It seems that the secret ingredient to a creamy smoothie has always been greek yogurt. But we are going to let you in a little secret…you really don’t need yogurt for that smooth texture! In today’s health-conscious and trendy movements, we have seen the smoothie nation rise and become a staple of green recipes.
Inevitably, you will find that most recipes incorporate the use of greek yogurt (vanilla flavor, plain, etc.). But rest assured, there are many replacements for greek yogurt that not only give smoothies the creaminess you are looking for, it is also just as–if not more–protein-packed as greek yogurt!
We will show you how to substitute greek yogurt using common ingredients without having to sacrifice flavor, texture, or thickness!
Freeze your fruits!
In no particular order, here are some ingredients that will thicken your smoothie and give you the smooth texture you are craving. First up are basic frozen fruits! When you are making your smoothie, it is common to put ice into the mixture.
However, to thicken the drink, pre-freeze your selected fruits (and even vegetables) prior to making your smoothie. This will give you a thicker base to work with when adding less water. Simple yet effective!
Flaxseeds – Golden or Brown is Perfect!
These tiny seeds are packed full of omega 3-fatty acids and fiber which are essential for inflammation. In a smoothie, you want to use the already ground flaxseed meal. Here is a simple recipe to try – in a blender, mix:
- 1 cup frozen raspberries
- 1/4 cup frozen blueberries
- 1 tbsp of flaxseeds
- 1/2 cup of milk (preferably almond)
- 1 scoop of protein powder (preferably peanut butter flavored)
Avocado (Yes, This is a Favorite Choice!)
For those of you that do not know the mighty avocado, it contains rich healthy fats and over 20 vitamins and minerals. Avocados add a nice creaminess and do not put much taste into smoothies. In fact, you really won’t know that you have avocado in your smoothie!
You can either purchase the avocados frozen (recommended cut into cubes) or fresh–your choice. Try this out!
- 1 cup of milk (almond preferably)
- 1 whole avocado (pitless and peeled)
- 1 frozen banana
- 1/2 a tbsp of honey
- 1/2 cup of ice (optional)
Ta-da! I bet you can’t even taste the avocado! A deliciously thick banana and almond butter smoothie.
Use Nut Butter, It Works Too!
We all love peanut butter. In fact, unless you are allergic (ouch!), peanut butter has been an essential part of our childhoods. However, almond butter is slightly healthier due to its increased vitamin content among more fiber and minerals.
Regardless, the soft creamy texture of nut butter will certainly thicken up your smoothie significantly. We are confident you’ll love this banana, strawberry, and almond butter smoothie!
- 1 frozen banana
- 1/4 cup frozen strawberries
- 2 tbsp of almond butter (yes, be generous and make ’em heaping!)
- 1 tbsp sweetener of choice (honey is recommender)
- 3/4 cup milk (preferably almond)
- Pinch of salt
This is an old-school mix–can’t go wrong!
Nutritional Powder is Not Just for Gym-Buffs!
Nutritional powders are excellent for meal replacement and for adding a protein kick with essential vitamins and minerals. They come in a wide variety of flavors. Depending on your taste and diet restrictions, try to go for the organic protein powders. They can be found in your grocery store or specialty vitamin stores.
These powders are a powerhouse of flavor and a great addition to your smoothie recipes. Do not be intimidated, this is simple! Start off with 1/2 a scoop for your first trial. If the taste or thickness isn’t overwhelming, try for the full scoop!
Although a wonderful ingredient, as you can see, greek yogurt is not an essential part of a smoothie. You can replace any flavor of greek yogurt with other ingredients while maintaining the consistency you want. The thickness of the smoothie can be achieved by many other ingredients.
In case you need more greek yogurt replacements, here are a few honorable mentions you can also try out:
- Chia seeds
- Frozen bananas
- Non-dairy products
- Coconut cream
Be creative and see what works best for you and your smoothies!