This cucumber pineapple smoothie is tart-sweet, creamy, and refreshing. It’s one of my favorite green smoothie combinations – not too sweet, not too thick and super hydrating.
Tropical fruits are prized for their perfect balance of bold, sweet, tart, and juicy flavors. They are what makes a tropical smoothie, well, tropical.
So, what fruits exactly are considered tropical? Those that grow in the hot, humid regions near the earth’s equator (tropical fruits) or in the subtropical regions adjacent to them (subtropical fruits). Some of the most popular tropical fruits you are likely to come across are acai, banana, carambola (star fruit), coconut, date, dragon fruit, durian, fig, grapefruit, guava, jackfruit, kiwi, lemon, lime, lychee, mango, mangosteen, orange, papaya, passion fruit, pineapple, pitaya, pomegranate, and rambutan.
Any of these fruits would be great in a tropical smoothie. The only thing you have to consider is the flavor profile (sweet and sour), texture (watery and creamy), and color. This pineapple cucumber smoothie is a balanced smoothie on all three levels:
- Flavor: pineapple is both sweet and sour. Banana is sweet, which is balanced by the lemon, which is sour.
- Texture: cucumber is watery while banana is creamy. Pineapple, especially when frozen, is somewhere in between.
- Color: all the ingredients compliment each other and together (green, yellow, and white) make a lime-green color.
Hopefully I just convinced you that this pineapple cucumber smoothie is amazing.
Tips for Making Cucumber Pineapple Smoothie
Cucumber and pineapple might seem like an odd combination, but it’s truly delicious. Here are all the ingredients you will need to make this smoothie:
- Cucumber: there are many vegetables you can add to smoothies without ever tasting them once they are blended. A cucumber is one of them – light, refreshing, and very neutral in flavor. You can use fresh or frozen, unpeeled or peeled. I prefer fresh English cucumbers because they are typically sweeter than other types of cucumbers. They have a very thin skin and tiny seeds, so you don’t have to peel them or de-seed them.
- Pineapple: sweet, tart, and tropical are the flavors that pineapple brings to this smoothie. To achieve a thick and creamy texture, I recommend frozen rather than fresh.
- Banana: just like with the pineapple, a frozen banana is better than fresh for a creamier, thicker texture. Bananas are wonderful in smoothies, but if you are not a fan, you can use an avocado instead. Just keep in mind that the smoothie wont be as sweet.
- Greens: you can use any leafy greens you like – spinach, kale, chard, Romain lettuce… they give this smoothie a beautiful vibrant color without really impacting the flavor. If you don’t have a high-speed blender, blend the greens with a little bit of the coconut milk first. Once the greens are completely liquefied, add the rest of the ingredients and blend like you normally would.
- Coconut milk: any plant milk is fine. I really like coconut milk here because its tropical flavor pairs perfectly with the pineapple (think piña colada). It’s also creamier than other plant milks, especially if you use light canned coconut milk as opposed to carton coconut milk.
- Lemon juice: depending on how tart the pineapple is, you might need to add a splash of lemon juice to brighten up the flavors.
How to Make Cucumber Pineapple Smoothie
The most important thing when making a smoothie is to use a high-speed blender (I own the Vitamix).
Do you need a high-speed blender? It depends. If you make smoothies multiple times a week and use a wide variety of ingredients, such as stringy kale, sticky dates, or hard nuts, a high-speed blender will be a worthwhile investment. This doesn’t mean that you have to have the newest, most expensive high-speed blender on the market. An entry-level Vitamix model is more than sufficient to make a smooth and creamy smoothie.
Cucumber Pineapple Smoothie Variations
There are so many ways you can change up this recipe to customize it to your taste.
- Fruit: swap the pineapple for mango and kiwi or papaya and orange.
- Greens: as I already mentioned, any greens will work in this recipe. A mix of greens (I often buy a bag of baby spinach, kale, and chard) is great too. If you are out of fresh greens, you can substitute them for powdered.
- Liquid: plant milks work the best – almond, cashew, oat… Another great option is coconut water although it will make the smoothie a little bit thinner. Orange juice gives the smoothie a citrusy kick, but I am not a fan of all the added sugar. Plain water dilutes the flavor of the smoothie.
- Add-ins: protein powder or hemp seeds (for an extra protein boost), chia seeds or ground flax seeds (for an extra fiber boost).
If you try this recipe, please, leave a comment and rate the recipe below. It always means a lot when you do.
Cucumber Pineapple Smoothie
- 1/2 English cucumber , sliced
- 1 cup frozen pineapple cubes
- 1/2 banana , frozen*
- 1 handful spinach
- 1 Tbsp. lemon juice
- 1 cup coconut milk **
- Blend. Add the cucumber, pineapple, banana, spinach, lemon juice, and coconut milk into a high-speed blender and blend on high until completely smooth.
- Serve immediately.
- Store. Leftover smoothie keep well in an airtight container in the refrigerator for up to 1 day, though best when fresh.