Banana Caramel Smoothie

Banana Caramel Smoothie Sponsored Recipe Smoothie photos by Emily Caruso

It took me a long time to warm up to protein powders. The first few I tried were terrible — they tasted off at best, and bitter at worst. I figured that protein powders were for people who were into weight training and not people who like their food to taste good. (Guess which of those categories I fall into?) But then a year later, I gave them another try and realized that there were plant-based protein powders that actually tasted good. Imagine that!

At my first midwife appointment, we talked about nutrition and the fact that I needed to consume at least 70 grams of protein a day. 70 grams! In the past year, I had just started keeping track of the protein I was eating and I found that I really had to be mindful to even get 50 grams, so eating 70 grams a day seemed impossible, especially when I had aversions to almost all of my usual protein sources — tofu, lentils, beans and nuts were out of the question.

Thus began Operation Stealthily Healthy Smoothie — because I knew that smoothies would be the best way for me to work a large amount of protein into my diet in a small package (or glass). Back in the carefree days of yore, I used to throw lots of greens and fruits and seeds and whatnot into my smoothies, but those pesky food aversions meant that the very thought of spinach in a smoothie made my stomach turn and fruity smoothies didn’t appeal to me either. So my objective was to create smoothies that tasted like milkshakes.

Vega One French Vanilla
One of my favorites was a frozen banana blended with almond milk, a scoop of Chocolate Vega One, a tablespoon each of chia and hemp seeds, then swirled with a ribbon of peanut butter. And then there’s this Banana Caramel Smoothie, my other favorite — dates, almond butter and French Vanilla Vega One combine to give this smoothie a caramel flavor. Yes, really! If you like bananas, use one that’s nice and ripe; otherwise, a less ripe banana will lend creaminess to the smoothie without adding a pronounced banana flavor (a trick I picked up from Kare). And the awesome thing about Vega One is that it’s not just a protein powder, it’s an all-in-one nutritional shake with 6 servings of greens in each scoop — so I’m still getting my greens in these smoothies without feeling like I’m sipping a salad through a straw.

I discovered Vega products about a year ago and they’ve been a staple in my pantry ever since. The fact that Vega One tastes good is a given — if it didn’t, I wouldn’t buy it. But I also love the fact that it’s vegan, non-GMO and made from real, whole food ingredients. Add it to a smoothie and you basically have a complete, nutritionally balanced meal in a glass.

Banana Caramel Smoothie

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Banana Caramel Smoothie

Prep Time: 5 minutes

Total Time: 5 minutes

Yield: 1 large smoothie

Banana Caramel Smoothie

This smoothie is a complete meal in a glass -- and it tastes like a caramel shake!


  • 1-1 1/2 cups almond, coconut or cashew milk (use less for a thicker smoothie)
  • 3 Medjool dates, pitted
  • 1 large banana, frozen
  • 1 scoop French Vanilla Vega One
  • 1 tablespoon almond butter
  • Cacao nibs for garnish (optional)


  1. Combine milk, dates, banana, Vega One and almond butter in a blender and blend until smooth.


About Kiersten

Kiersten is the founder and editor of Oh My Veggies.   Read more from Kiersten →

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  1. Liz says

    Thank you for posting! I will try it out as I have been looking for a way to get more veggies and protein into my kids’ (and my) diet. Hopefully the “disguised as a chocolate milkshake” thing will work.

  2. Amber says

    Another great brand that I’ve used for years is Garden Greens. The chocolate and vanilla protein shakes are both awesome. They also have an amazing smoothie powder called AcaiSplash that is loaded with antioxidants and tastes amazing with a banana or avocado and a little vanilla protein powder. Yummers! Thanks so much for sharing your recipes.

  3. says

    YUM! I’m a big fan of smoothies, especially ones with nut butter! I also add vegan protein powder in for an extra protein boost. Not sure if you do this at all, but I throw 1/2 scoop of protein powder into my pancake batters and mix it in with my cereal sometimes. It definitely helps me get that extra protein that i can easily forget about (give me all of the complex carbs!).

    • Kiersten says

      I’ve been meaning to make a big batch of protein pancakes for a few weeks now! I was thinking I’d make them on the weekend and then freeze them for breakfast during the week. 🙂

  4. says

    70 GRAMS!!! Oy. That is a lot. I feel like you’d have to be eating a block of tofu at every meal! Or lots of Greek yogurt. Or both.

    Good to know that Vega is a tasty source of protein. I’ll have to keep an eye out for it, because this smoothie is awesome.

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