13 Useful and Refreshing Vegan Ingredients for Shakes and Smoothies
Shakes and smoothies are both popular drink options, and whether you’re drinking them to get healthy or as a refreshing treat, either way they make a great snack or even a meal any time of the day. However, when it comes to vegan shakes and smoothies, things have to be done a little differently, and at times it can be hard and even overwhelming for vegans to try and enjoy things without them containing animal products.
But the good news is that there are all kinds of vegan-friendly ingredients out there that make wonderful shakes and smoothies, and we’ve found some of those ingredients for you in order to make the search a little easier. So without further ado, if you or someone you love lives a vegan lifestyle and smoothies and milkshakes are a favorite, let’s check out our list of thirteen of some of the most useful and refreshing ingredients for vegan smoothies and shakes!
Weird as it may sound to put tofu into a smoothie, silken tofu is actually a great thickening agent for vegan smoothies. Silken tofu not only helps to thicken up the smoothie, but it also incorporates the protein and essential amino acids that vegans need in their diets. So if you’re looking to bulk up your vegan smoothies in more ways than one, silken tofu is your best bet!
Refreshing Dairy Alternatives
Since milk is a non-vegan product because it comes from cows, alternative smoothie and shake bases are necessary. Luckily, there are now even more options than before when it comes to non-dairy products that imitate dairy, such as almond, soy, and coconut milk. However, if you’re not necessarily looking for a milky alternative, you can also use fruit juice or coconut water, depending on the flavor of smoothie you’re going for.
If you’re into fruit shakes or smoothies, the best way to incorporate that fruit into either one is for it to be frozen. You don’t have to buy the frozen fruit at the store if you would rather have fresh, but even the fresh fruit makes for a better, thicker smoothie or shake if it’s frozen first.
To help you get some extra vitamins and antioxidants into your vegan smoothies or shakes, then you should consider adding in some greens like baby spinach! If you don’t really care for greens, the best thing about using them in a smoothie is that you of course use the ones with little to no flavor on their own, and then of course add as much fruit as you want and you’ll never know any greens are there, but your body will!
For extra creaminess and healthy fats and proteins, throw in a small handful of hemp, chia, or ground flax seeds, which are all neutral in flavor, into your smoothie or even your shakes.
Dates are great if you want to add a bit more sweetness to your smoothies and shakes, but you don’t want to add any more sugar to it. One or two will normally do the trick, just remember to pit the dates before throwing dates into the blender.
For an extra kick plus some extra protein, using nut butters in shakes or smoothies helps to make them creamier along with giving you an extra source of protein and a burst of nutty flavor, but that of course depends on the kind of shake or smoothie you are making.
Coconut oil is another great way to incorporate healthy fats for brain and organ function, and an energy boost to your next vegan shake or smoothie. As a bonus, coconut oil also helps to make sure that you feel fuller for longer, so this is a great ingredient if you plan on making your shake or smoothie a meal.
Ginger is an amazing root that has anti-inflammatory and immune system-boosting properties, plus it can add a refreshing zing to any smoothie with its bright, zippy flavor. Using fresh ginger enhances this zip and zing if that’s what you’re looking for, and would be a great addition to any fruit smoothie.
In order to get some more thickness and an extra touch of sweetness in your smoothies or shakes, adding a frozen banana is a good way to go. If you don’t care much for the taste of banana, use your other fruits and ingredients to help mask the flavor, but get the benefits of potassium as well as extra thickness and sweetness.
Rolled oats are another great thickening agent for vegan shakes, so when you make a shake with this ingredient it will fill you up for awhile. Plus, rolled oats are rich in antioxidants, soluble fiber, and are an excellent way to help lower cholesterol levels as well as protect your LDL cholesterol from being damaged and to help improve blood sugar levels.
Turmeric is a spice that belongs to the ginger family, and it has gained popularity all over for its antioxidants and its potential to reduce the risk or spread of cancer. Although it’s normally used as a main ingredient in curry and some other foods, adding a bit of this to your smoothie or shake gives you a healthy advantage all around.
Matcha Green Tea
Adding some Matcha Green Tea powder to your smoothies adds a subtle green tea flavor, and it can give you a bit of a natural caffeine boost if you need one. Matcha Green Tea is known for being rich in antioxidants, being able to potentially protect the liver, boosting brain function, plus also possibly helping with weight loss, heart health, and could even help to prevent cancer.
While going vegan isn’t always an easy choice and is sometimes the only thing that a person can do to survive, it has become so much easier in this day and age to live the vegan lifestyle because there are so many more choices and so much more is known about certain foods and their properties, so that vegans can not only live the lifestyle they have to live or have chosen to live, but they can actually enjoy it and not feel excluded or like they’re missing out. So whether you’re newly vegan, you’ve been vegan for years, or you love someone who is vegan, we hope that these thirteen useful and refreshing vegan ingredients for shakes and smoothies helps in your journey to understanding vegan foods.