Milk and Yogurt Additions
There are a variety of dairy and nondairy products you can add to your green smoothies to create a delicious, creamy consistency. Some of the most popular additions include:
Coconut milk. Although most people assume coconut milk is the water drained from the coconut, coconut milk is actually derived from the flesh of the coconut. Not only is coconut milk known for its antiviral, antibacterial, and anticarcinogenic properties, it contains a healthy type of easily metabolized saturated fat that is also found in breast milk and is known to promote healthy brain and bone development.
Coconuts have saved countless lives! During World War II, blood shortages were resolved by doctors using the coconut water from young, green coconuts. Because coconut water has the same electrolyte balance as blood, it was found to be the perfect substitute for blood plasma.
Soymilk. The FDA, American Heart Association, and the American Cancer Society all promote soymilk as a healthy part of a balanced diet. Containing various anticarcinogens, soymilk has been shown to promote health by preventing breast and prostate cancers, fighting heart disease by reducing bad cholesterol (LDL), reversing bone loss associated with osteoporosis, preventing diabetes and kidney disease, and helping with symptoms related to menopause. When selecting a soymilk, try to find one with a low-sugar content or with more naturally occurring sugars.
Almond milk. Rich in copper, manganese, magnesium, potassium, vitamin E, selenium, and calcium, almond milk offers a strong healthy protein-packed alternative to cow's milk. Using almond milk in a green smoothie will lend a nutty background taste.
If the price or ingredients of store-bought almond milk has you considering creating your own at home, follow these simple directions to create your very own homemade almond milk: grind ¼-½ cup of almonds in coffee grinder until fine, then combine in a blender with a cup of pure water for up to 3 minutes. Strain remaining almond bits using a coffee filter.
Rice milk. Processed from brown rice, rice milk has less protein and more carbohydrates than the other milk alternatives, but boosts the body's natural processes with loads of B1 for vitality; B5 for hair, skin, and nails; B6 and folic acid for promoting the healthy metabolism of protein and carbohydrates; and vitamin E for normalizing reproductive health.
Kefir. Although this is still considered a dairy product, it is an easily digested addition to any smoothie that can even be safely consumed by most people with milk allergies. Toting the vitamins and minerals B1, B12, K, and biotin, kefir (which means “feel good” in Turkish) is well known for promoting digestive health with its beneficial yeast and probiotic bacteria.
Greek-style yogurt. Greek-style yogurt contains an average of 20 grams of protein (compared to the 10 grams in the average yogurt) and has almost half the carbohydrates (9 grams versus 15-17 grams) of other yogurts and can also have half the sodium! Because of the triple-strained process it undergoes to remove the whey and water for its creamy texture, Greek-style yogurt is also much thicker and creamier than other yogurts, without the addition of unhealthy thickening agents.