Refreshing and healthy, this tropical smoothie recipe is perfect for hot summer days, after a work out, or any time you desire a taste of the tropics.
Why you’ll love it: Homemade smoothies are so much healthier than purchased smoothies.
How long it takes: 5 minutes
Equipment you’ll need: blender
Servings: 4 (one cup servings)
Don’t you just love smoothies? Frosty and sweet like a milkshake but better for you. Depending on what you add, a smoothie can be a nutrition powerhouse. Fruit, milk, juice: all wholesome ingredients that will leave you feeling refreshed and renewed, with very little added sugar and zero fat.
Good nutrition is only one of the reasons I like to make my own smoothies. Economics is another reason. Go to a smoothie shop and you can easily spend more than five dollars on a smoothie. Plus, they are often much larger than you really need or even want. Most are 24 ounces! That’s a lot of smoothie and a lot of calories, for a lot of moola!
Make your own smoothie for much less money, drink what you want, and freeze the rest for later. Now who wants to blend up a homemade tropical smoothie? I know I do!
About this smoothie recipe
The only special equipment you’ll need to make a spectacular fruit smoothie is a blender. It doesn’t really matter what kind of blender you have. More powerful blenders might get the job done more quickly but my mom uses a blender that she got for a wedding present forty years ago and it works fine. It isn’t the best for a green smoothie with lots of kale but fruit smoothies? No problem.
You’ll find the printable recipe card at the end of this post.
What You’ll Need
To make a tropical smoothie, buy a bag of frozen tropical fruit. It contains strawberries, peaches, mango and pineapple. Strawberries and peaches are grown right here in good ol’ Michigan but you don’t see too many palm trees in my neck of the woods, so the mango and pineapple do feel pretty tropical!
Put into your blender: Two cups of frozen fruit, one banana (frozen or fresh), a cup of milk (your choice, dairy or non-dairy), a half cup of orange juice, and a tablespoon of honey. Press the button and anticipate a delicious tropical smoothie.
Adjusting the Consistency
Is your smoothie too thin? Add a few ice cubes, and blend until smooth. Is your smoothie too thick? Add a little more juice or milk until it’s just the right consistency.
This recipe makes about four cups, depending on the size of the banana you use. Pour your smoothie into glasses and enjoy!
It’s totally up to you. To make a thicker, more-like-a-slushy smoothie, add ice. If you like a creamier, more-like-a-milkshake consistency, omit ice. I almost always add a frozen banana instead of ice to my smoothies. I love the extra sweetness, nutrition, and texture that bananas add.
Again, totally up to you. Some sort of liquid is needed to process the smoothie. For a more creamy texture, use milk, yogurt, or a non-dairy substitute like almond or soy milk. If you feel that milk will clash with the fruit or mask the flavor, try adding fruit juices, coconut water, pineapple water, or tea to your smoothie.
Since a smoothie is blended whole fruit, all of the goodness of fruit is preserved. Unlike juicing, the fiber and seeds are retained. Just be careful of added ingredients like sugar or honey.
Portion size can be an issue as well. A 24-ounce smoothie packs a lot more calories than an apple or a cup of berries.
Make It Your Own
Smoothies are endlessly adaptable. Make the smoothie of your dreams. Or at the very least, make a smoothie with the ingredients you have on hand.
- Looking for a non-dairy or vegan smoothie? Use almond milk, coconut milk, or any other non-dairy alternative.
- Add extra protein. Substitute Greek yogurt for some or all of the milk.
- Use any combination of frozen fruit. If you happen to have a surplus of fresh fruit on hand, freeze some of it to make smoothies later on.
- Bananas getting too ripe for you? Peel them, and pop them into resealable bags to make smoothies later on.
- Don’t have orange juice? Use another kind of juice, or substitute more milk or water.
- Skip the honey, or substitute a different sweetener. Agave, maple syrup, or just plain sugar work fine.
- This recipe can easily be doubled or halved.
I don’t know if this is really a make-ahead idea or just being a smart consumer. Any time you have excess fruit in your refrigerator or pantry that’s close to becoming overripe, cut it up and freeze it. Try to buy fruit that’s in season (or maybe pick your own!) when they’re abundant and less expensive. You’ll want to eat lots of it fresh, of course, but freeze the excess in resealable freezer bags or containers to use for smoothies later on.
Storage and Freezing Tips
Leftover smoothies can be stored in the fridge for one or two days. Keep in mind that if you’ve used ice or frozen fruit in your smoothie, it will melt/thaw and affect the consistency.
You may be wondering, Can I freeze smoothies? You sure can! Why not make a big batch and have a smoothie every day? Pour blended smoothie mixture into serving size containers or glass jars. Allow a half inch head space for expansion. Cover tightly, and freeze for up to three months. I like to thaw smoothies overnight in the fridge for just the right consistency: not too frozen, not too runny. Perfect for breakfast!
More Smoothie Recipes
The great thing about making your own smoothie is that you can customize it. Here’s more recipes to get you started:
- Green smoothie (apple, spinach, kale, and tropical fruit)
- Peach, banana, honey and cottage cheese smoothie (lots of protein)
- Creamy lemon smoothie
- Raspberry mango coconut water smoothie
- Clementine smoothie with vanilla (remember Orange Julius?)
- Creamy mango banana smoothie
- Chocolate cherry smoothie (think Black Forest)
- Banana nut smoothie from Divas Can Cook
- Peanut butter banana smoothie from Fit Foodie Finds
- 2 cups frozen fruit (mango, peach, pineapple, strawberry)
- 1 ripe banana (fresh or frozen)
- 1 cup milk of your choice (see note)
- ½ cup orange juice
- 1 tablespoon honey
- Place all ingredients in a blender and blend until smooth. Add ice to make texture thicker, or more milk or water to make thinner.
- Pour into glasses and serve immediately. Makes 4 one cup servings.
- This recipe can easily be doubled or halved.
- To freeze smoothies: Pour into jars or airtight containers, leaving room for expansion, and freeze for up to 3 months. For best results, thaw overnight in the fridge.
- Use regular milk (non-fat, 2%, whole) or your choice of non-dairy milk (almond, coconut, soy, etc.). Or substitute Greek yogurt for extra protein.
- Substitute sugar, agave, maple syrup, etc., for the honey, or omit it.
- Try different kinds of frozen fruit medleys.
This website provides approximate nutrition information for convenience and as a courtesy only. Nutrition data is gathered primarily from the USDA Food Composition Database, whenever available, or otherwise other online calculators.