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9 Tasty Smoothie Bases: The Best Liquids for Making Delicious Smoothies

Discover the 9 Best Liquids for Incredible Smoothies

The Best Liquids for Making Delicious Smoothies

When making smoothies at home, choosing the right liquid ingredients is key to achieving an ideal flavor, texture, and nutrition profile. But with the myriad liquid options for smoothie bases ranging from nut milk and fruit juices to herbal teas and protein shakes, it can get confusing. So what is truly the Best liquid for making delicious smoothies?


While the best depends on your specific tastes and dietary needs, certain liquids pair better with certain ingredients than others in smoothies. Nut milk provides a nice creamy texture and pairs well with banana and peanut butter, whilst freshly squeezed apple or orange juice can elevate the sweetness of veg-based smoothies. Coconut water on the other hand is a good base for tropical fruit smoothies like watermelon mango and pineapple.


In this article, we will explore the top 9 best liquids for smoothies including nut milk like almond and cashew, carrot juice, coconut water, and even liquids you may now associate with putting into smoothies like coffee!


So let's dive in.



 

Contents


Best Liquid for Smoothies:

1 - Nut Milk 2 – Fruit and Vegetable Juices 3 - Coconut Water 4 - Herbal Teas 5 - Protein Shakes 6 - Plain or Mineral Water 7 – Yogurt and Kefir

8– Coffee

9 - ice

Best Liquid Combinations



 

The 9 Best Liquids for Making Smoothies


9 Tasty Smoothie Bases: The Best Liquids for Making Delicious Smoothies

1 - Nut Milk


Nut milk is an excellent smoothie base that adds protein, healthy fats, and creaminess. Some top options include:


- Almond milk - With just 30 calories per cup, unsweetened almond milk provides a nutty, creamy base. Choose unflavored varieties to let other smoothie ingredients shine. The mild flavor pairs nicely with both fruits and veggies.


- Cashew milk – Made from blended cashews and water, cashew milk has a subtly sweet, creamy taste. It has a thicker texture than other nut milks that makes smoothies extra decadent. It also contains zinc, magnesium, and iron.


- Hemp milk – This seed-based milk has a slightly earthy, nutty flavor. Packed with protein and omega fatty acids, hemp milk adds 5 grams of protein per cup! Its low sugar content allows other ingredients’ natural sweetness.


- Oat milk – From blended oats and water, oat milk offers a mild, lighter taste than nut-based milks. It gives smoothies a pleasant creamy texture and supplies fiber, iron, calcium and vitamin A.


Nut milk not only aid texture and taste, they substantially boost the nutrition of smoothies with extra protein, healthy fats and key micronutrients. When choosing varieties, opt for unsweetened to avoid excess added sugars.



Nut milk goes well with the following:


  • Strawberries

  • Blueberries

  • Raspberries

  • Peach

  • Cherry

  • Avocado

  • Banana

  • Peanut butter

  • Oats

  • Coffee

  • 70-85% chocolate

  • Cacao nibs


2 – Fruit and Vegetable Juices


The 9 Best Liquids to add to your Smoothies: Fruit and Vegetable Juices

Adding homemade fruit and vegetable juice to a smoothie is a good way to both elevate the sweetness of veg-based smoothies and add some additional nutrition to fruit-based smoothies.


Some nutritious juice options include:


Orange juice – Freshly squeezed OJ adds a sweet citrusy taste and blast of vitamin C. Combining it with leafy greens, berries and banana makes a tropical fruit smoothie.


Pomegranate juice – With vibrant red color and tangy-sweet flavor, pomegranate juice raises smoothies’ antioxidant levels. It goes well mixed into berry, beet and green veggie smoothies.


Green vegetable juices – Juices made from spinach, kale, parsley, celery, cucumber, etc. add an extra serving of greens and blend of nutrients. Though strong-tasting alone, combining them with sweeter fruits helps mellow out green juices’ intensity.


Carrot juice – Fresh carrot juice not only gives your smoothie a bright orange hue, it also supplies a hefty dose of provitamin A. Blend it with fruits like pineapple, mango and apple for sweetness.


When buying bottled juices, check the ingredient label to avoid added sugars. Or better yet, juice your own fruits and veggies to control ingredients.



Fruit and Vegetable Juices goes well with the following:


  • Strawberries

  • Blueberries

  • Raspberries

  • Avocado

  • Banana

  • Orange

  • Watermelon

  • Mango

  • Pineapple

  • Spinach

  • Kale

  • Cucumber


 

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3 - Coconut Water


With its slightly nutty, sweet taste, coconut water makes a tasty and refreshing smoothie base. It works well blended into tropical fruit smoothies with mango, pineapple and banana. Or combine coconut water with spinach, avocado and lime juice for a savory green smoothie.


Thanks to its electrolytes that aid hydration, coconut water is ideal after workouts. It also helps balance juices and fruits’ natural sugars in smoothies.



Coconut water goes well with the following:


  • Strawberries

  • Blueberries

  • Raspberries

  • Avocado

  • Peach

  • Banana

  • Orange

  • Watermelon

  • Mango

  • Pineapple

  • Spinach

  • Kale

  • Cucumber



4 - Herbal Teas

9 Best Liquids to add to your Smoothies: Herbal teas

Brewing antioxidant-rich herbal teas then cooling them before adding to your smoothie liquid base infuses extra health benefits.


Some nourishing teas to try include:


Green tea – Packed with EGCG antioxidants, green tea boosts smoothies’ health factor. It has an earthy, slightly bitter taste that complements fruits and veggies.


Hibiscus tea – With its tart, cranberry-like flavor, hibiscus tea adds a crimson hue and antioxidants. Blend it into berry or tropical fruit smoothies.


Rooibos tea – Rooibos has an earthy, slightly vanilla taste. It supplies antioxidants and polyphenols that support heart health and digestion. The mild flavor works well with fruits, nuts, and veggies.


Ginger tea – Fresh, spicy ginger adds anti-inflammatory compounds, aids digestion and eases nausea. Use very strong brewed ginger tea sparingly as the intense flavor can overpower smoothies.


When using herbal tea in smoothies, allow it to fully cool first. This prevents the hot liquid from damaging other nutrients.



Herbal goes well with the following:


  • Strawberries

  • Blueberries

  • Raspberries

  • Avocado

  • Peach

  • Banana

  • Orange

  • Watermelon

  • Mango

  • Pineapple

  • Spinach

  • Kale

  • Cucumber


 
 

5 - Protein Shakes


Whey, plant and nut-based protein powders can be blended with water as high-protein smoothie bases and are a great way for adding additional protein to your diet.


Some examples include:


  • Whey protein + water – Fast-absorbing whey offers a nutty, mildly sweet flavor.

  • Pea protein + water – This vegan option has an earthy taste and creamier texture.

  • Hemp protein + water - Hemp supplies protein plus magnesium, iron and omega-3s.


If you want more control of flavours profiles and sugar content, go for unflavored brands.



Protein shakes go well with the following:


  • Avocado

  • Banana

  • Peanut butter

  • Almond milk

  • Oats

  • Coffee



6 - Plain or Mineral Water


Don’t underestimate good old H20! Using plain or mineral water as a smoothie base is a simple way of getting your desired consistency.


Why is water so important for smoothies?

  • It allows smooth blending of fibrous ingredients like nuts, seeds and leafy greens. Too little liquid results in a chunky texture.

  • Water dilutes and balances out the intensity of flavors like dark leafy greens and fresh ginger. This prevents any one ingredient from overpowering the smoothie taste.

  • Adding enough water gives smoothies a drinkable consistency while still allowing texture from soft fruits and creamy nut milks.



Plain or Mineral Water goes well with the following:


  • Strawberries

  • Blueberries

  • Raspberries

  • Apple

  • Avocado

  • Peach

  • Banana

  • Orange

  • Watermelon

  • Mango

  • Pineapple

  • Spinach

  • Kale

  • Cucumber

  • Beetroot


 
 

7 – Yogurt and Kefir


More of a thicker liquid but a good liquid base nonetheless, dairy-based yogurts and kefir add protein, probiotics and a velvety creaminess to smoothies.


Some examples:


  • Greek yogurt – Extra thick texture and high protein content.

  • Kefir – Contains up to 50 probiotic strains to aid gut health.

  • Skyr – Icelandic-style strained yogurt. Similar to Greek but higher protein.

  • Coconut milk yogurt – Non-dairy option offers creamy texture with good fats and no lactose.


Yogurt and Kefir go well with the following:


  • Strawberries

  • Blueberries

  • Raspberries

  • Peach

  • Cherry

  • Avocado

  • Banana

  • Nuts

  • Nut milks



8 – Coffee

9 Best Liquids to add to your Smoothies: Coffee

You may not associate coffee as a liquid base for smoothies but its actually a great way to add some great flavour, anti-oxidants and caffeine to your blended drink. It goes really well with other liquids such as nut milks and solid ingreients like chocolate and banana.


Some coffee smoothie combos include:


- Mocha – coffee, cacao powder, banana, nut milk - Caramel macchiato – coffee, caramel sauce, almond milk, vanilla - Frozen latte – Strong espresso, milk, frozen banana


Limit coffee to 1⁄4 or less of total liquids to maintain balance of ingredients. Chose cold brew coffee to minimize acidity or let hot coffee fully cool first before blending.


Coffee goes well with the following:


  • Peanut butter

  • Nuts

  • 70-85% chocolate

  • Cacao nibs

  • Banana

  • Nut milks



9 - Ice

While not a liquid per se, adding ice to smoothies is important for achieving an ultra-refreshing chilled texture. Ice also thickens and adds volume to smoothies without extra calories.


Some tips for using ice in smoothies:


  • Use standard ice cubes or crushed ice. Too large of cubes don't blend fully if you are now using a powerful belnder.

  • Limit ice to 1-2 cups per smoothie so it doesn't dilute other flavors

  • Blend ice first with any liquid ingredients before adding fruits, veggies, etc. This prevents it from getting stuck.

  • To avoid foamy texture, don't blend ice and banana together. Add banana after ice is fully crushed.


Ice pairs well with any fruits and flavors, but some tasty combinations include:


Tropical - mango, pineapple, coconut water, ice Green machine - spinach, avocado, banana, almond milk, ice Berry blast - mixed berries, Greek yogurt, ice, honey




 

Best Smoothie Liquid Combinations


One of the keys to creating a perfectly balanced smoothie is experimenting with different liquid combinations. Mixing and matching various bases allows you to optimize nutrition, texture and flavor in one beverage.


On their own, single-liquid smoothie ingredients like orange juice or almond milk offer benefits. But pairing liquids magnifies their effects.


Here are some of the most complementary smoothie liquid duos and trios to try:


- Coconut water + nut milk – Coconut water offers electrolytes to replenish nutrients lost while nut milks provides protein for muscle recovery. Plus this mixture has a pleasantly creamy, slightly sweet taste.


- Green tea + fruit juice – Herbal teas infuse antioxidants while juices supply vitamin C and refreshing flavors. Together they equal hydration plus an immune-boosting punch.


- Whey protein + Almond milk – Adding a scoop of fast-absorbing protein powder to nut milk, with a couple of banana thrown in turns an everyday smoothie into a filling breakfast or snack that aids muscle growth and takes the edge off hunger pangs.


- Coffee + cacao powder + avocado – The natural stimulants in coffee complement the focus-enhancing healthy fats and flavanoids found in chocolate and avocado for a morning smoothie bound to sharpen your thinking.



As you can see the liquid options for smoothie bases are endless. And experimenting with combinations allows you to incorporate multiple benefits into one quick beverage. Try whipping up two or three different liquid combos each week to keep your smoothies exciting!


Some examples of popular blended smoothies incorporating liquid duos include:


  • Green tea berry – brewed green tea, mixed berry juice, banana Chocolate nut butter – cacao powder, almond milk, peanut butter, dates Post-workout – whey protein, coconut water, spinach, pineapple


Keep tasting and tweaking your own homemade blends until you discover your perfect smoothie flavor and nutrition liquid formula. Just stick to the guidelines of limiting any single liquid to no more than 50% for best results.

 

About Author:

About Author:              Gavin is the owner of Tru Foo Juice Bar. He has over 6 years of experience running a juice bar and creating juice and smoothie recipes for the consumer market  His passion for juicing began in his early 20s as he explored natural ways to boost nutrition and energy. Over the years, Gavin has experimented with countless ingredient combinations to create the perfect juice and smoothie blends and bring them to the masses.












Gavin is the owner of Tru Foo Juice Bar. He has over 6 years of experience running a juice bar and creating juice and smoothie recipes for the consumer market


His passion for juicing began in his early 20s as he explored natural ways to boost nutrition and energy. Over the years, Gavin has experimented with countless ingredient combinations to create the perfect juice and smoothie blends and bring them to the masses.

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