Tropical White Bean Smoothie aerial - A Legume a Day

Tropical White Bean Smoothie

Whether you believe that breakfast is the most important meal of the day or not (personally, I love food and think all meals are important), here is a fact: breakfast is better with beans! Just as all meals are better with beans. Especially with the hotter weather these days, smoothies really hit the spot. And if you are having a smoothie for breakfast – or for a snack, or for a dessert, or really at any point during the day – why not have a bean smoothie??

Now, you may be thinking BEAN SMOOTHIE?! But! Don’t knock it until you try it.

Why Add Beans to Smoothies?

There are lots of great reasons to add beans to smoothies:

Beans are rich in protein. Instead of adding a protein powder to smoothies, you can get the benefits of adding a whole food like beans. Or, if you still want to add protein powder in addition to the beans, then do what works for you!

Beans are packed with dietary fiber. The vast majority of people do not get the recommended daily intake of fiber. The number is strikingly low – only about 1 in 10 Americans is getting enough fiber. Want to be in the cool group meeting the fiber recommendation? Of course you do! And conveniently enough, you are in luck, because beans are literally one of the richest natural sources of dietary fiber that there is. You can read more about bean nutrition here.

Vitamin C and iron are a great combo. The iron found in plant foods (like beans) is less bioavailable than the iron in animal foods (like meat), meaning your body cannot use it as easily. But luckily there is a handy nutrition trick to increase the bioavailability of iron in plants! Eating foods rich in vitamin C increases your body’s ability to absorb and use the iron in plant foods. Smoothies are often high in vitamin C, thanks to all the fruit in them. This is a natural way to allow your body to use more of the iron that the beans are adding.

Adding beans can help keep you full. All this protein and fiber from the beans will help keep you satiated. I don’t know about you, but I am often hungry again almost immediately after having a smoothie. But I don’t have that issue when it is a bean smoothie!

The smoothie has a nice texture. Beans result in a lovely, creamy texture.

Okay, so maybe (hopefully?) you are convinced that there are benefits to bean smoothies. But you may still be wondering about the taste.

Do Bean Smoothies Taste Like Beans?

Nope! Bean smoothies do not actually taste like beans. Don’t get me wrong – I love the flavor of beans! But you probably aren’t looking for a smoothie that tastes like beans. So here is the good news: especially when you use a mild-tasting bean, you won’t even taste the beans! I would recommend something like a nice white bean – maybe great northern beans or cannellini beans – or another mild, creamy bean, like Mayocoba beans.

Tropical White Bean Smoothie - A Legume a Day

Okay, that’s enough talk. Time to get to smoothie-ing!

Tropical Bean Smoothie

Recipe by A Legume a DayDifficulty: Easy
Servings

3

servings
Time

10

minutes
Calories

369

kcal

Bean smoothies are brilliant! Creamy, satisfying, refreshing, and with more protein and dietary fiber – all from one of the healthiest whole foods: beans! Use this recipe as a base, and modify it to work well for you. For instance, use fresh pineapple instead of canned, add coconut water… you get the idea. πŸ™‚

Ingredients

  • 1 and 1/2 cups cooked white beans, or 1 15-oz. can white beans (white beans like great northern beans, navy beans, and/or cannellini beans work well, as does a mild, buttery bean like Mayocoba beans) *see note about sodium level

  • 1/2 cup milk of choice (dairy, oat, almond, etc.), or use another liquid if preferred (like a fruit juice)

  • 1 cup frozen mango

  • 2 overripe bananas (using overripe ones helps add natural sweetness) **see note about freezing

  • 20 oz. can of pineapple (shape doesn’t matter), canned in 100% juice **see note about freezing

Directions

  • Drain and rinse your beans. Add them to your blender. A high-powered blender (like a Vitamix) will help you achieve the creamiest smoothie texture.
  • Add the milk (or other liquid you may be using). Puree until smooth. Blending the beans and liquid first helps ensure that things puree nicely and you don’t end up with bits of bean skins in the final smoothie.
  • Add the mango, bananas, and canned pineapple – the fruit and the juice – and puree until smooth. Depending on how strong your blender is and how much of the fruit you are using is frozen, you may need to let the fruit thaw for a few minutes before blending.
  • Taste for seasoning and adjust if needed. For example, if it isn’t sweet enough for your liking, add a date or a splash of agave syrup or honey.
  • Enjoy cold!

Notes

  • *Unless you are craving a salty smoothie, I would recommend a low-sodium or no salt added bean. Or, if you are using a “regular” sodium level, at least rinse your beans to get rid of some of the saltiness.
  • **For a colder, creamier smoothie, I would recommend freezing at least one of these. I emptied the contents of the pineapple can – juice and all – into a freezer-safe container and froze that.
  • If you would prefer to use pineapple that is not canned, that is okay. You will just need to add a bit of liquid like fruit juice to make up for not having the canned pineapple juice.
Tropical White Bean Smoothie in the blender - A Legume a Day

Bean Smoothie Nutrition Facts

I created these nutrition facts in Nutritionist Pro. Of course, you could see slightly different numbers, for example if you use fruit juice instead of milk as the liquid. These nutrition facts should at least give you a rough idea of what to expect, though. For more info and tips about the nutrition in bean smoothies (e.g., vitamin C in fruit can help boost the bioavailability of the iron found in beans), check out the information at the top of this post.

Tropical White Bean Smoothie Nutrition Facts

Now, let’s say you wanted to make this recipe into 4 servings instead of 3 servings. The results would be that per serving, you get: 277 calories and about 38 grams of sugar (not added sugar), 8 grams of dietary fiber, and 9 grams of protein.

Other Bean Smoothie Ideas

What is better than a bean smoothie? Exactly. Bean smoothies – plural! Here are a couple other ideas:

  • Summer White Bean Smoothie – strawberries and bananas for another classic pairing. Especially with beans added to the party, what’s not to love?
Tropical White Bean Smoothie - A Legume a Day

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