Thursday, November 5, 2015

Thankful for delicious, healthy chocolate smoothies!

I've developed this chocolate smoothie that I drink nearly every day now.

It is so good, I just cannot even wrap my mind around the fact that it doesn't have any unhealthy ingredients.  In fact, it is so good, I prefer this over a fast-food chocolate shake, based on flavor alone.

Besides that, it only has four ingredients, and they are four easy ingredients, common and cheap.

On top of that, it helps me, now that I have no kids at home, when I am having trouble using up the milk and bananas.  Milk and bananas were a problem for awhile there, when it was basically just me eating them (Shawn doesn't drink milk or eat bananas).  But!  No more!  Now I make all my extra milk and bananas into delicious, nutritious chocolate smoothies.

Here are our four ingredients:

(1)  A frozen banana.

This is the right way to freeze a banana.  Peel it, cut it into chunks, and freeze it in its own, individual zip-lock bag.

The bigger your banana, the thicker and more ice-creamy your smoothie will be.

Use ripe bananas.  You know how the whole bunch of bananas is ripe on the same day?  Freeze them a day or two after that, no more, and you will have a wonderful result.  The way my banana bunches go, I usually end up freezing about five bananas on the day they are ready.  If they are small bananas, I might split the fifth banana into four pieces and add one piece to each of the other four banana bags.

Place your frozen banana in your blender.

(2)  A cup of milk.

Personally, I like whole milk.  I am not gaining weight on whole milk.  In fact, my doctor was displeased the last time I was in, because I'd been losing weight, and she threatened to change my lupus meds.  So, I use a cup of whole milk.  However, I'm sure 2% would be absolutely fine.  Skim would probably even work.  I have also made this smoothie with almond milk for my daughter Lu, who is lactose intolerant.  I think unsweetened vanilla almond milk works the best, if you're aiming for a non-dairy treat.

Pour your cup of milk over the frozen banana in the blender.

(3)  A rounded soup spoon full of dry cocoa powder.

We are not talking about sweetened, flavored cocoa mix.  No!  Banish the thought!  We are talking about unsweetened baking cocoa.  Use a nice, big generous spoonful.

Gently dump the cocoa powder into the center of the blender.  Try to make sure it is surrounded by milk and banana, and that none of it gets on the sides of the blender to start.  It will blend up nicer this way.

(4)  A rounded soup spoon full of nut butter.

For this, I use the same exact spoon that I just used for the cocoa powder.  If you follow this order of steps, you minimize your dirty dishes, and minimal dirty dishes is always a good thing.

I cannot eat peanuts, so I usually use Sunbutter from sunflower seeds.

You could certainly use peanut butter.  If you're using almond milk instead of cow's milk, you could go with a theme and use almond butter.  It really makes very little difference.  I add this ingredient because when this is my breakfast, the nut butter helps me to get filled up, and it holds me until lunch.

Place the nut butter, like the cocoa, in the center of the blender, away from the sides.

There you have it!

Blend until smooth.  Depending on the cut and angle of your frozen banana pieces, you may need to use a variety of blender powers, and a few blasts with "ice-crush" to get it smooth.  Make sure it is smooth!  There's nothing more disappointing than a chunk of unblended frozen banana in this smoothie (well, that's hyperbole, but chunks are disappointing).

After you have blended it nice and smooth,  pour it into a glass and enjoy!

Isn't that beautiful?  Can you believe there's only banana, milk, cocoa and nut butter in this?  NO SUGAR!  And, I promise, you won't miss it!

Here is one of my chocolate smoothies, approximately 2.23 seconds after I poured it up:

I can drink a smoothie faster than anybody in my family, without even trying to.  That's just how it goes for me.  Fast.  Sigh.

But there's always tomorrow.  These are so good for me, I can have one nearly every day!


Healthy Chocolate Smoothie

1 frozen banana
1 cup milk (or milk substitute)
1 rounded Tbsp. unsweetened cocoa powder
1 rounded Tbsp. nut butter of choice

Blend in blender until smooth.

I am thankful 
for healthy foods
that are easy to make 
and use affordable ingredients!


Priscilla said...

That sounds delicious! I promise you I will try it...and I'll come back to tell you about it. I don't have frozen bananas at this moment. I quite often do...but at the moment I don't. My husband is a triathlete and he is always using them up very quickly in his own delicious smoothies that he makes. I'm sure he will appreciate this recipe.

Shawn Carpenter said...

I drink milk when you are not looking. I sneak it; it is my secret sin. :-)

Mariya Vandivort said...

This looks so easy, even I will be able to do it! I have all of the ingredients, except for the bananas. :( I can change that. Thank you for the tip about freezing them; will definitely try that! The only sad part is that I hear that you make a killer banana bread (which you're not able to eat yourself - bummer!), so it sounds like the bread is going away.

Ruthie said...

Priscilla--I hope you like it! I just had another one this morning.

Shawn--You had ought to be drinking more then, because I was obliged to dump quite a bit of lumpy old milk down the drain before I figured out this recipe.

Mariya--Yes, I made really good banana bread, back in the good old days when I ate sugar and gluten. ;-)