Recipe for Best Vegan Smoothie Ever

Matt Chung

May 02, 2020

I threw this smoothie recipe together to share with my mom and my sister. But if you are interested in whipping up a seriously amazing smoothie at an affordable price, read on (or just jump directly to the recipe section).

History of the smoothie

Sometime last year, my organization (EC2 Networking) moved to a new building (Re:Invent) and this building has two Joe and the Juice shops, one at either entrance. And every morning, I would swing by and order myself their vegan strawberry banana smoothie — pure deliciousness. But equally expensive: $11.00 bucks for what would fit inside a McDonald’s kids menu.

Elliott crawling towards the smoothie

Wanting to save some money, I began experimenting with my own strawberry banana smoothie concoction. And every morning for about three weeks, I would play with the ingredients; not only that, sometimes I would use fresh strawberries instead of frozen ones, trying to get the texture down just right. Fast forward 6 months later, I’ve landed on what I consider the perfect smoothie — not too icy or thick and not too watery.

Although I buy all my ingredients from Trader Joe’s (no affiliation), you can pretty much pick up all the below ingredients from your local market . However, you’ll have to go to Trader Joe’s for one non swappable item: the unsweetened Coconut Beverage. Because after running out of the coconut milk a few times, I’ve tried substituting Trader Joe’s coconut beverage with other brands (e.g. SO Delicious, Simply Organic) but none of them taste right. They are either are too sweet (even when they label themselves as unsweetened) or too thick or too watered down. And quite frankly, it throws the entire smoothie off. So make sure you get Trader Joe’s Coconut Beverage Unsweetened (the green carton, not the purple one).

Recipe for 2 servings

Toss all those ingredients into a blender (ice first — see tips below) and then blend for about 20-30 seconds. If you are using a Vitamix, set the speed at level 5 or 6 for a smoothie consistency that doesn’t completely liquidify the dates (I like chewing on them).

Tips

Making the smoothie is super straight forward. Grab your blender, toss the ingredients in and then that’s it — right? For the most part, yes. It is that easy. But here are a few tips to make sure you get the best experience

1. Ice first

Put the ice cubes into the blender first. Why? Because I found that sometimes the blender (Vitamix in our case) will jam, requiring me to violently shake the blender until the blockage frees.

2. Peel off lingering endocarp of date

Although the dates are pitted, sometimes I find that the head of the date fruit has a hardened endocarp (term I had to look up) stuck to it. And if you dont’ pay attention and toss the dates into the blender without first inspecting them, you’ll sometimes find what tastes like little rocks in the smoothie.

3. Trader Joe’s Coconut beverage smoothie

I know I already mentioned this at the top but seriously: do not substitute Trader Joe’s coconut beverage. It’s a deal breaker.