What can I use in a smoothie instead of a banana?

Bananas are a popular ingredient in smoothies because they provide a creamy texture and sweet flavor. However, there are many reasons you may need or want to use a banana substitute in your smoothies. If you have a banana allergy or intolerance, are limiting potassium or carbs, or simply don’t have a ripe banana on hand, there are plenty of other fruits and ingredients you can use in smoothies instead of bananas.

Quick Answers

Some quick answers to the question “What can I use in a smoothie instead of a banana?”:

  • Frozen mango or pineapples chunks
  • Canned peaches or pears
  • Avocado
  • Silken tofu
  • Greek yogurt
  • Nut butters like almond butter or peanut butter
  • Oats or chia seeds
  • Protein powders


Using fruit instead of bananas is one of the easiest swaps to make in smoothies. Fruits like mangoes, pineapples, peaches, pears, and apples can provide creaminess, sweetness, and extra nutrients.


Mangoes are an ideal substitute for bananas in smoothies because they have a similar creaminess when blended. They contain vitamins A, C and dietary fiber. Use fresh or frozen mango chunks in tropical fruit or orange juice smoothies.


Pineapple gives smoothies a tropical flair and provides vitamin C, manganese and bromelain enzymes. The fruit has a mix of sweet and tart flavors. Use fresh or frozen chunks in piña colada or strawberry pineapple smoothies.


Peaches offer beta carotene, vitamin C, fiber and potassium. Their sweetness and soft texture blend up nicely for smoothies. Use fresh or frozen sliced peaches or canned peaches in berry or green smoothies.


Pears contain fiber, vitamin C, copper and antioxidants. They have a mild, sweet flavor that complements many smoothie recipes. Use fresh, sliced pears or canned pears in green, berry or tropical fruit smoothies.


Apples provide fiber, vitamin C and antioxidants like quercetin. For smoothies, choose sweeter varieties like Fuji, Gala or Pink Lady and remove the peel. Use fresh apple slices or unsweetened applesauce in berry or green smoothies.


Berries like strawberries, blueberries, raspberries and blackberries make great additions to fruit smoothies. They blend up creamy and provide antioxidant power. Use fresh or frozen berries in tropical, green or berry-based smoothies.


Cherries add nutrients like vitamin C, fiber and anthocyanins to smoothies. Their sweet-tart flavor pairs nicely with cacao, almond milk or coconut water. Use fresh, pitted cherries or unpitted frozen cherries in chocolate or vanilla smoothies.


In addition to fruits, some vegetables can add creaminess and nutrients without overpowering flavor in smoothies. Good options include avocado, cooked sweet potato, pumpkin puree, cauliflower and zucchini.


Avocados provide creaminess, heart-healthy fats and fiber without too much flavor. Use about 1/4 to 1/2 an avocado in chocolate, greens or fruit smoothies.

Sweet Potato

Cooked, mashed sweet potato blends up creamy and sweet in smoothies. Use 1/4 to 1/2 cup cooked sweet potato chunks or cubes in vanilla or pumpkin pie inspired smoothies.

Pumpkin Puree

Pumpkin contains fiber, vitamin A and a creamy texture. Use 1/4 to 1/2 cup canned pureed pumpkin in fall-inspired smoothies with cinnamon, nutmeg and ginger.


Cauliflower can be steamed until soft then added to smoothies for nutrients without changing the flavor. Use 1/4 to 1/2 cup cooked cauliflower florets in low-carb green smoothies.


Soft cooked zucchini is an easy way to pack extra veggies into smoothies. Use 1/4 to 1/2 cup cooked zucchini chunks in green or berry smoothies.

Substitutes for Creaminess

In addition to fruits and veggies, you can use several dairy and plant-based ingredients to provide a creamy texture and nutritional benefits to smoothies without bananas:

Greek Yogurt

Greek yogurt adds protein, probiotics and a thick, creamy texture similar to bananas. Use 2 to 4 tablespoons of plain, vanilla or fruit-flavored yogurt in berry, tropical or green smoothies.

Cottage Cheese

Cottage cheese provides an extra protein punch along with calcium and probiotics. Use 1/4 to 1/2 cup cottage cheese in fruit or chocolate smoothies.

Silken Tofu

Blended silken tofu provides plant-based protein and thickness for smoothies. Use 1/4 to 1/2 cup silken tofu in tropical, berry or green smoothies.


Rolled or quick oats add fiber, iron, and natural creaminess when blended. Use 1 to 2 tablespoons oats in fruit, green or chocolate smoothies.

Chia Seeds

When soaked in liquid, chia seeds form a gel that can help thicken smoothies. Use 1 to 2 teaspoons chia seeds soaked 10 minutes in nut milk or juice before blending fruit smoothies.

Nut Butters

Nut and seed butters like almond butter, peanut butter and sunflower seed butter can provide plant-based protein, healthy fats and creaminess to smoothies. Use 1 to 2 tablespoons nut butter in chocolate, berry or green smoothies.

Almond Butter

Almond butter contributes vitamin E, magnesium and fiber. Substitute 1 to 2 tablespoons almond butter in berry or tropical smoothies.

Peanut Butter

Peanut butter adds plant-based protein, fiber, magnesium, B vitamins and creamy texture. Use 1 to 2 tablespoons in chocolate or banana-based smoothies.

Sunflower Seed Butter

Sunflower seed butter provides vitamin E, magnesium and copper. Replace 1 to 2 tablespoons peanut butter with sunflower seed butter in chocolate smoothies.

Substitutes for Sweetness

If your smoothie recipe calls for banana more for sweetness than texture, there are several healthy options that can naturally sweeten smoothies:

Medjool Dates

Soft, sticky Medjool dates can provide an energy boost and sweetness, much like fully ripe bananas. Use 1 to 3 pitted dates in tropical, green or berry smoothies.

Dried Figs

Dried figs have a concentrated sweetness and blend up smoothly. Chop 1 to 2 dried figs small before adding to green or berry smoothies.


For smoothies, use gold or black raisins which are larger and softer than red raisins. Chop a small handful before adding to oatmeal cookie or cinnamon raisin inspired smoothies.


Prunes offer a quick burst of sweetness. Chop 1 to 3 prunes before adding to chocolate, vanilla or prune smoothies.

100% Fruit Preserves

All-fruit spreadable fruit like apple butter, pear butter or strawberry preserves offer concentrated fruit sweetness. Use 1 to 2 tablespoons in fruit or green smoothies.


Unsweetened applesauce contributes fiber, vitamin C and light sweetness. Use 1 to 4 tablespoons applesauce in berry or fall-inspired smoothies.

Pure Maple Syrup

Maple syrup provides some minerals like zinc and manganese along with sweetness. Use 1 to 2 teaspoons pure maple syrup to lightly sweeten any smoothie.


Raw honey adds antioxidants along with naturally sweetening smoothies. Use 1 to 2 teaspoons raw honey in berry, green, or chocolate smoothies.


As a zero-calorie sweetener, stevia can lightly sweeten smoothies without added sugar. Use a few drops, to taste, in any smoothie recipe.

Boosts for Nutrition

While fruits, veggies, nut butters and natural sweeteners can replace a banana’s texture and taste, you may want to consider adding supplements to make up for some of the key nutrients provided by bananas:

Protein Powder

Bananas offer about 1 gram of protein per banana, so adding a scoop of 10 to 20 grams of plant or whey protein powder can ensure your smoothie still provides adequate protein for muscle repair, fullness and balanced energy levels.

Ground Flax or Chia Seeds

To replace the 3 grams of fiber per banana, try adding 1 to 2 tablespoons of ground flax or chia seeds to provide an extra dose of fiber and healthy omega-3 fatty acids.

Fortified Nut Milk

If you want to replace the vitamin B6 in bananas, which aids in red blood cell production, choose a fortified nut milk like soy, almond or cashew milk that is fortified with B vitamins.


Leafy greens like spinach provide vitamin C, iron and magnesium, similar to the levels found in one banana. Add a large handful of baby spinach to your smoothie.

Hemp Seeds

Hemp seeds offer an excellent source of magnesium, with about 30% of your daily needs in 3 tablespoons. Add 1 to 3 tablespoons hemp seeds to smoothies to replace a banana’s magnesium content.

Smoothie Ideas Without Banana

Once you know the best replacements for bananas, it’s easy to adapt almost any smoothie recipe. Here are some tasty smoothie ideas without bananas:

Berries and Greens

  • Spinach
  • Mixed berries
  • Greek yogurt
  • Chia seeds
  • Almond milk

Tropical Fruit

  • Pineapple
  • Mango
  • Orange juice
  • Shredded coconut

Green Apple Pie

  • Apples
  • Spinach
  • Nutmeg
  • Almond butter
  • Almond milk

Chocolate Peanut Butter

  • Silken tofu
  • Peanut butter
  • Cocoa powder
  • Ground flax
  • Almond milk

Pumpkin Pie

  • Pumpkin puree
  • Vanilla protein powder
  • Cinnamon
  • Nutmeg
  • Soy milk

Frequently Asked Questions

Why do people use bananas in smoothies?

Bananas are a popular smoothie ingredient because they add natural sweetness, creaminess and texture when blended. Bananas also provide fiber, potassium, vitamin B6 and magnesium.

What can I use instead of a banana for the nutrients?

Some examples of ingredients to replace banana nutrients include:

  • Protein powder for protein
  • Ground flax or chia for fiber
  • Fortified nut milk for vitamin B6
  • Spinach for vitamin C and magnesium
  • Hemp seeds for magnesium

Can I freeze and use banana substitutes?

Many banana alternatives like fruit chunks or purees can be frozen for a thicker texture in smoothies. Good options to freeze include mangos, pineapple, peaches, avocado chunks, cooked sweet potato or pumpkin puree.

What can I use for sweetness instead of bananas?

Some naturally sweet ingredients to use instead of bananas include:

  • Medjool dates
  • Dried figs
  • Raisins
  • Prunes
  • Applesauce
  • 100% fruit spread
  • Maple syrup
  • Honey
  • Stevia

How do I make smoothies without bananas creamy?

Some options for creamy banana replacements include:

  • Greek yogurt
  • Silken tofu
  • Avocado
  • Cooked sweet potato
  • Cottage cheese
  • Oats
  • Chia seeds
  • Nut butters


With so many nutritious ingredients to choose from, such as fruits, veggies, nuts, seeds and natural sweeteners, you can easily make creamy, delicious smoothies without using bananas. The options are endless for mixing and matching different substitutions to replace bananas’ flavor, texture, nutrients and sweetness.

Pay attention to nutrients like protein, fiber, vitamin B6, vitamin C, magnesium and potassium when selecting ingredients to swap for bananas in your favorite smoothies. Getting creative with combinations can give you smoothies with amazing new flavors and added nutrition.

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