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 cookbook Crazy Healthy with 4 Ingredients!
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.
Tips To Make This Strawberry Smoothie
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.
How To Serve And Store This Strawberry Smoothie
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 pineapple granita (granitas are easy and frosty and you can find the recipe in my cookbook!), 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)
- ½ cup cashew cream (soak ½ cup cashews overnight, rinse and blend with a few tbsp of water OR use one frozen banana)
- ½ cup almond milk (You might need more)
- 1 tbsp maple syrup, optional for sweetness
- 1 tsp cinnamon, optional
- ½ 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.