While blending up a smoothie is easy, choosing your ingredients can be a challenge. With so many nut milks, coconut waters, and other liquids on the market, how do you know which one will blend up perfectly with your other ingredients?
Luckily, we’re here to help make the process as simple as possible. At GreenBlender, we’re all about that base! It’s the foundation to any great smoothie. The liquid you choose for your smoothie can add a nutritional boost, a sweet flavor, and even an irresistible creaminess. Let’s get down to the base-ics!
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As you’ve noticed, this popular nut milk is a staple in many of our recipes. This dairy alternative is an excellent source of calcium, and vitamins A, D, and E. With Vitamins A and E enhancing immunity and protecting the body’s cells from damage, and Vitamin D helping you build strong bones, this milk is a wonderful liquid base to use to amp up the nutritional benefits of your smoothie. Almond milk also makes smoothies creamy without adding any unhealthy fat. The only fat it contains is the good kind; healthy Omega-3 and 6 fatty acids.
Buy it now >> Califia Farms Unsweetened Almond Milk
Make your own >> How To Make Almond Milk
Similar to almond milk, this dairy alternative is perfect for creating a super rich and decadent smoothie. Coconut milk often gets a bad rap because of its fat content, but like almond milk, it’s filled with the good fat. Medium-chain fatty acids, or MCFAs, make coconut milk a stand-out option. MCFAs have been shown to increase metabolism and aid in weight loss. Since MFAs aren’t stored in the body as fat, they provide instant energy.
Due to the fat content as well as high levels of Vitamin E, coconut milk is great for hair and skin! The benefits don’t stop there, though. Because of its lauric acid, antimicrobial lipids and capric acid, this dairy alternative is wonderful for your immunity. These fatty acids have antibacterial, antifungal and antiviral properties to keep you strong and healthy. Create smoothies that will get you glowing from the inside out with this awesome dairy alternative.
Buy it now >> Native Forest Organic Coconut Milk
Low in calories, naturally fat and cholesterol free, and rich in potassium, it’s no wonder this beverage is another staple in our smoothies. With its tropical flavor, coconut water is the perfect base for just about any smoothie, especially ones that require a little boost of natural sweetness.
High in fiber, coconut water is great for digestion and helping you feel satisfied. The presence of five essential electrolytes — calcium, magnesium, phosphorous, potassium and sodium — is what really sets coconut water above the rest when it comes to hydration. Unlike coconut milk / cream, coconut water isn’t creamy, so it’s perfect for smoothies with a lot of greens.
Buy It Now >> Harmless Harvest Raw Coconut Water
If you’ve never heard of Maple Water before, you’re in for a treat. Despite the sweet flavor, maple water contains no added sugar and is naturally low in calories. It’s packed with nutrients and vitamins, including polyphenols, prebiotics, electrolytes, amino acids and antioxidants.
Maple Water also boasts more manganese than a cup of kale, which is great for bones, controlling blood sugar spikes, and helping your body absorb vitamins. Manganese also helps rid the body of free radicals. Move over pancakes, maple has found another partner — the blender!
Buy it now >> DRINKmaple Water
Cold-pressed juice makes a great and flavorful liquid base to any smoothie. When it comes to cold-pressed fruit, the juice from cold-pressed watermelons is one of our favorites. Watermelon water (and watermelons) contain powerful antioxidants and tons of electrolytes like potassium, calcium, and magnesium to get you hydrated quickly!
Watermelons help combat high blood pressure and promote bone and joint health (which, in turn, helps prevent muscle cramping after a workout). Depending on how many watermelons you use in your watermelon water, you could juice yourself a drink with up to twice as much fiber and potassium than in a banana! One of the leading brands of this drink, WTRMLN WTR, boasts 550mg of potassium per serving, and less sugar than fresh orange juice. That’s a good recovery drink.
Does watermelon water really come with all these benefits? Yes, but here’s the kicker: it better be real! Real watermelon water is never from concentrate, never has added sugar nor added water, and always includes the whole watermelon. Some leading watermelon water recipes also include a citrus-y addition, either a lemon or a lime, with the pressed watermelon. So get yourself some watermelons and you can totally make your own (we have a tutorial)!
Pro Tip: overripe watermelons actually contain more Vitamin C and antioxidants. The riper the watermelon, the better the benefits!
Buy it now >> WTRMLNWTR
Aloe water has some impressive anti-aging properties and is great for your skin. Aloe is a common and popular ingredient in sunscreen, medicinal gels and creams, shampoo, and body wash — and it’s no mystery why! Aloe is packed with Vitamin E, B12, C, and folic acid, which boosts your immune system and fortifies the skin against skin-damaging pollutants in the environment (including sun damage).
If you’ve only ever used aloe by applying it externally, why not try aloe water and access the immune boosting, skin-protecting benefits of aloe from the inside out? It’s just as natural to consume aloe internally as it is to apply externally, and the properties in aloe are good for your teeth and blood sugar too, so you can’t go wrong. Aloe water will make a great addition to any smoothie, not only with its health benefits, but its fun, tart taste.
Recommended Smoothies With Aloe Water: Aloe Gloe Mango smoothie.
Buy it now >> Aloe Gloe
Hemp seeds are the seeds from the hemp plant, and they are incredibly nutritious and packed with healthy fats, protein, vitamins, and minerals. We love using hempseed as a plant-based protein source in our smoothies!
Besides being a great source of protein, adding hempseed infuses the smoothie with a subtly earthy flavor, and provides a creamy texture. Hemp milk is, of course, milk derived from hempseed. Hemp seeds are technically a nut, so hemp milk is technically a nut milk too (except it IS in fact safe for people with nut allergies). Hemp milk has a higher fat content than other nut milks, but don’t worry because it’s all the right kind of fats (cholesterol-reducing omega-6’s and omega-3’s).
The properties in hempseed have been shown to relieve tired muscles, sharpen your focus, boost the immune system, and keep you full. Hempseed is rich with minerals like potassium and calcium, and boasts a significantly higher protein content than chia seeds or flaxseed (about a quarter of the calories in hempseed are from the protein). Hemp milk is basically one of the best sources of protein for vegans.
In all the ways that it is comparable to almond milk, hemp milk is generally safe for people with nut allergies. Almond milk can’t really compete with that, but we do love both! If you’re allergic to nuts or dairy, check out hemp milk.
Buy it now >> Pacific Foods Hemp Milk
One of the best characteristics of rice milk, and why it has gained popularity, is that it is the least allergenic of almost any “milk” product. When it comes to allergies, rice tends to be one of the last foods on the list. Furthermore, rice is a simple and recognizable flavor that won’t overwhelm your smoothie.
Rice milk makes a great, creamy filler in a smoothie or shake. It’s high in carbohydrates, so it’s one of the best milks if you’re looking to blend up a meal replacement. Although it can be fortified with Vitamin D and calcium, rice milk it is not actually a natural source of either one (most commercial brands fortify their rice milk).
Buy it now >> Rice Dream
If you’ve read about the benefits of turmeric before, you won’t be surprised to hear that it’s one of the most nutritious spices out there. Maybe you’ve cooked with it, or tried a spoonful in a smoothie or tea, but did you know it also comes in cold-pressed form?
Turmeric root is traditionally ground into a fine powder, and is a must-have for any spice rack. But some folks, like Temple Turmeric, love turmeric so much they have started liquefying their turmeric root, and it’s amazing! The medicinal and anti-inflammatory properties in turmeric are extremely powerful, and the body can more easily absorb it when it’s consumed in cold-pressed form, rather than powdered or processed form. Turmeric aids digestion, soothes menstrual cramps and other aches and pains, and combats high blood pressure.
Recommended Smoothies With Cold-Pressed Turmeric: Temple Turmeric Golden Milk smoothie.
Buy it now >> Temple Turmeric
Traditionally made from the fruit of the prickly pear cactus, cactus water is a light and refreshing alternative to coconut water, with fewer calories than coconut water and a subtly sweet taste. Cactus water is a great liquid multi-vitamin — bursting with antioxidants and anti-inflammatory compounds that aid digestion and fight cell damage. This means that cactus water is great for glowing skin!
Hailed by many as the No. 1 beauty beverage, the anti-aging compounds in cactus water also combat nausea while keeping you well-hydrated. So save a generous splash of cactus water for your next smoothie if you need a hangover-remedy (or if you’re looking for a refresher for the skin).
Buy it now >> Caliwater Cactus Water
You’ll notice we use water frequently as the liquid base in our smoothies. It’s a great choice when you want to let your fruits and vegetables speak for themselves. Another great part about water? It’s free! Water is best used in contrast with fruits that make thick and creamy smoothies, like banana and mango.
Tip: Use frozen water (a.k.a. ice) to create a thick and frosty final product.
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