Smoothies are one way many of us start the day, but instead of yogurt or milk in your next smoothie, try some of these vegan substitutes for smoothies. I’m not saying milk or yogurt will hurt anything, but there are other sources out there for nutrition like protein or probiotics, aside from dairy products. If you use whey protein, perhaps switch to a plant-based alternative below. Many are just as high in amino acids, and can have added benefits to the body you might not be aware of. Some other vegan substitutes for smoothies include delicious creamy options that give the same texture as yogurt, with less calories or more nutrition. These are some of my favorites below, but be sure to let me know if you have any too!
1. Hemp Protein
I’m a huge fan of hemp protein powder, and it’s one of the cleanest whole food sources of vegan substitutes for smoothies when it comes to protein. You might be wondering what is wrong with whey or soy. Both are highly acidic, and very, very processed. They also contain many hormone-altering properties that can interfere with hormone health, especially estrogen production. Hemp protein is loaded with chlorophyll, an alkalizing nutrient that combats inflammation, enhances your blood and arterial health, can aid in digestion, and helps provide immediate energy for oxygen production to the body. It’s also high in healthy omega 3 fats that combat depression and weight gain. It’s best to buy plain, organic, and raw hemp protein instead of flavored sources. Hemp protein contains all essential amino acids, has a delicious nutty taste, and it has a large amount of fiber. It’s also the easiest plant protein to digest.
2. Sunwarrior Warrior Blend Protein
Another favorite protein powder of mine is Sunwarrior Warrior Blend protein. It’s the cleanest source of vegan protein on the market aside from hemp. It’s also free of sugar, gluten, grains, soy, or any allergens whatsoever. Sunwarrior Warrior Blend is made from hemp, pea, and cranberry protein, making it higher in amino acids than any of these proteins alone. It’s also infused with a little coconut oil to enhance the creamy taste, and to improve health and athletic performance. MCT fats from coconut oil have been proven to benefit the body through added energy, better and healthier liver function, and a higher immune system. You can buy Sunwarrior Warrior Blend in chocolate, vanilla, or natural. All are excellent!
Instead of yogurt, try avocado in your smoothies! It’s so healthy for you, full of plant-based fats, and loaded with B vitamins, Vitamin E, potassium, magnesium, fiber, and chlorophyll. Avocado is rich in fat, but so long as you keep servings to ¼ avocado per smoothie, then you shouldn’t worry about the fat at all. In fact, it adds such a yummy taste and so many unbelievable beauty benefits that you should feel guiltier for leaving this healthy fruit out of your smoothies. Avocado pairs well with any ingredients, so try it in your current smoothie, and let me know what you think! Select a ripe avocado for the best flavor.
4. Coconut Meat
Fresh, young coconut meat is another wonderful creamy ingredient to use in your smoothies. Coconut meat has healthy fats, some protein, fiber, and electrolytes. You can use anywhere from ½ to 1 whole young coconut per smoothie. Just be sure to buy the young coconuts, which are white in color, not the brown ones. The brown ones can be a little bitter. If you don’t want to buy fresh coconuts, try buying coconut butter instead. It’s my personal favorite, and I use around 2 tbsp. per recipe.
5. Vegan Yogurt
If you really love the tangy factor of yogurt in smoothies, try a vegan brand instead, or make your own! There are tons of recipes out there, but there are also some really good store brands. They can be high in sugar and additives, so always check your labels. Vegan yogurts are usually pricier than regular yogurts, however, so keep this in mind if you use yogurt in your smoothies daily.
6. Vegan Milks
There’s no reason anyone should feel deprived from leaving their dairy milk out of smoothies, especially with all the wonderful vegan milks on the market. I’m a personal fan of homemade almond milk, but you can also buy delicious almond milks at the store. You can also buy flax milk, which has a nutty taste, or rice milk, which is more neutral. Other options are soy, coconut, cashew, or hemp milk. These are often lower in calories, but stay away from varieties with added sugars.
7. Frozen Bananas
If you want another option for a creamy texture, try bananas in your smoothies instead of yogurt. Though this won’t give you that same tangy taste, it will give you a delicious creamy factor. Just buy ripe bananas, chop, and freeze before using.
I’ve also heard of people using tofu in smoothies for a creamy factor, and higher protein, but I’ve never tried it. What’s your favorite way to make a smoothie vegan-friendly? Have you ever tried any of these ideas above?