These strawberry smoothies are protein-rich and creamy made with white beans! Navy bean that provide nutrition and protein and texture. No churn or use churn. Here I presented them in a cup with 2-ingredient fudge bricks, pitaya dice, yogurt, and pineapple granita from my first recipe book to be released this fall!
Strawberry Smoothies (dairy-free,vegan)
These strawberry smoothies are a mind-blower.
White beans in ice cream? I say yes! It makes it creamy and healthy, and using strong-flavored berries, such as sweet strawberries, masks any bean taste.
And this recipe is so easy, it’s another no-churn recipe using ice cube trays. But feel free if you have an ice cream maker to use that method. It will be creamier in a maker.
Why Use White Beans in a Smoothie?
I could have used banana of course. Everyone loves a strawberry banana smoothie. But I try to come up with alternatives to banana, both because I have a daughter who can’t eat them, and because they are more commonly used. I love to take the road less traveled, haha. Although, for my banana-lovers, feel free to substitute the cashews for one frozen banana. There. How nice am I?
And I have been sneaking around with white beans with good reason.
These tiny white packages are full of protein, fiber and a slew of other nutritional benefits, including potassium and iron. That’s great for shiny hair among other effects. Beans also offer thiamine for a boost to your cognitive abilities. Heart-supporting folate and magnesium. Copper to fight inflammation and rich in antioxidants, those little disease-fighters.
What do White Beans Taste Like in Desserts?
Navy beans offer very little flavor, so it’s easy to mask. They are more mild-tasting than garbanzo beans (chickpeas) for instance. And they are easier to work with because they do not have a hard coating that needs to be removed as is the case with most other beans.
And just so you know, even though Cannellini beans are also white, I don’t have luck with them in these bean recipes because their texture is too meaty and they have that tough coating.
Navy beans are the perfect sneaky partner in dessert crime .
Just a quick note – canned navy beans aren’t easy to find on Amazon – I find organic canned at Whole Foods (their own brand or Eden), or I find them at my main stream chain grocery stores.
For added sweetness and creaminess, I added cashew cream to this recipe, but coconut cream from a can would work as well.
Cashew cream involves overnight soaking and the nuts are fairly expensive, so coconut cream – easily found in a can of regular coconut milk or coconut cream – is a fine substitute although you might have to add a bit more maple syrup – just be sure to taste-test before freezing!
In these white bean recipes, as I said, I use organic canned beans for ease, though I’m sure freshly cooked beans would work as well. If you also use canned, be sure to use BPA-free organic, to be sure the beans don’t have additional ingredients.
And I chose unsalted so I could control the sodium.
Now you can just blend this all together and use the smoothie mixture as I did here, layered in a parfait jar.
OR, you can treat it like ice cream. It will be kind of like soft-serve. Here is my favorite no-churn ice cream recipe method detailed here, but if you don’t want to use ice cube trays, you can always pour the mixture into a parchment-lined loaf tray, and freeze for three hours. Then break it into chunks with a fork, and blend until creamy. Eat while it is a bit soft, or freeze until it is harder.
Store in the freezer in an air-tight container. You might have to blend up again, when you want to serve it. That depends on how much moisture you added originally.
Here I served my strawberry smoothie with a recipe-test of my Pineapple granita (to appear in my upcoming book), as well as a swirl of yogurt, pitaya dice and chunks of my 2-ingredient fudge!
I hope you love these strawberry smoothies.
Here I served my strawberry ice cream with a recipe-test of my Pineapple granita (to appear in my upcoming book), as well as a swirl of yogurt, pitaya dice and chunks of my 2-ingredient fudge!
Like working with white beans? Here are two other recipes that use them:
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Strawberry Smoothies (dairy-free,vegan)
- 1 can (15oz/425gms) white beans (Navy beans), organic & pre-cooked (I typically use Eden and Whole Foods 365 brand)
- 2 cup strawberries (pureed first with a bit of water)
- 1/2 cup cashew cream (soak 1/2 cup cashews overnight, rinse and blend with a few tbsp of water OR use one frozen banana)
- 1/2 cup almond milk (You might need more)
- 1 tbsp maple syrup, optional for sweetness
- 1 tsp cinnamon, optional
- 1/2 tsp of vanilla powder, optional
- If you are using cashew cream, soak the cashews the night before.
To Make Ice Cream
- Blend up the strawberries, either frozen or fresh, with a bit of the milk until you have a pink paste. I used the small jar on my high-speed Blendtec.
- Rinse the white beans.
- Blend up beans, strawberry paste, cashew cream (or banana), and milk until creamy. Add more milk if the texture isn't liquid enough.
- Taste-test and add in the maple syrup if it needs sweetening, and the vanilla.
- Drink as a smoothie, or layer into a complex parfait! Keeps overnight in the refrigerator as a smoothie before you begin to lose color and flavor. OR....
Make it into a Soft Serve Ice Cream
- Pour the smoothie mixture into ice cube trays. Freeze at least three hours (1 hour for soft serve).
- Let the tray thaw on the counter a few minutes until the cubes loosen and can be removed. Blend again into a soft-serve. Eat or freeze again, thawing each time you want to serve it.
Dee Dine is founder of Green Smoothie Gourmet, a plant based recipe blog, and author of the recent cookbook, Crazy Healthy with 4 Ingredients . On this blog you’ll find incredibly easy recipes with hidden veggies for anyone wanting to eat healthier, regardless of diet. Dee has graduate degrees in biology, immunology and journalism. More about Dee Dine here.