Smoothies are a great on-the-go meal or snack. They are quick and easy to make, and chances are you probably have the ingredients for a tasty and healthy smoothie right now in your kitchen.
If you’re already on the smoothie band-wagon, or you’re just now dipping your toes in, you may notice that bananas are a common ingredient in smoothie recipes. This is usually because their creamy consistency is a good smoothie base, and they are pretty easily accessible at your local supermarket.
If you’ve seen a smoothie recipe that features bananas and, like many others, aren’t a fan – no fear! There are some easy ingredient swaps you can make so you can still enjoy a wide range of smoothies for any day of the week. Here are some easy alternatives to banana’s when making a smoothie:
We see a lot of avocado in salads and other savoury dishes but its subtle flavour and creamy consistency makes it a great base for creamy desserts and, you guessed it, a top banana replacement for smoothies! On a nutritional note, avocados are a superfood packed with fibre, vitamins, minerals and healthy fats that may help you feel fuller for longer and reduce your risk of some chronic disease. Stick to about half an avocado per serve as these fruits are quite high in calories.
Pumpkin or sweet potato
Steam and cool your pumpkin or sweet potato before blending with your smoothie ingredients. The flavours of these nutritious vegetables can be quite strong and sweet so add sparingly to smoothies with more subtle-flavoured ingredients. Try making a pumpkin or sweet potato smoothie with coconut yoghurt, maple syrup, apple cider vinegar and fresh ginger. Yum!
Some blended frozen mango is such a delicious tropical treat on a hot summer day, so why not add it to your smoothies? With its dense and creamy consistency, Vitamin C and A, potassium and fibre, mango is a winner in any smoothie. Picture a refreshing fruit smoothie with mango, berries and a squeeze of lemon – we can already taste it!
Try soaking chia seeds in water or almond milk for a few minutes before adding into your smoothie. Depending on your textural preference, you can blend the seeds with your smoothie until creamy or mix through for a more textured consistency. You’ll notice the seeds, whether blended smooth or mixed through, will add a thick, almost jelly-like consistency and are quite filling but with no flavour. Furthermore, , chia seeds pack a healthy punch with lots of omega 3 and protein – pretty incredible for their very small size.
Silken tofu is a good dairy-free smoothie addition with benefits of protein and a creamy consistency that will perfectly replace bananas. What’s more? Tofu is tasteless, so it will work great as a good smoothie base with almost any smoothie recipe.
When soaked in water and blended, cashews turn into a dense smoothie ingredient with lots of nutritional benefits, including healthy fats, protein, iron and magnesium. The creamy cashew base will lend a very subtle, nutty flavour to your smoothies. You’ll be looking at about ½ cup soaked cashews to replace a banana in a standard recipe.
While this one might sound a little odd, Quinoa works surprisingly well in smoothies! Simply cook about ½ cup of quinoa in some water and allow to cool before blending to a smooth consistency. Then, add your remaining smoothie ingredients and voila!
Quinoa is a tasteless, yet nutritious addition. Try blending up some cooked quinoa with almond milk, cacao powder, maple syrup and avocado for a healthy and tasty chocolate flavoured treat.
If you’re looking for smoothie or juice inspiration, you can read some of our recipe suggestions here.
Mullen Health have a range of other healthy recipes available for right here on our website. Almost all ingredients in these recipes can be substituted to suit you and your family’s tastes and needs, and we’re here to help you! If you have a goal to improve your health and feel better than ever, don’t miss out on a free 15 minute phone consultation with our experienced Naturopaths. You can book by clicking here or by calling our friendly team on 02 4961 4075.