By Team Dirty
Aug 13, 2022,
You’re never too old for ice cream. On warm days, there’s nothing like a cold, sweet treat to make you feel childlike joy. Now that you’re an adult, you may want a bit more from your food, even the sweets. That’s fine and totally doable! Our Green Smoothie that Tastes like Ice Cream is just the ticket—no scoop required! This dairy-free treat is sweet, creamy, cold, and full of nutritious whole fruits, veggies, and seeds.
Molly Patrick originally published this recipe in October 2017, and it has been a Dirty favorite ever since. Enjoy!
Green Smoothie that Tastes like Ice Cream ingredients
Spinach: this leafy vegetable puts the green in green smoothie. Feel free to use any variety, just be sure to pack it into your measuring cup so you have enough.
Unsweetened non-dairy milk: this will provide some creaminess. We like to use soy or coconut milk (the kind in the carton, not the can) since it has a higher fat content, but any kind is suitable.
Banana: this is where most of the sweetness in our smoothie is coming from, so use the ripest bananas you can find. The darker the better. Freezing the fruit means we don’t have to add ice, so don’t skip this step. Pro tip: peel and chop just ripe bananas (mostly yellow with some brown spots but no green) and pop in the freezer for at least two days before using—their deep, sweet flavor will continue to develop without becoming mushy. Freeze first in a single layer and then transfer to an airtight container to prevent them from sticking together.
Frozen blueberries: these little beauties add sweetness and bright tartness. Plus, frozen blueberries are available year-round and in most markets. You can substitute fresh berries if you’d like, but you may need to add a handful of ice to ensure your smoothie is super cold.
Raw, shelled hemp seeds: hemp seeds are a great source of naturally occurring fats, which our bodies need to survive. They’re also high in fiber and protein.
Vanilla extract: this is really the key to the ice cream experience we’re going for. Along with the obvious vanilla flavor, it adds a subtle depth to our smoothie that’s hard to get with fruit alone.
Let’s make this dairy-free smoothie
First, peel and chop your bananas into 1-inch or so chunks and freeze for at least four hours (see our pro tip above for our recommendations). We suggest small chunks regardless of what blender you’re using since longer blend times create friction and will warm our smoothie.
Measure your spinach, water, non-dairy milk, frozen bananas, frozen blueberries, hemp seeds, and vanilla extract directly into your blender.
Blend until super creamy and smooth, and all the banana chunks are gone.
If your smoothie is a bit thin, add some more banana. Enjoy immediately.
Our Green Smoothie that Tastes like Ice Cream recipe makes about 32 ounces or enough for two 16-oz smoothies. If you have any leftover, you can store it in the fridge for a couple of days. When you’re ready to enjoy the rest, throw it back into the blender with a handful of ice (or more frozen banana) to get back that slightly thick smoothie consistency.
- 2 packed cups fresh spinach (70 g)
- 1 cup water (237 ml)
- 1 cup unsweetened non-dairy milk (237 ml)
- 2 medium VERY ripe bananas, peeled and chopped into 1-inch chunks, then frozen (200 g)
- ½ cup frozen blueberries (70g)
- 2 tablespoons raw shelled hemp seeds (20 g)
- 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
- Place all ingredients into your blender and blend until super creamy and smooth and all of the frozen banana is gone.
- If your smoothie is too thin, add a bit more banana. If it's too thick, a splash of non-dairy milk.
Green Smoothie that Tastes like Ice Cream substitutions and variations
PB&J Smoothie: go all in on childhood nostalgia with this one. Substitute the blueberries for frozen strawberries and peanut butter for the hemp seeds, and skip the vanilla extract. Add a splash of non-dairy milk if the mixture is too thick to blend well. Make it for the kids…or keep it all to yourself! We won’t tell a soul.
Spinach: baby kale is likely the tastiest substitute available here. Feel free to use other leafy greens, but they may lend a bitter (or in some cases peppery) note to your smoothie.
Banana: you can use frozen mangoes in lieu of banana, although the final texture won’t be as creamy dreamy. Adding a dash or two of full-fat coconut milk (in this case, use the can not the carton) can help, but it will take down the healthiness of the overall smoothie a bit. If you’re okay with that, so are we!
Frozen blueberries: substitute with frozen strawberries, blackberries, raspberries, or other varieties of frozen fruit. This is a fun way to lend some seasonality to your smoothie and play around with different flavors.
Raw, shelled hemp seeds: chia seeds or flax seeds are good substitutes.
Vanilla extract: add a couple teaspoons of cacao powder or mix it up with different extracts. This smoothie is your playground.
Our dairy-free Green Smoothie that Tastes like Ice Cream is perfect for any occasion. Pour into an insulated cup before taking it on your after-dinner walk or treat yourself to a relaxing afternoon with this by your side.
One of the tips we give in our Beginner’s Guide to a Whole Food Plant Based Diet is to honor your cravings with a plant based version. So, next time you’re craving ice cream, whip this baby up and have the best of both worlds—an icy cold, sweet treat that you can feel good about!
This is perfect for the plant based toddler in your life or a quick after-school snack for the kiddos.
Have you tried this smoothie? Did it make you doubt it was dairy-free even though you just made the damn thing yourself? Let us know in the comments below.
May your green smoothies always taste like ice cream.
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