This smoothie is great for beginners. A gateway smoothie, if you will, leading to better blended concoctions once the simple process of blending is mastered. This almond banana cocoa (ABC) smoothie goes down easy and drinks like a chocolate milk. The protein and good fat make this a filling beverage, perfect for a quick breakfast if you drink both servings.
Allergens and substitutions: To avoid almond butter substitute sunflower or peanut butter.
WHY NOT PEANUT BUTTER?
Peanuts and peanut butter are easy to find in stores and are cheaper than almonds. Raw peanuts even have slightly better nutrition counts when compared to raw almonds, but you should avoid peanuts for some lesser known reasons.
- Hydrogenated Oils – Most peanut butter found on grocery store shelves is made with from several ingredients, not just peanuts. Jif® Brand peanut butter is made with fully hydrogenated vegetable oil. Hydrogenated oil has been directly linked to atherosclerosis – the hardening of the artery walls. This is very bad for your cardiovascular health.
- Corn Syrup and/or Sugar – These familiar ingredients are in most packaged foods. Food scientists are fully aware that the public loves sweet food – peanut butter included. Some Jif® Brand peanut butters are also made with sugar. Sugar, corn syrup and high-fructose corn syrup (HFCS) all provide immediate blood sugar spikes and lead to weight gain. These are best avoided to reduce chronic inflammation and improve weight loss. If you do buy peanut butter, read the ingredient list. It should only list peanuts and maybe salt. Amazon has a decent selection of affordable organic peanut butter.
- Toxic Liver Mold – Aflatoxins are highly toxic, carcinogenic molds that frequently contaminate peanut crops. This fungal mold spreads rapidly and can cause extreme liver problems. Aflatoxin has been directly linked to liver cancer and acute liver failure. Type 2 Diabetics suffering from fatty liver disease or with otherwise inflamed livers do not need this risk in their health. Avoiding the costs and pain of acute liver failure is an easy way to justify the higher price for almond butter.
- Fatty Acid Profile – All fat is not created equal, which means the type of essential fat in food varies. Almonds are higher in monounsaturated fats compared to peanuts – a good thing. When compared with almonds, peanuts are higher in omega-6 fats – a bad thing. Almonds also have less saturated fat compared to peanuts.
Comparison of raw peanuts vs almonds, courtesy of Calorie King
USDA plant pathologists prepare field trials to test for aflatoxins.
Good kitchen tools, like good ingredients, are important for success. If your budget allows it, consider investing in a Vitamix. It is the gold standard of blenders. It purees ingredients smoother than any other blender on the market.
- Vitamix 5200 Series Blender, Black – Yes, the price tag on this blender looks like a car payment on a European luxury sedan, however, it’s the finest blender on the planet. The blade design provides for the silkiest of smoothies and sauces. And the motor on this appliance is like a turbo Vette.
- Hamilton Beach 58148A Power Elite Multi-Function Blender – A value buy for blenders. It’ll handle 95% of what you can throw at it. The body is glass which is great for clean-up and hot food like soups or sauces.
ALMOND BANANA COCOA SMOOTHIE
Author: Frank Falat
Recipe type: Beverage
- Almond Milk, unsweetened, 1 cup
- Banana, ¼ (1 oz)
- Almond Butter or Sunflower Seed Butter, 1 tbsp
- Cinnamon, ¼ tsp
- Pea Protein Powder, 2 tbsp
- Cocoa Powder, 2 tbsp
- Water, 1 cup
- Ice, ½ cup
- Add the water and almond milk to your blender.
- Set the blender speed to 4 of 10, add the cocoa powder, pea protein powder, and cinnamon.
- Slowly add the almond butter and banana.
- Puree at full throttle, if needed, to completely integrate the ingredients.
- Reduce the blender speed to 4 of 10 and add the ice.
- Drink immediately.
Serving Size 16 oz
Servings Per Container 2
Amount Per Serving
Calories from Fat 63
% Daily Value*
Total Fat 7g
Saturated Fat g
Trans Fat 0g
Total Carbohydrate 10g
Dietary Fiber g
*Percent Daily Values are based on a 2,000 calorie diet. Your daily values may be higher or lower depending on your calorie needs.
Photos by Flickr user Anastasia R and TALMADGEBOYD and U.S. Department of Agriculture.