Almost every smoothie recipe known to man includes a banana. How else are you supposed to achieve that thick smoothie texture? While bananas are a great add in for a smoothie thickener, they pack a hefty amount of carbs, sugars and a distinct taste. But, you're in luck! You can still enjoy a luscious creamy smoothie without that yellow frenemy of ours. I’ve found that there’s a variety of other options to keep your smoothie interesting and thick that don’t include bananas.

Sara Hulsman

Xanthan Gum

Xanthan gum is a powder that is common, specifically in vegan baked goods, because it binds the ingredients together. It's also found in things like ice cream, salad dressings and a variety of other foods. A little bit goes along way though, I'd recommend using half a teaspoon because a little bit goes along way and too much could make your smoothie gummy! You can pick it up at places like Sprouts, Trader Joe’s, Whole Foods and Amazon. 

Sara Hulsman

Cauliflower Rice

This is my personal favorite ingredient because it adds the perfect thickness, no flavor AND you’re getting a serving of vegetables in. Talk about a holy Grail? Here's the trick though, the cauliflower rice has to be frozen to do its job. One cup of this and your smoothie will be thick enough to eat with a spoon. You can find this in virtually any grocery store in the freezer section. So next time you're making one of these smoothies, experiment with some cauliflower rice.

cauliflower, sweet, rice
Kristine Mahan

Chia Seeds

Have you ever heard of a chia egg or chia pudding? Chia seeds work well once they are added with a liquid. They expand and create a gel like substance, which is essential in giving the smoothie a thick liquid base to start with. Typically, I put 2 tablespoons of chia seeds in a water bottle, shake it up and put it in the fridge overnight to let it work its magic. Plus, not only does this thicken your smoothies, you'll also get in those omega-3s

cereal, herb, relish, coffee, cumin, sesame seed, condiment
Caroline Ingalls


Chopped zucchini works perfect as a smoothie thickener because it has a slight taste, so it won't take away away of the flavors of your smoothie, and you get a serving of veggies in. Much like cauliflower rice, this makes getting all your veggies in a breeze. Try out this green smoothie and instead of the banana listed, swap in a cup of frozen zucchini. My favorite way to use Zucchini in smoothies is to chop it up, freeze it and then blend away. A smoothie I find myself reaching for constantly is half to one cup full of almond milk, one or two stevia packets, a little coffee, and a whooping cup full of frozen zucchini. It has the consistency of ice cream but, the lack of guilt afterwards.

vegetable, courgette, zucchini, cucumber, squash
Sophie Rodosky


You know them. You love them. Avocados are used on savory foods like toast to sweet baked goods like brownies. But why stop there? Avocados are not only a healthy fat, they also provide just the right density to make your smoothie thick and luscious. The best part is, if you went wild at the grocery store and bought so many that you can't possibly eat them all, you;re in luck. Simply cut the avocados up, put them in a Ziploc, and throw them in the freezer. Which will result in your smoothie being even thicker. Acai bowls anyone? 

Suyi Li

Protein powder

Protein powder works because not only are you packing on the protein in your smoothie, you're also providing yourself with a substantial smoothie that will hold you over for hours. Here's why it works, protein powder sucks up moisture in your smoothie, which creates a thicker texture a.k.a. resulting in creamy goodness
flour, dough, bread, cereal
Allison Wojtowecz

So, next time the banana phone is ringing, don't pick up.

smoothie, juice, sweet, apple
Mimi Dunn