Energized Peanut Butter Banana Shake

finished1Ever get that mid-afternoon slump where you get out of classes, get done working out, or have to get ready for work, and you just wanna take a nap and eat a snack? Happens to me, like every day. I’m never hungry enough to eat a lot that close to dinner, and I need something quick to wake me up. Coffee is a usual go-to. Coffee is acceptable at any time of the day, or night…depending on how late I want or need to stay awake. As much as coffee appeals to me, sometimes drinking it on an empty stomach makes me feel a little sick. To solve this dilemma, I created a coffee shake. It fills me up, wakes me up, whips up quickly, and isn’t too sweet.

milkUsing straight up coffee in a shake or smoothie is always too bitter or too watery in my opinion. Instead of using brewed coffee, I blend whole milk with vanilla instant coffee. This helps the shake to have a creamier, sweeter taste and texture. Taster’s Choice Vanilla Instant Coffee by Nescafe is my favorite, but I’m sure alternative brands of flavored instant coffee would work as well.

blendingAlthough coffee adds a good pick-me-up, I decided to add peanut butter as a source of protein to provide sustained energy and a touch of sweetness. No, it’s not the same as a supplemental protein energy shake recommended after a workout, but for me, it works as a good alternative. Sure, peanut butter has sugar in it, but I don’t think it makes the shake too sweet. You can use natural peanut butter, creamy or crunchy versions, but I will admit that creamy Jif peanut butter is by far the best I have ever tried.

peanutbutter

Even if using a creamy version of peanut butter, I always had the problem of it clumping together in the shake and not getting equally incorporated. Fix this by microwaving it for 30 seconds. Then the peanut butter pours smoothly into the blender and gets evenly distributed throughout the shake.

peanutbutterpouring

readytoblendI add ice cubes, but it is the frozen bananas that help the shake to freeze and thicken without watering it down with too much. If you have never frozen bananas before, just do it. I recommend using slightly brown bananas and peeling them before placing them in a plastic bag in the freezer.

pouringThe results are a Frappucino-like beverage that is considerable less sweet and more balanced. Just don’t drink it too fast, or beware of a massive brain freeze to follow.

ENERGIZED PEANUT BUTTER BANANA SHAKE

Serves: 1

Prep Time: 5 minutes

Cook Time: None

  • 3/4 cup whole milk (or 2%, 1% or skim if you are like my friend Megan who really likes her milk to taste mostly like water)
  • 1 packet of instant vanilla coffee
  • 2 tbsp peanut butter (melted)
  • 2 frozen bananas
  • 6 ice cubes (or more if you want it thicker)

Blend the milk and instant coffee in the blender for 30 seconds or until completely incorporated. Pour in the peanut butter. Cut the bananas in half before adding in order to make it easier for the blender to chop everything up. Top with enough ice cubes to fill in the gaps between the frozen bananas. Blend everything together until smooth. Savor the taste and benefit from the energy.

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