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12 Good Substitutes for Bananas (In Recipes or Smoothies)

Avocados, canned pumpkin, plantains, sweet potatoes, greek yogurt, applesauce, and watermelon can all be suitable substitutes for bananas, depending on what you intend to use them for. Whether it is cooking, baking, making smoothies, or simply getting in your Potassium, there are many substitutes for bananas.

A bunch of bananas on a dark table

You may want to find substitutes for bananas for many reasons, including being allergic, disliking the taste, or even simply the unavailability of bananas at a given moment. Read on to find alternatives for all your banana needs. 

1. Avocados

Good for smoothies – Yes

Good for baking – Yes

With their creamy texture and mild flavor, avocados work well in smoothies and many baked goods instead of bananas. They are fatty and rich and provide similar results to bananas and added health benefits.

To substitute bananas with avocados, simply swap them in a 1:1 ratio by weight. You may, however, need to add a little extra sweetener since avocados aren’t naturally sweet like bananas.

2. Mangoes

Good for smoothies – Yes

Good for baking – Sometimes

Juicy and delicious, mangoes are a highly underrated banana substitute. They have a smooth texture when blended and taste pretty sweet.

In smoothies, mangoes can easily replace bananas. You can use frozen mangoes instead of room-temperature mangoes for a thicker smoothie. Substitute 1 cup of mango per banana and enjoy a refreshing smoothie.

While they work well in smoothies, baking mangoes will draw out a lot of moisture and sugar from them. So, using mango instead of bananas to make your banana-based baked goods will alter the texture and flavor by a considerable margin. They will become too dense and sweet, which may not be pleasant.

But, if you happen to find a recipe that was written specifically for mangoes, the taste will be amazing. In fact, I have a mango bread recipe that is a huge family favorite.

3. Cashews

Good for smoothies – Yes

Good for baking – Sometimes

Known for their rich and creamy texture and mellow nutty taste, cashews are no less of a competition to bananas than any other items on this list. Besides having great flavor and texture, cashews are also a great source of healthy fats.

Cashews on a small plate

Cashews soaked in warm water can be an excellent alternative for bananas in smoothies, with the addition of some type of sweetener.

While baking, cashews cannot entirely replace bananas because they are unsuitable binders. As such, they cannot be used for cakes. However, you can use blended, soaked cashews for foods such as cookies and muffins.

4. Chia Seeds or Flaxseeds

Good for smoothies – Yes

Good for baking – No

Chia seeds and flaxseeds are considered superfoods and have many health benefits. When soaked, these seeds absorb water and become soft. These soaked seeds, when blended, form a thick, creamy paste.

You can add this paste to your smoothies instead of bananas to improve the texture. Besides giving your smoothies a thicker consistency, these seeds also improve your gut health and keep you full longer.

They are, however, relatively bland. If you do not like a plain-tasting smoothie, you can add sweeteners and other flavoring substances to make your smoothie taste better.

Unfortunately, the seeds do not retain their moisture while baking. As such, there are better replacements for bananas in baked goods.

5. Oats

Good for smoothies – Yes

Good for baking – No

Who doesn’t know about the health benefits of oats? They have a high fiber content and are a great addition to your daily diet.

Soaked and pureed oats have a thick, creamy consistency and are an excellent substitute for bananas as far as smoothies are concerned. Like chia seeds and flaxseeds, oats also help keep you full longer.

Except for the slightly milky taste, soaked oats are also rather bland on their own. So, you may want to add a sweetener.

While oats are often used in baking, the texture they impart in baked foods is far from the texture imparted by bananas. Hence, they aren’t considered a good banana replacements in baking.

6. Applesauce

Good for smoothies – No

Good for baking – Yes

While the texture of the applesauce is similar to that of a mashed banana, pulsing applesauce in a blender will not yield the creamy and smooth surface of a blended banana. The water in the applesauce will separate and thin out the smoothie. Adding it to your smoothie will most likely ruin its texture.

Besides being a great snack and, sometimes, even a dip, applesauce is also an excellent substitute for bananas in baking. It is thick and retains a large amount of moisture.

A small jar of applesauce with apples nearby

The consistency of the applesauce maintains the density of the baked product at around the same level as that achieved using bananas. Also, the high moisture content ensures the baked goods don’t dry out or have an altered crumb texture.

Additionally, the sugar content in applesauce is high enough to eliminate the need for extra sweeteners. To substitute applesauce for bananas, use ½ cup of applesauce per banana.

7. Frozen Veggies

Good for smoothies – Yes

Good for baking – Sometimes

Vegetables are an essential part of our diet. They provide us with fiber and a whole array of micronutrients. We have all used frozen veggies to make a quick stir fry or to whip up some fried rice. But there is more to them than meets the eye.

A great, easy, and delicious way of incorporating vegetables into your diet is to turn them into smoothies.

When added to a smoothie, frozen vegetables, such as cauliflower and spinach, provide thickness and body. These vegetables are impossible to detect through taste alone and can easily substitute for bananas because of their texture.

However, you need a more significant amount of other flavorings and ingredients to counter their bland vegetable taste.

You can’t use most vegetables in your baking. That is unless you want a salad cake/bread. However, I can think of one exception: zucchini, which makes excellent zucchini bread.

8. Sweet Potatoes

Good for smoothies – Yes

Good for baking – Yes

If a sweet potato is baked, roasted, or boiled, you can blend it and use it in a smoothie in place of a banana as well. The blended cooked sweet potato has a smooth and thick texture, similar to a blended banana, and doesn’t significantly alter the smoothie’s consistency.

Cutting Sweet Potato on Cutting Board with Cubed Sweet Potatoes in a Tupperware Behind

Baked or cooked sweet potatoes are tender, creamy, and healthy. You can use them instead of bananas in your baked goods because they hold onto their moisture when heated.

Also, as the name suggests, sweet potatoes are sweet, so that you won’t need additional sugar. 

Typically, ⅓ cup of sweet potato puree should be used as a substitute for one large banana.

9. Plantains

Good for smoothies – Yes

Good for baking – Yes

Although they come from the same family, bananas and plantains have different flavors and viscosities. But, they’re still interchangeable in both baking and making smoothies.

Plantains contain less sugar and more starch than bananas. They are also larger in comparison. 

The high starch content makes for a thicker texture when blended, making your baked goods denser and more gooey. It also gives your smoothies more body than a regular banana, making them more filling. Additionally, the larger size of plantains means you will have less waste. 

On the downside, the low sugar content causes plantains to taste bland. While this neutral taste is excellent for cooking savory dishes (which plantains are also commonly used for in certain areas like South America), they are ideal for cakes and smoothies. Therefore, add more sugar to help with the bland taste. 

10. Pumpkin Puree

Good for smoothies – Yes

Good for baking – Yes

It’s Fall, and you have plenty of pumpkin puree on hand but don’t know what to do with it. A great option is to ditch the bananas for a while and use this pumpkin goodness instead.

You can make smoothies using pumpkin puree. Blending pumpkin puree will further smooth its texture. This, paired with its sweetness, makes the mixture ideal for a smoothie.

However, pumpkin puree can become runny when blended. So, you should use some frozen fruit or vegetable alongside it if you prefer a thicker smoothie.

Pumpkin puree has a high water content and the ability to retain it. Additionally, it has a familiar sweet flavor that we all know and love. Replacing your mashed overripe banana with pumpkin gives you the right texture, density, sweetness, and moisture level in whatever baked goodies you use it for.

11. Greek Yogurt

Good for smoothies – Yes

Good for baking – Yes

Greek yogurt is one of the hottest new products on the market. Its creamy texture and refreshing, tangy flavor are to die for. It is also a good source of protein and healthy fats. But what if we tell you there is more to Greek yogurt than dips and dressings?

If you hang a cheesecloth full of Greek yogurt for a few hours, it will lose a lot of its water content, and the thickness and creaminess of the yogurt will increase. This hung yogurt can be used in smoothies to give them their signature creamy texture.

A disadvantage to using Greek yogurt, however, is that it has a tangy flavor. You can add extra sugar to counter this.

As already mentioned, Greek yogurt has a creamy texture. It also has good water retention and can do well in baking. As a banana substitute, it not only does well to keep the baked stuff moist but also weighs the batter down and gives it a dense crumb when baked.

12. Silken Tofu

Good for smoothies  – Yes

Good for baking – Yes

With people’s palates maturing over the past few years and opening up to foods from different cultures, tofu has become quite popular in the US.

This soy-based delight comes in many forms: silken, regular, firm, extra-firm, and super-firm. Silken is best suited for blending and adding to cakes and smoothies because it has the least concentrated tofu taste and the smoothest texture when combined.

To substitute silken tofu for banana, add it to your recipe in a 1:1 ratio by weight.

Silken tofu has no real distinguishable taste, which is excellent in that it won’t give your smoothies and cakes a soy taste. However, to balance its blandness, you must add more sweetener to your recipe than when using bananas.

An additional benefit to adding silken tofu to your smoothies and baked goods is that it is vegan and a high-density source of protein. This makes it a great addition to the diet for all those who are into fitness.

11 Good Banana Substitutes for Potassium Intake

Suppose you’re allergic to bananas or are on a dietary restriction. In that case, you may be wondering what other foods you can consume to maintain the optimum level of Potassium in your body. Here are a few alternatives for you:

  • Beans
  • Beetroot
  • Coconut Water
  • Dried Apricots
  • Legumes
  • Orange juice
  • Pomegranate
  • Potatoes
  • Spinach
  • Tomato paste
  • Watermelon