Wholesome Banana Almond Milk Smoothie
Inspired by a sweet little coffee shop on the Puerto Rican coast, this wholesome banana almond milk smoothie with flax, vanilla, and a hint of cinnamon tastes like a milkshake yet is healthy and filling enough for a meal.
This post is sponsored by Almond Breeze. All content and opinions expressed are my own.
Awhile back, my husband and I enjoyed a glorious vacation in Rincon, Puerto Rico. I’m pretty sure it was only three years ago, but it honestly feels like another millennium – before we had a kiddo, before we moved to Brussels, you get the idea. Rincon is known as a big surfing destination, and though we are not surfers, we loved everything about the trip. Gorgeous sunsets, good food, lounging by the pool, watching and listening to waves crash at night, all the usual things you love about a beach vacation.
One specific stand-out, though, was this tiny little coffee shop in town, Banana Dang. We went running almost every morning we were there, it was HOT, and if you go inland just a tiny bit Rincon is actually quite hilly, so we were SUPER sweaty and spent by the end of each workout. I think it was the second day of our vacation that we happened to pop into Banana Dang for a post-run smoothie, and we literally went back every single day after that. It was that good. If memory serves, we might have even gone twice on the last day, before driving back to San Juan.
All of the smoothies at Banana Dang were amazing – and we did try them all – but my hands-down favorite was the simplest on the menu. A banana concoction with flax seeds and just a hint of vanilla and cinnamon. Normally I’m obsessed with red berries in all my blended beverages, but something about this combo was absolutely perfect as it was. I craved it the whole time we were there. I routinely wished I had one after we got home.
This was back before I cooked on the regular, so it took some time to realize – duh – I could try to recreate it.
How to freeze bananas for smoothies
I think I was the last person on the planet to realize that frozen bananas yield delicious pseudo-ice cream amazingness. My first attempts to recreate this smoothie failed pretty spectacularly, since I didn’t really understand that you need to slice the bananas before you freeze them. (I’ve learned a lot since then.)
As it turns out, when you slice, then freeze bananas, you can throw those frozen slices straight into the blender with other ingredients of your choice, and the bananas make everything rich and creamy without having to use any yogurt or other thickening agent.
Again, I realize this is last century’s news to all the “real” foodies. Thanks for sticking with me, slow learner that I am. And if you’ve never tried this before, GO slice some bananas and throw them in the freezer immediately. They’ll probably take 12-24 hours to freeze and be ready for smoothie action. Your world will be rocked.
It actually feels like cheating a bit to even call this a “recipe,” because really it’s a list of ingredients, a flexible list at that, and a simple assembly job. I believe the Banana Dang original is made with soy milk, which is delicious, but I’ve found I love the flavor that Almond Breeze Almondmilk imparts even more. Feel free to use whatever you keep on hand!
True recipe or not, this is my absolute favorite smoothie ever, so I would never want to forget the combo, and it deserves to be in your life, too.
As a final side note – since our vacation, I have heard that, sadly, Banana Dang closed up shop in Rincon. Silly though this may be, that small fact significantly dampens my enthusiasm to return to Rincon! But, they appear to have reopened a shop in southern California, and certainly if I’m ever lucky enough to find myself nearby, I will direct myself there and hope fervently that the smoothies are just as stellar as I remember them.
Since a trip to California doesn’t seem likely in my foreseeable future, though, I’m awfully glad I can make my own perfect smoothie right on my kitchen counter – in Virginia, in Brussels, or wherever else I may land. And now you can, too! Enjoy!
More tasty smoothie flavors
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Wholesome Banana Almond Milk Smoothie
- 2 bananas, sliced and frozen
- 1 cup Almond Breeze Original Almondmilk feel free to substitute regular or soy
- 1 Tablespoon flax seeds
- 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
- ½ teaspoon cinnamon
- Combine all ingredients in blender and pulse on high for 30 seconds to 1 minute, until mixture is completely smooth and thick. Serve immediately.
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77 Comments on “Wholesome Banana Almond Milk Smoothie”
Good basic recipe…I like adding a bit of almond butter for extra protein and substance…seems to keep me satisfied longer! Thanks for sharing…
Hi! I would love to try this recipe but I’m terribly new at using flaxseeds (though I’ve read they’ve got quite a lot going for them when soaked or ground form)
Should I throw them in as is or should I grind them first then add to the other ingredients? Thanks in advance! 🙂
Hi Krista! You can throw them in as-is, they’re so tiny they’ll be fine right in the smoothie, and add great nutty flavor without any hassle from grinding them separately. At least that is how we always do it. Hope you enjoy!!
I want to make this soooo badly but have zero flax seeds. Is there another substitute? Please help
You could just leave them out, or try adding a pinch of chia seeds instead!
Im curious if this would be good with vanilla vegan protein???
Yes, it would be delicious with that addition!
I am pleasantly surprised by how good this smoothie is. Such simple readily available ingredients too. Thank you! Now I will gladly stock up on bananas so I can use them to make smoothies with almond milk.
So glad you enjoy it, Jess! I totally agree, smoothie making has changed my entire outlook on overripe bananas. 🙂
I can’t wait to try it. I have made similar smoothies with almond milk, frozen bananas, wheat germ, amaretto liqueur, & cocoa. Added a little almond butter to one. Mine was very good but was searching for actual recipes and found yours! I wasn’t using enough banana. Thank you fir sharing!!
Almond Breeze brand now makes a wonderful Banana almond milk that is absolutely delicious. Bet this would make this recipe even better!
I live in IA and love the vanilla almond Breeze milk.but I was not aware that they made a banana flavor. Where can I by i
Hi Felecia – the banana flavor in this smoothie comes from the actual bananas, not from the almond milk. So what you’re used to should work perfectly. You can follow the link in the post to see where it’s sold.
Why do you have to freeze the bananas? What’s the difference if you don’t freeze them? Regards
Hi Nathan – if the bananas aren’t frozen, you’d probably want to add 1-2 cups of ice to ensure its cold and has a nice, smoothie-like consistency. Of course that would in turn make the smoothie a little more watery, but it would probably still be quite good!
Just tried it – it’s AMAZING! Thank you 🙂
This is really a great breakfast drink option for vegan people. But almond milk is much more expensive than other milk. Even soy milk less expensive than almond milk in India. So I prefer soy milk over almond milk to make vegan banana smoothie.
Soy milk is also a great option for this, in fact that’s how I made it myself for a long time, and still do from time to time!
I added half a cup of oatmeal to ensure it’s a perfect boobie smoothie! 😁 Great tasting and great for breastfeeding! Thanks guys!
Haha, I love it! Brilliant addition. Congrats on your new addition! 🙂
I have an almond milk recipe which only includes almonds and water if you are interested
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This smoothie is perfect for the absurd amount of frozen bananas I have in my freezer right now! Definitely going to be making this!
I’ve been on a smoothie kick lately but I’ve mostly been eating the same thing over and over. Can’t wait to add a little variety to my routine with this banana almond milk twist. I bet it’s delish!
I love including bananas and almond milk in my smoothies, but I’ve never used flax seeds. Thanks for the suggestion!
I add vanilla protein. Perfection
I love recipes that feel like a “cheat” to call them one because they’re so easy – this looks great!
Recently, I started to make a lot of smoothies to substitute my ice cream cravings. Yours look so delicious, I will definitely make it this week)
Bananas are by far my favorite fruit to add to smoothies. They make everything so creamy!
This smoothie looks super healthy. Just a few tasty ingredients go a long way!
I love how simple this smoothie is. I always tend to add way too many ingredients in my smoothies, but I’m sure my kids will love this healthy banana “milkshake”
Your trip to Puerto Rico sounds magical. I’d love to go there someday! I love how easy and delicious your recipe is. I simply adore bananas in smoothies!! And I always use almond milk so it’s a win for me!! Great recipes and beautiful photos!
Hi Elaine! It was really great – we want to go back, although I’m sure much will have changed after the hurricane(s) last year. So sad. Glad you like the recipe – bananas and almond milk make a fantastic combination! And thank you so much for your kind words about the photos!
I like using my bullet for smoothies dressing etc.
simple and delicious! Banana smoothie is one of my go-to recipes. Love the addition of flaxseeds.
Thanks for sharing!
Thanks so much, Ashima – I appreciate you stopping by and am glad you like the recipe!
A classic flavor combo for smoothies. It never fails! Delicious.
Agreed – it’s the one smoothie combo I go back to again and again! Thanks so much, Kate!