How to choose a liquid for your smoothie
In general, a good smoothie consists of fruit and/or vegetables, blended with a liquid – usually water or milk. Water is best with veggie smoothies, as well as thinner, more ‘juicy’ recipes; it is also the lowest-calorie liquid you can include in a smoothie by far. Milk is better for a creamier, thicker smoothie, complementing fruits such as bananas – generally, any fruit eaten with cream. It also eases the tartness of some fruits such as blackberries.
However, just as there are thousands of combinations of fruits and vegetables you can combine to make a delicious drink, there is a huge variety of smoothie-appropriate liquids. If you don’t eat dairy – for example, if you are lactose intolerant or vegan – try these delicious additions.
Nut milk is usually extremely low-fat; almond milk in particular, is very high in vitamins A and D and may reduce the risk of heart disease. Cashew milk is creamier, but still low in calories, especially compared to most dairy products. Nut milk smoothies usually contain fruit but can use veggies as well. Chia seeds and peanut butter are popular additions.
As a general rule, anything you would put in porridge or oatmeal can also go in a smoothie with oat milk. Even the unsweetened variety tends to impart a sweeter, nuttier flavour, so fruits like berries and bananas usually offer the best flavour profile when blended with this liquid. Moreover, the ecological impact of oat milk is minimal.
Coconut water goes equally well with both fruits and veggies; for example, a combination of tropical or citrus fruit with kale or other greens. Unflavoured and unsweetened coconut water is also known to be extremely nutritious, replenishing electrolytes lost through sweat, especially potassium. Naturally thinner, you can add thickeners like chia if you wish.
Soy milk can be used for any smoothie in which you might use regular milk; in particular, try varieties enriched with calcium. It is incredibly versatile and can be paired with flavours from berry to tropical to even veggie. Oats and cocoa powder are sometimes added too.
Smoothies and juices can be taken to the next level by using the right liquid; with a host of delicious and dairy-free options now available in shops, why not try a new blend? Try one of the flavour combinations on SmoothieSchool.com and elevate your next breakfast smoothie.