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How to Add Non-Dairy Yogurt to Your Smoothie

Yogurt based smoothies can be a great addition to a healthy diet.  Because the body needs a fair amount of the “good” bacteria, the probiotics found in yogurts are beneficial to the digestive system.  Probiotics which translated literally, means “for life,” are the living organisms that result in the health benefit of aided digestion.

 

But since dairy-based yogurts are made with milks that contain hormones, carcinogens and acids, not to mention allergens, they aren’t right for everyone.  Fortunately for those who are vegan or lactose intolerant, non-dairy yogurts can be a great substitution.

 

There are several non-dairy yogurt brands on the market, but even some of those are made with milk cultures.  Making your own non-dairy yogurt at home is a great solution.  By making your own you can get the healthy benefits of probiotics, but without the cost and the added sugars that are found in commercial brands. Commercial brands often don’t contain live cultures.

 

It can be easier than you might think to make non-dairy yogurt right at home.  You can add your own natural flavors for variety while saving money at the same time.

 

Here’s one simple method for making your own non-dairy yogurt.

 

Use a ceramic crock or bowl because metal can interfere with the natural culture process.  The ceramic crock from your slow cooker is a great choice.  But don’t make the yogurt in a slow cooker as the excessive heat could kill the natural probiotics.  If you don’t have a slow cooker, any ceramic bowl with a lid will work just fine.

 

To begin you’ll need a good dairy-free probiotic powder.  You can use any organic soy milk or coconut milk, but make sure the soy is certified organic.  Generally rice milk and almond milk will be too thin for making yogurt.

 

What you’ll need:

 

1 quart of organic soy milk or coconut milk

1 teaspoon of probiotic powder

 

Heat the milk until it is lukewarm.  Don’t overheat it because that will destroy the yogurt cultures.  Pour the milk into a clean ceramic bowl or crock.  Stir in the probiotic powder until it is dissolved.  Cover this and place it in a warm area for 6 to 10 hours.  This will vary depending on the temperature and whether you prefer your yogurt to be thin or thick.  Leaving the yogurt to process longer will make it thicker.  This will also increase the tartness.

 

Remove the cover carefully.  The milk should have separated and you should have a thick yogurt with a thin liquid either floating on the top or that has dropped to the bottom.  Scoop out the thick yogurt or pour off the liquid.

 

Now that you have your homemade, non-dairy yogurt, give these smoothie recipes a try.

 

Banana Berry Yogurt Smoothie

What you’ll need:

1 cup almond milk

1/2 frozen banana

1/2 cup non-dairy yogurt

1 cup frozen berries

1 tablespoon ground flax seeds

 

Combine the ingredients in your blender and blend until smooth and creamy.

 

Pumpkin Yogurt Smoothie

What you’ll need:

 

2 cups vanilla soy or other nondairy milk

1¼ cups vanilla soy or other nondairy yogurt

½ cup pumpkin purée

2 tablespoons to ¼ cup agave nectar, to taste

½ teaspoon rum extract or 1 tablespoon spiced rum

½ teaspoon ground cinnamon

¼ teaspoon ground ginger

 

Combine all the ingredients in a large bowl.  Whisk vigorously until blended.

 

Vegan Eggnog Smoothie

 

What you’ll need:

 

½ cup Vanilla Coconut Yogurt, frozen
½ cup light coconut milk
½ cup hemp seed milk
¼ teaspoon ground nutmeg + 1 teaspoon for garnish
¼ teaspoon vanilla extract
¾ teaspoon brandy

 

To freeze the Vanilla Coconut Yogurt for use in the smoothie, freeze in ice cube trays.

Add all ingredients to a blender and blend until completely smooth. Serve with a sprinkle of nutmeg.

 

Cherry Soy Yogurt Smoothie

 

What you’ll need:

½ cup plain soy yogurt
½ cup vanilla soy milk
1 banana
sweetener to taste (optional)
1 cup frozen sweet black cherries
½ teaspoon lemon juice

 

Put the yogurt, soy milk, banana, and sweetener (if using) into the blender, and process until liquefied. Add the cherries and the lemon juice and blend until smooth and creamy.

 

The health benefits of yogurt are enough to consider for an everyday part of your diet.  Thanks to vegan options and great smoothie recipes, you don’t have to sacrifice flavor and taste.

 

 

 

 

Sources

 

Go Dairy Free

http://www.godairyfree.org/ask-alisa/ask-alisa-will-non-dairy-yogurt-provide-a-similar-probiotic-benefit-to-qnaturalq-yogurt

 

The Verdant Life

http://www.theverdantlife.com/2011/05/diy-vegan-yogurt-and-save-about-zillion.html

 

Care2

Read more: http://www.care2.com/greenliving/make-your-own-dairy-free-yogurt.html#ixzz2OiCaz8jd

 

Banana Berry Yogurt Smoothie

http://gfashley.blogspot.com/2013/01/banana-berry-yogurt-smoothie.html

 

Pumpkin Yogurt Smoothie

http://www.instructables.com/id/PUMPKIN-YOGURT-SMOOTHIE-VEGAN/

 

Vegan Eggnog Smoothie

http://www.vitalityguideforwomen.com/vegan-eggnog-smoothie/

 

Cherry Soy Yogurt Smoothie

Cherry Soy Yogurt Smoothie

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