Sometimes on Saturday or Sunday mornings I get caught up with drinking my coffee and surfing the internet and before I know it I am starving and feel like I could eat a horse. At that point I want breakfast but I don’t have the patience to a) come up with something to make, or b) take the time to make something. That is where the beloved smoothie comes in. Normally I have a few different versions I like to make but this morning upon inspecting the contents of the fridge and freeze, I discovered it was slim pickings. Lucky for me as I was forced to concoct a new, delicious flavor that will now be one of my new favorites.
I won’t waste your time talking about what was missing, how I howled, and then how I decided to make this smoothie. I will just jump right in with the recipe and let you take it from there. The important thing with smoothies, and especially with this one since I don’t have an exact recipe, is to be creative and daring. Don’t be afraid to try a new combination. There are a couple of things that I recommend using as your basic ingredients and then the rest is up to you.
My first recommendation is to use frozen bananas. We all buy bananas and either forget to eat them or let them go behind the tasty point of ripeness. Often in this apartment, those bananas reincarnate as banana bread. But sometimes, those bananas get sent to the freezer graveyard where they await ascension into a smoothie. Frozen bananas make your smoothie icy and creamy without having to use ice and getting a watered down flavor. Mmmmmm. Try it next time you make a smoothie. I promise you will not go back.
The other ingredient I recommend keeping on hand is nut butter. Peanut butter, almond butter, the type is up to you. Peanut butter especially adds a wonderful flavor to smoothies and makes it feel like you are getting a treat instead of a protein-packed brain freeze. One of our favorite flavor combinations is peanut butter with chocolate soy milk, yogurt, and frozen bananas. YUM! We have tried using vanilla yogurt, plain yogurt, and don’t tell anyone, but we’ve even used Yoplait’s Boston cream pie flavor in the past. Nowadays I would not use Yoplait light because of the added artificial ingredients but I will also not deny that it created a very tasty smoothie. Anyway, bottom line here is to keep some type of nut butter on hand for a quick protein smoothie. It makes it very easy to just throw a couple of tablespoons of nut butter, your choice of milk, and a frozen banana in a blender and, voila, a smoothie appears!
Vanilla Almond Peanut Butter Smoothie
2 frozen bananas
2 heaping tablespoons of peanut butter
1/2 cup Greek or Turkish plain yogurt
Approximately 2 cups almond milk (or rice milk, soy milk, or regular milk)
1/2 – 1 teaspoon bourbon vanilla extract (homemade is especially delicious*)
1 tablespoon or more of maple syrup.
Place all ingredients in a blender and blend until smooth(ie appears). Make adjustments to the amount of liquid, sweetener, or frozen banana as needed. Also, if you use vanilla yogurt, skip the maple syrup.
Pour into two glasses and enjoy with a friend.
*Recipe for homemade bourbon vanilla coming soon!