11 Substitutes for Bananas in Smoothies

Make an ultra-creamy smoothie without bananas! These 11 substitutes for bananas will thicken your smoothies and make them irresistibly drinkable.

bowl of sliced bananas.

What do bananas do for smoothies?

If I’m being completely honest, I love bananas! They take any smoothie combo and it make it sweet and creamy. Here’s what bananas do for smoothies:

  • Versatile – Bananas are fairly neutral in flavor, meaning they don’t overpower or clash with other fruits and veggies! You can pair them with nearly anything.
  • Creaminess – They have a super creamy texture. They’re an easy way to thicken a smoothie for a shake-like consistency.
  • Naturally sweeten – When a banana ripens, its starch converts to sugar. That’s why bananas are so sweet! The extra sweetness makes added sugar unnecessary, ultimately creating a healthier smoothie.

If you can have bananas, I say add bananas! That being said, I know some people can’t have them due to allergies or dietary restrictions. (Bananas aren’t low in carbs!)

That’s why I’ve put together this list of substitutes for bananas in smoothies!

Banana Substitutes in Smoothies:

Not all of these ingredients are sweet like bananas, but they all thicken a smoothie effectively. Here’s what you need to know:

1. Frozen Mango

Mangoes are an excellent substitute for bananas! They’re naturally very sweet with a creamy texture and pair well with all kinds of fruit.

The only difference? They have a stronger flavor than bananas, but who doesn’t love their nectarous tropical vibes anyway?

a bowl of frozen mango.

For the best thickening power, use frozen mango! Not only are mangoes delicious and versatile, but they’re healthy too.

  • Vitamin C – One cup of mango provides roughly 67% of the DV for immune-boosting vitamin C. This essential vitamin is crucial for a healthy immune system and body.
  • Low-calorie – While nutrient-dense, mangoes are fairly low in calories. One cup of mango contains a measly 100 calories.
  • Antioxidants – Full of polyphenols, plant compounds that act like antioxidants in the body. They protect your healthy cells against damage caused by free radicals.

Swap a medium-sized banana with 3/4 cup of frozen mango. Remember to increase your liquid a little bit to compensate for the additional frozen ingredients.

Try this peanut butter smoothie that uses mango as a thickener! You can barely tell it’s in there.

2. Soaked Cashews

Soaked raw cashews blend into a super creamy mixture used for vegan sauces and cheesecakes. They’re great in smoothies too!

soaked cashews

Technically, you don’t have to soak them first, but it makes them easier to break down. If you don’t soak them, be sure to blend for a full minute to get a smooth consistency.

For best results, soak the cashews in water overnight in the refrigerator.

Cashews are a great way to add plant-based protein and heart-healthy fats. They’re an effective substitute for a low-carb smoothie!

3. Avocado

Get ready to ride the avocado-lovin bandwagon, because this fruit is lusciously creamy and perfect for smoothies!

avocado cut in half with a knife.

Avocadoes aren’t sweet, but they thicken a smoothie and make it ultra-creamy! Be sure to use a ripe Hass avocado. Unripe avocadoes taste bitter and chalky.

Since avocadoes aren’t sweet, it’s best to pair them with sweet fruits like dates, blueberries, pineapple, mango, or strawberries. The more avocado you use, the creamier the smoothie.

Just like a banana, it’s best to pair fresh, creamy avocado with frozen fruit for the best texture!

Avocadoes are nutrient-dense superfoods!

  • Healthy fats – One large avocado contains roughly 30 grams of fat, mostly monounsaturated and polyunsaturated.
  • Fiber – One avocado boasts 14 grams of fiber! Fiber boosts the growth of healthy bacteria which aids digestion.
  • Vitamins & minerals – They’re a good source of vitamins C, E, and K, riboflavin, niacin, and folate!

Start with 1/2 of a medium avocado in your smoothie, then add more as desired. Avocadoes are a good option for low-carb diets, since a whole avocado has only two net carbs!

strawberry cottage cheese smoothie.

4. Cottage Cheese

Cottage cheese works great in smoothies! It acts just like Greek yogurt, with slightly less tang.

If you don’t like the texture of cottage cheese, don’t worry. The lumps blend right into the smoothie with no problems. The result? An undeniably creamy consistency!

a bowl of cottage cheese with raspberries and strawberries.

Since cottage cheese is significantly less sweet than a banana, it’s best to pair it with frozen fruit for natural sweetness. Start with 1/3 cup of cottage cheese, then add more if desired.

Cottage cheese goes well in any type of smoothie – chocolate, green, fruit, or protein! It’s low-carb and it adds a boost of high-quality protein.

5. Greek Yogurt

Greek yogurt is a great sub for bananas because it adds creaminess! Look for a high-quality brand that’s super creamy and thick, like Fage. If you can’t afford Fage, try different off-brands until you find the one you like best.

For the healthiest option, use unsweetened Greek yogurt. Flavored yogurts contain lots of added sugar.

bowl of greek yogurt

Pair the unsweetened Greek yogurt with frozen fruit for natural sweetness. Try pineapple, mango, mixed berries, or cherries.

  • One cup of Greek yogurt boasts 13 grams of protein.
  • Start with 1/3 cup of yogurt, then add more as desired.
  • For a vegan alternative, swap Greek yogurt with coconut yogurt or another vegan option.

6. Silken Tofu

Soft or silken tofu is a great dairy-free alternative to bananas! It creates an ultra-creamy texture with no strange aftertaste. A half cup of tofu contains about 10 grams of plant-based protein!

Be sure to use silken tofu and NOT firm tofu. Firm tofu will give the smoothie an off-putting grainy texture.

block of tofu.

Since tofu isn’t naturally sweet, it’s best to pair it with sweet ingredients like frozen berries, frozen mango, frozen pineapple, maple syrup, or dates. You can use it in fruit, chocolate, or green smoothies!

Start with 1/2 cup of extra-soft tofu per 1 cup of frozen fruit.

7. Quick-Cooking Oats

While quick-cooking oats won’t make your smoothie creamy like a banana, they will thicken it! This is because instant oats are cut into small pieces and rolled very thin, which makes them absorb liquid quickly.

Oats add a slight oatey flavor and chewiness to a smoothie that I personally love. I prefer rolled oats, but quick-cooking oats are much better at thickening a smoothie.

strawberry oatmeal smoothie.

Start with two tablespoons of quick-cooking oats to see if you like the flavor. If so, try adding up to 1/3 cup of oats!

Oats are highly nutritious:

  • Fiber – One cup of oats boasts 8 grams of fiber, including beta-glucan. Beta-glucan helps reduce cholesterol levels and supports healthy gut bacteria.
  • Antioxidants – Oats are rich in antioxidants, including avenanthramides which have anti-inflammatory and anti-itching effects.
  • Vitamins and minerals – Oats are a good source of manganese, phosphorus, magnesium, copper, iron, zinc, and folate! Manganese is crucial for a healthy metabolism, bone formation, and brain function.

8. Sweet Potatoes

Cooked sweet potatoes have a creamy texture and natural sweetness! Think beyond the casserole. This sweet veg tastes great in smoothies too.

Sweet potatoes are rich in fiber and beta-carotene, an antioxidant shown to support eye health and a healthy immune system.

baked sweet potato

Pair sweet potatoes with complementary ingredients like:

  • Dates
  • Milk
  • Fall spices
  • Hemp hearts
  • Chia seeds
  • Plant-based milks
  • Almond butter
  • Protein powder
  • Yogurt
  • Maple syrup

Don’t use raw sweet potatoes. They’re too hard for your blender to break down. Instead, use cooked sweet potato or frozen sweet potato cubes.

9. Frozen Pears

Frozen pears are a great substitute for bananas! For the best results, use a ripe pear from a sweet variety, like Bartlett or Anjou. I highly recommend Bartlett pears!

pears cut in half.

Chop up your pears into chunks, transfer them to a zip-top bag, and freeze overnight. There’s no need to peel the pears, just cut around the core.

Pears have a mild, neutral flavor that goes well with anything! You can use them in green, fruit, or chocolate smoothies.

10. Canned Pumpkin

Canned pumpkin provides a similar flavor and texture to sweet potato, but it’s already cooked and ready to go! You can freeze it first so it thickens the smoothie.

Pumpkin isn’t nearly as sweet as a banana so pair it with sweet ingredients like dates, protein powder, or maple syrup. It tastes good with fall spices, plant-based milks, nut butter, chia seeds, vanilla yogurt, and bananas.

a raspberry smoothie with oats and chia seeds on top.

11. Chia Seeds

When combined with a liquid, chia seeds absorb the liquid and form a gelatinous coating. This is why chia seeds are used as egg substitutes or in creamy chia pudding! Chia seeds are great at thickening liquids.

a bowl of chia seeds.

Don’t be fooled by their tiny size, they harbor BIG health benefits! They’re a good source of plant-based protein, fiber, alpha-linolenic acid, and antioxidants.

Start with a tablespoon of chia seeds and if you like the taste and texture, add one more.

Honorable Mentions

A few more effective thickeners to try:

  • Coconut cream – A good low-carb thickener for keto smoothies. Coconut cream adds a tropical coconutty flavor!
  • Frozen cauliflower – Helps thicken, but not really creamy in my opinion. It is a great way to sneak in veggies though! It can go in any type of smoothie.
  • Flax meal – Flax seeds are similar to chia seeds in that they both absorb liquid. For the best results, use ground flax seed.


What is a good protein substitute for bananas in smoothies?

Raw cashews! One ounce of cashews provides 5 grams of protein and only 1.7 grams of sugar. It’s a healthy substitute for bananas in smoothies! Cashews blend into a super creamy texture too.

What can I replace banana with for low-carb smoothies?

Avocado or cottage cheese are both great low-carb substitutes for bananas. Both provide a super creamy texture and neutral flavor. Just be sure to use unsweetened cottage cheese.

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