With Spring making its presence felt with a big ta-dah this past weekend, I felt inspired to throw off the winter warmers and revisit my kids’ fave, our trusty Frozen Banana Smoothie recipe. I changed up our classic recipe with a handful of berries and a large dollop of peanut butter to create a smoothie you can enjoy three ways.
Banana smoothies are about as simple as it gets. Our own banana smoothie recipe was one of the first to appear on Meals Our Kids Love and it quickly became the most viewed. I feel a bit of a cheat calling this a recipe – a really simple banana smoothie is just bananas and milk (or a lactose-free substitute), whizzed in a blender.
Our smoothie does hide a couple of clever secrets though. One: to get a deliciously thick, icy-cold, milk-shake consistency to your smoothie, freeze the bananas first. Even better, the riper the banana the more delicious the smoothie. So rather than consign those black-spotted bananas to the bin, bung them in the freezer – you won’t regret it.
The easy way to freeze bananas
Slice your bananas into medium-thick slices, lay them on a baking sheet and put in the freezer overnight. In the morning either add them to the blender to make your smoothie or transfer into a resealable food bag and put back in the freezer until you need them. You can keep bananas this way for up to three months.
Give it some oats
Tip number two: to give a little nutritional oomph to a banana smoothie, add a tablespoon of oatmeal/porridge oats. Turn the blender up to its highest setting for a little longer than you would for a normal smoothie, and the porridge oats turn beautifully creamy. Packed full of fibre and protein, oats will help turn your smoothie into something with a little more staying power – perfect for the kids’ breakfast.
A burst of berries
For Berry Burst add a handful of fresh strawberries and/or raspberries to the frozen banana smoothie base recipe. I used fresh berries for this; if you’re using frozen be aware that the result will have a little more of a liquid consistency. Try this with or without the oats – delicious either way.
Something about bananas and peanuts together is just so right; the kids really loved this one, as did I! A few generous tablespoons of peanut butter added to the base banana smoothie in this recipe does just the trick.
I’ve tried this with a supermarket own-brand peanut butter and it’s very good. But if you’re concerned about added sugar and also palm oil in a lot of the supermarket nut butters, then I really recommend the Whole Earth peanut butter brand; it has no added sugar, is gluten-free and suitable for vegans and vegetarians, and more importantly to me, it has introduced a palm oil-free version (pictured left). I’ve seen this on sale for around £2.68 for a large jar, which compares quite well with the leading brands. Because it has no added sugar, it gives the banana smoothie a really nice slightly salted taste.
The recipe below is for one serving – which is one large glass or two smaller glasses.
- 1 banana, frozen and cut into chunks
- 1 cup of milk or dairy-free equivalent i.e. almond or soya milk
- 1 Tbsp porridge oats/oatmeal
- a handful of strawberries
- 2 -3 Tbsp peanut butter (no added sugar variety is best)
- Combine all your ingredients in the blender and pulse on high for 30 seconds to 1 minute.
- Serve immediately.