Chocolate Protein Smoothies

A favourite holiday treat

Homeschool is over for now, we have two weeks’ annual leave to mark the start of The 11yo’s long summer holiday and our plans to visit York and Mallorca lie in tatters for obvious reasons. Though Lockdown is easing here in the UK in a bid to kickstart an economy that has been driven almost entirely by online food retailers and service businesses savvy enough to have enabled their employees to work from home for four months, life here at Em’s Towers continues to be very home focused.

With type 1 diabetes in the family we have been shielding for most of lockdown, relying on weekly grocery deliveries for all essential (and the odd non-essential!) deliveries. The 11yo patiently waited until the last day of term when we finally felt we could let him mix with his friends at a safe social distance because they were planning outdoor activities before 25% of his cohort leave for Y7 at senior schools elsewhere.

Lockdown or not, though, I usually have a bunch of bananas in our weekly shop. Banana sandwiches or bananas on toast or even just as they are, we have found these peculiar yellow fruit to be one of the most useful healthy snacks to have on hand for hungry, active kids of all ages.

Invariably, for one reason or another, we frequently find one or two uneaten by the end of the week and a little over ripe. So who doesn’t love the opportunity to make a banana loaf or banana muffins while feeling virtuous for using leftovers and preventing unnecessary food waste? All good here but honestly on warmer days I prefer not to use the oven unless unavoidable. So the warmer summer months provide a perfect opportunity to use bananas up by making a smoothie instead!

We have tried bananas mixed with avocado, mango and blueberries (all good!) but this week, I mixed things up a little to make them in lieu of fruit for a post lunch dessert and a little more satisfying in the hope of staving off the mid-afternoon slump (despite a healthy daily walking habit and the odd game of badminton or cycle ride, we are nothing like active enough at the moment for the kind of calories consumed by regular snacks!). So here is my recipe. With three empty glasses and a thumbs up from The 11yo, I’ll call that a success!

Ingredients

  • 2 over ripe bananas
  • 750 ml milk (I used dairy, but supplement with your milk alternative of choice)
  • 3 tbsp of natural kefir yoghurt (I used Yeo Valley)
  • 1 tbsp smooth nut butter (I used Pip’n Nut unsweetened Almond butter)
  • 1 tbsp unsweetened cocoa powder (Green & Black’s)
  • 3 tsps of good quality maple syrup
  • a grind or two of sea salt to taste

Method

1. Peel bananas and break into a blender jug/bowl

2. Add the yoghurt, nut butter, maple syrup, cocoa powder* and salt with about a third of the milk (*I sieved the cocoa powder to avoid lumps)

3. Blend until smooth

4. Add remaining milk and stir/blend to mix

5. Pour into glasses and serve immediately*

Have you tried making your own smoothies yet? Please share your favourite recipe with me in the comments below, or let me know what you think of this one.