This mango banana smoothie gives you a taste of the tropics. With the floral flavors of mango, ripe banana, and vanilla soy milk, you’ll almost feel like you’re sitting at a beachside cabana – minus the sand between your toes. Vegan & gluten-free.
Until I moved to California in my twenties, I’d never had a mango. I’m not sure if they sold them at my local grocery store growing up, but I don’t recall seeing one.
But in California they’re prevalent.
They’re served in fried rice at Thai restaurants.
And they offer a sweet counterpart to a savory samosa in a mango chutney at Indian restaurants.
Needless to say, mango makes some very convincing arguments. It didn’t take long for us to become fast friends.
One of the easiest ways to use mango is in a mango banana smoothie.
I buy frozen mango in bags for smoothies. It’s already been peeled. And there’s no concern about finding the perfect ripeness.
Although, if you prefer to use fresh mango, here’s a tip to making sure your mango is ripe:
Check the ripeness like you do with an avocado. Give the mango a gentle push with a thumb. You want it to have some give with pressure. Look for a mango without bruises and with a fragrant smell.
No matter the time of year, a mango banana smoothie feels transportive – like I’m sitting on a beach with the sun pouring down on my skin. Even in the winter months, I crave that taste of summer.
How to make this smoothie
Start by peeling a ripe banana. Break the banana into chunks. Pop them into a freezer proof container, and put it into the freezer.
Frozen banana is beautiful in smoothies, because it gives a whippy ice cream-like texture that takes a smoothie up a notch.
For the mango, I like to buy mango that’s already peeled and frozen from the freezer section of the grocery store. But if you’d like to use peeled and diced fresh mango, or mango that you’ve peeled, diced, and frozen yourself, that works too.
Now it’s time to blend!
Put the following ingredients into your high speed blender:
- Vanilla soy milk or your preferred non-dairy milk
- Ground flaxseed
- Frozen banana
- Frozen mango
- A leaf of curly kale, if using
Blend until smooth. Then pour the smoothie into two glasses and enjoy!
How to turn it into a green smoothie
To turn a tropical mango banana smoothie into a green smoothie, all you have to do is add a leaf of kale, collards, or a handful of spinach.
When I started getting into smoothies about 13 years ago, I was all about that green smoothie life. I hadn’t been eating a ton of kale or collard greens otherwise. So it was a way to sneak in some extra nutrients.
But nowadays, I eat kale, collards, spinach, and other greens all the time. So I don’t feel as much like I need to sneak them into other foods.
It doesn’t hurt anything to have them there. And the flavors of mango and banana are sweet and strong enough that a little kale doesn’t diminish that.
So if you’d prefer a vibrant yellow smoothie, make it without any kale or other leafy greens. But if you want to sneak in a bit more in the way of vitamins A, C, and K that kale provides, by all means, pop in a kale leaf.
Just remember to remove it from the rib first, because that can be extra hard to break down.
What if I don’t have a high-speed blender?
Fibrous greens can be a little trickier to break down in a standard blender. So what I recommend is blending your dark leafy greens & non-dairy milk separately before adding additional ingredients.
It really helps if you let the greens fully break down on their own with liquid before adding heavier ingredients to the mix. Otherwise, you’ll have larger bits of greens in the smoothie, which isn’t anywhere near as nice texturally. Who wants to chew on bits of kale while they drink?
Why use flaxseed in a smoothie?
I like to include flaxseed or chia seeds in all of my smoothies, because they add a full-bodied texture to the smoothie. Plus, they provide a dose of omega 3’s.
For your body to properly absorb flaxseed, it needs to be ground first. You can either buy flaxseed that’s already ground. Or you can grind it in a clean coffee grinder until it has the texture of flour. Then add it to your blender.
I like to store my flaxseed in the refrigerator or freezer, especially if it’s ground, so that it doesn’t go rancid.
Quench your thirst with this full-bodied and flavorful smoothie. It’s a taste of tropics that you can enjoy in your kitchen. No airplane necessary.
Mango Banana Smoothie
- ¾ cup vanilla soy milk or your preferred non-dairy milk
- 1 Tablespoon flaxseed ground
- 1 banana peeled and frozen in chunks
- ¾ cup mango frozen in chunks
- 1 leaf curly kale rib removed (Optional)
- Blend vanilla soy milk, ground flaxseed, frozen banana, and frozen mango in a high speed blender. If you'd like a green smoothie, add a leaf of curly kale to the blender as well. Make sure the rib has been removed from the leaf before blending. Blend until smooth.
- Pour into 2 small glasses & serve.
Originally posted October 2012. Content, recipe, and photos updated July 2019.