Bananas are ubiquitous in smoothie recipes, but what if you're allergic or you simply don't like them? Fortunately bananas aren't the only path to a thick, creamy smoothie. Here are several other healthy ingredients that can do the trick.
I myself am allergic to bananas and for years I skipped most smoothie recipes. Then I started experimenting. I realized in many cases you can actually substitute one of these ingredients for the banana called for in a recipe. Or you can use them to invent your own smoothies.
The key to using oatmeal in a smoothie is to finely grind it first. Start with about 1/4 cup regular rolled oats per smoothie. Grind the oats into a powder right in the bowl of your blender before adding the other ingredients.
Avocado has a different flavor profile (and color!) than banana, but it can be used to make a very thick and creamy smoothie. Try 1/2 to 1 avocado per smoothie.
2. Chia Seeds
Chia seeds can act as a binding agent and thickener. Add 1 tablespoon to your blender or simply stir chia seeds into a smoothie and give it a minute to thicken.
4. Frozen Fruit
Frozen fruit can thicken a smoothie and provide natural sweetness, so it's a win-win. Plus, it's an easy ingredient to always have on hand in your freezer. Try mango, peach, or young coconut for extra creaminess.
Any kind of yogurt can make a smoothie creamy, but if you're after a thick smoothie, opt for strained or Greek-style yogurt, which also boosts the protein level.
6. Silken Tofu
Not only does silken tofu have a neutral flavor and smooth, creamy texture that works great in smoothies, but it's also a great vegan protein source.
Do you have any favorite ways to thicken smoothies without bananas?