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
- 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.
- 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.
- 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.
- 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 :)
The Best Vegan Protein for Smoothies
I recommend boosting this smoothie with Sprout Living’s Epic Protein in the Vanilla Lucuma flavour! Not overly sweet, mixes in silky smooth, and no weird ingredients. Use code: thefirstmess for 20% off!
Creamy Vanilla Chip Smoothie
- ¾ cup unsweetened non dairy milk (I used oat)
- 1 Medjool date, pitted
- 2 teaspoons raw cashew butter
- 2 teaspoons coconut butter
- ¼ teaspoon vanilla powder
- ¼ teaspoon vanilla extract
- ¼ teaspoon sea salt
- 1 cup diced frozen pear
- 2 teaspoons cacao nibs, plus extra for garnish
- 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.
- 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!