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Eat Well Feb. 21. 2014

Banana Yogurt

Feb. 21. 2014
McKel Hill, MS, RDN, LDN

McKel Hill, MS, RDN, LDN


Today I’m sharing with you all a new recipe (and new favorite) alternative to yogurt sans dairy, Banana Yogurt! This may be the only yogurt recipe you’ll ever need… bold statement I know, but it’s that good. Living dairy free, yogurt has been one of the few things I’ve missed due to it’s versatility, taste, and texture. Sure there are other non-dairy yogurt alternatives out there, but none I’ve enjoyed as much. Banana Yogurt is filled with deliciously simple whole food ingredients and takes less than 10 minutes to make, which is perfect for a quick and nutrient dense breakfast in the morning.

Banana Yogurt contains healthy fats from creamy cashews, fiber and protein from ground chia seeds, and best of all the banana makes this yogurt thick, creamy, and naturally sweet just like most yogurts. My favorite way to enjoy this recipe is by adding crunchy granola on top such as staples in my pantry, Maple Banana Nut Granola and Nourishing Muesli.

I encourage you all to have fun with the toppings for Banana Yogurt, here are a couple ideas to get you started: fresh berries, sliced apple or pear, diced banana, crunchy banana chips, cacao nibs, goji berries, bee pollen, dried mulberries, Cinnamon Puffed Rice Cereal, or anything else your heart desires. I enjoy this yogurt best when it’s been chilled in the fridge for at least 20 minutes, another quick option is to add in a couple ice cubes while blending to chill the yogurt quickly.  Before I share the recipe, I want to chat a bit about bananas and why I incorporate this fruit into my diet daily.

Something I do on a weekly basis is to buy extra bananas to keep my kitchen stocked full of ripe bananas! Next time you’re out grocery shopping, purchase one bunch that’s almost ripe (yellow, some spots), which can be eaten right away, and buy another bunch that’s green/yellow. The green/yellow bananas can sit on your countertop to ripen or put in a brown paper bag with an apple or other piece of ripe fruit to quicken the ripening process. This ensures you’ll always have ripe, spotted bananas for banana yogurt, smoothies, snacks, ice cream, etc.

Bananas are one of my staple foods in my kitchen, they’re essentially “nature’s fast food” with their portability, versatility and nutrition. I love these especially post-workout to refuel from an intense workout, as a quick snack, or for desserts. The balance of naturally occurring electrolytes + the simple and starchy carbohydrates makes it a perfect fruit for fitness enthusiasts everywhere. Even if you’re not an athlete, bananas still have been shown to help improve digestion (elimination!), contain cardiovascular benefits, may help reduce and sooth stomach ulcers, improve bone health and kidney health. If you’re watching your sugar or carbohydrate intake, simply use half of the banana at a time or balance it out with a quality protein/healthy fat.

Nutrient breakdown of BANANAS | *based on 1 medium banana ~118g 

  • Vitamin B6 } 25% DV
  • Manganese } 16% DV
  • Vitamin C } 14% DV
  • Potassium } 12% DV
  • Biotin } 10% DV
  • Copper } 10% DV
  • Magnesium } 8% DV
  • Fiber } 1 medium banana contains 3g fiber
  • Carbohydrates } 1 medium banana contains 27g carbohydrates

TIP // have too many ripe bananas? No worries! Simply peel the bananas, lay evenly on a cookie sheet or flat surface, freeze overnight, take each individual frozen banana and store in a freezer gallon size bag for your smoothies or BanaNO Cream.


Banana Yogurt
Recipe Type: breakfast, dessert, snack
Author: McKel Hill, MS, RD, LDN
Prep time:
Total time:
Serves: 1
A delicious, thick and creamy yogurt made from only fruit and whole food ingredients. GF VGN Raw
  • 1 spotted ripe banana
  • 1/2 cup unsweetened almond milk
  • 2 tablespoons chia seed, ground
  • 2 tablespoons of raw cashews
  • squeeze of fresh lemon juice (optional)
  • dash of cinnamon
  • dash of sea salt
  • stevia to sweeten (if needed, optional)
  1. Soak chia seeds for at least 20 minutes in 4 tablespoons of the almond milk.
  2. Set aside to gel.
  3. Soak cashews in water (and discard) for at least 20 minutes to soften.
  4. In a high speed blender or food processor, combine all ingredients until smooth.
  5. Adjust almond milk liquid to make thinner or thicker to your desired taste.
  6. Enjoy at room temperature or chill for 20 minutes.
  7. Serve as suggested in the blog post.
  8. Enjoy!
Use a frozen banana for an even thicker variation! [br]If you’re allergic to bananas, there really isn’t an alternative to them in this recipe.[br]Note, banana yogurt doesn’t contain live bacteria like other yogurts* it’s just for flavor and texture-

Remember this is a play on yogurt, it doesn’t contain probiotics or the fermentation process, it’s all about giving non-dairy lifestyles a similar texture and consistency of yogurt– have fun with it and don’t get caught up in technicalities of yogurt. I hope this will become one of your staples as I can’t seem to get enough of it lately! Please “share” if you love what you’re reading and seeing with my recipes! Also, what is it that you would like to see more of on Nutrition Stripped?

I have some big projects I CAN’T wait to share with you all soon!

xx McKel

The Recipe

Serves 1



  • 1 spotted ripe banana
  • 1/2 cup unsweetened almond milk
  • 2 tablespoons chia seed, ground
  • 2 tablespoons of raw cashews
  • squeeze of fresh lemon juice (optional)
  • dash of cinnamon
  • dash of sea salt
  • stevia to sweeten (if needed, optional)


  1. Soak chia seeds for at least 20 minutes in 4 tablespoons of the almond milk.
  2. Set aside to gel.
  3. Soak cashews in water (and discard) for at least 20 minutes to soften.
  4. In a high speed blender or food processor, combine all ingredients until smooth.
  5. Adjust almond milk liquid to make thinner or thicker to your desired taste.
  6. Enjoy at room temperature or chill for 20 minutes.
  7. Serve as suggested in the blog post.
  8. Enjoy!

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Did you try it out?

Share Your Thoughts & Images

  • Teresa

    Looks awesome. Could I substitute another nut if I’m out of cashews?

  • This recipe sounds wonderful! I do have a question, though. Could this be made ahead and kept in the fridge in individual mason jars for a week of take to work breakfasts? I’m just wondering about it’s shelf life, because I don’t have time to make this every morning before heading out the door…

    • Yes, you can make it the night before and keep it in the fridge or a quick 10 minutes in the morning- it’s very quick!

  • Yummy! Will be trying this very soon 🙂

  • This looks delicious. And the recipe is perfect for me, simple and with a handful of ingredients.

    I love your blog!

  • LeAnne

    Wow! This recipe sounds delicious! I was curious about something, though. One of the benefits to eating yogurt is the probiotics or “good bacteria”… is there a way to add those benefits to this recipe and still keep it dairy-free?

    • I hope you enjoy it! Thank you- probiotics are in very small quantities in yogurt, this recipe is really for the overall texture of it! I haven’t tried adding probiotics to it!

  • Beatriz

    Thanks for this recipe, I’m going to make it for breakfast tomorrow 🙂 But one question: should the cashews be soaked in water or in almondmilk? Thank you!

  • Paula Kay

    Yeah, I was thinking you fermented bananas. I’m always on the lookout for nondairy probiotics. There’s only so much sauerkraut I can eat! ; )

  • Quick Question…what am I soaking the cashews in? Love your blog!

  • I am certain I would love this!!

  • This sounds and looks amazing, McKel! I rarely eat bananas fresh, yet always have them on-hand in the freezer for smoothies, dairy-free ice cream, and thawing out for things like pancakes and waffles. I’m excited to try this!

  • sujata rai

    i have never bought chia seed before. can you please suggest me what should i look for when buying chia seed? lets say for ex: should it be whole or white or any other option….

    • Great question, health food stores, bulk bins, or online. White/black are basically the same! xx -m.h.

  • This is genius! I’m a yogurt addict so after a couple years of eating “dairy free except yogurt” I gave up the yogurt as well which was and is so hard! Haha! Almond yogurt is just so pricey so I’ll certainly give this a try! 🙂

  • Margot

    Made it today, so tasty! Perfect yogurt texture. Another great recipe McKel!

  • Giselle

    Can you make it with walnuts or almonds instead of cashews?

    • You can try adding macadamia nuts instead that would be a similar texture! Enjoy xx -m.h.

  • Deborah A

    We are having this for breakfast this morning, it’s delicious. I added a few additional items; hemp seeds, bee pollen and citrus flavoured omega oil instead of the lemon juice and lumuca powder instead of stevia. This is just the second recipe of yours I’ve tried and there are always cries of is there any more . Next up is to try this recipe with blueberries, strawberries or raspberries. And I love your suggestion of macadamia nuts. Macadamia nuts and coconut milk, hmm sounds like a plan. I am so happy I found your blog and look forward to seeing your posts and will definitely try more recipes.

    • Awesome Deborah- I love your additions! I’m SO glad you’re enjoying my recipes, I LOVE that!

  • I just tried the recipe for breakfast this morning, and it was absolutely delicious! I just added some blueberries and toasted pumpkin seeds. Scrumptious!

  • Margarida Veludo

    McKel, this recipe is absolutely amazing! You have no idea how much your recipes are changing my life and the way I look at food. Thank you so much for being such an inspiration and a blessing, keep up the extraordinary work 🙂

    • Hi Margarida!
      Wonderful- so happy you’re enjoying them and thank you for your kind words -m.h.

  • lisa

    this sounds delicious, really – but what makes you think this has anything to do with yoghurt? per definition, it contains bacteria. please don’t spread confusion about something that isn’t confusing at all.

    • Haha Lisa, as stated in this blog post, I call and refer this to yogurt for the texture and taste only. Namaste -m.h.

  • Misty

    Yes Please!!!

  • AJ

    I can’t wait to to try this! What a great idea!
    I am a Chalkboard Mag devotee and was super excited to read that post on you.
    Keep up the good work!

    • Aw that’s fantastic AJ thank you so much for all your support of my blog, I truly appreciate the love xx m.h.

  • Wow, I’m so excited to try this out. Thanks so much for sharing the recipe. I’m trying to cut back on my dairy intake so this is perfect for me. Looks amazing!

  • Meredith

    Hi McKel,

    I know you stated above that you can make the night before, but how about making a large batch and keeping in a container for the week? Thoughts? And I think your blog is fantastic and your recipes are delicious!

    • Hi Meredith, thank you so much! It probably wouldn’t be as good keeping it a full week, I would say 2 days at a time would be best 😉

  • Linda

    Hi! Reader from Norway here 😉 Would love to try this tomorrow, but without going to the store. Is it possible to make this with ricemilk instead of almondmilk? And could one use almond or coconutbutter instead of soaked cashews?

    • Hi Linda, so glad you’re going to try it out! You can also use almonds, walnuts, or macadamia nuts if you’d like. Best to you and enjoy -m.h.

  • Just having it for breakfast, now a little more liquid as a smoothie with raspberries (the sourness of the lemon and raspberries really make it taste like yoghurt!), for after running I reserved a thicker part which I plan to top with papayas, raspberries & toasted pecans, thanks for the beautiful recipe!

  • Vittoria

    Just made this – AMAZING. So simple, yet so delicious!!! Forgot to add the lemon but it is still delicious! Will try it with the lemon next time 🙂 Perfect for my post-yoga snack tomorrow!! Thank you so much for all of your delicious recipes!

  • zosia

    for those allergic to bananas: try replacing them with avocados and upping the sweetener!

  • debbiep

    Can we replace chasews? Cause I’m allergic to them!

  • sofia

    I just dead this delicious yogurt and it’s delicious! Thank you so much! I am trying to reduce the dairy food in my diet and this yogurt and the almond milk will sure help!
    All the best,

    • sofia

      Sorry, I meant to say “I just did this yogurt”

  • I have been searching for a quick yogurt recipe that isn’t all nut based and this is just so fast and really delicious!
    Thank you so much for sharing!

  • Could I omit the chia seeds if I use frozen bananas ?

  • Carolyn McEvoy

    Holy Crow… I am sooo diggin’ this recipe..
    I’ve been looking for a satisfying whole-food recipe that I can enjoy as a dessert.
    Can’t wait to try this at week’s end.
    Thank you!!

  • Maggie

    Had this on my page waiting to try! Finally got to it and its a great yogurt substitute, makes for a great breakfast!

  • Becca

    This was soooo yummy! I added a little cacao powder for a chocolate banana taste. So delicious!

  • Jenn

    I was wondering if the chia seeds are required? My son is allergic to dairy (he’s 2 yrs old) and has irritable bowel disease so he is on a very strict diet and chia seeds are a big no no for him. It is so hard to find yummy things to feed him for variety.

    • McKel Hill

      Unfortunately the chia seeds make this thick and gel-like, the only alternative would be flax seed but that holds the same fibrous issue that chia seeds would give him. Otherwise, use a coconut milk yogurt or kefir!

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