Smoothies are always so delicious as a breakfast idea or healthy afternoon snack, and are so easy to make. But if you're vegan, lactose intolerant or have other dietary needs you may be looking for some yogurt substitutes for smoothies!
Here we talk through 12 alternatives to yogurt in smoothies that help thicken your smoothie, get that creamy texture and are so tasty too!
Please note that this is a broad informational post and some food items may not be suitable for a low histamine diet or other dietary requirements.
- How to make a smoothie
- Why may you need a yogurt substitute for smoothies?
- Favorite smoothies without yogurt
- 12 yogurt substitutes for smoothies
- Non-dairy yogurt
- Cottage cheese
- Cream cheese
- Coconut cream
- Frozen banana
- Frozen fruit
- Frozen cauliflower
- Nut or seed butters
- Chia seeds
- Hemp seeds
- Frequently asked questions
- Related posts
How to make a smoothie
Making a smoothie is such a quick and easy way to get a healthy breakfast, post-workout snack or even a sweet treat!
Typically smoothies have fruit, perhaps some greens such as kale and then yogurt to thicken and get that creamy texture. You may also require a liquid such as milk, non-dairy milk, fruit juice or coconut water.
Simply blend your ingredients together, adding more liquid for a thinner texture or more ingredients such as nut butter, seeds or frozen fruit to thicken. If you are not using yogurt, be sure to add extra liquid to get a creamy smoothie texture.
Why may you need a yogurt substitute for smoothies?
Smoothies made with yogurt may not be suitable for a number of reasons, including that you just don't like the taste! Or perhaps you go to make a smoothie and there's no yogurt in the fridge.
If you follow a vegan diet then you would be looking for an alternative to yogurt. Health concerns mean that those with lactose intolerance or conditions such as histamine intolerance or mast cell activation syndrome may need to avoid yogurt.
12 yogurt substitutes for smoothies
Let's talk through 12 delicious yogurt substitutes for smoothies, many of which are fridge or pantry staples and so you may have to hand!
If regular yogurt doesn't work for you, there are many non-dairy yogurts now available that can work as a quick swap. Dairy free almond yogurt alternatives are very easy to find in stores now and have become much more affordable than they used to be.
Simply swap out yogurt for non-dairy yogurt to make your smoothie, typically alongside a little non-dairy milk or coconut water to get that delicious creamy consistency.
It is important to note that most non-dairy yogurts contain live cultures and are fermented, so may not be suitable for those on a low histamine diet.
Using cottage cheese in your smoothie will give such a creamy taste, and thicken it in a similar way to yogurt. Cottage cheese will also give you a good source of protein and so you may not need to use protein powder if you typically add it to your smoothie.
Personally I would suggest using a more flavorful fruit, such as berries, if you wish to mask the flavor of the cottage cheese a little.
Another cheese that you can add to smoothies instead of yogurt is cream cheese. This thick soft cheese will give so much creaminess and thicken the texture of your smoothie.
Of course, be sure that it is a plain cream cheese and not one already flavored with herbs or spices!
Using coconut cream instead of yogurt means you can blend up a healthy vegan smoothie. Coconut cream has a slight sweetness that works so well with fruit.
I suggest using coconut cream in smaller quantities as it is quite rich and too much can leave your smoothie with an overly greasy taste.
Frozen banana is quite a common way to thicken a smoothie. Simply freeze chunks of banana to use as and when you wish to make a smoothie.
Banana adds a nice sweetness to smoothies, as well as giving them such a creamy texture. It is, however, likely unsuitable for my low histamine readers.
An easy way to make a creamy smoothie without yogurt or banana is to use frozen fruits, such as berries or mango. You will want to add a liquid such as non-dairy milk or coconut water to your blender too.
Frozen fruit is typically more affordable than fresh fruit, particularly for items such as mango. Simply stock up your freezer for when you need a substitute for yogurt in smoothies!
How to add creaminess to your smoothie and get in a healthy vegetable? Add a little frozen cauliflower to your blender along with the other smoothie ingredients you have chosen!
Frozen cauliflower works so well as a yogurt substitute in smoothies as it gives a thicker texture. Just add a little sparingly so the flavor doesn't become too 'vegetably!'
If you also like to add greens to smoothies, but can't do spinach, do have a look at my substitutes for spinach round-up for lots of ideas!
Nut or seed butters
There are so many nut and seed butters to choose from, including almond butter, macadamia nut butter, pumpkin seed butter and tahini. All work so well as yogurt substitutes for smoothies and provide extra protein and healthy fats.
For those who prefer or need to be nut free, you may like to try seed butters instead. Either grab from the store or make your own homemade pumpkin seed butter!
There are lots of ideas on my almond butter substitutes round-up if that particular nut butter doesn't work for you.
Chia seeds are a good source of vegan protein, fiber and omega-3 fatty acids. They work so well in smoothies to make them more filling and to help thicken.
If you are adding chia seeds then it is best not to use too many as they can make a smoothie a little overly gelatinous if left for too long. Personally I use about one tablespoon per serving of smoothie.
Flaxseeds have the best nutty taste, and work really well in smoothies alongside fruit and vegetables. Similarly to chia seeds, flaxseeds are a good source of vegan protein, fiber and omega-3 fatty acids.
It is best to use ground flaxseed rather than whole flaxseeds in a smoothie. About one tablespoon of ground flaxseed is a good amount per smoothie serving.
Shelled (also known as hulled) hemp seeds give a delicious nutty and creamy taste to smoothies. They are such a good source of protein and will help thicken your smoothie too.
As many of us have oats to hand in our pantry, they are an easy and affordable way to thicken your smoothie as an alternative to yogurt. You will want to make sure you use enough milk or coconut water when using oats so your smoothie doesn't feel too dry.
It's not necessary to cook the oats first, just add a sprinkle of raw oats to your blender!
Frequently asked questions
Milk can easily be used in place of yogurt in a smoothie. As milk (or non-dairy milk) has a thinner consistency than yogurt you may wish to add another ingredient to thicken your smoothie such as ground flaxseed, hemp seeds or oats.
Yes, you will need to make sure that you use enough liquid in your smoothie. Milk, non-dairy milk or coconut water are all good options.
You can use water instead of yogurt, but it won't have a creamy texture (depending upon other ingredients used).
Vegan alternatives to yogurt include oats, seeds, non-dairy milk and frozen fruit or vegetables.
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