Smoothies have become wildly popular over the last several years and are now part of many people’s daily diet. They are a delicious way to increase your energy and nourish your body, chalk-full of nutrients that can be otherwise challenging to consume in larger amounts.
If you are focused on your health, lactose intolerant, or turning to a plant-based lifestyle, you might be looking for a non-dairy alternative to replace milk in your daily smoothie.
While many plant-based beverages can create a delightful base for any smoothie, the truth is that not every dairy-free milk is made the same. Some taste better with various fruit flavor profiles, such as coconut with tropical smoothies. Others, like pea milk, have a higher protein content that are ideal for people who need more of the nutrient in their diet.
We’re here to help you choose the best option for your dietary and flavor needs.
This article will examine the best plant-based milk for different types of smoothies to help you pick the right option to create a delectable smoothie you can enjoy every day.
Matching Milk and Smoothies
Smoothies come in a wide array of flavor profiles depending on the ingredients you add.
For example, you might enjoy a tropical-flavored smoothie with fruits like pineapple and mango or prefer a more dessert-like taste with cocoa powder and peanut butter.
The milk you choose can add different textures, flavors, and nutrients based on your needs.
Whatever smoothie you’re in the mood for, we have the best alternative milk options for your delicious creation!
Best Overall Non-Dairy Milk for Smoothies
Of all the alternative milk options for smoothies, almond milk is one of the most versatile and popular. Almond milk provides a mild-flavored blank canvas for any smoothie you want to make.
Suitable for most diets, almond milk contains healthy monounsaturated and polyunsaturated fats, which can be good for your body.
Some almond milk brands, like Elmhurst 1925 Unsweetened Milked Almonds, have around 60 mg of calcium and 160 mg of potassium per serving, which is amazing for healthy muscles and bones.
Almond milk also contains beneficial nutrients like selenium, magnesium, and zinc, which are excellent for reproductive health.
At 39 and 130 calories per 8 ounces, almond milk has a creamy, light texture and slightly nutty taste that works with most smoothie recipes.
With options like unsweetened or MALK’s vanilla and chocolate varieties, you can make any number of smoothies, such as our Green Goodness Smoothie or Berrylicious Protein Smoothie, to enjoy when you wake up or as a daily power-up snack.
Best Non-Dairy Milk For Protein Smoothies
If your goal is to up your protein game when drinking a smoothie, you need plant-based milk that equals the nearly 8 grams of protein per serving offered by dairy milk.
The best plant milk dairy alternative for upping your protein intake is relatively new to the market: pea milk.
Pea milk typically offers about 8 grams of protein per serving.
This milk is also one of the better choices for those with any type of allergy, as it’s soy, dairy, gluten, and nut free.
Pea milk can add creaminess to your smoothie and has a texture similar to cow’s milk, depending on the brand you use.
Although some people say pea milk has a bit of a chalky or bitter taste, this isn’t a problem for smoothies.
Common smoothie additives like strawberries, spinach, apples, pineapple, or blueberries can easily mask any unfavorable aftertastes, allowing you to get the perfect amount of protein in your daily smoothie.
Best for Boosting Healthy Fats
Hemp milk is a light beverage with a nutty, slightly bitter taste and rich protein content.
Made from the seeds or “hearts” of the hemp plant, this milk contains heart and skin-healthy fats, including omega-3 fatty acids.
For example, Hemp Mylk Concentrate from Good Mylk has 10 grams of fats, 7 grams of protein, and 150 calories per serving.
This brand also contains a natural sweetener, Medjool dates, which adds a few sugars to the drink to counteract the bitterness in some hemp milk.
Adding hemp milk to your smoothies can give you a boost of healthy fats to keep you full and satiated.
Best Non-Dairy Milk for Keto Smoothies
If you follow the Ketogenic diet, you may turn to low-carb smoothie recipes to help you meet your daily macros.
A strict keto diet can limit you to around 20 grams of carbohydrates per day, making it crucial to choose a low-carb milk for any smoothies you drink.
Dairy is typically out of the picture on keto since it contains around 11 grams of carbs per 1 cup serving. Instead, almond or walnut is the best plant-based milk to use in a keto-based smoothie recipe.
For example, Three Trees Unsweetened Almond Milk only contains 3 grams of carbs per serving but also has 2 grams of fiber.
That means 1 net carb per serving, ideal for ketogenic eating.
The brand’s Unsweetened Vanilla Bean Almond Milk has the same carbohydrate count, giving you two great options if you are eating low-carb.
Walnut milk is a plant milk made from walnuts and water. This beverage has a similar nutritional profile to almond milk and can be a great choice for keto smoothies if you dislike the taste of almonds.
Elmhurst 1925’s Unsweetened Walnut Milk has 11 grams of fat and just 1 gram of carbohydrates, making it perfect for a keto smoothie.
Best Non-Dairy Milk for Green Smoothies
Green smoothies are called green because they typically contain leafy greens, like kale, spinach, microgreens, green apples, celery, and other nutrient-rich foods.
While these smoothies' nutritional values will vary based on your chosen ingredients, they are often high in fiber, calcium, potassium, and vitamin C, due to all the leafy greens.
Although you can use any plant-based milk with this type of smoothie, the best options are rice or almond milk.
As we’ve discovered, almond milk provides an excellent base for smoothies, so feel free to use any almond milk with these recipes.
Rice milk is also a great option. It’s is a neutral plant-based beverage with a thin, water-like consistency for green smoothies.
This allows the ingredients to blend well and doesn’t cover up their flavors with any nutty or bitter aftertaste. Better Than Milk Organic Rice Drink + Calcium is a good choice, fortified with 290 grams of calcium to give you a bone-healthy boost.
Best Non-Dairy Milk for Tropical Smoothies
Tropical smoothies like our dairy-free mango smoothie rcipe feature exciting tropical flavors from fruits like mango, banana, pineapple juice, and dragonfruit.
These smoothies are refreshing and perfect for summer days and provide an excellent base for adding nutrient-rich ingredients like kale, turmeric, or chia seeds.
While you could use multiple plant-based milks for these smoothies, such as rice, almond, or oat, the best choice is coconut milk. Coconut milk offers strong coconut flavor notes that pair well with tropical fruits to give you an island-inspired treat.
Whole Foods 365 Organic Unsweetened Coconut Milk has around 50 calories per serving, with only 5 grams of fat and 0 carbohydrates, making it a good choice for those needing a low-carb alternative milk option.
Best Non-Dairy Milk for Berry Smoothies
Berry smoothies are antioxidant-filled smoothies that typically contain a base like frozen bananas, a range of berries like blueberries, blackberries, strawberries, or raspberries, and a dash of milk.
These smoothies are perfect for a light, uplifting snack and can be combined with protein powder, nut butter, or other ingredients for an even healthier kick.
While many dairy-free milks can work with berry smoothies, oat milk provides an excellent base. Oat milk is made from oats and water and is one of the creamier, naturally sweet plant-based milk varieties, which works perfectly with the sweetness of berries.
Willa’s Original Oat M!lk is a great option, as it has 2 grams of fiber and 4 grams of protein, which can help keep you full after you enjoy your smoothie. Califia Farms Extra Creamy Oat Milk is another excellent berry smoothie base option, as it only has 110 calories and 2 grams of protein.
Best Non-Dairy Milk for Dessert Smoothies
One huge benefit to smoothies is that you can create dessert-based recipes that help you satisfy your chocolate or sweets cravings while still staying relatively healthy.
Guilt-free dessert smoothies that taste like pumpkin pie, carrot cake, chocolate pudding, or even apple pie are totally possible and still contain healthy ingredients like fruits, nuts, seeds, and protein powder that give you nutrients while tasting amazing.
As a base for these smoothies, cashew and soy milk are excellent options.
Soy milk, like Organic Vanilla Soymilk from Wholefoods 365 offers a slightly sweet and creamy plant-alternative to dairy for your favorite dessert smoothie.
With 7 grams of protein and only 100 calories, you can have a protein-packed treat and get around 300 grams of calcium.
Cashew milk, which is made from cashews and water, is another great dessert soothie option. Cashew milk is fairly creamy and can work well in keto-smoothies based on its higher fat content.
A make-your-own option like JOI’s Cashew Milk Concentrate has about 7 grams of fat per serving with only 3 carbs, making it a good choice for a healthy dessert smoothie.
Get Your Smoothie On!
With so many amazing plant-based milk’s to choose from, you can easily find an option that makes a perfect smoothie for your taste preferences and nutritional needs.
From the versatile almond milk, to creamy oat, hemp, and cashew, to tropical coconut and neutral rice milk, there are endless options to support your plant-based or dairy-free lifestyle.