Soft Serve-Style Peanut Butter Cravings

Posted by on June 15, 2010 | 24 Comments

I just noticed that most of the smoothies on my blog include banana. Believe it or not, I do take the occasional banana break using mango, avocado, or other fruits for thickening power, but I am not going to apologize for my love of this sweet and highly accessible fruit. In fact, I am going to share my current favorite breakfast today that features, you guessed it, one big, sweet banana.

Dairy-Free, Soy-Free, and Vegan Peanut Butter Shake / Smoothie

Why the obsession with bananas? Of course, the taste is awesome … and nothing naturally thickens and sweetens a healthy dairy-free smoothie/shake like frozen, ripe banana chunks. But my love runs deeper than mere aesthetics.

My whole life I have had a problem with severe calf cramps. Mid-stride during soccer matches (as a child and adult) they would suddenly seize leaving me frozen and writhing in pain. I frequently awoke in the middle of the night with extreme cramping (yes, my poor husband has been startled awake by my sudden outbursts on many occasions). But about five years ago I started my smoothie habit, eating at least one large banana every day. And what do you know, those calf cramps vanished. I mean *poof* – for good. The only time they have returned is mid-winter one year when I took a banana hiatus. Never again.

Many people argue that bananas aren’t actually the best source of potassium (a known cramp fighter). They are a “good” source, though in reality not a true top contender. But perhaps it is something more than just potassium … perhaps it is the whole nutrient banana package that somehow works.

Though one might think consistent change would be needed to keep things interesting with the old banana, to me it is a comfort food and I have comfort smoothies. I used to be completely loyal to the True Blue Smoothie, but the past year has brought on an intense love of peanut butter. You may have spotted my addiction via the Uber-Rich Peanut Butter Ice Cream with Peanut Butter Chunks (definitely a good recipe for this time of year), my PB & J Thumbprints (yes, no bake!), or the Nutty Oatmeal Blender Waffles (I couldn’t resist tossing PB in my favorite waffles).

These are all nice treats, but on a daily basis, my cravings are quite simple. Very simple in fact. Below is my favorite smoothie “recipe” for the past year (and we are talking the whole year – notice the snow in the background of the photo below – that was actually May though). I hesitated on posting it because it is so basic and so loose, but I love it, I CRAVE it. I usually go for max PB and make the smoothie super-thick (almost soft-serve style), with as little milk alternative as possible.

Dairy-Free, Soy-Free, and Vegan Peanut Butter Shake / Smoothie

 

Peanut Butter and Banana Cravings Smoothie
This really isn’t a recipe in the strictest sense of the word, but rather a simple idea. I always vary the amount of banana and pb depending on my cravings, and sometimes a dash of stevia is in order. If I think I need something nutrition-wise, one or more of the add-ins listed may make their way in.

  • Frozen Ripe Banana Chunks (I use about two handfuls – at least one large banana, maybe a bit more sometimes)
  • 1 to 2 Tablespoons Creamy Natural Peanut Butter (I use unsalted and sometimes add a tiny, tiny pinch of salt, but salted could be good too)
  • 3/4 Cup to 1-1/2 Cups Unsweetened Vanilla or Plain Almond Milk or Coconut Milk Beverage (feel free to use your favorite milk alternative – regular sweetened versions will of course up the indulgence factor nicely and you can even use chocolate!)
  • 1/8 to 1/4 Teaspoon Ground Cinnamon
  • Sweetener to taste (optional – I use a dash of stevia or a little maple or honey if the banana is under-ripe, but otherwise, I go without)

Place the frozen banana, pb, and 3/4 cup of milk alternative in your blender. If you have a powerful blender, whiz away. Less powerful like mine? Pulse to break up the ingredients, and then blend. If it is too thick, add milk alternative a little at a time until it blends well and reaches your desired consistency.

If you have a wimpy blender, avoid the temptation to throw a bunch of liquid in too soon. Too much and the blades won’t catch all of the chunks – they will simply whiz around. You can always add more liquid once it is smooth. I prefer my smoothies spoonable, so I add as little as possible.

Blend in the cinnamon, sweetener if using, and any other add-ins you desire (see some of my suggestions below).

My Favorite PB & B Add-ins:

  • A Scoop of Chocolate Superfood Mix (Kidz or Adult) from Amazing Grass
  • A Big Fistful of Spinach
  • Some Ground Flaxseed
  • Cocoa or Carob Powder  (1 teaspoon to 1 tablespoon)
  • Protein Powder (we like pure egg white protein powder or vanilla hemp protein powder, but your favorite will do)

Yields 1 nutty serving

Dairy-Free, Soy-Free, and Vegan Peanut Butter Shake / Smoothie

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Comments (24)

 

  1. Biz says:

    OMG, that looks so good Alisa! When my daughter comes back from Germany, I am totally going to show this to her – it would be right up her alley!

  2. I like it in the martini glass! And though I’ve heard in theory that bananas help with cramps bc of the potassium, I’ve never experienced this situation so thanks for sharing your experience.

  3. Megan says:

    I completely understand the peanut butter/banana obsession. Here is a little something I came up with. :)

    Banana Chocolate Peanut Butter Vegan Ice Cream

    2 large bananas
    3 handfuls ice
    big spoonful of peanut butter
    2 small spoonfuls of coco powder
    2 glugs of maple syrup
    1 dropperful of vanilla creme liquid stevia

    Put it all in the VitaMix and blend. If you want it to be harder ice cream, then just put it in bowl in the freezer for a couple hours. But, I can’t help myself and it’s all gone within minutes.

  4. Simply Life says:

    wow, that looks great!

  5. Joanne says:

    I think you can sense that I am constantly craving peanut butter and haven’t had it in two weeks now. Withdrawal? I think YES. This looks fantastic!

  6. That sounds good right about now! Love the PB and all the add-ins!

  7. Christina says:

    Mmm it looks delicious! I always have bananas on hand b/c we overestimate at the grocery store.

    I used to get calf cramps at night REALLY badly from a young age too! I always thought it was hereditary in a way b/c my mom said she never got them, but my dad gets them a lot. Man do they HURT and that’s a horrible thing to wake up to!

  8. Katie says:

    Off to make this smoothie right now. Thanks!

  9. Danielle says:

    Delicious! I am similarly addicted to banana smoothies with a heaping dose of cocoa… in fact, I just finished one! I do love adding a little PB to the mix, and will try your version tomorrow!
    The other recipes in this post sound incredible… today would be a great day to enjoy some no-bake PB cookies!

  10. Tanya says:

    That looks delish – can you believe I’ve never had peanut butter in a smoothie?!

  11. I can understand the use of bananas…they are so versatile and tasty! The peanut butter smoothie looks amazing! YUM!

  12. Erica says:

    Looks awesome! I couldn’t agree with you more. Bananas just rock. They add the perfect sweetness to almost any kind of smoothie- especially green monster! Just love them. This sounds so tasty too

  13. i have a PB Softserve recipe that’s the exact same as yours minus the cinnamon. And as you say, it’s not really a “recipe” but more of an idea. I mean bananas + PB + liquid. Done. Easy and sooooo gooooood :)

    xoxo

  14. Lori says:

    Ok, this smoothie trumps ALL other smoothies in my book! Wow. So so so Sooooooooooo simple yet absolutely decadent and delicious sounding! I don’t know about you, but I have a hard time creating just a plain, simple smoothie- without the 45,000 different add ins. ;)
    Thanks for the recipe! CANNOT wait to try this one out! MmmmmM!

  15. sounds like one of my favorites! And I love the martini glass :)

  16. Chaya says:

    How delicious this looks. Fancy display for peanut butter and banana. I love it.

  17. […] more smoothie posts in the Blog World. And why not? Smoothies are awesome. One Frugal Foodie likes simple smoothies. Kristen’s Raw likes green smoothies and even provides tons of recipes. And Katie, with all […]

  18. Laurel says:

    Ok, I just tried this, and it’s even better than it looks! Thanks! I drizzled in some honey, ’cause we’re big sweet tooths, but I think it didn’t need it…

  19. Lori says:

    I can’t believe you get calf cramps when you don’t eat bananas! I am the exact same way. They wake me up in the middle of the night and they are so bad my calves are sore from them the next day. If I eat a banana every day I am fine! I have told people this and they always tell me other foods to try that are even higher in potassium but none of them have worked. My daugher also gets leg cramps and she now eats a banana a day too and they seem to have stopped. Amazing isn’t it?!

  20. Helen says:

    OMG! Peanut butter, bananas, So Delicious coconut milk beverage AND cocoa powder? I am salivating!

  21. brandi says:

    yum, that sounds awesome!

  22. tawna says:

    yummy!! I added extra pb…cause i can.

  23. Maggie says:

    This smoothie sounds and looks delish. Love love love pb and banana. My favourite sandwich in the world. I’ll have to give this a go!

  24. […] Soft Serve Style Peanut Butter Smoothie […]

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