Do Smoothies Have Milk? (The Full Story)

Have you ever wondered whether a smoothie has got milk in it, or if they are safe for vegans and those with lactose intolerance to drink? Finding this out is important if you’ve got dietary restrictions to take into consideration!

Many smoothies do contain milk because they need a liquid base to thin the fruit and make the drink liquid enough to sip or suck through a straw. This liquid base does not have to be milk, but milk is commonly used because it is creamy, and tends to have nutrients. However, you can make a smoothie with no milk!

In this article, we’ll explore how smoothies are made, what you can use instead of milk, and how to make a delicious smoothie that’s completely free from milk.

Do Smoothies Usually Contain Milk?


A lot of smoothies contain milk, and if you are going to purchase a smoothie while you’re out and about, you need to make sure you have checked the ingredients. It is pretty common for places to include milk in their smoothies because it makes the smoothies taste great and it’s a relatively cheap ingredient.

Of course, there are plenty of other liquids that can be added to smoothies, including:

  • Plant-based milk
  • Fruit juice
  • Water
  • Vegetable juice
  • Yogurt
  • Blended ice

There are different pros and cons associated with each of these ingredients, of course. For example, water might make your smoothie taste thin and bland, rather than complementing the other flavors. On the other hand, it’s a cheap and calorie-free ingredient to add.

Yogurt might be too thick for some smoothies, but it will bump up the creaminess and it’s a great way to take advantage of some probiotic properties. Vegetable juice and fruit juice are great, but they need to be chosen carefully to make sure they match the rest of the ingredients. Selecting the right liquid to thin your smoothie makes a big difference to the taste.

Why Might You Use Milk In A Smoothie?

There are multiple reasons for adding milk to smoothies, and it has become a popular choice partly because it is so versatile. It goes well with pretty much any combination of fruits, and it can be used to mellow out sour flavors and enrich sweet ones. It pairs with citrus fruits and berries, and it’s therefore easy to add to almost any recipe.

It is also tasty and readily available, so a lot of commercial retailers use milk. They can add it to smoothies without having to worry about what other ingredients are used, and they know that a lot of customers will enjoy it.

Furthermore, milk is viewed as a pretty healthy option, containing both vitamin D and calcium. That encourages a lot of people to drink it, and it’s thought to be particularly good for kids, who are still building their bones. Fruit smoothies have therefore become a very popular choice for a healthy drink for children.

Of course, a lot of people cannot drink milk or don’t want to drink milk for ethical reasons, so it’s important to consider the alternative liquids that can be used. More and more companies are starting to offer alternatives, but if you haven’t got anywhere local to buy lactose-free smoothies, you can easily make them at home.

What Should You Add Instead Of Milk?

This depends on what effect you want to achieve with your smoothie. If you are looking to reproduce the creamy flavor, you could try some yogurt, which tends to be easier to digest than milk. It is sourer, but it will go nicely with the fruit and should create a delicious smoothie.

However, if you want to cut the milk out entirely, you can try creamy plant milk instead. Fortunately, there are a great many options available now. Consider:

  • Almond milk
  • Soy milk
  • Hazelnut milk
  • Oat milk
  • Coconut milk
  • Pea milk
  • Cashew milk
  • Rice milk
  • Hemp milk

Any of these will make your smoothie creamier, although you may want to try different options to see which one most appeals to you. Some have more distinctive flavors than others, and it’s worth testing to see which you enjoy. If you are trying to cut out milk for environmental reasons, you might also want to do some research into the most ethical and lowest impact options.

Alternatively, if you fancy a more fruity drink, consider adding fruit juice or vegetable juice to your smoothie. This will increase the health factor, but you will need to choose your juice with care to make sure it matches your other ingredients. For example, don’t pour tomato juice into a strawberry smoothie!

Do Restaurants Use Plant Milks In Smoothies?

Although cow’s milk is still the default in most places, plant milks are quickly becoming popular and many more places are starting to offer them, or even defaulting to them. If you want to get a smoothie at a cafe, see if they can make it using plant milk. They may only have some of the more common options (like soy or almond), but most now offer this.

An increasing number of chains and small cafes are becoming aware of the growing demand for vegan options, and you should be able to find somewhere that can make a vegan smoothie with relative ease. There is minimal difference between a milk smoothie and one made with plant milk, so this is an easy swap for them to make.

If you are fully vegan and not just looking to eliminate milk, remember to check that they don’t use honey or other non-vegan ingredients in their smoothies.


Smoothies are often made with milk, which can be a problem for people with lactose intolerance, or people who are vegan. However, an increasing number of places are starting to offer milk-free smoothies, thanks to growing awareness about environmental issues, and an increase in people who suffer from lactose intolerance. Hopefully, this trend will continue.

Hey there! My name is Alex and I've been vegan for over five years! I've set up this blog because I'm passionate about veganism and living a more spiritually fulfilling life where I'm more in tune with nature. Hopefully, I can use Vegan Foundry as a channel to help you out on your own journey!