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Are you following a smoothie recipe that uses bananas, but you don’t have any bananas in your kitchen? Don’t panic.
You can still make great smoothies by simply using one of these 16 banana substitutes for smoothies.
These ingredients all make great banana substitutes, allowing you to enjoy the benefits that bananas bring to a smoothie, even when you’re out of bananas.
- Benefits that bananas add to a smoothie
- Substitutes for bananas in smoothies
- Common Questions About Bananas in Smoothies
- Top Choice: The Best Banana Substitute for Smoothies
Benefits of Bananas in Smoothies
Aside from their taste, there are at least seven reasons you might want to add banana to a smoothie.
- Creamy texture – Bananas are soft but firm, which makes them perfect for adding a making creamier smoothies.
- Sweetness – Like other fruits, bananas add a sweet flavor to a smoothie, which can complement and offset flavors from other ingredients, such as bitter vegetables. Bananas are one of the best ways to sweeten a smoothie!
- Volume – A banana will really bulk out a smoothie, making it more filling and giving you a drink to enjoy for longer.
- Thickness – Unlike many other fruits, bananas don’t contain juice. This means that bananas make your smoothie thicker, adding body to the smoothie without adding significant amounts of liquid.
- Potassium – Bananas are rich in potassium and other nutrients that are good for you. Potassium helps to move nutrients into cells and remove waste products from cells while also regulating fluids within the body, helping muscles to contract, and helping nerves to fire properly.
- Soluble fiber – Bananas contain high amounts of soluble fiber, which can help to moderate blood sugar levels after meals. The only downside of fiber is that it can make a smoothies foamy, but high fiber smoothies are super healthy!
- Dietary fiber – Bananas also contain fiber that helps to aid digestion, which is a great smoothie benefit!
When choosing a banana substitute for your smoothie, we’re looking for an ingredient that delivers as many of these benefits as possible.
In particular, to create a smoothie with a similar character to one containing banana, we’ll need a substitute ingredient that produces a thick and creamy texture.
16 Substitutes for Bananas in Smoothies
No banana substitute will ever be exactly the same as adding banana to your smoothie, but all of the ingredients below offer at least some of the same benefits.
Like banana, mango has a mild flavor and is good for making a smoothie thick and creamy. I recommend using frozen mango as a banana substitute, as frozen fruit provides an even creamier texture than fresh fruit.
Pineapple is sweeter than banana and contains more juice. However, it can still be used as a banana substitute in a smoothie. It’s best to freeze your pineapple before adding it to your smoothie, as this will produce a creamier texture.
Peaches are a great alternative to bananas in smoothies. They provide sweetness and texture, as well as thickness. As with the other fruits on this list, frozen peaches, rather than fresh peaches, will provide a creamier texture that is more similar to banana.
Avocado is another creamy and nutrient-dense fruit that makes a great banana substitute. It’s rich in monounsaturated fats, fiber, and potassium. Avocado is also one of the easiest ways to make a smoothie smoother which is why it’s one of our favorite banana substitutes for making your smoothie extra creamy.
Avocados do a great job balancing out veggies so if you’re making one of our kale smoothie recipes then this is the best banana substitute for you! They are also super popular in diabetic smoothies because they are zero carb.
5. Sweet potatoes
Sweet potatoes are a good substitute for bananas in smoothies because they have a creamy, velvety texture that makes them ideal for blending and adding body to a smoothie. Sweet potatoes are also packed with nutrients and antioxidants, just like bananas – making it one of the best banana substitutes for smoothies.
6. Soaked cashews
Soaked cashews can be a great banana substitute in smoothies, as they have a rich, creamy texture and a mild flavor. They also add protein, healthy fats, and other nutrients to your smoothie.
Oats are a great banana substitute in smoothies because they add thickness and texture, as well as fiber. They are especially good in breakfast smoothies, providing sustained energy throughout the morning. Oats are also one of the best ways to add protein to smoothies.
8. Chia seeds
Chia seeds can thicken and add texture to smoothies, making them a good substitute for bananas. They are also high in fiber, protein, and healthy fats.
9. Coconut cream
Coconut cream is a rich and creamy ingredient that can add a tropical flavor and texture to your smoothie, making it a good banana substitute. It’s also high in healthy fats and, like banana, can help you feel full for longer. This is super popular on our list of keto smoothies as well!
Coconut creamy is thicker so it can help keep smoothies from separating.
10. Greek yogurt
Greek yogurt is a protein-rich and tangy ingredient that can help to thicken your smoothie and make it creamy. It’s also a good source of calcium and probiotics. Greek yogurt is one of the most popular ingredients on our list of high protein smoothies without protein powder!
Cauliflower is a surprising but effective banana substitute in smoothies. When blended from frozen, it has a neutral flavor and a creamy texture that blends well with other ingredients. It’s also a good source of fiber, vitamins, and minerals. Cauliflower is also one of the best vegetables for smoothies!
12. Cottage cheese
Cottage cheese is a protein-rich ingredient that can help to thicken and add creaminess to your smoothie. It’s also a good source of protein, B vitamins, and minerals like calcium, selenium, and phosphorus.
Cottage cheese is also on our list of substitutes for yogurt in smoothies!
13. Silken tofu
Silken tofu is a soft and smooth type of tofu that can add creaminess and protein to your smoothie. It’s also low in calories and high in iron and calcium.
Zucchini is a low-calorie and nutrient-rich ingredient that can add texture and thickness to your smoothie, making it a good banana substitute. It’s also high in fiber, vitamins, and minerals.
Squash, like zucchini, is a low-calorie and nutrient-packed ingredient. Winter squash is full of fiber, vitamin A, and potassium, while summer squash contains plenty of B vitamins and vitamin C.
16. Canned pumpkin
Canned pumpkin is a sweet and nutritious banana substitute. It’s also high in fiber, vitamins, and antioxidants. Its taste is sweet like banana and mild but stronger than banana.
Canned pumpkin is great for making thicker smoothies so if that’s what you’re looking for then it’s one of the best banana substitutes for smoothies for you!
Common Questions About Bananas in Smoothies
Banana in a smoothie can be replaced by any ingredient that makes the smoothie thick and creamy, ideally without adding too much flavor. Frozen fruit is a good option, though vegetables like sweet potato can also work, as can yogurt and cream cheese.
The best way to make a smoothie thicker without bananas is to use yogurt. Alternatively, one or two spoonfuls of chia seeds are an excellent option for thickening a smoothie without using either banana or yogurt.
Bananas are one of the healthiest fruits you can eat, as they are full of antioxidants and nutrients, including high levels of potassium. If you want an alternative healthy fruit for your smoothie, consider kiwis, mangoes, or cantaloupes.
Top Choice: The Best Banana Substitute for Smoothies
Many different ingredients can act as a substitute for banana in a smoothie. However, only a few ingredients provide all of the benefits of banana, including sweetness, thickness, and a creamy texture.
My three favorite banana substitutes for smoothies are:
- Frozen mango – Like banana, mango is sweet but has a mild flavor. It contains a relatively low amount of juice compared to some fruits, which makes it good for thickening smoothies. And it can be cubed and frozen before blending, which helps give the smoothie a creamy texture.
- Avocado – Avocados are great for replicating the texture benefits of bananas. They’ll help your smoothies be thicker, creamier, and smoother. The macronutrient profile is very different. Avocados are almost purely a source of fat content while bananas are purely carbs.
- Sweet potatoes – Sweet potatoes can add a super creamy texture to your smoothies and they can make them thicker! They’re also a great source of healthy carbs. The main difference is the sweetness and the nutrient content.
Any frozen fruit is a good choice as a banana substitute, but all things considered, frozen mango has to be my number one choice.