My Favorite Smoothie

Let me be clear.

I am not a smoothie person.

Smoothies generally fail to satisfy me⁠—not just in terms of leaving me hungry an hour later, but as a person who thoroughly relishes the act of eating, simply drinking a glass full of “food” leaves me wanting more.

This smoothie, however is atypical. It’s packed with satisfying protein, fiber, fat . . . and did I mention it has chocolate? That’s a game changer. What’s more, I eat it with a spoon. No drinking here. Think of a consistency between a milkshake and a pudding⁠—it’s kind of like that. (Essentially, this is healthy chocolate pudding for breakfast⁠—have I intrigued you yet?)

This is a very filling smoothie⁠—I recommend eating it slowly (think about “chewing it.” This not only slows you down and enables your body to get more out of the good ingredients, but it also helps you to know when you’ve had enough). Pour any extra into a glass or jar, cover, and refrigerate for a snack later in the day. Mix up with a spoon before eating again.

A note on freezing bananas: I like to purchase bananas when they’re starting to get those tell-tale brown spots. These cry out to the viewer, “I finally taste like a banana!” I snatch these up and either freeze them or bake with them. When I freeze ripe bananas, I peel them, and then cut them into six fairly equal chunks. I then line them up in a plastic freezer bag, stacked up next to one another like cross sections of tree trunks. That way I always know that six pieces of frozen banana equals one banana. Three is half a banana. So easy to toss into this smoothie, or even to defrost and use in baking, if desired.

Recipe

Serves 2 | makes about 32 fl. oz

Peanut Butter, Chocolate, + Banana “Pudding” Smoothie

INGREDIENTS

*NOTE: order of ingredients is important to proper blending. Put ingredients into the blender in the order listed.

1 to 1 and 1/4 cups water, soy milk, or nut milk (start with scant 1 cup and add more to the blender as needed to reach desired consistency)

1/4 cup cacao or cocoa powder(s); I use a mixture of the two: half raw cacao for a nutrient boost, half Dutch-processed cocoa for rich flavor

2 T. flax meal, heaping

1 can butter beans, chickpeas, or other white beans, drained and rinsed (or 9 oz home-cooked beans). Butter beans give the smoothest consistency and the least “beany” flavor, but all work splendidly. Chef’s choice.

1 and 1/2 frozen bananas; *9 pieces of frozen banana (or use fresh banana and add ice)

2 T. peanut butter (be careful that this lands on top of the banana chunks, NOT on the side of the blender pitcher) For a stronger peanut butter flavor, more protein, and less fat, you can use peanut butter powder; I like to use about 3 T. peanut butter powder and scant 1 T. of peanut butter to keep the tastiness that comes from the fat.

*When I freeze bananas, I cut them into 6 equal chunks, so I simply plop in 9 frozen pieces.

INSTRUCTIONS

  1. Place ingredients in blender. As noted above, the order matters. Start with the water, followed by the powders and flax meal. Drain and rinse your beans (or measure out your home-cooked beans) and add these followed by the frozen banana (or fresh banana). Lastly, carefully add the peanut butter atop the banana (don’t smear it on the side of the pitcher or it will get stuck there). If using fresh banana, add some ice cubes last.
  2. Blend. Here you may need or want to add additional water. If your blender is having trouble spinning consistently or breaking up the frozen chunks, add a bit more water. *Note: the consistency I like leaves a slowly dissolving mound when a spoon is dipped in and held above to let it drip off.
  3. Taste. Once it is near to has reach your desired consistency, taste your smoothie with a spoon. If you want to add a pinch of salt or a bit of honey to your taste, do so.
  4. Pour and serve. Pour into two glasses. As noted, I like to eat mine with a spoon. This consistency is the happy medium in that it is drinkable if you want to drink it, but also does well with a spoon. If you want to serve it in a bowl and add fun toppings like bee pollen, slices of fresh banana, etc., go wild! But none are necessary.

Enjoy!

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