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5 SMOOTHIE AND LIQUID PAIRINGS TO AMP UP YOUR SMOOTHIES

Our smoothies taste great with just water,  but don't feel you just have to use H2O.  Add any unsweetened liquids to change the texture, flavour profile, and nutritionals of our smoothies. 

Based on our experience, we recommend a couple of  unsweetened liquid pairings that will elevate and heighten the flavour of our craft smoothies.

What To Use for Smoothie Pairings

Remember to use:

  • unsweetened versions of liquid 
  • adjust sweetness levels by adding more water 5ml increments at a time until you reach your desired sweetness  
Smoothie and Liquid Pairing Recommendations 
  • Alive + Coconut Milk makes for a very rich strawberry/rhubarb “mlyk  shake” 
  •  Flow + Almond Milk makes for a healthy “mango-lassi like” beverage 
  •  Power + Green Matcha tea (but make it cold) elevates this already healthy “pina coloda” into a more sophisticated antioxidant beverage 
  •  Love + Coconut Water creates a fiber enhancing electrolyte-enriched beverage, keeping your energy high longer 
  • Clarity + Kefir creates a probiotic powerhouse – the tartness of the kefir and sweetness of clarity creates a perfect “on the go breakfast alternative” 

Best Smoothie and Liquid Pairings for Living Farmacy Craft Smoothies

smoothie and liquid pairings table

Unsweetened Coconut Milk

Unsweetened coconut milk is an alternative to dairy milk as well as soy milk. It makes a smoothie thicker and creamier.

This liquid has as much calcium as dairy milk, it is a source of vitamin D, it does not contain dairy, soy, lactose, gluten, casein, or carrageenan, and there are no artificial colours as well as flavours.

Choose organic, where possible and unsweetened is a must. Avoid coconut milk with added sugars, preservatives such as sulfites, and artificial thickeners and stabilizers, such as guar gum.

Be aware of chemicals in packaging – such as BPA - Bisphenol A (BPA) is mainly used as a starting substance for polycarbonate plastics and epoxy resins. You can find BPA in most linings for metal food/beverage cans and metal closures for glass containers.  We recommend buying coconut milk in cartons.

Unsweetened Coconut Milk Options

One brand we use is the unsweetened Organic Coconut Milk by So Delicious Dairy Free. It comes in a carton. This brand adds 88.2 calories if you use 180ml of their coconut milk. Just open the seal and pour out the unsweetened coconut milk into the Alive smoothie.

Carton of organic unsweetened coconut milk.

We also like to use the lighter version of Cha’s Organic Coconut Milk.  Cha's Organics cans are actually BPA free! They are certified Fair Trade & Organic – When using this brand of organic coconut milk, we would use about 120ml of it – adding 240 calories and 60ml of water as the smoothie can be quite thick.    

Can of Chas organic coconut milk.

Adding unsweetened coconut milk to the Alive frozen smoothie makes it taste like a rich dessert. 

 

Unsweetened Almond Milk

Another amazing smoothie and liquid pairing is with unsweetened almond milk.  Unsweetened almond milk is made up of mainly filtered water and almonds. Thickening agents, include tapioca starch and carrageenan are additional ingredients that are often found in almond milk. You will also find an emulsifier known as sunflower lecithin in store bought almond milk, as this ingredient is used to help the almond from separating from the water. To enhance the flavour, sea salt and natural flavours are also added. Almond milk also contains vitamins and minerals like calcium carbonate, potassium citrate, vitamin A palmitate, vitamin D-2, zinc gluconate, vitamin B-2, and vitamin B-12. 

Unsweetened almond milk is typically lower in calories than other milks, free of saturated fat and it is a naturally lactose-free alternative to regular cow’s milk. Adding almond milk to the Flow smoothie gives it a bit more texture and makes it a bit creamier.

To select the best unsweetened almond milk, choose the unsweetened varieties preferably original flavour or natural vanilla flavour as sweetened and flavoured almond milk can add lots of calories and carbohydrates.

The best bet is an almond milk that lists 0 grams of sugar and has no sugars or sweeteners in the ingredients list. 

Almond milk can be available in supermarkets, but it is also easy to make at home. I love making almond milk at home and it super easy and takes less than 15-20 minutes. One recipe I follow is, How to Make Almond Milk” by the Minimalist Baker.

If you don’t have time to make your own almond milk, look for unsweetened with the fewest ingredient list, and is Carrageenan-free. Moreover, Carrageenan is a potentially inflammatory ingredient that is used in foods to thicken shelf life of specific foods and drinks.

Unsweetened Almond Milk Options

The brand that we use is Almond Breeze’s Unsweetened Original Almond Milk. Aditionally, if you suffer from diabetes or watch sugar intake, this is the good brand for you. Just open the seal and pour out the liquid into the smoothie.

unsweetened-almond-milk

Another option is Orgain Unsweetened Almond milk. It offers an option with protein. In addition, the protein is from peas, a popular source because of its smooth texture and quality source.

orgain-unsweetened-almond-milk

Almonds can help keep bones strong, strengthen muscles, reduce blood pressure, improve kidney and heart health, and boost immune system. 

For every 180mL of unsweetened almond milk added to the Flow frozen smoothie, 22.5 additional calories will be added.

Matcha Green Tea

For the Power smoothie, matcha green tea can be added to the smoothie instead of water.

Moreover, matcha green tea is known as a Japanese green tea made from powdered green tea leaves. It is most cultivated and produced within Japan. Additionally, the beverage is naturally unsweetened – if you do not personally add sugar to it.

In addition, natural occurring amino acids within the matcha can boost energy levels for many hours without any caffeine.

Furthermore, when selecting green matcha tea, buy if made in Japan. Japan has strict farming standards and rules that protect the powder’s integrity.

Look for organic grown matcha tea powder becuase they are higher quality and do not have harmful chemicals like pesticides and fertilizers.  To ensure your matcha tea is fresh, make sure the packaging is airtight and opaque and the colour is right green and not dull or light green.  When you taste the tea, the texture should feel smooth and not coarse and gritty 

There should also be a balance of vegetal notes and have a natural sweetness, emitting a mild, herbaceous aroma, avoiding bitter flavours. 

Unsweetened Matcha Green Tea Options

A best seller is the Matcha Green Tea from Organic Unsweetened Tea Drops. Moreover, it is sugar free and can kick start your morning or help power through afternoon with a calm alertness. The tea drops dissolves in hot and cold water. It comes with a tube that has 15 drops or a burlap bag containing 30. Just add the tea drops into water and boil, waiting to create the matcha green tea. Then add the matcha green tea to the Power frozen smoothie.

organic-unsweetened-matcha-green-tea

One other option is Unsweetened Japanese Matcha + Green Tea Energy Shot. It has a rich, and smooth taste. Simply pour the matcha green tea liquid and mix with the Power smoothie.

unsweetened-matcha-love

Another option is Uvernal Wellbeing’s Organic matcha green tea powder. Just add matcha green tea with hot water, wait for it to dissolve and set, then add the matcha green tea to Power smoothie.

uvernal-matcha-green-tea-powder

In addition, unsweetened matcha green tea is rich in antioxidants, gives you energy, promotes cardiovascular health, helps to boost brain function, increases memory and concentration, is a digestion enhancer, lowers cholesterol, provides relaxation, is a great source of energy, helps in weight loss, aids in preventing cancer, and aids in promoting liver health.  Matcha green tea is an perfect smoothie and liquid pairing alternative to amp up your drink.

Adding 180mL of unsweetened matcha green tea to the Power smoothie, only adds 1.8 calories to your smoothie. 

Unsweetened Coconut Water

Unsweetened coconut water creates a light, thirst quenching smoothing and liquid pairing for the Love smoothie.

This beverage is low in fat, has no added sugar and contains no cholesterol. Coconut water  is a natural thirst quencher as it is naturally hydrating.  

Fresh coconut water right from a raw coconut contains living enzymes which aid in digestion and metabolism.

Avoid using coconut water that contain additives and chemicals like metabisulphite, which are preservatives to make coconut water last longer and keep the colour consistent.

Stay away from coconut water from mature coconuts, as the nutrients are watered down, leaving a more acidic taste which leaves brands to use additives for the taste as young green coconuts are the better choice.

One brand that we use is Harmless Organic Coconut Water. Each bottle   has no extra ingredients and is closest you can come to drinking straight from a coconut. The colour is also naturally pink – as there are no additive preservatives that make the coconut water turn white. Simply combine 180ml of coconut water with the Love smoothie and blend.

harmless-organic-coconut-water

Unsweetened coconut water contains 0g of Trans fat, it is fat -free, saturated fat- free, cholesterol -free, low in sodium, contains not a high amount of fructose corn syrup, can be vegan, and is gluten- free.

For every 180mL of unsweetened coconut water added to the Love frozen smoothie, there is 26.1 additional calories to the smoothie.

Unsweetened Kefir

Kefir is fermented cow, goat, or sheep milk.  It is an excellent liquid pairing for the Clarity smoothie.

The name kefir comes from the Turkish word “keyif” which refers to “good feeling” that a person feels after drinking it. Kefir contains probiotic content which is a beneficial species of bacteria and other microbes.

Unsweetened kefir is all natural, it is up to 99% lactose-free, it is gluten free, and has high amounts of protein and calcium and has no added sugar. 

Unsweetened Kefir Options

One of the brands to use is Lifeway Kefir

lifeway-kefir

Another option is Maple Hill Kefir – Unsweetened.

maple-hill-kefir

 

When adding 180mL of unsweetened kefir into the Clarity frozen smoothie, the additional calories is 82.8 calories.

There are many ways in which you can 

Learn more about the health benefits of the other ingredients in our smoothies.  For any other questions or inquiries, contact Kim at kim@livingfarmacy.com.

 

References

  1. What is Coconut Milk? And Are you Using the Right Kind?,  com, By Alyse Whitney, October 2018.   
  2. Coconut milk, Wikipedia.
  3. What is coconut water and what’s behind the hype?, Mayo  Clinic, by Katherine Zeratsky, August 2021.  
  4. The Health Benefits of Coconut Water, healthessentials, September 2021.
  5. 9 Evidence-Based Health Benefits of Kefir, healthline, By Joe Leech, September 2018.
  6. Kefir: Health benefits, risks and how to make it, Medical News Today, by Aaron Kandola, December 2021.
  7. Kefir: Is it good for you?, WebMD, Reviewed by Dan Brennan, October 2020.
  8. Health Benefits of Unsweetened Vanilla Almond Milk – Research Studies, DrHealthBenefits.com, Reviewed by Dr. Heben’s Team.
  9. 7 Proven Ways Matcha Tea Improves Your Health, healthline, by Rachael Link, Feb 2020.
  10. All About Matcha, WebMD, Reviewed by Kathleen M. Zelman, June 2020  
  11. Matcha Powder Benefits: 7 ways to use matcha, University Health news, Daily, Reviewed by Chris Iliades, MD, June 2020.
  12. What is almond milk and is it good or bad for you?, healthline, by Katey Davidson, Jun 2019.
  13. Almond milk, Wikipedia
  14. Almond Milk: Nutrition & Benefits, Live Science, by Jessie Szalay, July 30, 2015.
  15. What is Unsweetened Almond Milk?, SFGate, by Matthew Lee  
  16. 7 benefits of almond milk, Medical News Today, by Atli Arnarson, Jun 2020.  
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