Green Smoothies with Avocado

June 27, 2013

Every other Thursday, Gena Hamshaw of the blog Choosing Raw shares satisfying, flavorful recipes that also happen to be vegan.

Today: Take the dairy out of your smoothie, and add in some green.

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Smoothies are a no-brainer breakfast for vegans: many recipes are vegan as written, and if they aren’t, it’s easy to veganize them using plant-based milks and yogurts in place of regular dairy. 

More: Make homemade almond milk that tastes infinitely better than any carton from the store.

Most of us are familiar with some basic smoothie combinations: strawberry-banana, mixed berry, pineapple-mango, and so on. But the wide world of smoothies extends far beyond these tried-and-true flavor combinations. Once you’ve experienced the fun of adding fresh leafy greens, avocado, or other unusual ingredients to your smoothies, it’ll be hard to go back to fruit as usual. 

My perfect green smoothie formula goes something like this:

1 cup fruit (bananas, berries, etc.)
1 cup leafy greens
Liquid base (almond milk, coconut water, juice)
Something for creaminess: almond butter, cashews, avocado, etc.

Your smoothies will be much better off if you freeze your fruit beforehand. I always have a giant bag of peeled, frozen bananas in my freezer; they make it easy to whip up perfectly cool, thick smoothies at a moment’s notice, and they're essential to achieve the creaminess you would expect from a yogurt-based smoothie. As you’ll see from this recipe, I’m also partial to avocado -- it gives smoothies a silky, almost fluffy texture. 

But don’t take my word for it. Get blending, and you’ll see what I mean!

Green Smoothie with Avocado

Serves 4

1 banana, peeled and then frozen
1/2 cup frozen (or fresh) mango
1/2 small or medium avocado
1 cup spinach
1 1/4 cups almond milk (soy, oat, rice, or hemp milk are also fine)
1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract

See the full recipe (and save and print it) here.

Photos by James Ransom

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The Food52 Vegan Cookbook is here! With this book from Gena Hamshaw, anyone can learn how to eat more plants (and along the way, how to cook with and love cashew cheese, tofu, and nutritional yeast).

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See what other Food52 readers are saying.

  • claudia
  • isabelle
  • Kylie Held
    Kylie Held
  • Reenie
  • Doreen Lamoureux
    Doreen Lamoureux
Gena is a registered dietitian, recipe developer, and food blogger. She's the author of three cookbooks, including Power Plates (2017) and Food52 Vegan (2015). She enjoys cooking vegetables, making bread, and challenging herself with vegan baking projects.


claudia March 31, 2015
serves 4?
Ruthan September 3, 2015
Came here to say this! More like serves ME.
isabelle August 7, 2014
Can you freeze avocado? If so in the skin with pit or out of skin? When I go to the store to buy them they are always the same degree of ripeness so by the time I use the first one the rest are getting spotted.
Kylie H. October 22, 2013
I love these pictures. They all look so clean! Can't wait to try a version of the avocado one!
Reenie October 10, 2013
I'm allergic to mango. What other fruit would work well with this recipe? Apples perhaps?

Also...about storing avocados and guac. Place some Saran Wrap right on the avocado or guac. No brown spots at all. (Of course, you're also using plastic this way. Don't know if its a big deal for you.)
Doreen L. August 2, 2013
I think I am becoming a smoothie princess. Thanks so much for the recipies. Can you put zuchinni in a smoothie
Zanada M. July 14, 2013
When you don't use the whole avacado, keep the seed in the half you don't use. Sprinkle that half with lemon juice, and put into a container face down so that it doesn't absorb other aromas from the refrigerator. Use it in the next 24-48 hours. After that someone might have run off with it and you'll never find it. Caution: remember to put it into the recipe, don't eat it before thinking about the recipe. Stick to the recipe plan, whatever that might be!
broccolirose July 12, 2013
I add ground flax seeds to mine. Great way to get some Omega-3s in!
Briddell42 July 1, 2013
My favorite smoothie EVER!! Why have I never thought of using avocado before? Even my smoothie hating, avocado hating husband L.O.V.E.D it! I've made it 3 days straight.
Becky T. June 28, 2013
When you only use 1/2 an avocado, how do you save the rest without it going bad? Do you freeze it?
EML June 28, 2013
Keep the pit in the half you save and store in a ziplock bag in the fridge. Lasts 1-2 days for your next use. Try it!
Gena H. June 29, 2013
Yes! A sprinkle of lemon is also a good tip.
Kenzi W. June 28, 2013
This smoothie was so good! I hoarded it at the shoot.
Gena H. June 29, 2013
I'm happy you liked it, Kenzi :)
Komal June 27, 2013
Mmm I love avocado, vanilla and maple blended with almond milk