The foundation for any smoothie is generally a healthy amount of fruits and vegetables. However, for smoothies you’ll also likely want some sort of base and you may want to add protein powder too depending on your goals and dietary requirements.
Let’s begin by taking a look at the base for many smoothie recipes, milk.
What Type of Milk Do You Want to Add?
If you’re making a smoothie you can certainly add water and blend. Smoothies need a little more liquid added because you’re not separating the pulp. If you don’t add some type of liquid you’ll have an incredibly thick smoothie – you’ll need a spoon instead of a straw.
Most people prefer to add milk to their smoothie instead of water. However, there are many choices beyond cow’s milk.
Soy Milk – Soy milk is made from grinding dried soybeans with water. It has about the same amount of protein as cow’s milk. It generally has some added sugar but unsweetened soymilk will not have more sugar than cow’s milk which contains lactose.
It’s a good option if you’re allergic or sensitive to cow’s milk proteins or to lactose. Soy is a crop that is often genetically modified so if you’re wary of GMO foods, buy organic soymilk.
Rice Milk – Rice milk is made from brown rice and can be purchased without any added sugars. It is low in protein, however. So if you’re seeking a low glycemic diet or want to maintain some level of protein in your smoothies you may want to add protein powder to your beverage.
Coconut Milk – Coconut milk is quite popular right now. It’s rich, creamy, and naturally sweet. It also has some health benefits including the ability to raise HDL, the good cholesterol that your body needs. It also has a significant amount of Medium Chain Fatty acids which have been shown to facilitate weight loss.
Nut Milks – There are also many types of milk found in your supermarket that are made from nuts and seeds. Almond milk and hemp seed milk are two examples. These milks often have added sugars but can be a good alternative to cow’s milk and soy milk if you have food sensitivities.
Yogurt – Finally, you don’t have to use milk as the foundation for your smoothie. You can use yogurt. It’s a good choice if you want make thicker smoothie or you want some additional protein. Greek yogurt is higher in protein than traditional yogurt. And just like milk, you can find yogurt made from soy, coconut and other alternatives.
Juice – If milk of any type isn’t to your liking, you may want to thin your smoothies with a bit of juice. Apple juice is often paired with smoothies because it’s sweet. You’ll want to find the right juice for each smoothie recipe you create.