Change up your smoothie game with this banana-free, berry-packed smoothie bowl, topped with delicate coconut and sweet strawberries.
This recipe is dedicated to ma gurl, Fran. Before I explain why, let me quick explain the “who.” Blessed with the gift of being able to radiate happiness, positivity and rambunctious laughter, Fran is one of those friends where, when you’re together, you kind of become one giant friend blob that doesn’t stop laughing and talking (or drinking coffee) the entire time. We met in college, studied abroad in London and become inseparable our senior year.
Unfortunately, we don’t live as close as we used to, but that doesn’t mean much, because when we do get together it’s like we never left. This weekend, Fran gallivanted to Boston for a weekend filled with iced coffee, hot yoga, kombucha, the sun (which is a thing I guess), inside jokes, and just laughing at whatever we laugh at – mostly ourselves.
Ok so what does Fran have to do with this smoothie bowl? First of all, she’s no fool so she loves a good smoothie, especially in bowl form, but more importantly this smoothie, like Fran, is banana free. Personally, I am a big fan of the ‘nanner especially in smoothies, however Fran despises all bananas in any way shape or form. I respect that. Unfortunately, many smoothie joints don’t.
Fran was recently heart broken when an adorable smoothie shop that opened near her apartment refused to make a banana free smoothie claiming that it wouldn’t be the right texture. As someone who makes and drinks a lot of smoothies, this made me pretty mad. Yes, if you like them, frozen bananas are a great, creamy base to a smoothie BUT they aren’t the only way to achieve a thick and creamy smoothie.
So I set out to create something that could be just as thick, creamy and delicious without any bananas and without being too icy. The key is in your fruit selection. If you want a flavorful, well balanced smoothie you need the right fruits. Unfortunately a lot of frozen fruit can fall a little flat, so you need to make sure you find a brand you like. I’m a huge fan of Trader Joe’s and Whole Food’s frozen fruit. It’s bursting with flavor and cherries and mangos are both great substitutes for thicker textures you find in bananas. I’ve also had Dole’s frozen mango, which isn’t bad either. Another tip: If you’re able to buy fresh fruit on sale when it’s in season don’t be afraid to stock up and freeze the extra.
Another important element is how much and at what time you put in liquid. In a normal blender always at the liquid first so it’s at the bottom. Typically I don’t add more than 4 oz (1/2 Cup) to ensure the smoothie is nice and thick. If you’re using a bullet blender add the liquid last (so it’s closest to the blades) – you may have to stop a couple times to scrape the sides, but be patient because if you’re not a fan of overly watery smoothies adding too much liquid can be a bummer.
Whether you’re not a fan of bananas, or you’re looking to mix things up, I think you’ll really enjoy this berry mango blend.
- 1 Cup of Frozen Mango
- ½ Cup of Frozen Cherries
- ½ Cup of Frozen Raspberries
- ½ Cup of Frozen Blueberries
- 1 Cup of Spinach
- 4-8 oz of Almond or Coconut Milk
- 1 Scoop (aprox 2 tbsp) of Plant Based Vanilla Protein Powder
- ¼ of an avocado frozen (for extra creaminess)
- 1 tbsp of unsweetened coconut shavings
- 2 tsps of hemp seeds
- 1 tbsp of almond butter
- 5 sliced strawberries
- Blend all smoothie ingredients together in a high powered blender until smooth adjusting liquid to control consistency
- Top with coconut shavings, sliced berries, hemp seeds and drizzle with almond butter.
- Are you a banana fan? Do you ever have smoothies without them?
- Have you ever asked for a substitution at a restaurant and been turned down?
- What’s your favorite kind of berry?