut.
Almond Milk Yoghurt
Another yoghurt substitute that ticks all the boxes for vegetarians, vegans and the lactose intolerant is almond milk yoghurt. Almond milk yoghurt is made in a process similar to yoghurt but using almond milk. It has a taste close to yoghurt with added nutty aroma we associate with all almond products. It is not the easiest substitute to find but if you can get your hands on it this is worth considering.
I’ll admit it’s a bit weird to have seeds on a list of yoghurt substitutes but they will not be the weirdest thing you will see on this list. Chia seeds are on this list because they can act as a thickener in your smoothies. They also bring to the party lots of omega 3 fatty acids. To add chia seeds to your smoothies first you need to soak one part chia seeds in 3 parts water. After about 15 minutes of soaking they will become gelatinous. They are a good energy booster and bring a mild and nutty flavour to your smoothies.
Another substitute for yoghurt you can work into your smoothies is protein powder. The large concentration of protein in them means you get an energy boost, you stay fuller for longer and helps with muscle growth. If you’re vegetarian or vegan avoid egg or whey-based protein powders. The whey is also a problem for the lactose intolerant so make sure you avoid it too if that is your affliction. Other than that they are a great thickener for your smoothies and come in an ever-increasing variety of wonderful flavours.
I did say we were going to get a bit weirder than chia seeds and avocado in a smoothie in place of yoghurt is there. Avocados are extremely popular fruits which are high in fatty acids and fibre. Avocados come with the bonus of having a taste that blends well with both the sweet and the savoury. They are a great way to thicken your smoothies.
From avocado to sweet potato. You can use sweet potatoes to thicken your smoothies but do not dare think of throwing raw sweet potato into the blender. You can either bake or microwave your sweet potatoes first and add to your smoothies after cooling them first. Sweet potatoes are also great in that they blend well with both sweet and savoury flavours. They are a great source of fibre and nutrients.
If you’re looking for a more down to earth yoghurt substitute for smoothies and you can remotely stomach them bananas are probably the best substitute for yoghurt. These fruits are sweet and tasty while boasting high amounts of fibre and potassium. The only potential downside is how much sugar they contain. You can user greener bananas if you want to put them in a green smoothie, the name was given to vegetable-based smoothies.
This tropical fruit makes a good substitute for yoghurt in smoothies with some caveats. There are varieties of mango such as Haden which have very thick juicy flesh but with very small fibres. These large red or orange mangos make great substitutes for yoghurt in smoothies. Mangoes are high in fibre but are also very high in sugar so moderation is key if you’re going to use them.
Another trick you can use if you need a yoghurt substitute is any form of nut butter. Peanut butter and almond butter obviously spring to mind but you have a wide variety of options out there. And then you can use combinations of these kinds of butter. They are high in healthy fats, fibre and protein which is great not to mention the flavour they bring. Be careful about the quantities as they are also quite a calorie-rich.
If you just want to try something different and don’t mind dairy you can try cottage cheese as a yoghurt substitute. It’s thicker than yoghurt but has a similar rich flavour being a fresh cheese. Cottage cheese blends well with both sweet and savoury elements. It’s high in nutrients including protein, B vitamins, and minerals like calcium, selenium, and phosphorus. If you’re looking to build muscle cottage cheese is a great yoghurt substitute for your smoothies.
So many yoghurt substitutes for your smoothies there’s surely something for everyone no matter the reason for changing from yoghurt.