Cabbage in a smoothie?! You betcha! My Sweet Surprise Cabbage and Banana Smoothie is packed – and I mean packed – with vibrant red cabbage, and you will not believe how yummy it is. Want to add some vegetables to your day but aren’t in the mood for a salad? This is the perfect solution! You’re only a few minutes away from a very satisfying meal.
I am always amazed and delighted at how, despite having tried so many weird things (so, so many), there are always so many newer, weirder things to conceive of. Honestly, at this point, even the weirdest of things is no longer weird to me because I am pretty much open to anything. It’s a tasty, wonderful adventure!
This smoothie was invented when my two-year-old son asked for a boonie (AKA smoothie). I really wanted to include some kind of veg, but the only clean vegetable I had was red cabbage (known to some as purple cabbage). Totally not in the mood to wash another thing, I figured, why not?
You guys, it was shocking how delicious it was. However, now that I’ve tasted it and analyzed it, it seems kind of obvious. After all, the flavor flavor of cabbage is pretty mild and already a bit sweet. I couldn’t believe I’d been missing out on this wonder veggie for so long. And now I have another set of amazing nutrients to easily add to my family’s routine. You guys know how much I love unusual kid-friendly veggie ideas!
I would categorize the flavor as “healthy tasting,” but in a good way. If the cabbage scares you, you could always start with half the amount called for and work your way up.
While this smoothie isn’t technically green, I still think it’s worthy of the “green smoothie” title, don’t you?
(Note: This recipe was originally published in 2017 and has been updated with new text and photos as of 2022.)
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Red cabbage – for an earthy punch of nutrition and a gorgeous hue
Banana – for rich, filling sweetness
Chickpeas – for an extra little bit of satisfying protein power
Chia seeds or whole flax seeds – a superfood boost and thickener
Non-dairy milk – For wholesome creamy goodness
Dates (optional) – for those who need a little extra sweetness
A note about flax seeds – Many people like to buy ground flax seeds for convenience. Unfortunately, the oils that make flax seeds a nutritional powerhouse have an almost nonexistent shelf-life once ground – the oils instantly go rancid, losing nearly all of their nutritional benefit. For that reason, I only recommend buying whole flax seeds. This way, all the nutrients remain in tact until you are ready to blend and consume.
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Blender – I recommend Vitamix hands down, but Ninja is a decent more affordable option
Food processor, grater, or sharp knives – if you want to shred the cabbage yourself, otherwise buy it shredded
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Like most smoothies, this recipe really couldn’t be easier. First, gather your ingredients. Make sure your banana is frozen or cold so that your smoothie will be nice and chilled. Then, put all your ingredients into the blender.
If using chia seeds, I recommend putting them in last right before blending, or even once the blender has started, and try to keep the seeds away from the sides of the blender. Those little buggers get very sticky very fast once they come into contact with liquid, and they will stick to the sides of the blender instead of getting shredded to bits. This isn’t the biggest deal in the world, but a teeny bit of attention will ensure all the seeds actually make it into the final product, and it will leave you with an easier cleanup job.
Now, blend away until smooth and creamy. In a high-speed blender, this will take about 30 seconds, while in a less powerful blender it might take a minute or more.
When it looks just right, give it a little taste. I find this smoothie to be perfectly sweet for my taste, but it is definitely not super sweet. If you like things on the sweeter side, add a date or two and blend a little longer until well incorporated.
That’s it! Now it’s time to enjoy.
If you want to get fancy, you can garnish the rim of your empty glass with chia seeds before filling with the smoothie. Start by filling one small bowl with water and another small bowl with chia seeds. Then, dunk the rim of the glass in the water bowl and subsequently the Chia seed bowl. This will leave you with a beautiful chi-seed-studded rim!
You can also add a wedge of cabbage and slice of banana to the rim along with some fresh herbs for extra color and pizazz. (Actually the fresh basil was really good with this smoothie!) But if you just want to get on with your smoothie and your life, without the garnishes, all the power to you! As long as you enjoy it one way or another, I’m happy.
This unique and surprising smoothie is creamy, sweet, and earthy, with the slightest hint of delightful sharpness from the cabbage. It’s light yet satisfying, and definitely a breakfast or lunch you can feel great about!
As with all smoothies, this is enjoyed best immediately after blending, with regard to nutritional value, taste, texture, and color.
Love Cabbage? Try these other cabbage-tastic recipes:
Breakfast Cabbage Salad with Fauxgurt, Cinnamon Apples, and Walnuts
5-Minute Cabbage and Bean Salad
Crunchy Red Cabbage Salad with Lime
Sweet Surprise Cabbage and Banana Smoothie
- 1 cup or 1 large handful shredded red cabbage
- 1 banana frozen or refrigerated
- 1 cup nondairy milk
- 1 tablespoon raw flax or chia seeds
- 1/4 cup cooked chickpeas
- 1-2 medjool dates optional, only if you need things extra sweet. I recommend trying it without dates first.
- Blend all ingredients until very smooth and creamy.
- Taste. If needed, add a date or two, and blend again until well incorporated.
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