The key to SUPER creamy smoothies without banana—power-packed smoothie cubes with veggies, fats, and protein that you can prep ahead for easy blending!
THIS POST IS SPONSORED BY VITAMIX VIA THEFEEDFEED.
You know those moments when an idea so clever and obvious hits you and makes you wonder why years ago you didn’t think of it? This is one of those moments.
Easy. Practical. Versatile. Nutritious. Customizable. Just checking all of the NEED IN YOUR LIFE boxes. Not saying I can predict the future, but if I could I would tell you that these cubes are destined to be a freezer staple very soon.
The key to making smoothies without banana, and a peek at some fun new blender things from Vitamix this way…
In case you are confused—since when does smoothie making involve avocados and ice cube trays? Let me explain.
You know how frozen bananas are the easy way to make thick and creamy and sweet smoothies. And how 95% of smoothies use them. And how you can make almost ice cream with them because they do their job so well. And how sometimes you are out and have to have oatmeal for breakfast instead. And how easy it is to consume 4-5 bananas in the form of a creamy bowl but that maybe doesn’t always make you feel so good. You are nodding right now, yes?
Well I created a frozen banana substitute with less (or zero) fruit from a variety of good for ya stuff that will still make your smoothies taste like melty soft-serve. A faux frozen banana you could say. Bonus: no ripening required.
I wanted this to be more of an inspirational guideline recipe than a hard-and-fast rules recipe. Which is to say, there are LOTS of options:
Cauliflower or zucchini. You need one or the other, but you can use both. Cauliflower makes for a frostier texture, zucchini is creamier. Cauliflower should be cooked (or buy it already cooked/frozen), zucchini can be raw (but peeled for color purposes).
Avocado or sweet potato. Avocado—higher fat, sooooo creamy, no cooking, not very sweet. Sweet potato—lower fat, naturally sweet, gotta cook it, may turn every smoothie you make with these cubes a hideous shade of brownish-orange. So there’s your pro/con list.
Hemp or chia or flax seeds. Or all three of these super little seeds.
Dates or unsweetened. Add the dates for one-stop creamy AND sweet smoothie cubes. Or skip the dates for heavy on veg, light on sugar smoothie cubes to use for creaminess in smoothies with other fruits. Or use honey or maple syrup for sweet but fruit-free smoothie cubes. Up to you.
Milk. From-a-carton coconut milk is what I used, but any kind of milk will work. Or you could use coconut water, but they may be more icy.
Protein powder or collagen. Only if you want to. This is the simple and yummy vegan protein powder I use. And collagen peptides are much cheaper on Thrive Market (honestly the main reason I joined), so if you’re going that route check them out.
Extra boosts! Now this is where things get fun and highly customizable. Consider good stuff like: maca powder, turmeric, greens powder, ginger, vanilla bean, etc. Anything to bump up the flavor and/or effortlessly sneak in the healthy stuff.
Or if you hate decisions, disregard all of the above, just keep scrolling, and I’ll tell you exactly what I did.
Can we talk about the shiny red elephant in the
room post for a sec? That is the new Venturist V1200 from Vitamix and obviously I am obsessed with it because I mean just look at it. It’s swanky and elegant and not just beautiful to look at but beautiful to use too.
A few things I love about this model in particular:
- It’s smart but simple. It still has the digital timer and Self Detect technology and variable speeds and pulse feature, but the controls are simple just like the original models.
- Smaller cups. Ya’ll, this is huge. In addition to the standard 64oz container, there is a 20oz single-serving sized smoothie cup and an even smaller 8oz cup (that I am completely smitten with). Oh, and they’re dishwasher safe!
- Lighter weight. Sounds like nbd, but with the acrobatics I do while shooting videos I appreciate that.
- It can do it all—batters, smoothies, nut milks, flours, ice creams, nut butters, etc.
I’ve been told I don’t post enough recipes that don’t use the blender, to which I say once you know the magic of working with a Vitamix you won’t ever want to cook/bake anything without it again either.
The smoothie cube making process is as simple as blend > freeze overnight > store in the freezer for any and all smoothie making occasions. No ice cube tray? A mini muffin pan makes for a fine stand-in.
They will last in the freezer for quite a while, so feel free to double or triple the batch, fill up that freezer, and feel like a meal-preppin queen. One batch will make 4-6 (INSANELY CREAMY) smoothies depending on how much other fruit you add. I’m telling ya, the texture is next level luxurious. And they don’t melt as fast or turn brown like banana smoothies either.
Bananas—who needs em? Wait…actually we do for banana bread. Nevermind bananas, I love you.
But for blending not baking, THESE CUBES. Your new smoothie secret weapon.
Banana-Free Smoothie Cubes
- Yield: 36 cubes 1x
- Category: smoothies
- Method: blender
- Cuisine: american
The key to SUPER creamy smoothies without banana—power-packed smoothie cubes with veggies, fats, protein that you can prep ahead for easy blending!
- 1 cup (100g) cooked cauliflower
- 1 zucchini (150g) (peeled and chopped)
- 1/2 (80g) an avocado
- 4–5 (75g) pitted medjool dates ((optional)*)
- 1/4 cup (50g) chia seeds
- 1/4 cup (40g) hemp seeds
- 2 cups non-dairy milk
- Optional: 2 scoops protein powder or collagen peptides (**)
- Optional: 1 tbsp maca powder
- Add everything to a high speed blender.
- Blend until smooth.
- Fill an ice cube tray and/or muffin pan. Makes approximately 3 dozen cubes.
- Freeze overnight.
- Pop out the cubes and transfer in a ziplock bag or airtight bag in the freezer. They will last at least a month frozen, maybe longer but I haven’t had a chance to test it yet.
- Blend 6-7 cubes with other fruit, milk, and smoothie ingredients of choice for the creamiest banana-free smoothies!
*You can leave them unsweetened if you are going to blend with other fruit later. Or use honey or maple syrup instead. **This is my favorite vegan protein powder. And I order my collagen peptides from Thrive Market (affiliate link). See post above for additional ideas/options!
Keywords: meal prep, smoothies, healthy, blender, vegan
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Thank you Vitamix and TheFeedFeed for sponsoring this post!
Love bananas, but will try this one! While watching the video I was wondering if you have a favorite ice cube tray. It would be nice to have different sizes – teaspoon, tablespoon. Been reading reviews on them, but nothing seems to stand out. You are my “go to” for desserts. Thank you! Will rate later.
Hi Pam! I like bananas too, but honestly I think the consistency is even better with these. Plus variety is just fun 🙂 I actually had to buy an ice cube tray just for this recipe haha, so I don’t have tons of experience to compare to but the one I got worked great and the popped out really easily. I linked it in the instructions, but here it is again: http://amzn.to/2DwAqfD Can’t wait to hear what you think!
Sorry I missed it in the instructions! Will try this soon when I get a couple ingredients. Thanks!
No worries at all 🙂
Jess @choosingchia says
Going a little comment crazy but again these are awesome!:)
I’ve done this with kale juice and wheatgrass to make fresh juice in the morning and with almond milk to help make smoothies more frozen, but i love the idea of frozen smoothie cubes too!
Oh yes, I have even seen wheatgrass frozen cubes that you can buy like that but much smarter to make your own! Or just throw some wheatgrass in these, honestly you can’t really screw them up so I say pack them with all the goodies🤗 Thanks for all the comment love!
You are a foodie genius! If I don’t use zucchini, do I double up on the cauliflower? If i use almond milk, then maybe some extra protein powder to make up for the caulif-almond duet. I’ve just discovered Chia pudding for bkfst and am really enjoying it.
Yep, double the cauliflower if you are not using zucchini. Almond milk will be fine in the same amount as coconut, I used the light coconut so it’s similar in consistency. But yes protein powder never hurts and will make the mixture thicker too. It should be thick to blend but not so thick you need the tamper, so just tweak the amount of milk as needed to get that consistency (you really can’t mess em up!) Oooh yay, I am so happy you are on the chia pudding train with me🤗 Enjoy!
Just when I think I have the coolest Vitamix around I see this post, and I’m thinking “trade in time ;)” Your Vitamix post from last February is actually what convinced me to buy my current one! I think/hope I used your affiliate link!
And these cubes: LIFE-CHANGING! Over the summer I started freezing nut milk/nut butter cubes for nice cream and I would do half banana, half cubes and it made nice cream so much more refreshing than just bananas. Must try these smoothie cubes next =)
Haha I still love that Vitamix too, honestly all their machines are awesome you can’t go wrong. Thank is where I got the idea, from almond milk ice cubes (although so yummy to add nut butter too, love that idea). I mean why not chuck a bunch of good stuff in there with the milk if you are going to making ice cubes anyways? I haven’t tried straight nice cream with these yet, but I plan too…I have good feelings about it 🙂
Can’t wait for your future banana-less nice creams!!!
This is so amazing! I really think you are a genius because adding all these healthy veggies and fats and making ice cubes is a brilliant idea. I love how creamy the smoothie turns out, I really need to try your recipe. 🙂
Thanks for checking them out Ela! I know myself well enough to know that already ready to go is the best way to pack lots of veggies into my smoothies haha. Easy is where it’s at 🙂 I hope you try it out, or at least your own form of smoothie ice cubes because the thick creamy texture is so worth it!
The Vegan 8 says
This is just a brilliant idea Natalie!! And hello, NO BANANAS! I think I’m in love, hahaha! I confess I’m not really a smoothie person, I prefer hearty meals, but my daughter happens to love smoothies and this is such a great idea. The smoother and creamier, the better. She does love bananas in a smoothie, but I love, love the fat and protein boost here with these cubes, 2 things very important for a growing child. I don’t hold back when it comes to fats for her and the healthy ones I focus on. I’m definitely going to make these to keep on hand for smoothies for her. I love, love this idea! I’ll definitely do the zucchini route since I love zucchini and it makes things sweeter and creamier. I have never used zucchini in a smoothie but I use it in my cheese sauce and it most definitely makes it creamy, so I can totally see how magical it would be in a smoothie. Love this idea so much, you are awesome my friend!
Cheese sauce…smoothies…I mean basically the same thing lol. But zucchini does make things surprisingly creamy! I swear me and Olivia were just destined to be snack besties. I may not be a growing child, but I am all about the healthy fats lately too. My coconut consumption is really a bit much tbh😂 Just giving the body what it’s craving. But yes, even though I like bananas these make for a much more balanced and satisfying smoothie than just a zillion frozen bananas and milk (oh I remember those days ha!) I hope you made it back home safe and are still holding onto a bit of the Disneyworld magical vibe✨
Hi! Do you have any smoothie recipes that you have used these in?
I always forget to write down my smoothie recipes exactly, but you can see them in action here: https://www.instagram.com/p/Beay2–g1tx/?taken-by=feastingonfruit
Are using a digital scale to measure ingredients?
Thanks. A digital scale is something else for the kitchen wish list. I have made your (unsweetened) smoothie cubes, but haven’t used any yet. I actally made a double batch because I had lots of cauliflower. I think these are a remarkably good idea. The mixture was really creamy while pouring it into the ice cube trays. I have never used an online recipe calculator, but I think I might start doing that.
I am so happy you tried the cubes Beth! Yes, such a great way to preserve excess veggies 🙂 I resisted the kitchen scale and measuring by weight for a long time, but now I LOVE it. So easy and less to clean!
Would you have any recommendations for purchasing a digital food scale or for using an online recipe calculator? I’m having to be more careful with food for health reasons. I would be much happier without this new & unexpected need for precision.
Hi Beth! I’ve only ever had one, so can’t really say if there are better/worse ones out there but this is the one I use and it works wonderfully for me: https://www.vitamix.com/us/en_us/Shop/Perfect-Blend-Smart-Scale
Can I just use all chia seeds instead of hemp (I don’t have any)? And are the substitutions for sweet potato just one-for-one with avocado? I can’t wait to try this! With swim team coming up, I want to have a good, filling breakfast I can just stuff in a blender.
Now, what to do with all those frozen bananas. . .
Yes and yes! You can use just chia seeds and the sweet potato can be subbed one for one with the avocado. Honestly it’s hard to mess these up, partly why I love them 🙂 Haha between nice cream and banana bread I don’t think that will be too serious a problem!
I have a moderate allergy to banana so I can’t wait to try this!! Would this work in your banana pancake recipe that is made in the blender? (Which I tried this morning and it was amazing).
Hmm I think these have too many other ingredients going on to work in that pancake recipe, these are really best for smoothies and nice cream bowls. But you can use applesauce or yogurt in those banana pancakes instead😊
Ok thank you. What quantity Do you think would work for either?
Same amount! Either is a 1-for-1 sub😊