The worst part about hating bananas is trying to find a smoothie recipe that doesn’t include these freaks of nature. I know I’m exaggerating, but nonetheless, I don’t want bananas in my smoothies. Luckily, there are a lot of different ways to easily thicken up your smoothies without sacrificing texture or flavor (or using bananas). End your fruitless (pun intended) search for alternatives, and try using these 10 banana substitutes for your smoothies. 

1. Sweet Potato

Wikimedia Commons

This fall staple seems an unlikely component for a smoothie, but cooked sweet potatoes offer a rich texture that pairs well with chocolate, acai, blueberry, apple, and other fruits. All you have to do is bake a couple fresh sweet potatoes, blend them into a puree, and add it to your smoothie for instant creaminess. About ⅓ cup of the puree is enough to substitute for one fresh medium banana. If you’re looking for a smoothie with a warm autumn flavor, try The Green Creator’s recipe to bring you back to your favorite season.

2. Chia Seeds

blender, smoothie, chia seeds, yogurt, frozen strawberries, tea, ice, sweet, juice
Caroline Ingalls

Because they're binding agents, chia seeds are the perfect “glue” for your smoothie. After adding about 1 tablespoon of the seeds to your smoothie, allow it to set for a minute for an even thicker texture. Now you can enjoy your smoothie sans banana, superfood health bonus included.

3. Avocado

avocado, vegetable, sweet, guacamole
Jessica Kelly

Looks like avocados are good for more than just being millennial scapegoats. Bananas clearly have some competition—believe it or not, avocados are high in potassium as well. This versatile ingredient adds a subtle flavor and velvety texture to your smoothie. Avocados go great with ingredients like blueberries and spinach, which are both included in this amazing recipe

4. Canned Pumpkin

pumpkin, sweet, sweet potato, potato
Alyssa Robertson

Similar to the sweet potato puree, canned pumpkin will add a distinct fall flavor to your drink while smoothing out and thickening the texture. Roughly ½ cup of organic canned pumpkin will be enough to substitute for one banana. If you're feeling adventurous, try this cereal milk smoothie to create a simple dessert that fulfills every childhood dream.

5. Frozen Veggies

marinated cucumber, vegetable, herb, cucumber, pickled cucumber, oil
Kara Schiaparelli

Yes, you read that right. It turns out that cubed cucumbers and zucchini lose their distinctly “vegetable taste" when you put them in the freezer, so when you add them to your smoothie, you get a satisfying ice cream-like texture without the veggie undertones. Replace your frozen banana slices with about the same number of frozen veggies. I would recommend using frozen vegetables in sweeter smoothies for maximum flavor.

6. Coconut Cream

lime & coconut ice cream

jules:stonesoup on Flickr

Aside from being a creamy texture enhancer, coconut cream packs a punch of flavor that every smoothie needs. It also adds healthy fats and nutrients to your drink, as included in this cocoa coconut low-carb shake recipe. Prepare to experience some serious summertime nostalgia.

7. Rolled Oats

cereal, wheat, corn, pasture, oat, oatmeal, barley, hands, handful, handful of oats, grain, Rolled oats
Jocelyn Hsu

Rolled oats offer a fiber-filled alternative for your smoothie that keeps you satisfied for the day. You can either directly add about ½ cup of oats into the blender or soak them in milk or water for an hour to create a smoother texture. Whatever you choose, you're sure to have a lusciously thick smoothie on your hands that will make you feel fuller and happier.

8. Frozen Fruit

strawberry, sweet, berry, candy, frozen strawberries, smoothie, chia seeds, ice, blender
Caroline Ingalls

Although it seems obvious to include this food group in your drink, you’ll be surprised by how much of a difference freezing the fruit beforehand can actually make. Whole frozen fruit doubles as a natural sweetener and texture-thickener—the less liquid you use in the smoothie, the more scoopable it gets. Why drink your smoothie with a plastic straw when you can eat it with a spoon instead?

9. Yogurt

Homemade Yogurt

wuestenigel on Flickr

As you probably could have guessed, adding yogurt to your smoothie is a simple and effective way to create a creamy texture without using bananas. If you use Greek yogurt, you will get a thicker smoothie with additional protein benefits. For both types of yogurt, plain is probably your best bet—vanilla flavored should work just as well, but be wary of added sugars. 

#Spoon Tip: Fruit juice also pairs really well with yogurt in smoothies, like in this Copycat Panera Strawberry Smoothie Recipe. Panera stans, this one's for you.

10. Quinoa  

cereal, wheat, porridge, buckwheat, corn, groats, quinoa, millet
Christin Urso

Adding this superfood to your smoothie is a healthy way to keep it plant-based and sustainable. Just cook ¾ or 1 cup of quinoa, throw it in the blender with some fruit and veggies, and voila! It's especially great in green smoothies

So all hope is not lost after all. I have only scratched the surface with smoothie-thickening possibilities—now it’s your turn to explore and invent new flavor combinations. Don’t be afraid to experiment. Texture and taste can be fine-tuned to your preferences, so playing around with these 10 banana substitutes for your smoothies is just the first step to achieving smoothie royalty.