This Chocolate Peanut Butter Smoothie recipe works great as either a breakfast or snack option, keeping me full and satisfying a sweet craving at the same time. You can tweak the recipe to make it a bit lower in fat and calories, and/or higher in protein, depending on your goals. It has a wonderful balance of flavors, making it just as much of a chocolate smoothie (for you chocolate lovers out there!)
I like having a few easy smoothie recipes memorized, ones where I always have the ingredients ready to go. Sometimes it’s because I’m rushing, need a snack, or am simply feeling a bit lazy (when I’m feeling more motivated, I love a good smoothie bowl. Be sure to check out my Acai Berry Smoothie Bowl. More on these below).
Chocolate and peanut butter is one of my favorite flavor combinations, so this smoothie has been a staple of mine for quite some time. I can keep it reasonably light, or up the protein so it functions as a meal replacement.
How to Make a Smoothie Healthy (or Healthier)
The nutritional content in this recipe is valid if you use regular peanut butter, but I’ve recently become a huge fan of dehydrated peanut powder. Not the ones like PB2, which include sugar and other unnecessary ingredients.
There are several brands of peanut powder that are actually nothing but dehydrated peanuts. I found one at Whole Foods called Crazy Richards Pure PB, and now buy it in bulk on Amazon where it’s much cheaper. Two tablespoons is only 50 calories and 1.5 grams of fat! It also has 6 grams of protein.
I like adding a touch of protein powder as well sometimes if I’m having the smoothie in place of an actual breakfast. Stay away from this if you’re vegetarian, but I love Vital Proteins Collagen Powder. One scoop has 9 grams of protein (you can use up to two scoops), and is totally flavorless. I skip this step if I’m having the smoothie as a snack.
I don’t have a specific brand recommendation for a vegetarian protein powder, but I recommend using something that’s unflavored and unsweetened so it doesn’t interfere with the other ingredients.
How to Make a Smoothie Thicker
Cutting back on the liquids is the easiest way to thicken a smoothie. You can also increase the thickening agent. For a thicker smoothie, try cutting the milk back to 3/4 cup or less, and/or using a larger banana.
You can froth up a smoothie by adding a handful of ice, which is helpful if you’re not starting with a frozen banana. Make sure to drink the smoothie ASAP, or you’ll wind up getting the opposite effect when the ice melts! (Sorry if that one was too obvious).
Smoothie Ingredient Substitutions
If you’re using regular nut butter as opposed to the powdered version, you can swap out the peanut butter for cashew or almond butter. Cashew butter is one of my favorites! Try my homemade cashew butter or almond butter if you’re into DIY pantry staples.
I prefer using milk (usually 2%) over yogurt in this recipe. While yogurt is a great smoothie thickener, I think it adds too much tang here, and the flavor clashes with the chocolate and banana. But you can absolutely swap in yogurt if you prefer.
Try a Smoothie Bowl
Have you ever had a smoothie bowl? I thought they seemed gimmicky until I tried one myself. Now I’m a fan! Check out my green berry granola smoothie bowl for an example.
I like cereal (and yogurt with toppings), and smoothie bowls are basically the same thing but with a smoothie base. It’s an opportunity to add texture with complimentary flavors.
For a chocolate peanut butter smoothie, some great toppings would be sliced bananas, chopped, roasted nuts, granola and maybe some cacao nibs. Maybe with a bit of honey drizzled on top.
Looking for more breakfast recipes?
Is it breakfast or dessert? You'd never know that this Banana Chocolate Peanut Butter Smoothie is actually good for you!
- 1 medium banana, chopped and preferably frozen
- 1 cup milk (skim, low-fat, non-dairy, etc)
- 1 1/2 tablespoons unsweetened cocoa powder
- 2-3 tablespoons creamy peanut butter (cashew or almond butter, or peanut butter powder may be substituted)
- 1 teaspoon honey or light agave nectar (or more to taste, see notes)
Puree the banana, milk, cocoa powder, peanut butter, and honey in a blender. Taste and add more sweetener if desired.
To cut down on the calories and fat, I prefer using peanut butter powder in this recipe. The nutritional info in this recipe references regular peanut butter. See the post notes for my protein powder suggestions if you're having this as a breakfast shake.
If you want to add additional sweetness without using honey or agave nectar, you can add 1/2 a chopped apple (I don't bother peeling it, but you might want to since the peel adds some texture).
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About the Author
Jennifer graduated from the Culinary Arts program at L’Academie de Cuisine in Maryland, and has worked professionally as a line cook, pastry chef, and cooking instructor. Her cookbook, The Gourmet Kitchen, was published in 2016 by Simon & Schuster.