Black Bean Chocolate & Tropical Butterbean Smoothie: California Beans

I am a sucker for smoothies and I can drink them for breakfast, lunch, or even dinner. My freezer is always stocked with bananas, peaches, strawberries, and so many more fruits and veggies. Smoothies are such a quick easy option that provides loads of nutrients and can serve as a meal replacement if you’re on the go.

Smoothies are smooth, creamy and delicious. You can make all kinds of additions like nuts, seeds, and dried fruits (think dates or prunes). 

Speaking of additions, beans are an excellent choice plus you don’t need a fancy blender to achieve the perfect texture. Beans in a smoothie? Trust me when I say that you can hardly tell they are in there! It’s just like sneaking vegetables into your kid's meals or calling carrots unicorn tails just so they will eat it!

Here are a few tips that I have learned along the way for blending up the best smoothie:

  1. Freeze the fruit prior to blending (If you freeze the fruit you won’t need to add ice).

  2. Place liquids in the bottom of the blender before adding fruit and ice.

  3. Start out on the lowest blend setting and increase the speed one increment at a time.

There are two types of beans I like to use when making smoothies: black beans and butterbeans.

With black beans I like to make a chocolate smoothie: 

First, I combine the black beans with milk (I use cow’s milk but any milk alternative would work). This helps to make a really smooth drink. Next, I add frozen bananas and cocoa powder.

What I like about this recipe is that it tastes like a milkshake but it is so much healthier for you, and, yes, you can drink it for breakfast.

With the butterbeans I like to make a tropical smoothie:

First, I combine the butterbeans with orange juice. Again, this step helps with creating a silky smooth texture. To add more flavor with a tropical twist I toss in pineapple and mango. If I feel like I want it a little sweeter I’ll drizzle in some honey.

If you want to really upgrade your smoothie game, try turning it into a smoothie bowl. To do this I recommend adding less liquid (milk or orange juice depending on the recipe). Since the mixture will be thicker it will be more difficult to blend together. It may be necessary to stop the blender and scrape down the sides a few times just to help everything blend up nicely. The last step would be to top your smoothie bowl with more fresh fruit, granola, honey, coconut, or whatever you like!

To find videos of me making the smoothie recipes visit the California Beans website and blog.

Black Bean Chocolate Banana Smoothie



1/4 cup black beans, cooked

3/4 cup milk of choice

2 bananas, peeled and frozen

2 tablespoons cocoa powder


  1. In a blender, combine the black beans and milk. Blend until the mixture is smooth. Add the banana and cocoa powder, blending until smooth. Add more milk if needed.

Tropical Butterbean Smoothie



1/4 cup butterbeans, cooked

1/2 cup mango, frozen

1/2 cup pineapple, frozen

3/4 cup orange juice

1-2 tablespoons honey (optional)


  1. In a blender, combine the butterbeans and orange juice. Blend until the mixture is smooth. Add in the mango, pineapple, and honey. Blend until smooth. Add more orange juice if needed.