Delicious, Healthy, Creamy Green Smoothie Recipes Without Bananas - Delishably - Food and Drink
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Delicious, Healthy, Creamy Green Smoothie Recipes Without Bananas

Rose is a full-time freelance writer who frequently writes about education, special education, DIY projects, food, Milwaukee, and more.

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Are you looking for green smoothie recipes that do not have bananas? Whether you've just gotten on a smoothie kick, or you've been drinking smoothies for years, it most likely did not take you very long to figure out that it's hard to find smoothie recipes without bananas. Whether you are avoiding bananas because of their high glycemic index, cutting hybrid fruit out of your diet, or you simply don't like the flavor and/or texture of bananas, it can be a frustrating process to find recipes that you can use. The good news is that there are recipes out there as well as a lot of great tips for making substitutions and building your own concoctions from scratch. You'll still be able to enjoy healthy, gluten-free, and vegan drinks without any unwanted ingredients. Enjoy!

Please note that I did not write this article because I wanted to debate the health benefits of bananas. Personally, I simply don't like the flavor or smell and consequently have spent a lot of time researching this topic. It is completely up to you whether you do or do not eat them and why you make those choices. Thanks!

Substitutions

One reason that bananas are such a popular smoothie ingredient is that they create a desirable creamy texture and/or flavor.

Fruits That Are Good Bananas Subsitutes

If you are going to substitute other fruit, look for fruits that are not rich in water. Mangoes, apples, pears, papayas, peaches, and nectarines are all great options. You can choose a single fruit or experiment with different combinations. You can also pair fresh young coconut with any of these fruits.

Avocado

Many people also substitute avocado for banana. It may sound like a weird choice, but the flavor blends in seamlessly for many smoothie recipes. You won't feel like you're drinking guacamole. The general rule of thumb is that 1/4 of an avocado can be substituted for one banana.

Silken Tofu

Finally, some people substitute silken tofu, which also sounds odd but doesn't affect the smoothie flavor. If you keep tofu on hand for cooking, this is a natural choice. Keep in mind that both avocado and tofu can make smoothies less sweet. If you don't like this less sweet flavor, add some natural sweetener, such as honey, to compensate.

Tip: Another reason that bananas are so popular is that they are readily available year-round at affordable prices in many areas of the country. Don't be afraid to use frozen fruit in smoothies, as it is still very nutritious and it allows for the option to use fruits that are only available fresh for a few months of the year.

Fresh or frozen blueberries are a great substitution in many green smoothies.

Fresh or frozen blueberries are a great substitution in many green smoothies.

Masking the Flavor

If you are steering clear of bananas in blended drinks purely because of the flavor, you can try masking it with other fruits. Consider pairing it with strong flavors, including pineapple, strawberries, peaches, kiwi, and berries (raspberries, blueberries, or blackberries). For recipes that call for two bananas, simply substitute one banana for another fruit. You may have to experiment with the quantities to find a combination that suits your personal preferences for taste and consistency.

Fruit Juice

Adding a little fruit juice with a strong flavor can also help mask the flavor. Orange juice is a widely used juice, as so many people keep it on hand. If you add orange juice, subtract other liquid (i.e. water, milk) accordingly.

Spices and Chocolate

Strong spices, such as ginger, and chocolate are also popular substitutions. Chocolate may not seem like the healthiest smoothie ingredient, but keep in mind that a little goes a long way. A couple of teaspoons or a tablespoon of cocoa powder at most is all you'll need for a 1-2 serving recipe.

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General Tips

  • In order to maintain a desirable creamy flavor, you must make some sort of substitution. You cannot simply leave out banana and hope for the best. It can take some trial and error to find the right flavor and texture, but it is well worth the effort.
  • It can be overwhelming making recipes from scratch, especially if you're brand new to green smoothies. Start making substitutions and alternations for recipes that you find online. Over time you'll learn how to make your own adaptations with success.
  • There are also a lot of free guidelines available online with ratios for green, fruit, and other add-ins. Instead of winging it and assume that things will go all right, use these suggestions to get you started.
  • Layer your ingredients in the blender or another container of your choosing with fruit on the bottom and green on the top, adding the liquid and add-ins last for optimal blending.
green-smoothies-without-bananas-delicious-healthy-creamy-recipes

Putting It All Together

There are four basic components for a green smoothie:

  1. Green base
  2. Fruit
  3. Liquid
  4. Add-ins

As you get comfortable making your own smoothies, you'll learn what proportions and ingredients you prefer.

  • Health Benefits of Kale
    The health benefits of kale include it being a huge source of fiber, vitamins and cancer-fighting flavonoids. And since it's so easy to grow yourself, kale needs to be part of your diet!

Green Base Ingredients

The two most widely used green ingredients are spinach and kale. When used with the right ingredients, cilantro and mixed greens can work well, too. While frozen fruit is always okay in smoothies, fresh greens are mandatory. Many people select baby spinach leaves or Dino or Tuscan kale varieties because they have milder flavors. While you may have no problem with regular spinach and stronger kale varieties, be mindful of the different options.

Fruit Ingredients

As previously mentioned, if you're going to use banana in combination with other fruits to mask the flavor, choose fruits with strong flavors. In general, it is best to steer clear of fruits that have high water content, such as oranges, because they significantly affect the consistency. There are very few other fruits that do not work in smoothies. Peaches, mango, and berries are just a few of the most widely used options.

Keep in mind that using yellow and/or orange fruits almost guarantees that a green smoothie stays green. Adding fruits with other colors (i.e strawberries, blueberries) tend to make the smoothie more brown. The taste may be just as desirable, but some people find the color off-putting.

Popular Green Smoothie Fruit Pairings Without Banana:

  • Mango and Peach
  • Mango and Pineapple
  • Apple and Blueberry
  • Kiwi and Strawberry

Liquid Ingredients

  • Water: Filtered water, coconut water.
  • Fresh-squeezed or store-bought juices: Look for compatible flavors with favorite greens and fruits.
  • Regular, lactose-free, or nut milks: Soy milk, almond milk, and coconut milk are readily available in stores. You can also make your own nut milk using additional nuts such as cashews and pistachios.

Other Add-In Options

  • Spices/seasonings: Ginger, vanilla bean, clove, cinnamon, shredded coconut, extracts (i.e. vanilla, orange, lemon).
  • Seeds: Flax, sunflower seeds, hemp, salba, goji berries, spirulina, chia seeds.
  • Infusion/protein powder: Whey protein, wheat germ, matcha. There are a number of protein and smoothie powder lines, such as the Vega's Shake & Go line.

Also, as previously mentioned, chocolate / cocoa powder is also a great add-in choice.

Just a Few Great Green Smoothie Recipes Without Bananas

© 2014 Rose Clearfield

Comments

Rick. Pasek on January 01, 2020:

Good source of energy fibers coconut turmeric would be a good smoothie and also smoothies are all good thanks again Rick

Rose Clearfield (author) from Milwaukee, Wisconsin on December 27, 2019:

This really isn't my area of expertise. Sorry!

Richard Mandona on December 27, 2019:

What are some of the unhealthy combinations in smoothies which one should try to avoid and why

Kristen Howe from Northeast Ohio on January 04, 2016:

Great hub, Rose. Very informative and detailed on how to make smoothies with different combos to get the most of the health benefits out of it.

Sumi from India on August 25, 2015:

Nice and useful

Rose Clearfield (author) from Milwaukee, Wisconsin on April 14, 2014:

Thanks, hotwebideas! I appreciate the additional suggestions for green smoothie ingredients.

Bruce Chamoff from New York on April 14, 2014:

That looks good. I also make green smoothies with celery, spinach, green apples. Your hub is very useful for anyone who jumps into making or drinking green smoothies.

Rose Clearfield (author) from Milwaukee, Wisconsin on February 21, 2014:

That's great, MarleneB! Enjoy!

Marlene Bertrand from USA on February 21, 2014:

Last night I was wondering if there was a substitute for bananas and then was happy to come across your hub. I grow kale, so I like to use kale as my green ingredient. I like your banana substitute suggestions a lot.

Rose Clearfield (author) from Milwaukee, Wisconsin on February 11, 2014:

Thanks, Turtlewoman! That's great. I'm sure that they will appreciate these recipes.

Kim Lam from California on February 11, 2014:

This is great! I have a two clients who don't like bananas either. Wonderful hub. Thanks!

Rose Clearfield (author) from Milwaukee, Wisconsin on February 04, 2014:

Thelma, I hope that you do get to try green smoothies soon! Enjoy the recipes.

Thelma Alberts from Germany and Philippines on February 04, 2014:

I have not made green smoothies, yet. I would like to try this and some other suggestions you have. Thanks for sharing this awesome and healthy recipe. Voted up and shared.

Rose Clearfield (author) from Milwaukee, Wisconsin on January 30, 2014:

Careermommy, I'm glad that these suggestions are still helpful for you! Enjoy. :)

Tirralan Watkins from Los Angeles, CA on January 30, 2014:

I love green smoothies and I do normally use bananas, but I will certainly try the other fruits you've mentioned. These recipes look wonderful.

Rose Clearfield (author) from Milwaukee, Wisconsin on January 28, 2014:

Marissa, I'm so glad that this article is helpful for you!

Marissa from United States on January 28, 2014:

Thanks for sharing!! I can't stand the smell or taste of bananas, so I've been avoiding many smoothie recipes due to them. I forgot about using avocado instead.

Rose Clearfield (author) from Milwaukee, Wisconsin on January 28, 2014:

I'm glad that this article is useful for you, PegCole! Enjoy!

Peg Cole from Northeast of Dallas, Texas on January 28, 2014:

Thanks so much for sharing recipes that don't have bananas. For some reason, bananas have a tendency to give me leg cramps. I definitely will be trying some of these smoothies.

Rose Clearfield (author) from Milwaukee, Wisconsin on January 28, 2014:

Thanks, Eddy! I really appreciate it.

Eiddwen from Wales on January 28, 2014:

Another great recipe to save and vote up of course. Thanks for sharing and enjoy your day.

Eddy.

Rose Clearfield (author) from Milwaukee, Wisconsin on January 27, 2014:

FlourishAnyway, it's good to know that I'm not alone! I'm glad that alternative ideas are helpful for you.

FlourishAnyway from USA on January 27, 2014:

I'm with you. Although I like bananas, only the light greener ones are acceptable with me. They have little flavor but have lost their bitterness that comes with being too green. It's good to know there are good alternatives. Thanks for the ideas.

Rose Clearfield (author) from Milwaukee, Wisconsin on January 27, 2014:

Good to know, someonewhoknows! Thanks!

someonewhoknows from south and west of canada,north of ohio on January 27, 2014:

Raw beets taste good.Much better than cooked in my opinion.

Mixed with blueberries , raspberries or other berries is very good with watermelon.

Rose Clearfield (author) from Milwaukee, Wisconsin on January 27, 2014:

Thanks, Jamie! From everything that I write about bananas while researching for this article, the negatives are very insignificant. The most important thing to remember about eating any kind of food is moderation. Bananas are a great source of nutrition, but you should also mix up your fruit intake.

You should think about getting an immersion blender. They're very affordable (mine is stainless steel and only cost me $30, the same model sells for about $40 these days) and are awesome for smoothies and so many other recipes as well including soups, sauces, and baby food.

Jamie Jensen from Chicago on January 27, 2014:

What an informative hub! This is the first I'm hearing anything negative about bananas (besides personal preference, of course), but I'm glad there are so many alternatives. I think -though I actually love bananas- I would prefer not to have them in my smoothies. I really need to get a smoothie blender because they can be so delicious and healthy for my family and I!

Rose Clearfield (author) from Milwaukee, Wisconsin on January 27, 2014:

Glimmer Twin Fan, I'm glad that these suggestions are still helpful! It's good to have back up options. I agree with you about the immersion blender!

Claudia Mitchell on January 27, 2014:

I have to say that I love smoothies with bananas, but I don't always have them on hand so these are some great ideas for those times. And as for an immersion blender, well I think that is one of the greatest kitchen inventions ever!

Rose Clearfield (author) from Milwaukee, Wisconsin on January 27, 2014:

Thanks, Suzie! Best of luck to you!

suziecat7 from Asheville, NC on January 27, 2014:

This is a great Hub. I've only just started experimenting with smoothies. Thanks for the helpful information.

Rose Clearfield (author) from Milwaukee, Wisconsin on January 27, 2014:

That's great to hear, MsDora! Thanks!

Dora Weithers from The Caribbean on January 27, 2014:

Voted Up and Useful. Thank you for these very good tips. I love bananas in my smoothie, but not everyone in my household does. This is very helpful.

Rose Clearfield (author) from Milwaukee, Wisconsin on January 26, 2014:

Thanks, Vellur! Glad to hear it.

Nithya Venkat from Dubai on January 26, 2014:

Useful and informative hub about smoothies with helpful suggestions. Thank you for sharing.