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Smoothie vs. Milkshake: What's the Difference?

Edited by Huma Saeed || By Sumera Saeed || Updated on October 23, 2023
A smoothie is a blended drink often containing fruits, vegetables, and yogurt, while a milkshake is a creamy beverage made primarily from milk, ice cream, and flavorings.

Key Differences

A smoothie is a beverage that is primarily composed of fruits, vegetables, and often additives such as yogurt, protein powders, or nut butters. The main intention behind a smoothie is to provide a nutritious drink that can sometimes replace a meal or be a supplement. On the other hand, a milkshake is typically a dessert drink made with milk, ice cream, and flavorings such as chocolate or fruit syrups. It's creamier in texture due to the ice cream content.
Sumera Saeed
Oct 23, 2023
The origin of the smoothie dates back to the early 20th century and became popular as health food options rose to prominence. Their versatility allows them to cater to a variety of diets, from vegan to high-protein. Milkshakes, however, have been a beloved treat for much longer, popularized in American diners and soda fountains in the 1920s. They are indulgent and often enjoyed as a treat rather than a health food.
Sumera Saeed
Oct 23, 2023
For many, smoothies are a way to incorporate more fruits and vegetables into their diet. They can be tailored to individual nutritional needs and often include superfoods or supplements. Milkshakes, in contrast, focus more on taste rather than health. With their ice cream base, they are often high in sugar and fat.
Sumera Saeed
Oct 23, 2023
Both smoothies and milkshakes are served cold and blended to a smooth texture. However, while smoothies often have a thicker, more pulpy texture due to whole fruits and vegetables, milkshakes have a velvety consistency from the churned ice cream.
Harlon Moss
Oct 23, 2023

Comparison Chart

Main Ingredients

Fruits, vegetables, yogurt or milk
Milk, ice cream, flavorings
Sumera Saeed
Oct 23, 2023
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Purpose

Nutritional drink, meal supplement or replacement
Dessert or treat
Sumera Saeed
Oct 23, 2023

Texture

Thicker due to pulpy fruits and vegetables
Creamy due to ice cream
Sumera Saeed
Oct 23, 2023

Health Focus

Often considered healthier, adaptable to diets
Typically high in sugar and fat
Aimie Carlson
Oct 23, 2023

Origins

Gained popularity in the 20th century as health food
Popularized in 1920s American diners
Harlon Moss
Oct 23, 2023

Smoothie and Milkshake Definitions

Smoothie

A thick drink often containing a mixture of fruits, vegetables, and additives like protein powders.
After his workout, he had a protein smoothie to aid muscle recovery.
Sumera Saeed
Oct 23, 2023
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Milkshake

A cold, sweet drink traditionally associated with American diners.
The diner's signature milkshake is a blend of vanilla, malt, and cherry.
Sumera Saeed
Oct 23, 2023

Smoothie

A liquid meal replacement or supplement, often consumed for health benefits.
Her green smoothie contains spinach, kale, and chia seeds.
Sumera Saeed
Oct 23, 2023

Milkshake

A velvety, indulgent drink often high in sugar and fat.
There's nothing like a milkshake to satisfy a sweet tooth.
Aimie Carlson
Oct 23, 2023

Smoothie

A blended beverage made from fruits and often combined with yogurt or milk.
She made a strawberry-banana smoothie for breakfast.
Huma Saeed
Oct 23, 2023

Milkshake

A dessert beverage often topped with whipped cream, syrups, or other treats.
Her milkshake was garnished with a cookie and a drizzle of caramel.
Sara Rehman
Oct 23, 2023

Smoothie

A cold drink made by blending fruits with ice, yogurt, or juice.
On a hot day, a cold smoothie is incredibly refreshing.
Janet White
Oct 23, 2023

Milkshake

A creamy beverage made by blending milk with ice cream and flavorings.
He ordered a chocolate milkshake with whipped cream on top.
Huma Saeed
Oct 23, 2023

Smoothie

A customizable drink that can cater to various dietary needs and preferences.
He ordered a vegan smoothie with almond milk and no honey.
Sara Rehman
Oct 23, 2023

Milkshake

A thick drink made by churning ice cream, milk, and optional add-ins.
The Oreo milkshake is their bestseller at the ice cream parlor.
Sumera Saeed
Oct 23, 2023

Smoothie

(Informal) A person regarded as being assured and artfully ingratiating in manner.
Sumera Saeed
Jul 12, 2020

Milkshake

A beverage that is made of milk, ice cream, and often flavoring and is blended or whipped until foamy. Also called shake; also called regionally cabinet, frappe, velvet.
Sumera Saeed
Jul 12, 2020

FAQs

Can smoothies be considered a meal?

Yes, smoothies can be tailored to be meal replacements, especially when enriched with proteins and fibers.
Sumera Saeed
Oct 23, 2023

Are milkshakes considered a dessert?

Yes, milkshakes are often viewed as a dessert beverage due to their sweet and indulgent nature.
Janet White
Oct 23, 2023

What makes a milkshake creamy?

The ice cream content in a milkshake gives it its creamy texture.
Huma Saeed
Oct 23, 2023

What's a green smoothie?

A green smoothie is a blend that primarily uses leafy greens like spinach or kale.
Janet White
Oct 23, 2023

What's the primary base for a smoothie?

A smoothie typically uses fruits, vegetables, and often yogurt or milk as its base.
Sumera Saeed
Oct 23, 2023

What's a malted milkshake?

A malted milkshake contains malt powder, giving it a distinct flavor and texture.
Harlon Moss
Oct 23, 2023

Can you make a milkshake without a blender?

While a blender gives the best consistency, one can manually mix ice cream and milk for a simpler milkshake.
Sara Rehman
Oct 23, 2023

Do smoothies always have dairy?

No, smoothies can use alternatives like almond, soy, or oat milk for a dairy-free option.
Sumera Saeed
Oct 23, 2023

Can a smoothie be vegan?

Yes, a smoothie can be made vegan by avoiding dairy and using plant-based alternatives.
Sara Rehman
Oct 23, 2023

Are smoothies gluten-free?

Smoothies can be gluten-free, but one should check additives and protein powders for gluten content.
Sumera Saeed
Oct 23, 2023

Can milkshakes be made without sugar?

Yes, milkshakes can be made with sugar substitutes or natural sweeteners like honey.
Sumera Saeed
Oct 23, 2023

Why are milkshakes called "shakes"?

The name "shake" refers to the traditional method of preparation where the ingredients were shaken together.
Sumera Saeed
Oct 23, 2023

Do all milkshakes have ice cream?

While traditional milkshakes use ice cream, some variants might use yogurt or other bases.
Janet White
Oct 23, 2023

How is a milkshake different from a float?

A milkshake is blended, while a float has soda poured over ice cream, creating a fizzy drink.
Harlon Moss
Oct 23, 2023

Can smoothies contain grains?

Yes, grains like oats can be added to smoothies for extra fiber and texture.
Sumera Saeed
Oct 23, 2023

Are milkshakes cold or hot?

Milkshakes are typically served cold.
Sumera Saeed
Oct 23, 2023

Can a smoothie contain nuts?

Yes, nuts or nut butters can be added to smoothies for flavor and nutrition.
Aimie Carlson
Oct 23, 2023

Which is typically healthier, a smoothie or a milkshake?

Smoothies are generally considered healthier due to their fruit and vegetable content, but it depends on the ingredients.
Janet White
Oct 23, 2023

What gives smoothies their thick consistency?

The pulpy nature of whole fruits and vegetables contributes to a smoothie's thick texture.
Sumera Saeed
Oct 23, 2023

Do milkshakes always have whipped cream?

No, whipped cream is an optional topping for milkshakes.
Janet White
Oct 23, 2023
About Author
Written by
Sumera Saeed
Sumera is an experienced content writer and editor with a niche in comparative analysis. At Diffeence Wiki, she crafts clear and unbiased comparisons to guide readers in making informed decisions. With a dedication to thorough research and quality, Sumera's work stands out in the digital realm. Off the clock, she enjoys reading and exploring diverse cultures.
Edited by
Huma Saeed
Huma is a renowned researcher acclaimed for her innovative work in Difference Wiki. Her dedication has led to key breakthroughs, establishing her prominence in academia. Her contributions continually inspire and guide her field.

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