A few weeks ago I received a request from SheKnows, one of the largest women’s Internet communities. They wanted a personal recommendation for an upcoming article on dairy-free drinks. The article came out last week, and is titled, "6 Dairy-Free Drinks to try." The story then goes on to highlight "… seven fun beverages that will fulfill any dairy-like cravings — without using any dairy products." Though their math doesn't quite compute, the article is short and sweet with some delicious offerings, including the True Blue Smoothie from Go Dairy Free that I recommended.
Since I was unsure of what types of beverages they were seeking (homemade, milk alternatives, on-the-run, etc), I sent a few of my top picks for them to choose from. Of course, they only needed (and selected) one, so I thought I would share my more complete list with you. Below is my current go-to list of dairy-free drinks, including that True Blue Smoothie recipe …
Favorite Milk Alternative
So Delicious Coconut Milk Beverage, Unsweetened – I am not one to sip on a glass of “milk” straight, but when it comes to breakfast smoothies, baking, and cooking, I have been dazzled by this new brand of milk alternative. It is by far the richest and creamiest on the market; roughly equivalent to 2% dairy milk in fat. Plus, it has a very fluid consistency and a relatively neutral taste that has worked perfectly in all of the recipes I have trialed thus far, from shakes to creamy soups!
Favorite On-The-Go Treat
Reed’s Extra Ginger Brew – When working or running around town, I rarely drink anything but water or hot herbal tea. But, if I spot this cool beverage, it is usually time for a splurge. I am a ginger fanatic, and this extra-spicy ginger ale offers a double dose of the good stuff but is naturally sweetened.
Favorite Everyday Smoothie
True Blue Smoothie – (Featured on SheKnows) Almost every day is started with a large smoothie in our household. The mere thought of a thick and creamy peanut butter breakfast shake or this versatile fruit smoothie is what gets me out of bed in the morning. One thing I love about this recipe in particular is that the blueberries not only add a wonderful flavor, but their rich hue also masks just about any healthy ingredient you want to sneak in.
True Blue Smoothie
This recipe is from my book, Go Dairy Free: The Guide and Cookbook for Milk Allergies, Lactose Intolerance, and Casein-Free Living.
“This is my go-to smoothie, and trust me on this one … don’t omit the spinach. I don’t care who you are serving it to, they will never know it is in there. The blueberries mask the green color, resulting in a beautiful purple beverage. As for the flavor … even the most adamant non-believers come back to me with surprise comments of delight. I never add sweetener, but feel free to add a bit if your fruit isn’t very sweet.”
- 1 Medium Very Ripe Banana, Broken into Chunks
- 1 Cup Frozen Blueberries
- 1/2 to 1 Cup Plain or Vanilla Milk Alternative of Choice (I typically use unsweetened almond milk or coconut beverage)
- 1/2 Cup Packed Fresh Baby Spinach Leaves
- 1/2 Cup Ice (optional)
Toss the banana, blueberries, and 1/2 cup of the milk alternative into your blender, and process until smooth. Add the spinach and any of the optional add-ins you are using from below, and blend until those little green specks vanish. Blend in more milk alternative until it reaches your desired consistency. If desired, blend in a handful of ice for a frostier treat.
- Sweetener, to Taste (agave, sugar, or your choice)
- 1 Tablespoon Whole Flax Seeds (I like to pre-grind them in my spice grinder)
- 1/4 Teaspoon Ground Cinnamon
- 1 to 2 Tablespoons Vanilla or Unsweetened Protein Powder of Choice
Yields 1 to 2 Servings
Favorite Special Treat Smoothie
POM-Mango Smoothie – It is seldom that I will splurge on a costly ingredient like pomegranate juice, but when I do, it goes straight into this recipe. The sweet-tart combination of pomegranate and mango is so refreshing and addictive. To send it over the top, I add a serving of Amazing Grass Berry Superfood. It adds a nice dose of nutrition and the sweet berry flavor takes the whole beverage up another notch. Image here –
Amazing Pom-Mango Smoothie
This smoothie has a delightful combination of sweet and tangy to wake up your taste buds. It is my latest addiction. The picture shown here is pre-Amazing Grass (which is optional). I love (prefer!) this smoothie with the Amazing Grass, but the brown-ish-green color wasn’t exactly picture-worthy. Ignore the color, love the flavor.
- 1/2 Cup Unsweetened Vanilla Almond Milk (use rice or coconut milk for nut-free)
- 1/2 Cup 100% Pomegranate Juice
- 12 Frozen Mango Chunks
- 1 Scoop Amazing Grass Berry SuperFood (optional)
- 2 T Protein Powder of choice (optional)
- Sweetener (optional – I don’t use)
- 4 Large Chunks of Ice (optional)
Combine everything but the ice in your blender, and whiz until smooth. If you would like it thicker and/or frostier, add the ice (pulsing at first) and blend until smooth.
Almond Smoothie Option: For more of a meal, add 1 Tablespoon of Almond Butter, and sprinkle with a few sliced almonds if desired.
Yields 1 big and delicious serving
Article by Alisa Fleming, Founder of GoDairyFree.org and author of Go Dairy Free: The Guide and Cookbook for Milk Allergies, Lactose Intolerance, and Casein-Free Living.