Smoothies have often been touted – and then dethroned – as a health drink. On the one hand, it’s packed full of fibre, vitamins and other things good for the soul. But on the other, nutritionists also say it’s like consuming a glass full of sugar, often even more so than a can of cola. The way we see it is this – what makes for a healthy or a decadent smoothie boils down to your ingredients. Go easy on the number of fruits and add in other nutritious-but-yummy ingredients for a smoothie that is filling, packed full of goodness, and still delicious, just like our banana peanut butter chocolate smoothie.
Frozen banana is a great smoothie ingredient. It’s rich in potassium, vitamins, great for digestion and contains very little fat despite adding a great creaminess to your smoothies when blended. And if you’re on a mission to lose weight, bananas also have the added benefit of being low in calories while helping to keep you full. A win-win situation overall!
For a little sweetness, we used dates, which, if consumed moderately, has great health benefits as well. Even though dates are 80% sugar and has a low glycemic index, they are also full of vitamins, calcium, fibre, magnesium and potassium. Dates have anti-inflammatory benefits and can help reduce the risk of arthritis, Alzheimer’s and cardiovascular diseases, making our banana peanut butter chocolate smoothie a great start to any day!
Peanut butter? Healthy?
Yes, peanut butter is quite healthy as long as you stick to the natural stuff. It is a minimally processed food, which pretty much just involves blending roasted peanuts until it becomes a nice and creamy paste. What makes peanut butter unhealthy is when things get added to it, often in the aim of making it last longer on the shelf – table salt, sugar, preservatives, oil and such. Good peanut butter should really contain nothing more than just peanuts, and maybe a little bit of sea salt. Just like peanuts, peanut butter is high in protein, low in carbs and high in healthy fats. It’s also full of vitamins, minerals and antioxidants. Too much of a good thing, however, isn’t a good thing. Peanut butter may be healthy, but you really shouldn’t finish a whole jar of it in one seating!
Cocoa powder is also packed with goodness – as long as you get the kind without any sugar. 100% pure cocoa powder is full of antioxidants, can help lower blood pressure, and reduce the risk of heart attacks while giving you that rich chocolatey taste we all absolutely love. Polyphenols contained in cocoa are believed to help improve brain function, while the flavanols improves the mood, helps with symptoms of depression and type 2 diabetes! If these aren’t enough reasons to add more cocoa to our diets, we don’t know what is!
And that pinch of sea salt? Well, it makes all the difference to our banana peanut butter chocolate smoothie. Trust us.
- 100g (1) frozen banana, cut into chunks
- 57g (2 ½ tbsp) natural peanut butter
- 3g (2 tsp) unsweetened cocoa powder
- 240ml (1 cup) milk
- 10g (1) pitted date
- 1/8 tsp (pinch) sea salt
Making banana peanut butter chocolate smoothie
- Place all smoothie ingredients in a high-powered blender, starting with the frozen banana, date, cocoa powder, peanut butter, salt and, finally, the milk. Blend until smooth. If necessary, scrape down the sides of the blender once in a while as the cocoa powder tends to stick to the walls.
- Serve immediately while still cold.
- Get all your ingredients ready before bringing out your frozen banana and milk or they will warm up and your banana peanut butter chocolate smoothie won’t be as delicious.
- Temperature is key to making delicious smoothies – you want it cold! If you can’t get your ingredients cold enough, add a little bit of ice during the blending process. Don’t add too much or it will water down your smoothie. Alternatively, serve your smoothie in a cup or glass filled with ice to keep it cool.
- Different types of dates vary in sweetness. Adjust the quantity as needed. However, if your banana is very sweet and ripe, you may not need to add dates at all.
- Vegan? Feel free to swap milk with any vegan milk that you like.
- If your peanut butter already contains salt, you may not need to add extra to your smoothie. If it doesn’t, adding that tiny bit of salt will add a lovely moreish richness to your smoothie.
- It’s best to add the hardest ingredients at the bottom of the blender so they are closest to the blades. The milk helps smoothen the blending process.
- A high-powered blender will make the process of blending your smoothies faster, ensuring it remains cold once the blending process is complete. However, not everyone can afford to fork out a pretty penny for one those blenders. We used the Philips ProBlend 5, which crushes ice faster than your usual blender. This makes them perfect for ice-based frozen drinks, and a pretty good option for non-ice-based smoothies as well. You will need some liquid to get the blender moving smoothly though.
- Blender cleaning tip: add a drop of dishwashing liquid into the blender and fill it with about 1/5th to ¼ of water. Give it a few pulses to clean your blades and the bottom of the blender much more easily. Don’t ‘blend’ the water for too fast or for too long though or you may end up with overflowing foam instead!
Rich and creamy!
This banana peanut butter chocolate smoothie recipe is for one, but it is quite rich and filling, so you may want to share, especially if you’re new to the thick smoothie game. A whole glass should keep you full for quite a while though. We don’t recommend pre-making and storing this smoothie in the fridge for later consumption though. It is, however, super easy to prepare, so as long as you’ve frozen your bananas overnight, the smoothie should come together fairly quick.
How did you like the smoothie? You do have to be a fan of bananas to drink this, but the peanut butter and pinch of salt gives this smoothie a light savoury taste that makes this drink moreish and delicious, perfect for those who don’t have a big sweet tooth. Don’t forget to tag your banana peanut butter chocolate smoothie with the #butterkicap hashtag when you share a picture of it on Instagram or Facebook. Bottom’s up!