8 Healthy Ingredients That'll Make Your Smoothies Super Creamy

And not a banana in sight!

Creamy smoothies in jars lined up.
Photo by Brooke Lark on Unsplash

Now let the minutes please show that we’re not anti-bananas, in fact, we love ‘em as much as the next person (who, by all accounts, love them a lot.) Bananas are chock full of potassium, magnesium and fibre, but they are–much to everyone’s disappointment, pretty damn high in sugars (albeit natural ones). This can sometimes be problematic for blood-sugar balance, especially in women who have hormonal conditions like PCOS.

You may be intolerant to bananas, not like them, or simply want to change up your options. As great as smoothies are, if you’re having the same recipe every day—things are likely to get a bit repetitive. Here are our favourite alternatives to using bananas in smoothies, that all offer the same thick and creamy results:

1. Avocado

It goes on your toast, your salads, your mac and cheese and hell, even in your cocktails. So why should avocado be left out of the smoothie party? It shouldn’t, that’s why. Because it’s naturally so creamy, avocado creates that heavenly, thick texture within smoothies that’s super similar to bananas. The flavour is also really easy to disguise, so just chuck half an avo in with the rest of your recipe and get blending!

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2. Silken tofu

One for our die-hard plant-based pals perhaps? It’s soft, squishy and super-dense, making it a powerful addition to a smoothie. Rumour has it that the flavour is hella easy to mask as well, so try adding a quarter to half a cup to the rest of your ingredient line-up, depending on how thick you want your blend.

3. Yoghurt

The perfect pick for a creamy kick, co-yo (or Greek yoghurt if you eat dairy) creates a thick texture alongside a fun coconut-y flavour that basically goes with every smoothie concoction ever. Pick a brand with no added sugar and you’ll quickly forget that bananas ever existed.

Image: iStock

4. Frozen zucchini

Trust us on this one. Frozen zucchini is a creamifying little powerhouse, and thanks to its high water content and frozen state, it’s pretty tasteless (promise). Try adding half a frozen zucchini to your smoothie in cubes and thank us later.

5. Chia seeds

You know how chia do that cute, expanding-and-turning-into-gel thing when left overnight for a chia pudding recipe? The same premise can be be applied to make your smoothies creamy AF. Simply add 3 tablespoons of chia seeds with one cup of almond milk or water, then add a dollop of the result to your smoothie the next morning. Let’s face it; chia pudding smoothies are a wellness trend waiting to happen.

Photo by Toa Heftiba on Unsplash

6. Ground, soaked nuts

Get grinding, sister! Adding some ground nuts to your smoothies is a sure-fire way to get creaminess levels peaking. Soak a cup of your favourite nuts in a bowl overnight (the soaking makes them softer and way easier on your digestive system), then add them to your food processor for a quick grind before adding them to your smoothie. Our favourite picks are almonds, cashews, macadamias and brazil nuts.

7. Psyllium Husk

Psyllium husk is a quick and easy way to thicken that smoothie up, as just half a teaspoon of the powder is enough to create a good amount of bulk to your blend. It thickens like a dream because it rapidly absorbs water and is a great source of soluble fibre.

8. Frozen cauliflower

Much like that time we told you to put zucchini in your smoothie, you’re gonna have to trust us on this one. An unlikely smoothie hero but a smoothie hero nonetheless, frozen cauliflower creates that coveted creamy consistency but is mild enough to blend beautifully into the rest of your creation.

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