Are you all set with a holiday food coma recovery plan? :) I'm guessing not because you're checking up on my recipes, so I'm just teasing... :) No such necessity for me, but I do love it when I find snacks, breakfasts, and food on the go that's on the lighter side sheerly because of the massive amount of desserts I end up making, tasting, eating... buying and sampling... all day long... for work purposes, ya know? ;)
Here's a tiny window into my baking life: imagine what it's like to be thinking up new desserts to make, baking away all day, photographing the things that work out, remaking things that were tweaks away from perfection, tasting things over the days to come, talking about them and recipe sharing on the blog, eating the massive amount of things I baked up during a good spree, and in my out of the kitchen time admiring the delicious things my foodie blogging pals have been up to, browsing through magazines and cookbooks, and then of course answering questions and inquiries about food and my desserts. Oh, and in between all that there's of course food shopping, meal prepping, ingredient research, and even buying new desserts just to taste new flavors, textures, etc. Yep, that's my working life in a nutshell... One big dessert party (if I'm not making it, I'm eating it, looking at it, talking about it...). Not complaining... What can I say, I've definitely got a major (wholesome) sweet tooth and I love it.
...But of course you have to learn to balance things out with a lifestyle like that. That's where things like this super filling peanut butter & banana smoothie kick in. I get really excited when I find little treats, snacks, breakfasts, or pick me ups that are light and filling and completely no-fuss because they get me through my crazy work days with ease. And help to keep those stretchy pants packed up and away in the back of the closet somewhere... ;)
Smoothies and protein shakes can be great like that, but unfortunately protein powders and I rarely get along. In fact I'm in a bit of a slump with those as we speak. I used to really enjoy my Vega smoothies (in fact I talked all about how much I loved them a long while back here), but we've since had a falling out. I don't know why, but I can really taste that stevia flavor so strongly (unless of course I smother it with a crazy amount of add-ins, but that would defeat the purpose of keeping things light... right?). I know in the past I said I was able to mask it, but my stevia-radar must have gotten SUPER sensitive... And I've yet to try an alternative protein powder that works for me. If you use any you like (gluten-free, dairy-free, refined sugar-free), let me know in the comments. Open to experimenting... :)
In the meantime I found a wonderful alternative -- powdered peanut butter. Just the simple combination of peanut flour, a banana, and some almond milk, (and occasionally a dash of cinnamon), and I'm good to go for hours << HOURS! I don't know what kind of wizardry is packed into this trio combo, but I'm sure glad I discovered it.
I've been relying on this smoothie multiple days a week for some time now and I love it. I tried changing things around, using regular pb instead of the powdered stuff, adding other flavors into the mix, swapping out the fruit, and... I never got anywhere comparable. All delicious, all leaving me hungry for something more... hence not really a good tide-me-over solution... But this smoothie has worked a treat in that department when using the three ingredients I mentioned.
I think it's the combination of an easy to digest sugar with a good source of protein (which powdered peanut butter is very rich on), the soothing smooth texture of a banana, and the creaminess of good quality almond milk -- not too sweet to make you crave more sugary things, not too light to make you hungry 10 minutes later... but light enough to fuel you up for a decent amount of time at a relative caloric fraction of similar snacks and smoothies.
The magical ingredient here as you can see is powdered peanut butter -- a product I've long been in love with. I use it regularly in my nice creams, peanut sauce, cooking, etc. If you're not familiar with it it's basically de-fatted peanut butter. Comes in a powdery form and turns into peanut butter with the addition of a bit of water. It's full of protein, but none of the fat that you'd expect in regular pb (not that I have a problem with regular pb -- in fact I LOVE it -- but it just doesn't work the same way for the purpose of the magical super fueling & light effect of this smoothie...).
There are several popular brands of powdered peanut butter out there. The most common one is PB2, and I've been seeing it at most grocery stores around, but to be honest I don't buy it (sugar, regular salt, not organic... all things that make it into a *buy only if desperate* list... and I'm not usually desperate for pb powder, as you can imagine..). My ultimate favorite powdered peanut butter is from a brand called Just Great Stuff, and it's AMAZING. Organic (something I pay close attention to with peanuts), and made with just a hint of coconut sugar and sea salt. Pretty clean stuff and tastes great.
Anyhow, once you've got your hands on some powdered peanut butter of your choice, give this smoothie a go. I'd love to hear how it's working out for you. Of course I can't guarantee it'll have the same effect on everyone, but then again if it works for me I don't see why it wouldn't for many others either which is why I thought to share... And it's a pretty small investment to make (buying 3 ingredients) to possibly make your life a whole lot easier in the quick snack or breakfast department. Worth trying!
A light yet filling instant peanut butter and banana smoothie, perfect for mornings or afternoons where you need to eat and go. Dairy free and only requires 3 ingredients.
- 1 cup chilled unsweetened vanilla almond milk (for best results get a good tasting brand or make from scratch)
- 1 large ripe banana
- 1 tbsp powdered peanut butter
- Optional: a dash of cinnamon (or to taste)
- Blend everything together until smooth and enjoy!