Creamy Vanilla Chip Smoothie

Created by Laura Wright
5 from 9 votes

This creamy vanilla chip smoothie is naturally vegan, perfectly sweet, loaded with fragrant vanilla bean powder, cacao nibs, rich cashew and coconut butters, and is thickened with frozen pear instead of banana!

A head on shot of a creamy, beige vanilla chip smoothie in two clear glasses. The smoothie is garnished with cacao nibs and there is a dark wooden spoon sticking out of the one glass.
An overhead and up close shot of a beige smoothie being stirred up with a dark wooden spoon. The smoothie is topped with cacao nibs.
An overhead shot of ripe Bartlett pears on a pink linen napkin.
An overhead shot of ingredients used in a creamy vanilla chip smoothie.

Sometimes you just crave the smooth and familiar flavour of vanilla. In this vegan smoothie recipe, it combines with briefly blended cacao nibs for a flecked/”vanilla chip” vibe that is super creamy, a bit decadent, and still wholesome. This is also a banana-free smoothie! I know that some folks just can’t do the banana flavour in smoothies, but still want that creamy and thick quality. I’ve got you covered!

If you’re looking for something green and fresh, I recommend checking out my Spinach Banana & Ginger Smoothie. And for another delicious banana-free option, I recommend my Chocolate Sweet Potato Smoothie.

Key Ingredients in this Vanilla Chip Smoothie

  1. Vanilla Powder & Extract: We go double on vanilla and the results are warm, fragrant, and comforting. I love the Giddy Yo vanilla powder. Seeing those little flecks is just so beautiful! If you don’t have vanilla powder, just double up the extract to ½ teaspoon.
  2. Cashew & Coconut Butters: Both of these ingredients enhance the creamy richness. Coconut butter is a product that contains both the flesh and oil of the coconut. It’s such a special ingredient! I absolutely love using it in hot chocolate.
  3. Diced Frozen Pear: I love freezing ripe pear as an alternative to banana in my smoothies. It’s a milder taste that works well in a lot of combinations. I just line a baking sheet with parchment paper and then chop up some ripe pear (peeled or not–whatever your preference), and lay it out in a single layer on the baking sheet. I place the baking sheet in the freezer and freeze until solid. Once solid, I transfer the frozen pear pieces to a sealable silicone bag.
  4. Cacao Nibs: These are small, crumbled pieces of dried cocoa beans. The flavour is chocolate-like, but also a bit wine-y and acidic. In this smoothie they are blended for a few seconds to give us crunchy little “chips.”

This recipe makes a smaller smoothie than what I typically post here, but it does have a richness to it! Ground cinnamon, nutmeg or ginger would all be nice additions to this one. I’m also curious to try it with a shot of espresso next time. I’ll report back if I have good results :)

An up close of a small wooden spoon containing vanilla powder against a white background
An overhead shot of cacao nibs on top of a blended beige concoction inside of a blender pitcher.
A head on shot of a flecked, creamy beige vanilla chip smoothie being poured into a clear glass.
A 3/4 angle shot of a creamy beige smoothie with dark brown flecks. A wooden spoon is sticking out of the glass.

Creamy Vanilla Chip Smoothie

Creamy vanilla chip smoothie is naturally vegan, perfectly sweet, loaded with fragrant vanilla bean powder, cacao nibs, rich cashew and coconut butters, and is thickened with frozen pear instead of banana!
5 from 9 votes
A head on shot of a creamy, beige vanilla chip smoothie in two clear glasses. The smoothie is garnished with cacao nibs and there is a dark wooden spoon sticking out of the one glass.
Prep Time: 5 minutes
Total Time: 5 minutes
Servings 1

Ingredients

Notes

  • I love freezing ripe pear as an alternative to banana in my smoothies! It’s a much milder taste that works well in a lot of combinations. To do this, I just line a baking sheet with parchment paper and then chop up some ripe pear (peeled or not–whatever your preference), and lay it out in a single layer on the baking sheet. I place the baking sheet in the freezer and freeze until solid. Once solid, I transfer the frozen chopped pear to a reusable, sealed silicone bag.
  • If you don’t have vanilla powder, just double up the vanilla extract to a ½ teaspoon.
  • Coconut butter is a product that contains both the flesh and oil of coconut. It’s naturally sweet and super creamy. Artisana and CAP Beauty are both great brands that I love.
  • For a nut-free version, use oat or soy milk and replace the cashew butter with a raw sunflower seed butter or tahini.
  • Warm spices like ground ginger or cinnamon would also be great additions to this smoothie.

Instructions

  • In an upright blender, combine the non-dairy milk, pitted date, cashew butter, and coconut butter. Blend this mixture on high until completely smooth.
  • Open up the lid of the blender and to the non-dairy milk mixture, add the vanilla powder, vanilla extract, sea salt, and diced frozen pear. Blend this mixture on high until totally smooth. It will be thick!
  • Open up the lid of the blender one more time and add the cacao nibs. Blend on high for a few seconds until you have small cacao nib "chips" all through the smoothie. Pour the smoothie out into a glass, garnish the top with more cacao nibs and sea salt if you like, and enjoy!
A head on shot of a creamy beige smoothie flecked with brown bits in two clear glasses.
19/01/2022 (Last Updated 02/03/2024)
Posted in: autumn, beverage, breakfast, cashews, creamy, gluten free, grain-free, oil free, refined sugar-free, snack, spring, summer, sweet, vegan, winter

11 comments

Recipe Rating




  • Sophie

    5 stars
    This was so tasty, thank you! I’ve gotten back into breakfast smoothie after a years long hiatus and enjoying trying new combos. Love the pear. I also added spinach, hemp seeds, and maca powder. Thank you!

  • Danielle

    This looks and sounds so amazing! 

  • Kate

    5 stars
    This was totally delicious!  Love the pear instead of banana!  I added a scoop of protein powder to make it a full breakfast…

  • Claire

    5 stars
    I don’t like bananas so I haven’t historically been a smoothie person so I love this pear alternative. It was so delish and replaced my typical breakfast of like a chocolate bar (lol) with something that tastes like dessert but is nutritious.

  • Nora

    Frozen pears are super creamy and delicious combined with chocolate. 1 date was the perfect sweetness for me. 

  • Brenna

    5 stars
    Unique and delicious! Different from my usual smoothie combo and loved it. Subbed what I had on hand: coconut cream for butter/ almond butter for cashew/ extra vanilla extract instead of the powder. Turned out great!

  • Kinara

    5 stars
    Update: I made this with cashews instead of cashew butter, honey to sweeten, and vanilla paste instead of extract and powder. OMG, it is HEAVENLY. Better than any milkshake. 

  • Kinara

    Is the cashew butter essential in your opinion, or could I add the equivalent quantity of raw cashews straight to the blender with the other ingredients? I have a Vitamix. 

    • Laura

      I think raw cashews would be great! Or really any other super creamy nut/seed butter that you like :)-L

  • Ingrid Whetter

    looks scrumptious ~ Frozen pear!! brilliant

  • Anna

    I LOVE this idea! Can’t wait to try!