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If you love smoothies, chances are that you’re using bananas in every single one. There are so many incredible substitutes for bananas in smoothies. Bananas are great, but they tend to be high in sugar and cause a blood sugar spike.
Don’t get me wrong, I love bananas! They’re a great source of fiber, potassium, and B vitamins. If you’re like me and need a great substitute for bananas in smoothies to get that creamy factor, I’ve come up with 6 amazing alternatives. Try these out until you find one that works for you. Chances are you’ll be buying fewer bananas when you see how tasty, thick, and creamy these are.
Avocado slices are an excellent way to get a thick, creamy smoothie. It is a great way to get that milkshake texture quality to your smoothies, and other flavors easily mask it. I generally will use 1/4 haas avocado and flavor it up with protein powder, berries, cocoa powder, or stevia.
2. Frozen Veggies
This is hands down one of my favorite tricks for getting a thick smoothie without a banana. Freeze cubed zucchini and cucumbers in a large freezer safe bag and keep them stocked in your freezer as you would freeze banana slices. When they freeze, they lose their veggie taste and instead act like ice cubes that make your smoothies creamy without watering them down. They make the most intensely thick, ice-cream like smoothies, and you’ll never taste the actual veggie in them if you flavor the smoothie the right way. Sweeten your smoothie with cocoa powder, stevia, berries or flavored protein powder if you want a sweeter smoothie like banana-flavored smoothies offer.
3. Frozen Greens
Just like frozen veggies, using frozen greens like spinach and kale versus fresh is an excellent way to make a thick, creamy smoothie. You’ll want to use about a ½ cup more liquid such as unsweetened almond milk (or liquid base) when you use frozen greens, since they make thick and creamy smoothies. Frozen greens are my daily go-to trick for getting in a thick smoothie.
4. Canned Pumpkin
Canned pumpkin as one of the best substitutes for bananas in smoothies. It’ll leave your smoothie uber creamy! I like to use about a ½ cup organic canned pumpkin to thicken a smoothie like a banana. Add a little stevia to sweeten it up. The smoothie won’t taste like pumpkin especially if you use ingredients like berries, cocoa powder, vanilla protein powder, and stevia. Plus, pumpkin is rich in Vitamin A, fiber, and potassium.
5. Frozen Yogurt Cubes
Freeze yogurt into ice cube trays and put them in the freezer until they are frozen. They will thicken a smoothie fast and give you that frozen yogurt texture straight out of the blender. I love this trick for making healthy ice cream and healthy frozen yogurt at home. It is even better in a smoothie as a thickening agent. It makes your smoothies more like ice cream smoothies you can eat with a spoon versus drink out of straw. Use about 5-6 frozen yogurt cubes per banana you would use in a recipe.
Though mango isn’t lower in sugar than bananas, it makes the perfect substitute if you’re tired of bananas. They really make a creamy smoothie.
Looking for a great smoothie recipe? Try this one!
40g oat bran
1/4 ripe avocado
1/4 medium ripe banana, previously sliced and frozen
30g fresh or frozen blueberries (roughly 1/2 cup)
1 large handfuls spinach
1 small handful baby kale
8-12oz water (this will depend on if your berries are frozen)
1 scoop VegaOne Viva Vanilla Protein
1 teaspoon ginger
1 teaspoon bee pollen
Green, green, and greener… use strawberries/raspberries for a greener #smoothie, darker berries for a purple smoothie.
There are many other ways to thicken a smoothie without a banana, but these are my favorite ways of all since they give great results with little effort. What are your favorite ways to thicken a smoothie without bananas?
I'm an Integrative Nutrition Health Coach and Registered Yoga Teacher (RYT-200), offering guidance to high achievers in aligning their lifestyle with well-being through daily wellness and self-care routines, promoting balance and harmony. Join me at Wellness Bum for tips on living well, and consider subscribing to my newsletter or booking a coaching session.