Let’s talk first jobs and ice cream.
One of my first working gigs was at a soda shop attached to a movie theatre – Midwest theaters did it right. I was about 16 and I snagged the job “soda jerk,” which meant I scooped all the ice cream sundaes, shakes, apple pie a la modes, and made fresh cherry limeades. Basically, I looked and smelled like a giant popsicle by the end of the night.
It was kind of the dream, except for two things: 1) Restocking involved lugging dozens of 10-pound ice cream containers around with my weak chicken arms. And 2) being around ice cream all day. Hello temptation.
My favorite flavor combination has always been some form of chocolate, banana, and peanut butter. I’m surprised I never put bananas and peanut butter cups between bread and called it lunch (but now that I think of it, that’s a good idea).
We were allowed a minimal amount of treats while at work and only received a small discount on food, but that never stopped me from ordering giant salads during my lunch break and then whipping up a hot fudge peanut butter banana shake for my car ride home. Life was good.
Not much has changed these days. I still love all things peanut butter, banana and chocolate. However, with dairy out the door, I reach for cashew- and coconut-based frozen treats. Another favorite – and perhaps the most simple creation – involves frozen bananas.
This recipe is has three very good things going for it:
1) It requires just 5 ingredients and 5 minutes to make.
2) It’s naturally sweetened and relatively healthy.
3) It tastes seriously close to a real milkshake!
Frozen bananas provide a sweet, ice cream-like base
Dates a touch of sweetness
Almond milk extra creaminess
Peanut butter a salty kick + protein + healthy fats
& cacao powder antioxidants and subtle chocolate flavor
This has been my go-to mid-afternoon snack when I can’t quite make it till dinner or a healthy dessert when I want something sweet. But really, it’s so healthy and satisfying that it could even be a suitable breakfast.
CHOCOLATE PEANUT BUTTER BANANA SHAKE
- 1 large ripe banana (previously peeled, sliced and frozen // 1 large banana equals ~200 g)
- 2 Tbsp salted natural peanut butter (if unsalted, add a pinch of salt)
- 1-2 whole dates (pitted // if not sticky and moist, soak in hot water for 10 minutes, then drain)
- 1 Tbsp cacao powder or unsweetened cocoa powder
- 1 to 1 1/2 cups Almond Breeze Almondmilk Original Unsweetened
- 1/2 cup ice (optional)
- 1 Tbsp cacao nibs for “chocolate chip” effect (blend in or use as topping)
- 1 Tbsp flax or hemp seeds (for added nutrition)
- Dairy-free chocolate sauce (for drizzling inside glass)
- Coconut whipped cream (for topping)
Add all ingredients except almond milk to the blender. Add in almond milk 1/2 cup at a time, adding only enough to allow the ingredients to blend together. Add more for a thinner shake and less for a thicker shake.
Taste and adjust flavors, adding more banana or dates for sweetness, cacao for chocolate flavor, and peanut butter for saltiness. Optional: Add a handful of ice for extra thickness.
Serves 1 generously (as original recipe is written). Best when fresh, though leftovers will keep covered in the fridge for up to 24 hours. You could even freeze this into popsicles!
*Nutrition information is a rough estimate.
Nutrition Per Serving (1 of 1 shakes)
- Calories: 382
- Fat: 21g
- Saturated fat: 4.1g
- Sodium: 194mg
- Carbohydrates: 43.7g
- Fiber: 8.2g
- Sugar: 21.7g
- Protein: 13.5g