Avocado adds creaminess and healthy fats to smoothies. If you don’t have avocado on hand, there are several substitutes you can use instead:
- Greek yogurt – Adds protein and creamy texture
- Silken tofu – Provides creaminess
- Banana – Imparts natural sweetness
- Nut butters – Almond, peanut, cashew add healthy fats
- Coconut milk – Adds richness and creamy texture
- Cottage cheese – Provides protein and richness
- Oats – Contribute thickness and fiber
- Seeds – Chia, flax, hemp add healthy fats
When choosing a substitute, consider its texture, flavor, and nutritional profile. The best alternatives will mimic the creaminess of avocado while providing additional benefits. Experiment to find your perfect avocado swap!
Why Use Avocado in Smoothies
Avocados have become a popular addition to smoothies in recent years. Here are some of the key benefits avocado brings to smoothie recipes:
The rich, creamy texture of avocados makes smoothies thick, lush, and satisfying. Just half an avocado can turn a runny smoothie into a milkshake-like treat. The healthy fats in avocado help create an ultra-creamy blended beverage.
Avocados provide heart-healthy monounsaturated fats that help keep you full and provide energy. Unlike fat from meat and dairy, the fat content in avocados doesn’t raise cholesterol levels. Avocados contain omega-3 fatty acids that reduce inflammation.
With 7 grams of fiber in one half of a medium avocado, these fruits boost the fiber content of smoothies. The fiber aids digestion and keeps you feeling full longer.
Avocados contain 20 different vitamins and minerals, including vitamins C, E, K, and B-6, as well as riboflavin, niacin, folate, pantothenic acid, magnesium, and potassium. Adding avocado to smoothies helps provide a range of nutrients.
While relatively mild in taste on their own, avocados blend well with other smoothie ingredients and impart a pleasant, creamy flavor. Their richness balances out sharper or more tart flavors.
Avocados work in both fruit- and vegetable-based smoothies. They pair well with leafy greens, citrus fruits, tropical fruits, berries, milk, yogurt, and more. It’s easy to incorporate avocado into many smoothie recipes.
Finding Suitable Avocado Substitutes for Smoothies
When you don’t have avocado available, look for ingredients that can stand in as replacements. Ideal substitutes will mimic avocado’s creaminess and nutritional profile. Here are some of the best options:
Greek yogurt makes an excellent substitution for avocado in smoothies. It has a thick, creamy texture that gives smoothies a milkshake-like consistency. Greek yogurt contains protein for staying power and probiotics for healthy digestion. It has a tart, tangy flavor that complements both sweet and savory smoothies.
For best results, choose a full-fat, unsweetened Greek yogurt. Use 1/4 to 1/2 cup of yogurt in place of half an avocado. The yogurt forms a smooth emulsion and thickens up a blended beverage beautifully.
Silken tofu is a vegan alternative to Greek yogurt for adding creaminess to smoothies. It blends up smoothly with a rich, velvety texture. Silken tofu is a good source of plant-based protein to keep you satisfied. It also provides calcium, iron and other nutrients.
Silken tofu has a neutral flavor that adapts well to other smoothie ingredients. Try using 1/4 to 1/2 cup of silken tofu in your smoothies as a substitute for half an avocado.
Bananas are naturally sweet and add thickness to blended drinks thanks to their starchiness. Simply add half a peeled, ripe banana to your smoothie instead of avocado. Bananas impart a sweetness that balances out green leafy or acidic ingredients.
While bananas don’t mimic the creaminess of avocado, their easy flavor and thick texture make them a handy replacement when you’re all out of avo.
Nut butters like almond, peanut, and cashew butter deliver healthy fats and protein just like avocados. They add richness, nutty flavor, and luxurious thickness to smoothies.
Use 1 to 2 tablespoons of your favorite nut butter in place of half an avocado in smoothie recipes. Look for unsweetened, natural nut butters without hydrogenated oils.
The creamy richness of coconut milk rivals the velvety texture of avocado in smoothies. Canned full-fat coconut milk works best. Shake the can well before opening to incorporate the thick coconut cream at the top.
Coconut milk adds healthy medium-chain triglycerides (MCTs), which are directly absorbed and used for energy by the body. Use 1/4 to 1/2 cup of coconut milk instead of avocado.
Cottage cheese may seem like an unlikely smoothie ingredient, but its thick, creamy texture makes it a surprisingly good avocado substitute. The small curds blend up smoothly. Cottage cheese adds a good dose of protein, too.
For the mildest flavor, use 1/4 to 1/2 cup of low-fat cottage cheese in your smoothie instead of avocado. Its richness pairs well with sweet and savory ingredients.
Quick oats, steel-cut oats, and old-fashioned rolled oats can all add creaminess and natural thickness to smoothies, just like avocados. Oats also contribute fiber, protein, and other nutrients.
Use 1 to 2 tablespoons of dry oats blended with the other smoothie ingredients and liquid. For very thick smoothies, try soaking the oats in milk or yogurt overnight before blending.
Nutrient-rich seeds like chia, flax, and hemp provide the healthy fats found in avocados when added to smoothies. Just 1 to 2 tablespoons of seeds whipped into your smoothie recipe can replace the richness that avocado usually lends.
Chia and flax seeds develop a gelatinous texture when soaked in liquid, thickening up smoothies overnight when refrigerated. Hemp seeds have a soft, creamy quality.
Smoothie Recipes Without Avocado
Here are some nutritious and delicious smoothies to try making without avocado:
Strawberry Banana Protein Smoothie
- 1 banana
- 1 cup strawberries
- 1/2 cup Greek yogurt
- 1/2 cup milk of choice
- 2 tbsp honey or maple syrup (optional)
- 1 scoop protein powder (optional)
Green Detox Smoothie
- 1 cup baby spinach
- 1 cup coconut water
- 1/2 cup pineapple chunks
- 1 tbsp chia seeds
- 1 tbsp lime juice
Berry Almond Smoothie
- 1 cup almond milk
- 1/2 cup mixed berries
- 2 tbsp almond butter
- 1 tsp honey or maple syrup (optional)
- 1/4 cup quick oats
Chocolate Peanut Butter Smoothie
- 1 banana
- 2 tbsp peanut butter
- 1 tbsp cocoa powder
- 1 cup milk of choice
- 1 tsp vanilla
- 1 date or 2 tbsp honey for sweetness (optional)
Piña Colada Smoothie
- 1/2 cup pineapple chunks
- 1/2 cup coconut milk
- 1/4 cup vanilla Greek yogurt
- 1 tbsp honey
- 1/4 cup ice
Tips for the Best Avocado Substitute Smoothies
Here are some tips for making delicious, creamy smoothies even when you don’t have avocado:
- Use ripe bananas for natural sweetness and thickness.
- Refrigerate chia seeds in liquid overnight to create a gel.
- Try full-fat coconut milk and Greek yogurt for added richness.
- Blend in soft silken tofu for a protein boost.
- Add nut butter for healthy fats and creaminess.
- Use ice to lend a thicker, chilled texture.
- Experiment with oats, seeds, milk, yogurt, fruit, and greens.
- Sweeten with honey, dates, or maple syrup if desired.
- Sprinkle with chia seeds, coconut, granola or nuts for crunch.
With so many options like Greek yogurt, banana, nut butter, and more, you can make healthy avocado-free smoothies with a deliciously thick texture. Try out different combinations and find your new favorite ingredients!
Avocados offer valuable nutrients, creaminess and healthy fats to smoothies. But you don’t have to miss out when avocados are out of season or not on hand. With suitable substitutions like Greek yogurt, silken tofu, banana, nut butter, coconut milk, cottage cheese, oats and seeds, you can make smoothies with a similar luxurious mouthfeel.
Experiment to find the replacements you like best. Ripe banana, creamy Greek yogurt, rich nut butter, and velvety coconut milk are especially good options. Add the substitute to your favorite smoothie recipe in a similar quantity to the avocado it replaces. Whip up nourishing smoothies any time of year using avocado alternatives you likely have in your kitchen already.