10 Best Substitutes For Banana In Smoothies

There's no doubt that smoothies are one of the most enjoyable and practical ways to enjoy an array of fruits, vegetables, and various other tasty mix-ins. Great for on-the-go or simply when you want something a little different, a fresh, thick smoothie is both refreshing and nourishing, helping you to feel good from the inside out. Arguably, one of the most important deciding factors of the success of a smoothie is its consistency, with the most sought-after texture being a thick and creamy one, for an indulgent drinking experience. A common addition to smoothies that helps to ensure this texture is bananas, which impart both subtle sweetness and a thickness that helps to create a silky smooth base.

However, bananas are not to everyone's taste and, for some of us, their signature flavor and texture are not so inconspicuous, even when blended up with other ingredients. Likewise, bananas are not always available to hand, but simply omitting them from your smoothies and not replacing them with a similar ingredient will more often than not result in a thinner, duller drink. So, what do you do when you're out of bananas but still want a thick smoothie? Or if you don't like bananas but can't seem to find a recipe that doesn't mention them? You need not settle for thin and lackluster smoothies: There are a multitude of swaps that provide a similar level of sweetness and creaminess, each with its own unique nutritional benefits, that ensure consistently delicious results.


With their rich, creamy texture and abundance of nutrients and healthy fats, avocados have proved themselves to be an optimal ingredient in a vast array of dishes, whether seasoned and spread on toast or chopped and tossed into a glorious green salad. Their fairly neutral taste makes them ideal for adding an extra boost to sweet and savory recipes alike, imparting a signature buttery consistency and a delicious subtle nuttiness, which also makes them perfectly suited to enhancing smoothies. 

The smooth, silky, and soft consistency of ripe avocados is strikingly similar to that of a banana, meaning that they can provide smoothies with a luxuriously thick texture in the same way, without drastically impacting the flavor of the drink, so you can combine them with virtually any combination of ingredients and toppings. Though they have a very slight sweetness, avocados are also far lower in sugar than bananas, thus proving them an excellent choice if you want to cut back on the sugar in your smoothies but still want them to be velvety smooth. A drop of honey, agave syrup, or coconut sugar, however, are all great natural sweeteners that can help to rebalance the flavor profile of your drink if you are looking to create a similar taste. Around half an avocado should provide a similar texture to smoothies as a whole banana, but you may want to experiment with quantities and your other ingredients to find a flavor and consistency combination that works well for you. 


Yogurt is in its own right a popular addition to smoothies, imparting a delicious and fresh tanginess that can aid in balancing out saccharine flavors, as well as helping to create a smooth and perfectly sippable texture, but it is also a suitable substitute for bananas. A generous scoop of thick yogurt (greek-style or skyr will work particularly well as thickening agents) serves as a great replacement for replicating the creaminess that banana provides, whilst also imparting its signature tartness for a more nuanced flavor.

Moreover, using yogurt in place of a banana allows you to exercise a little more creativity. You can customize your smoothie without the need for an excessive amount of extra or perishable ingredients, and contrast and complement various tastes by switching up the type and flavor of yogurt you are using. Any fruity or citrus-flavored yogurt is sure to compliment and elevate the sweetness and freshness of the other fruits you are blending up, whilst vanilla or chocolate yogurts add an extra touch of luxury and satisfaction for something that is more reminiscent of a milkshake. If you don't have yogurt available, there are many other similar options for thickening up your smoothie, both dairy and non-dairy, that will provide a similar result.

Coconut cream

A great choice for dairy-free creaminess, coconut cream is naturally sweet and luxuriously thick, providing an irresistible unctuousness to smoothies that makes it arguably better suited to the job than a banana is. Whilst it does have a distinct and relatively strong flavor that is not as inconspicuous as that of a banana, this should not be seen as a pitfall, but rather something that can be worked to your advantage for invitingly nutty, rich, and exotic-tasting smoothies.

Undoubtedly, coconut cream has an indulgent, tropical taste that pairs perfectly with a wide range of other flavors and ingredients. Chocolate and coconut are a match made in heaven, so blend coconut cream up with cacao nibs and cocoa powder for a healthier bounty-bar-inspired dessert, or create a taste of the tropics by combining it with sweet, tangy pineapple and zesty lime juice. The natural sweet quality of coconut milk also means you may not need additional sources of sugar when using it in your smoothies.

Much like bananas, coconut cream is also a great source of potassium, as well as containing useful minerals such as magnesium and folate, so it is a good option if you are looking to imbue your smoothies with heart-healthy nutrients. It's worth being mindful of quantities, though, as coconut milk is far higher in fat and calories than banana, so you may want to adjust your recipes accordingly if you are looking to keep things particularly light.

Soaked oats

Providing both thickness and fiber, oats are a great choice as a substitute for bananas, acting as a binding agent for smoothies whilst also helping you stay fuller for longer thanks to their slow-releasing energy. They also add a delicious earthiness and slight nuttiness to smoothies, meaning you not only end up with a satisfying and nutritious drink that will keep you going all day, but also an even tastier one, with notes of cereal.

When switching out bananas for oats, you can simply add them as is, or grind them down first to create a powder, using around ¼ cup in place of one banana, adding more if necessary. However, for ultimate creaminess and to ensure a smooth texture, it's best to soak them beforehand, either in water, milk, or a plant-based alternative, with the latter two options guaranteeing even more silkiness and helping the oats to blend up beautifully. While using pre-soaked oats may add a little more prep time, the result is certainly worth it, as they will give you the type of richness that is congruent with blended bananas.

Moreover, you can add various other ingredients, sweeteners, or spices to your soaking liquid to help deliver even more flavor to your oats. A pinch of cinnamon will add a subtle sweet and spicy kick to your smoothie, whilst oats that have been sat in apple juice or almond milk will impart the signature taste of these liquids on your drink.

Chia seeds

Thanks to their excellent liquid-absorbing properties, chia seeds are a popular and versatile choice for creating nutrient-packed puddings, breakfasts, and healthy snacks. Chia seeds form an interesting jelly-like texture when left to soak, which can be particularly useful for providing structure to low-carb dishes. Indeed, not only does this quality help form a thick and tasty base for an array of dishes, but it also helps you stay fuller for longer, as the seeds swell and expand when consumed, keeping you satisfied long after eating them. As such, chia seeds prove themselves to be the perfect alternative to bananas in smoothies, providing a luxurious thickness and serving as a binding agent to bring all ingredients and liquids together, delivering an array of health benefits and aiding in digestion.

Around a tablespoon of chia seeds will provide an adequate substitution for a single banana, but you can add more or less depending on your preferred consistency. Chia seeds, on their own, have a fairly neutral and mild flavor and blend pretty seamlessly with virtually any ingredient, so they also won't have much of an impact on the taste of your smoothie and can be incorporated easily, though you may want to add an extra source of sweetness as chia seeds contain no sugar. With their impressive nutritional profile, this is all the more reason to add them to your drinks and bowls for a boost, even, if you are not using them as a substitute for bananas.


Mango, although very distinct in its own right and possessing a sweeter and sharper tropical taste, is similar to banana in that it has a thick, smooth, and slightly creamy texture. When ripe, the flesh of a mango is incredibly luscious, with a consistency that can almost be compared to butter. Similarly, mangoes, like bananas, are not quite as wet as some other fruits like small berries, meaning that they won't make your smoothie too thin or watery, instead providing a delectable sweetness and a velvety smooth texture for a luxurious drink. Mangoes and bananas also contain roughly the same amount of sugar, so when swapping the fruits you'll likely find that the sweetness of your smoothie remains somewhat unchanged, though undoubtedly adding mango will ensure a more vibrant drink with more zestiness, alongside an attractive pop of bright color.

Since they have similar levels of sweetness and comparable consistencies, you can substitute an equal weight of mangoes for bananas, with approximately 1 cup of mango being equal to one large banana, or one and a half medium-sized bananas. However, it's best to work in increments, adding in more chopped mango slowly, as its strong taste can sometimes dominate other ingredients when added in large quantities. Mango pairs particularly well with fruits such as coconut, lime, peach, and pineapple, but also has a rightful place in vegetable-based smoothies, adding sweetness and juiciness for a perfectly balanced and more palatable drink. 

Sweet potatoes

Though they may not seem like the obvious choice, cooked sweet potatoes have a remarkably similar texture to bananas, being smooth, thick, and easily mashed. And it's not just their texture that makes them a great substitute, but their namesake also serves as evidence for their suitability as a substitute for fruit. Indeed, there's no need to reserve sweet potatoes to be used as a savory side dish, deliciously decadent desserts such as sweet potato pie and candied yam casserole have testified to this earthy, sweet, and starchy vegetable's ability to blend seamlessly with more sugary ingredients. As such, they are by no means out of place in a smoothie, particularly when combined with ginger, cinnamon, dates, and nut butter to create a warming and nostalgic sweet potato pie in a glass.

Before making your smoothie, roast your sweet potatoes (around ½ cup should ensure a similar result as one whole banana) for between 20 to 30 minutes, until they are soft, fluffy, and beginning to turn golden. Their pillowy texture will ensure a perfectly smooth and thick smoothie that is also beautifully flavored with more woody and nutty notes. The natural sugars present in sweet potatoes are more often than not enough to sweeten things up without the need for an additional sweetener, but are not in such abundance that they overpower the drink, or likewise spike your blood sugar, with sweet potatoes considered a low glycemic index food.

Silken tofu

Soft, moist, and crumbly, silken tofu has a wide array of uses in baking and cooking, from sauces and salads to pies and pancakes. It is also a popular vegan substitute for ingredients such as meat and eggs thanks to its silky texture and neutral taste that makes it incredibly versatile. For these reasons, silken tofu also works perfectly as a substitute for replacing the texture of banana in smoothies, helping to bring everything together and ensuring a creamy consistency. In fact, silken tofu proves itself to be the ideal addition to smoothies, being high in protein, full of moisture and thereby reducing the need for a large amount, or perhaps any at all, of other liquids, and virtually tasteless. This neutrality is particularly useful as it means that silken tofu can be added to any combination of ingredients without detection.

You may find that when substituting banana with silken tofu, your smoothie is not quite as sweet, so you will likely need to add an extra source of sugar such as honey or syrup, or increase the quantities of fruit to obtain a similar taste. However, conversely, if you are looking to cut back, then silken tofu is ideal for maintaining the creamy texture of your drink whilst keeping it light and low in carbohydrates and sugar, or for maintaining the slightly more refined taste of green smoothies.

Soaked cashews

When soaked in water, cashews swell up and become plump and soft, which grants them the perfect creamy and thick texture when blitzed up. Such a step is particularly useful to incorporate when making homemade cashew milk but is also the secret to ensuring a silky smooth consistency for your blended drinks without the need for bananas.

With their slight sweetness and delicious nuttiness, cashew nuts are not only a great choice to substitute in the place of bananas but are also a worthwhile ingredient to include in your smoothies regardless, adding a subtle but tasty earthiness, as well as being a good source of fiber, minerals, and protein. Soaking them beforehand, however, is a crucial step in ensuring that they blend seamlessly and smoothly, while simultaneously making them easier to digest.

While you can soak your cashews for around four hours to produce a noticeable and valuable difference, for optimal results the nuts should be left to soak in liquid overnight, giving them a proper chance to absorb the liquid and soften completely. So, if you intend to blend up a breakfast smoothie first thing in the morning, get your cashews prepped and ready the evening before, and you'll be glad you made the time.


For a truly luxurious smoothie, dates show themselves to be an ideal addition. With their deliciously sweet, slightly syrupy taste that is often compared to caramel, and soft but thick flesh, dates lend a similar unctuousness to smoothies that bananas tend to provide, enhancing the taste and texture of the smoothie while providing a healthier alternative to refined sugars. For, like bananas, dates add a depth of flavor, which can be particularly useful both for adding extra indulgence to chocolate or nut-based dessert-style smoothies or bowls, but also for sweetening up smoothies made with leafy greens, which have a tendency to taste slightly bitter.

Though there are multiple types of dates that are each best suited for various different culinary purposes, pretty much any type of date will work as a decent substitute for bananas, so long as they are sweet and sticky. If, however, you really want to get the most out of this treacly treat, it's best to opt for khadrawi dates. An incredibly sweet variety that truly packs a punch, just one or two of these dates is enough to provide your drink with the sweetness and syrup it needs. You may, in fact, need to add a little more liquid back into the mix to help break up some of the gooeyness that is imparted by this candy-like variety.