What is the liquid to put in a fruit smoothie?

Quick Answers

The most common liquids used in fruit smoothies are:

  • Milk – dairy or non-dairy like almond, soy or oat milk
  • Yogurt – plain or flavored yogurt adds creaminess
  • Juice – orange, apple, pineapple or other fruit juices
  • Water – helps blend the ingredients
  • Ice – cools the smoothie down

Other possible smoothie liquids include kefir, coconut water, nut milks, protein powders mixed with water or milk, avocado, silken tofu, and more. The liquid you choose depends on the flavor and nutrition you want in your smoothie. Dairy milks, juices, yogurt, and ice are good starter liquids for basic fruit smoothies.

Why Do You Need Liquid in a Fruit Smoothie?

Liquid is an essential ingredient in fruit smoothies for several reasons:

  • Allows smooth blending – The liquid helps the solid ingredients like fruit and ice blend together smoothly.
  • Provides creaminess and texture – Liquids like milk and yogurt create a creamy, thick texture.
  • Enhances flavor – Juices, yogurt, and other liquids impart their own flavors.
  • Makes the smoothie pourable – Without enough liquid, the smoothie would be too thick.
  • Aids in nutrition – Many smoothie liquids like milk and yogurt provide important nutrients.

Without proper liquid, a fruit smoothie would be too thick to drink and the flavors and textures would not blend together appropriately. The liquid provides the right consistency and helps incorporate everything into a drinkable beverage.

Milk Options for Fruit Smoothies

Dairy milk and non-dairy milks are excellent smoothie liquids that add creaminess, protein, vitamins, and enhance the flavor. Here are some top milk options:

Dairy Milk

  • Whole milk – Highest fat and creaminess
  • 2% reduced fat milk – Lower fat but still creamy
  • Skim milk – Lowest fat, lighter texture

Any type of dairy milk works well in smoothies. Whole milk provides richer texture and taste if you want an ultra-creamy smoothie. 2% or skim are lighter options.

Non-Dairy Milks

  • Soy milk – Creamy, protein-rich
  • Almond milk – Nutty flavor, light texture
  • Oat milk – Smooth, mildly sweet
  • Coconut milk – Very creamy, coconut flavor

Non-dairy milks add great nutrition like protein, vitamins, and healthy fats. Their flavors also enhance the fruit and other ingredients. Soy and almond are very popular. Coconut milk is excellent for creamy smoothies.

Avoid Condensed Milk

Condensed milk should be avoided as it contains very high sugar, ruining the nutritional benefit. Opt for regular dairy or non-dairy milks instead.

Yogurt Smoothie Options

Plain or flavored yogurt is an excellent addition to fruit smoothies. Benefits include:

  • Thick, creamy texture
  • Probiotics for gut health
  • Protein and calcium
  • Tangy flavor compliments fruit

Some top yogurt choices include:

  • Greek yogurt – Very high protein, thick texture
  • Whole milk yogurt – Smooth and creamy
  • Low fat yogurt – Lower calories but still creamy
  • Flavored yogurt – Adds flavor like strawberry, vanilla, or lemon

Greek yogurt provides an extra protein punch. Flavored yogurts like strawberry pair well with complementary fruits. Avoid yogurts with added sugars at the bottom of the ingredients list.

Fruit Juice Options for Smoothies

Fruit juice is the classic liquid base for many smoothies. Juice provides fruit flavor and sweetness along with vitamins and antioxidants. These are healthy juice options:

  • Orange juice – Fresh squeezed is best
  • Pineapple juice – Sweetness and tropical flavor
  • Apple juice – Tart and refreshing
  • Grapefruit juice – Tangy citrus
  • Pomegranate juice – Sweet-tart and rich in antioxidants

For the most nutrients, look for 100% fruit juices without any added sugars. Orange, apple, and pineapple are typical starter juices. Get creative with grapefruit, pomegranate, mango, cherry, or other juices too.

Avoid Juice Cocktail Drinks

Many mixed juice cocktails or punches contain lots of added sugar and little real fruit juice. These should be avoided for healthy smoothies. Read labels and make sure you get natural, 100% fruit juice.

Using Water in Fruit Smoothies

Water may seem like a boring smoothie liquid, but it serves several useful purposes:

  • Allows smooth blending and right consistency
  • Stretches more concentrated juices or milks
  • Creates lighter, more refreshing smoothies
  • Allows you to add more fruit and nutrients
  • Keeps calories and sugar lower

Water helps the blender incorporate solid ingredients smoothly. A little water also balances thick juices or milks. For lower calorie smoothies focus on water over juices.

Avoid Unfiltered Tap Water

Tap water can contain impurities and chlorine that alter the taste. Use filtered water or spring water for purest flavor.

Using Ice in Fruit Smoothies

Ice is both a liquid ingredient and provides chilling to make smoothies cold beverages. Benefits of adding ice include:

  • Cools the smoothie for a refreshing drink
  • Creates thicker texture when blended
  • Dilutes stronger flavors from juices or yogurt
  • Crunchy texture if you blend minimally
  • Inexpensive and readily available

Ice is also useful if you lack refrigerated liquids since it cools down room temperature ingredients quickly when blended.

Ice Cube Types

These kinds of ice work well:

  • Standard ice cubes – Easy to use and blend
  • Crushed ice – Blends faster for very cold smoothies
  • Flavored ice – Interesting in smoothies like raspberry or peach ice

Avoid peculiar shaped novelty ice cubes as they may not crush appropriately. Standard ice cubes or crushed ice blend best.

Additional Smoothie Liquid Options

Beyond the most common smoothie liquids highlighted already, there are many possible options to experiment with:

  • Coconut water – For natural sweetness and electrolytes
  • Nut milks like almond, cashew or pecan – For richness
  • Seeds like chia or flaxseeds – For thickness and nutrition
  • Avocado – For creaminess and healthy fats
  • Kefir – A tangy cultured milk
  • Silken tofu – Blends smoothly for protein
  • Vegetable juice like carrot or tomato – For nutrition

Feel free to mix and match juices, milks, yogurt, and other creative liquids to craft your own signature smoothies.

Smoothie Liquid Ideas by Fruit

Certain liquids pair better with particular fruits depending on their flavors. Try these suggested combinations:

Fruit Best Liquid Pairs
Strawberry Yogurt, almond milk, apple juice, ice
Banana Milk, yogurt, peanut butter, ice
Mango Pineapple juice, orange juice, coconut milk
Blueberry Yogurt, pomegranate juice, lemon juice, ice
Peach Yogurt, apple juice, mango juice, ice
Pineapple Orange juice, coconut water, crushed ice
Mixed berries Milk, lemon yogurt, honey, ice

Feel free to mix up your own favorite fruit and liquid pairings. The possibilities are endless for yummy combinations!

Smoothie Consistency Troubleshooting

The liquid ingredients have a big impact on your smoothie’s consistency. Here’s how to get the texture right:

  • Too thick – Add more liquid like milk, juice or water
  • Too thin or watery – Use less liquid or add ice
  • Not smooth – Add more liquid or blend longer
  • Grainy – Use ripe fruits and blend thoroughly
  • Separating – Add a banana or yogurt for emulsification

Consistency comes down to the ratio of fruits and liquids to find the right balance. Keep adjusting the ingredients until you achieve a drinkable texture that suits your preference.

Nutrition Facts of Common Smoothie Liquids

Choosing nutritious liquids is key to healthy smoothies. Here are nutrition facts for popular bases per 8 oz serving:

Liquid Calories Carbs Protein Fat
2% milk 122 12g 8g 5g
Almond milk 39 2g 1g 3g
Orange juice 112 25g 2g 0g
Apple juice 114 28g 0g 0g
Coconut water 46 9g 2g 0g
Greek yogurt 100 6g 17g 0g

Compare nutrition facts to pick liquids that fit your health goals, whether boosting protein, limiting carbs and sugar, or avoiding dairy.


The liquid ingredients are crucial components of any fruit smoothie. They allow proper blending, impart flavor and nutrition, and give the right creamy, drinkable texture. Popular smoothie liquids include dairy milk, non-dairy milks, yogurt, ice, and fruit juices like orange and apple juice. Coconut milk, kefir, and protein powders can also be used. Choose liquids to complement your fruit and flavor preferences as the options are endless for creating nourishing smoothie creations. Use the proper ratios and blending techniques to achieve your perfect fruit smoothie consistency.

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