Bananas and smoothies. Name a more iconic duo — we’ll wait.
It’s no secret: we’re bananas for bananas, especially in smoothies! Bananas are kind of like blank canvases in smoothies: they pair well with pretty much everything. They also add a natural sweetness as well as a creamy texture, even more so when you freeze them ahead of time.
While we obviously like bananas a whole bunch, some people can’t have them due to allergies. Or they simply don’t find them a-peeling.
Just because you can’t eat or don’t like bananas doesn’t mean you can’t enjoy a nice super smoothie!
9 banana substitutes in smoothies
Mango is one of the most common substitutes for bananas in smoothies. It has a pretty mild flavor. Because it’s not as juicy as most fruits, mango is great at creating a creamy texture. Use about 1 cup of frozen mango to replace 1 banana.
Pineapple is the best of both worlds: a natural smoothie thickener and a natural sweetener. Just make sure the pineapple in your smoothies is frozen — it’s the best way to guarantee a creamy pineapple dream!
Like bananas, avocadoes add a creamy or velvety texture to smoothies. They also have a mild taste that can easily be covered up. Avocados work best in smoothies with greens, like kale and spinach, berries and chocolate. Start by adding half an avocado to your smoothie — you can always add more to get the consistency you prefer. Unlike bananas, avocados aren’t sweet, so you may need to add dates or sweetener.
Super Tip: If you notice your avocado is getting too ripe, cut it up and freeze it. When you’re ready to make your smoothie, all you have to do is add it to your blender. (This also reduces food waste!)
4. Sweet potatoes
Cooked sweet potatoes? In a smoothie!? Don’t knock it until you try it.
Not only will sweet potatoes add some rich and creaminess to your smoothies, they’ll also add a hint of sweetness. Sweet potatoes work really well with chocolate, berries, like blueberries and acai, as well as citrus fruits.
To use this sweet substitution, add ½ cup of cooked sweet potato. When it’s in season, you could also use canned pumpkin puree (not the canned pumpkin pie mix).
5. Soaked cashews
If you’ve ever made cashew cream cheese, then you know how thick and creamy cashews can get when they’re blended. The same applies to adding cashews to your smoothies! For the best results, soak the cashews overnight. However, if you forget to do that, you can speed things up by soaking the cashews in hot water for 10 minutes. You can also throw them into your blender without soaking.
Super Tip: Adding nut butters to your smoothies will also work! (We love almond butter.)
Oats aren’t just for oatmeal! Adding ¼ cup of rolled oats to your smoothie will not only act as a thickener, it will also provide you with more dietary fiber.
7. Chia seeds
When you add chia seeds to any liquid, they swell, which means they’re the perfect natural smoothie thickener. (If you’ve ever made Forever Beautiful water, you’ve probably noticed the chia seeds swell and create a gel-like texture.) Simply add 1-2 tbsp chia seeds to your blender when making your smoothie.
Super Tip: If you’re using chia seeds to thicken your smoothie, don’t let it sit too long. The chia seeds will turn your smoothie into a thick pudding and may require a spoon.
8. Coconut Cream
As the name suggests, coconut cream is another easy way to add creaminess to your smoothies. (We also love adding it to our Forever Beautiful acai bowls!) For a supreme cream, add 1-2 tbsp of coconut cream to your smoothies.
Yogurt is naturally creamy, so it should come as no surprise that it could be a good addition to your smoothies. Our favorite is coconut yogurt!
Super Tip: Yogurts are notorious for containing a lot of added sugar. Look for yogurts with minimal added sugars or make your own!
5 banana-free smoothie recipes you'll love
Get blending (without bananas) with these banana-free superfood smoothies!
This summer-inspired smoothie only requires 4 ingredients and none of them are bananas.
If you like piña coladas… you’re going to love this healthy piña colada smoothie! One sip and you’ll be instantly transported to a banana-less tropical oasis.
Nourish your skin from the inside out with this berry smoothie. It also has a surprise ingredient: beet!
A deliciously indulgent recipe to bring back memories of all the good times spent with your grandma.
Start your day with a healthy, delicious and fibre-rich smoothie with this kiwi and green veggies smoothie.