by Julie Morris
September 19, 2012
At a faster rate than ever, these creamy, milk-like beverages made from nuts, seeds, grains and even legumes are popping on grocery shelves everywhere. For anyone looking to avoid the consequences of lactic overload, these delicious new varieties are an easy 1:1 swap for cow’s milk… and make the most fabulous and flavorful additions to smoothies!
With a plethora of varieties to choose from, here are my top 5 non-dairy milks for superfood smoothies:
Almond Milk – This is my standby smoothie milk. Light in flavor and in viscosity, almond milk is extremely versatile in its applications. Plus, almonds are a natural flavor pairing for a tremendous variety of produce … from berries to apples to spinach … which is why this beverage seems to blend so seamlessly into such a wealth of recipes. I also appreciate that many boxed brands can be purchased unsweetened, with little to no gums or additives, making this the “purest” store-bought milk you’ll likely find.
Coconut Milk – Thicker than most non-dairy milks but thinner than canned coconut milk, this beverage is a beauty. It’s a wonderful lower-calorie way to get creamy, coconut flavor into a smoothie, without adding a tremendous amount of fat. It makes the best “milkshake”-like blends, and is an absolute dream when blended with cacao or maca.
Rice Milk – Mild and thin, ricemilk is the most processed of the milks on this list, but it’s also the most palatable for anyone who is new to using non-dairy milks in smoothies. Boxed varieties do not come unsweetened, which is a shame, so look for brands that have the lowest amount of sugar (and use the “original” varieties instead of the flavored). It can impart a bit of an ice-cream flavor to smoothies which, especially in creamy blends that use hemp, lucuma, or even acai, is extremely delicious!
Oat Milk – Amazing: blended oats make a beautiful creamy beverage – who knew? You’ll definitely taste the “oat” in this milk, but that’s a very good thing when you’re blending up compatible flavors like bananas, mulberries, or any kind of winter fruit. (Oat milk in green smoothies usually is not its best application.) There are varieties out there that don’t have added sugar, so choose those if available.
Hemp Milk – It’s so easy to just add water and hemp seeds to a smoothie and make a fresh, pure hemp milk, that most of the time I’ll simply rely on the DIY method. But when smoothie circumstances call for a bit of additional “cream,” boxed hemp milk can be a potential candidate too. There seems to be two options when it comes to store-bought hemp milk: ones that taste smooth but have several additives mixed in, or ones that are more pure but are very “hempy”-flavored. Whatever version you choose, you’ll likely find that hemp milk is best in smoothies with stronger flavors, like mango, orange, strawberry, and goji.
Here is a fantastic Berry Antioxidant Smoothie recipe using Hemp Milk.« Previous | Next »
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