Substitutes for aloe vera juice are green smoothies, coconut water, and kombucha. For savory dishes, replace aloe vera’s flesh and crunchy skin with nopales, green pepper, or cucumber. Replace aloe vera gel with nata de coco or konjac jelly in desserts.
Aloe vera is a well-known ingredient in facial products and supplements, while aloe vera juice is a popular health drink. The gel and skin are commonly eaten as a vegetable in Asian and Caribbean cuisine. If you can’t find fresh, spiny leaves, here are the eight best substitutes for aloe vera.
A green smoothie is a delicious and healthy substitute for aloe vera juice or an aloe vera smoothie.
The best green smoothies are made from the whole fruit or vegetable, which preserves the fiber and the nutrients in the skin or peel.
Green smoothies typically contain leafy greens, like spinach, kale, arugula, collards, and parsley. Other common additions are ginger, lemons, carrots, celery, beets, and apples.
Freshly made, these beverages are high in vitamins, minerals, antioxidants, and fiber. If you use more vegetables than fruit, they will be low in sugar and cholesterol.
Green smoothies are an excellent alternative to aloe vera juice because they also help digestion, reduce inflammation, and stabilize blood sugar.
Substitute a hearty green smoothie for your daily shot of aloe vera juice, and you’ll get all the benefits and more.
Another alternative to aloe vera juice is refreshing coconut water.
Coconut water is the clear fluid from the inside of coconuts. It differs from coconut milk, which contains coconut flesh as well.
The benefits of coconut water are that it is hydrating, is low in sugar, cholesterol, and calories, and has a sweet, nutty taste.
In addition, coconut water contains potassium, magnesium, and antioxidants, which aid in digestion, prevent kidney stones, and stabilize blood sugar.
If you want a hydrating alternative to aloe vera, substitute it with coconut water. Drinking too much aloe vera juice can have a laxative effect.
A third possible substitute for aloe vera juice is the nutritional powerhouse kombucha.
Kombucha is a bubbly, slightly tart, somewhat sweet tea. A bacterial starter called SCOBY is added to green or black tea and then left to ferment to produce this beverage.
Because it is a fermented product, kombucha is excellent for gut health, contains high antioxidant levels, and is full of B vitamins.
Like aloe vera juice, kombucha stabilizes blood sugar and reduces inflammation.
Replace your aloe vera with kombucha if you want a sweeter beverage with similar health benefits.
Nopales is the Spanish name for the pads of the prickly pear cactus. They make a tasty substitute for the aloe vera plant’s flesh or mesophyll and skin.
Popular in Mexican cuisine, nopales is highly nutritious, rich in calcium, niacin, riboflavin, copper, iron, fiber, vitamins B, C, and K, potassium, magnesium, and manganese. The vegetable also contains phytochemicals.
Eating nopales can regulate digestion, aid in weight loss, boost the immune and metabolic systems, improve bone density and heart health, and reduce inflammation.
Nopales have a milder flavor than aloe vera, which can be pretty herbaceous. Nopales taste somewhat like asparagus, with a thick, crunchy texture.
This texture makes nopales an ideal substitute for aloe vera raw in salads, cooked in stews, or in a vegetarian taco filling with tomatoes and onions.
Another handy substitute for aloe vera flesh and skin is green bell peppers.
Green peppers are a versatile pantry staple and a healthy vegetable to include in various dishes. They contain a punch of vitamins A, B, C, and K, and they also have high levels of fiber and antioxidants.
Eating green peppers helps boost your immune and digestive systems and reduces inflammation.
Because they have a similarly crunchy texture and slightly bitter flavor, green peppers can substitute for aloe vera in salsa, salads, stir-fries, curries, and omelets.
Cucumber is an ideal substitute for aloe vera flesh and skin.
Cucumbers are a popular vegetable with their refreshing, gentle flavor and satisfying crispness.
They are also filled with goodness, especially potassium, vitamin C, and fiber. These nutrients are primarily in the skin of the cucumber, while the flesh is 95% water.
Cucumbers are very low in calories, decrease inflammation, and improve heart and immune system health.
While they are not as nutritious as aloe vera, cucumbers make a good substitute on crudité platters with dips, salads, and crunchy topping for chili or soup.
Nata De Coco
Nata de coco is a fantastic alternative to aloe vera’s gelatinous flesh.
A uniquely Filipino specialty that has gained popularity worldwide, nata de coco is made from fermented coconut water. Fermentation transforms the coconut water into a soft, chewy jelly.
Nata de coco is surprisingly healthy, containing probiotics from the fermentation process and lots of fiber. It is suitable for those on keto diets and people with diabetes, so long as you avoid sweetened versions.
Like aloe vera gel, nata de coco is translucent, has a firm, jelly-like texture, and can be cut into cubes.
You can eat nata de coco plain, but you can also buy several flavors, shapes, and colors of this yummy jelly.
Use nata de coco instead of aloe vera gel cubes in desserts like fruit salads or served over yogurt.
Jelly made from the konjac tuber is a handy substitute for aloe vera gel.
The konjac plant, snake palm, or elephant’s yam has a sizeable starchy root known as a corm, the section people eat.
Extremely high in a fiber called glucomannan, konjac is well-known as a dietary and medicinal supplement in Chinese and Japanese medicine and cuisine.
Konjac is excellent for managing weight, cholesterol, and diabetes and supports a healthy gut and digestive system.
People eat the konjac corm in the form of noodles but also make flour and jelly from it, notably the Japanese konnyaku cake and the American lychee cup (which also contains nata de coco).
Use konjac jelly instead of aloe vera gel in desserts like fruit jellies or served over ice cream. Note that konjac jelly powder will set like gelatin, but aloe vera gel is gelatinous in texture and can’t be used in the same way.