This vegan papaya smoothie is so creamy, refreshing and easy to blend with simple ingredients. It’s wonderfully light, making it perfect for the Summer months but with it’s digestion-supporting properties, why not sip it year-round?
To make this creamy smoothie you’ll need frozen banana, frozen papaya, carrot, almond milk and ginger. You can customize it using other fruit such as pineapple, mango or orange or throw in a handful of greens for some extra nutrition.
The vegan vanilla protein powder is optional and can be replaced by an extra bit of frozen banana or by reducing the liquid used.
Papaya is one of my favourite ingredients for its digestive benefits. If you struggle with any digestive issues, papaya is a wonderful food to include in your diet. Let’s look at how it helps with digestion ,as well as some of the other benefits you can enjoy by eating it.
- Digestion. Papaya contains an enzyme called papain that aids in digestion. It’s also rich in fiber and water, both of which promote regularity and a healthy digestive system.
- Immunity. Papaya is very rich in vitamin C, a known antioxidant that boosts the immune system.
- Healthy body weight. Papaya is rich in fiber and water making it a high-volume food you can enjoy a satisfying portion of for a low caloric content.
- Anti-aging. All that vitamin C, E and beta-carotene make papaya great for healthy, glowing skin and in addition to other antioxidants, help protect the skin and brain from free radicals.
- A healthy heart. The vitamin C and lycopene content of papayas may help prevent heart diesase and enhance the effects of “good” HDL cholesterol.
Those are are just a few of the reasons to enjoy this delicious, bright and beautiful juicy fruit. I include one in my weekly grocery shop and I love cutting up half for the fridge and half for the freezer.
I use the frozen papaya in smoothies and the fresh payaya for a snack, or as a topping for oats, chia pudding or coconut yogurt.
There are many delicious ways to customize this papaya smoothie recipe. Give one of these variations a try!
- Papaya Mango Smoothie. Omit the banana and add 1 cup of fresh or frozen mango, or add it in addition to the banana for an extra sweet and tropical smoothie.
- Papaya Pineapple Smoothie. Similar to the mango variation, either replace the banana or add fresh or frozen pineapple in addition to the banana. Feeling extra tropical, add mango and pineapple!
- Papaya Orange Smoothie. Orange and papaya also go beautifully together. Throw in half to a whole fresh or frozen navel orange or two small clementines or mandarins.
- Green Papaya Smoothie. I didn’t add greens to my smoothie for the photos because I wanted that beautiful papaya colour to shine through but I do usually add a big handful of kale or spinach to this smoothie. It’s the easiest way to get more greens into your diet without even noticing them.
For more variations and add-in ideas, check out my vegan protein smoothies ebook.
You can get creative with this recipe and add just about any anything you like based on your preference and nutritional needs. I like adding veggies for a bigger smoothie without the extra calories or sugars and adding a boost of nutrition.
Here are some more ingredients you can play around with:
- Cucumber. Cucumber is light and refreshing and makes a great addition to smoothies. You can use fresh or frozen cucumber. I like to peel and chop 1-2 cucumbers and stock them in the freezer for smoothies. Peeling is optional but easier on digestion.
- Zucchini. Frozen zucchini makes a wonderful creamy addition to smoothies. It works well for replacing banana and other frozen fruit and is a great way to bulk smoothies up without adding more carbs or sugars. I freeze raw zucchini for smoothies but if you have a sensitive digestion system, I would recommend peeling them and/or steaming them before freezing.
- Cauliflower. Cauliflower is similar to zucchini in smoothies and is quite creamy once blended. To prep cauliflower for smoothies, steam then freeze on a baking tray before storing otherwise it will be in one big clump!
- Sweet potato. Sweet potato makes a great alternative to banana in smoothies. You can use a scoop of baked, mashed sweet potato, freeze mashed sweet potato in ice cube trays or freeze chopped and roasted sweet potato.
- Dairy-free yogurt. Yogurt adds a thick, creamy, texture and perfect tanginess to smoothies. I like coconut but almond, soy or cashew all work well. Go with plain for a low-sugar option, or vanilla if you don’t mind the added sugars. It works well to replace banana or can be added to any smoothie for a probiotic boost.
Notes and Substitutions
- This can be customized with different fruits instead of, or in addition to banana. Mango, pineapple, peach, orange or strawberry all work well. Use 1/2 cup in addition to banana or replace the banana with 1 cup fruit of choice.
- The carrot can be substituted with 1/2 cup of chopped, frozen zucchini or chopped, steamed and frozen cauliflower. Chopped cucumber also works well.
- A scoop of coconut yogurt is also a delicious addition, or try replacing half of the almond milk with light canned coconut milk for a tropical twist.
- The protein powder is optional and can be replaced with 1/4 cup of rolled oats, 1 tbsp of flax or chia seeds, a bit of extra banana or just by reducing the liquid used slightly.
- For a lower-sugar smoothie, omit the banana and use 1 cup of frozen zucchini, cauliflower, peach, strawberry, sweet potato or butternut squash in it’s place.
- To make this a smoothie bowl, reduce the liquid to 1/2 cup, start blending on low and slowly increasing the speed, adding more liquid as needed until you reach your desired consistency. Scoop the papaya “ice cream” into a bowl and enjoy as a healthy, frozen treat!
- Check out this post for how cut a papaya and tell if a papaya is ripe or not. If you just plan on eating fresh papaya, cut it in in half, scoop out the seeds, spritz with lime juice and dig in with a spoon.
More Smoothie Recipes
Looking for more vegan smoothies to try? Here are some of my favourites:
For the ultimate guide to creating smoothies along with 66 recipes, check out my Vegan Protein Smoothies eBook.
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This beautiful, thick and creamy smoothie is the ultimate skin, digesting and immune-boosting super drink! Not to mention, it tastes incredible. This recipe makes one large or two small, snack-sized smoothies.
- 1.5 cups cups peeled, chopped and frozen papaya (280 g)
- 1 medium frozen banana (100 g)
- 1/2 cup chopped carrot (85 g, grate if you don’t have a high-speed blender)
- 1 small piece of fresh ginger, approx. 2 tsp if grated (optional)
- 1 scoop vegan vanilla protein powder (30 g)
- 1 cup unsweetened almond milk or another plant-based milk of choice (or more as needed)
Add all ingredients to a high-speed blender and mix until smooth and creamy. Pour into a glass and enjoy!
To freeze papaya, slice a papaya in half and scoop out the seeds. Peel and chop the papaya then freeze the chunks on a baking tray. Once frozen, store in the freezer in a freeze-safe bag or container.
Keywords: papaya banana smoothie