Green Smoothie that Tastes like Ice Cream

plant based ice cream smoothie

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 

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.

healthy Green Smoothie that Tastes like Ice Cream

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.

plant based green smoothie

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. 

dairy free ice cream smoothie

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.

dairy free Green Smoothie that Tastes like Ice Cream

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.

healthy green smoothie

Green Smoothie that Tastes like Ice Cream

Makes 2 16-oz smoothies
Author: Molly Patrick

Ingredients

  • 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

Instructions

  • 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.

plant based Green Smoothie that Tastes like Ice Cream

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.

Xo
Team Dirty

healthy ice cream smoothie

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18 Comments

  1. Laurie on October 30, 2017 at 9:41 am

    Question on freezing bananas. Can you freeze them in their peel or do you have to peel and freeze?

    • Karen on October 30, 2017 at 4:21 pm

      I’m not an expert, but the one time I froze a banana in the peel it was a nightmare taking the peel off while frozen to use.

      • Molly Patrick on October 30, 2017 at 4:27 pm

        Agree! Best to peel and then freeze.
        xo
        Molly

    • Molly Patrick on October 30, 2017 at 4:27 pm

      I always peel and then freeze 🙂

  2. Teressa on May 5, 2019 at 7:47 pm

    I am new to clean eating and your recipes sound really good. I notice some of your sweet recipes have bananas and I am allergic to them. Is there a substition that can be used to replace the banana?

    • Molly Patrick on May 5, 2019 at 10:37 pm

      It depends on the recipe but apples or applesauce work well in a lot of them.
      Any other fruit that you like will work for smoothies.
      xo
      Molly

  3. Rachel Maude on May 24, 2019 at 5:51 pm

    I can’t eat bananas or spinich. What can I use instead?

    • Team Clean Food Dirty Girl on May 25, 2019 at 12:11 pm

      Hi Rachel, You can substitute any other green you like – collards, kale, bok choy are what I tend to use. As far as bananas they are adding creaminess and sweetness to this smoothie. Mango would be a good sub here because it is creamy and sweet but you could also use pear or apple or any other fruit you like. ~Karen

    • Heather on August 13, 2022 at 5:15 pm

      Sweet potatoes. I cut them up with skins on and freeze on a cookie sheet, then transfer to a zip bag so they are ready to toss in the blender. I do the same with bananas.

      • Team Dirty - Brittany on August 13, 2022 at 9:18 pm

        Brilliant idea! Do you cook them first, or freeze them raw?

  4. Suzanne Bois on May 31, 2019 at 1:03 pm

    Do you need to wrap the peeled bananas individually or can they be put al in the same bag

    • Team Clean Food Dirty Girl on May 31, 2019 at 1:22 pm

      Hi Suzanne, I’m thinking you meant to type “freeze” instead of “wrap”. I freeze mine in a single bag. They get stuck together but break apart pretty easily. ~Karen

  5. Laureen Granger on September 3, 2020 at 7:13 am

    5 stars
    I made this recipe exactly as instructed a couple of times (rare for me, as I think of recipes as suggestions more than exact blueprints) and it really did taste like a vanilla shake made with ice cream. That being said, it was too sweet for me first thing in the morning. So I adjusted it down to 3 small (or 2 medium) frozen ripe bananas and a full cup of blueberries, and now it is my very favorite smoothie recipe!

    • Team Clean Food Dirty Girl - Steph on September 3, 2020 at 8:59 am

      Awesome! We love to hear this!

      Phoebe and Rachel from Friends jumping up and down

  6. Tracy on March 4, 2021 at 9:50 am

    5 stars
    I recall hearing Molly say we shouldn’t gulp our smoothies but we should sip them. That’s really hard to do with this one – one of my all time favorite smoothies!

  7. Tomi on August 13, 2022 at 9:39 am

    I use frozen peaches in lieu of bananas in fruit smoothies (I don’t like how banana over-rides all the other fruit flavors in smoothies), and It retains the creaminess. I also blanch raw greens just long enough to break them down a bit, dunk them in an ice bath, and then dry them enough to use. You don’t want to cook the greens. A nutritionist told me some years ago it allows the body to better absorb the greens nutrients. I also notice that I have less stomach issues doing this extra step.

    I like using some fresh ground white chia seeds to add creaminess if my smoothie is too thin, and adds a little extra fiber!

    I love chocolate peanut butter smoothies for dessert sometimes. This is the only time I use frozen bananas. Sub hemp seed with cacao nibs, add cacao powder, and maple syrup or date paste, to taste. Blend everything together, but add the cacao nibs near the end to retain some crunch. This tastes like chocolate peanut butter ice cream, but without all the junk in it. You can also freeze it to eat like ice cream! Been making this one for many years!

  8. Anne on August 14, 2022 at 12:14 pm

    This is so delicious!

  9. Amy on August 19, 2022 at 6:10 am

    5 stars
    This just became my favorite smoothie. I tossed in a few soaked dates just for kicks and it was SO. GOOD.

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