This Banana-Cranberry Smoothie tastes like sherbet but is healthy! With walnuts, dates, almond milk and a hint of orange flavor, it's as good for you as it is delicious! Enjoy this refreshing, vegan smoothie with fresh cranberries or frozen.
I developed this Banana-Cranberry Smoothie recipe years ago while trying to get out of a breakfast rut. It was winter, and I was really missing fresh fruit...the kind that tastes fruity, if you know what I mean.
I kept seeing cranberries at the store and figured they must have a larger repertoire than cranberry sauce and cranberry pie.
So, I got to mixing a handful of this and a splash of that...and was blown away! Did you know a banana-cranberry smoothie tastes like sherbet?
At least, mine does.
And now, while researching all.the.things. to give you a thorough post, I've discovered this might be my healthiest smoothie recipe yet. Did you know cranberries are a superfood?
And walnuts are nutritional rockstars too, according to Healthline.
Health benefits of cranberries
Cranberries are high in antioxidants, fiber and vitamins such as C, E and K. In fact, cranberries boast more disease-fighting antioxidants than nearly all other fruits and vegetables, according to WebMD.
They also can decrease the risk of a urinary tract infection (UTI) and have anti-cancer and anti-inflammatory properties. Additionally, cranberries may lower blood pressure, improve cardiovascular health and eyesight, and protect the liver. (Source: WebMD)
This refreshing smoothie contains half a serving of cranberries, but you may want to double that in light of all the health benefits! If so, just add more dates or the sweetener of your choice to balance out the flavor.
Cranberries - Use raw cranberries, fresh or frozen. Look for cranberries that are firm, shiny and red or crimson.
If making a frozen cranberry smoothie, you can reduce the ice to four or five cubes. Or, skip the ice altogether if you're also using a frozen banana.
I haven't tested this with dried cranberries.
Banana: Use fresh or frozen. It's best to use a ripe banana with at least a few spots so you get some sweetness.
Almond milk: I use unsweetened, plain almond milk, but regular also works. Almond milk is my favorite, but you can substitute cashew milk, soy milk or oat milk to keep this a vegan smoothie.
Otherwise, dairy milk works for a non-vegan option.
Dates: Cranberries are tart, man! You'll need to add some sweetness, and the dates are a great way to do this naturally.
Feel free to substitute the sweetener of your choice, or even a handful of raisins.
Walnuts: Besides being good for us, walnuts taste delicious here. I've tested this smoothie using pecans, but really prefer the cranberry-walnut combination. You can skip the nuts if needed.
Orange extract: Just a little goes a long way! Orange is a wonderful accent for this banana-cranberry smoothie, but you can use ¼ teaspoon of vanilla extract instead.
Optional protein powder: Make this a cranberry protein smoothie by adding a serving of my favorite protein powder (affiliate link). It helps to keep me full longer and is great for skin!
How to make a banana-cranberry smoothie
Just add all the ingredients to your blender and mix until smooth! I swear by my Vitamix (affiliate link) to make the best smoothies.
See the recipe card at the end of this post for full instructions with ingredient amounts.
- Make sure the pitted dates are still fresh. Check the date on your dates (ha!), because stale dates will ruin the taste of your cranberry smoothie.
- It's helpful to add a splash of orange extract to a spoon before adding it to the smoothie. In case extra flavoring pours out, you won't have to use it all. It's strong stuff!
Frequently asked questions
Refrigerate cranberries in the plastic bag they came in for up to a month. You also could store them in a tightly sealed container or ziplock bag. Keep them in the crisper drawer of the fridge.
Cranberries freeze really well. Just place them in a freezer bag and lay them flat in your freezer. For best quality, use them within a year.
More healthy smoothies
- Cinnamon-Apple Smoothie with Oats
- Melon Smoothie with Cantaloupe or Honeydew
- Chocolate-Cherry Smoothie
- Pomegranate Smoothie
If you try this Banana-Cranberry Smoothie, be sure to leave a comment and a rating!
Banana-Cranberry Smoothie with Walnuts
- 1 ripe banana (broken in half)
- ½ cup fresh cranberries (or frozen) (rinsed)
- 1 cup almond milk (light is fine)
- 2 pitted dates (use 3 for unsweetened almond milk)
- ¼ cup shelled walnuts
- splash of orange extract (or ¼ teaspoon vanilla extract)
- ½ cup ice
- Place all ingredients in the blender and mix until smooth.
(Recipe Source: Cooking with Mamma C. Originally published on January 06, 2015 and updated now with new photos and additional information.)