Banana Smoothie

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This easy Banana Smoothie recipe is made with just 4 ingredients and no added sugar. Start with a banana and some vanilla for natural sweetness, then add your favorite protein powder or Greek yogurt and water or milk.

2 jars with Banana Smoothies and straws.


 

Banana Smoothies are my favorite post-workout treat. After lifting or running, your body is looking for extra fuel to rebuild muscles and replenish energy stores, so this is the best possible time to enjoy a banana.

And since bananas are naturally sweet, you won’t need any extra sugar. I love to add a splash of vanilla, though, for its warmth.

Beyond that, add your favorite beverage (milk or any non-dairy alternative such as almond milk, oat milk, or soy milk), or just water. Just note: for the proper milkshake texture, you need to start with frozen bananas. Otherwise, your smoothie might be a little more watery, regardless of what beverage you add.

Recipe ingredients

Labeled ingredients for banana smoothies.

At a Glance: Here is a quick snapshot of what ingredients are in this recipe.
Please see the recipe card below for specific quantities.

Ingredient notes

  • Bananas: For the best banana smoothie, use fully-ripe or slightly overripe bananas (brown spots mean naturally sweet!). See Recipe FAQs for tips on how to ripen bananas in your oven. Bananas can then be peeled and frozen (for the best texture in your smoothie, frozen bananas are a must! It’s okay if a few banana slices are stuck together.).
  • Protein powder: You can use either plain Greek yogurt or protein powder in this smoothie. Flavors such as chocolate and vanilla work great here, especially vanilla yogurt. Protein powder is never a one-size-fits-all solution, but I wrote extensively about the Best Protein Powders for Smoothies because it’s something I care about. If you don’t currently have a favorite, you might be able to find one in the list.
  • Almond milk: Any dairy, vegan, non-dairy milk, or dairy-free milk alternatives, such as cashew milk, coconut milk, oat milk, or soy milk will do, as long as it is unflavored and unsweetened.

Step-by-step instructions

  1. In the bottom of a blender, add water, banana, protein powder, or Greek yogurt, and vanilla extract.
Ingredients for a banana smoothie in a blender.
  1. Blend until smooth.
Ingredients for a banana smoothie in a blender.

Recipe tips and variations

  • Yield: This recipe makes about 2 cups of the smoothie, enough for 1 serving.
  • Storage: Store leftovers covered in the refrigerator for up to 4 days. Some separation may occur, so shake or stir to combine before enjoying.
  • Flax or chia seeds: Add 2 tablespoons of flax seeds, ground flax seeds, or chia seeds for an extra boost of protein, fiber, and healthy fats. If desired, you can soak the chia seeds in water for 5 to 10 minutes, but it’s not required. Bob’s Red Mill is my favorite brand for these.
  • Customize your smoothie: Add more texture with nut butter such as peanut or almond butter (the flavor will change). You could also add frozen spinach or kale to your smoothie; you’ll get a boost of veggies! Add avocado if you’re looking for a more filling smoothie (the color will change, of course). Add a pinch of cocoa powder or cinnamon for even more flavor.
  • Sweeteners: This smoothie is naturally sweet, but for an extra boost, you can use your preferred sweeteners such as honey, maple syrup, agave, stevia, or even brown sugar.
  • Blueberry Smoothie: This Blueberry Smoothie is a real treat. It’s also one of the healthier smoothies around because berries are naturally low in sugar (even the “good” kind) and high in potassium and vitamin C.
  • Caribbean Passion Smoothie: This Jamba Juice copycat is sweet, refreshing, and easy to make at home. It tastes EXACTLY like the real thing!
  • Carrot Smoothie: You’ll love the flavors of mango, bananas, and orange juice in this colorful, vibrant smoothie starring a secret ingredient: frozen carrots.
  • Mango Smoothie: This simple smoothie is flavored with mangoes and bananas with Greek yogurt for protein and milk for creaminess. 
  • Peanut Butter Smoothie: Even with no-sugar peanut butter, this 4-ingredient protein-packed Peanut Butter Banana Smoothie recipe tastes sweet and light while keeping you full.
  • Spinach Smoothie: This green smoothie incorporates fresh spinach, banana, pineapple, and yogurt making for a super simple, totally delicious way to eat more greens.
  • Strawberry Banana Smoothie Recipe: Add fresh or frozen strawberries to make a simple, delicious, and classic Strawberry Banana Smoothie.
  • Strawberry Citrus Ginger Smoothie: Quench your thirst with this refreshing and fruity treat perfect for crushing your sweet cravings.
2 jars with Banana Smoothies and straws.

Frequently Asked Questions

How do I ripen bananas?

Use fully-ripe or slightly overripe bananas (brown spots mean naturally sweet!). If you only have firm, green ones on hand, you can ripen the bananas in a 300-degree oven: Arrange unpeeled bananas on a baking sheet, then bake until banana skins are completely black all over, about 15 to 20 minutes. Cool completely, peel, and freeze.

My blender always struggles with smoothies. How can I process smoothies easier?

If you don’t have a high-powered blender like a Vitamix, your blender may find frozen fruit and ice challenging. Especially if you notice that your blender errs on the weak side, but a best practice for all smoothie-makers, start by adding the liquid portion of the recipe, then add the fruit and vegetables on top. If frozen, let them thaw a bit before blending. Check out my guide to the best blenders.

What’s the key to a thick smoothie texture?

If you enjoy your smoothies on the thicker side, use a frozen banana and add ice cubes, if desired. If you prefer a juicer, straw-sippable smoothie, blend in fresh banana instead.

More banana recipes

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2 jars with Banana Smoothies and straws.

Banana Smoothie

This easy Banana Smoothie recipe is made with just 4 ingredients and no added sugar.
Prep Time 1 minute
Total Time 1 minute
Servings 1 serving (2 cups)
Course Drinks
Cuisine American
Calories 247
5 from 1 vote

Ingredients 

  • ½ cup water or almond milk
  • 1 large banana peeled and frozen (see note 1)
  • 1 scoop protein powder or ½ cup Greek yogurt (see note 2)
  • ½ teaspoon vanilla extract

Instructions 

  • In the bottom of a blender, add water, banana, protein powder or Greek yogurt, and vanilla extract. Blend until smooth.

Notes

  1. Bananas: Use fully-ripe or slightly overripe bananas (brown spots mean naturally sweet!). See Recipe FAQs for tips on how to ripen bananas in your oven. Bananas can then be peeled and frozen (for the best texture in your smoothie, frozen bananas are a must!).
  2. Protein powder: Use either your favorite vanilla protein powder or ½ cup Greek yogurt.
  3. Yield: This recipe makes about 2 cups of smoothie, enough for 1 serving.
  4. Storage: Store leftovers covered in the refrigerator for up to 4 days. Some separation may occur, so shake or stir to combine before enjoying.

Nutrition

Serving: 2 cupsCalories: 247kcalCarbohydrates: 34gProtein: 26gFat: 2gSaturated Fat: 1gPolyunsaturated Fat: 0.1gMonounsaturated Fat: 0.04gCholesterol: 50mgSodium: 52mgPotassium: 580mgFiber: 4gSugar: 19gVitamin A: 167IUVitamin C: 12mgCalcium: 109mgIron: 2mg
Did you make this recipe?Tag @culinaryhill on Instagram so we can admire your masterpiece! #culinaryhill
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Meggan Hill is a classically-trained chef and professional writer. Her meticulously-tested recipes and detailed tutorials bring confidence and success to home cooks everywhere. Meggan has been featured on NPR, HuffPost, FoxNews, LA Times, and more.

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