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A New Favorite

You know how every once in a while you stumble on something simple that makes life a little better?  For me that “something” is a recently re-discovered delicacy: the frozen banana.  To be honest I’ve always been a bit indifferent when it comes to bananas.  Sure, I’d power one down as a poor excuse for a breakfast when running out the door, but my general attitude towards them could pretty much be summed up as “meh”.

 

It’s amazing the difference a little time in the freezer can make.  Once frozen, bananas become the star attraction in two family favorite snacks – the first of which is the best smoothie that’s ever come out of my kitchen.

 

 

Before I get to that, though, let me backtrack a bit and fill you in on how this particular smoothie came to be.  While home for Easter weekend, I got to see a girlfriend who moved out of state last year and, as we were catching up, she mentioned something about a possible link between headaches and protein deficiency.  As someone who has suffered from chronic headaches for just about my entire life,  my ears perked up.  I’ve heard tons about water consumption and headaches but never protein.

 

When I repeated the conversation to my mom later that day she immediately went to her pantry, produced the biggest bag of protein powder known to man, and proceeded to force it upon my person.  (That’s my mom by the way – always armed with an arsenal of bottled water, vitamins, and Ginkgo biloba to thrust upon unsuspecting victims visitors.  That’s just how she rolls.)

 

Upon returning home, protein powder in-hand, I Googled something like “best protein smoothie” and got some inspiration.  Here’s the final list of ingredients that made the cut:

 

  • Mom’s Chocolate Whey Protein Powder
  • Chocolate Almond Milk
  • Frozen Bananas
  • Frozen Spinach (more on how I buy and freeze this here)
  • Peanut Butter
  • Ice

 

I can’t be bothered to actually measure anything so I thought I’d provide you with this photo so you can guestimate.  I start with ice, then poor in the chocolate almond milk.  Next comes a handful or so of the frozen spinach, a scoop of the protein powder and a scoop of peanut butter.

 

It sounds a little weird, I know, but I’m telling you it is sooooo good.  The combination of peanut butter, bananas and chocolate is something I look forward to all day (and as I’ve said before, you absolutely cannot taste the spinach).  My 1 year old loves it too, it took her all of one drink to learn to start asking for ‘moothies incessantly.  And in case you’re wondering about my funky looking blender, it’s a ninja.  While it’s not quite the Vitamix I long for, I will say it handles the ice and other hard stuff quite well; far superior to the Cuisinart blender and two magic bullets I’ve burnt through on my way to becoming a smoothie convert.

 

As for the second snack, it’s embarrassingly simple – frozen banana slices.  I fancied them up a bit in the photo above with shredded coconut and toothpicks but the truth is my kids love their “cold bananas” straight up, no frills needed.  The moral of this story is this: get yourself a bunch of bananas, slice ‘em up, and freeze flat in a large ziplock bag (it’s best to avoid overlapping if possible).  Then, the next time hunger strikes you or the kiddos, whip ‘em out and get to snacking.

 

 

P.S. I had fun making this little .gif for you until I went to save it in Photoshop Elements.  No matter how long I set the delay in the animation setting for, it remained the speed you see above.  It’s a little nauseating but you get the point.  If anyone knows specifically how to fix this problem, I’m all ears.  All fixed – thanks so much to Michelle for leaving the work around in the comments for me!


This post is part of MPMK’s “Project Organize Your ENTIRE Life”, which you can read all about here.

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{ 22 comments… read them below or add one }

Stephanie April 18, 2012 at 5:15 am

I was “meh” on bananas until I started traveling to and living in countries where they grow natively. They are so good! Bananas in the U.S. don’t have nearly as much flavor as they are supposed to. One of my favorite post-running snacks is a chocolate-banana milkshake with frozen bananas, cocoa powder, and nonfat milk.

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the Wife April 18, 2012 at 5:49 am

Another thing you can do with frozen sliced bananas is run them through your food processor and they become soft serve ice cream. Pop ‘em back in the freezer and you have hard serve ice cream. I have added peanut butter and almonds, mint, etc. I don’t feel guilty about my toddler having seconds, its just bananas…and anything else you decide to add.

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Steph at ModernParentsMessyKids.com April 18, 2012 at 6:23 am

SUCH a good idea!

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Ausmerican Housewife April 18, 2012 at 11:16 am

A good glug of vanilla yogurt, handful of mixed frozen berries, a splash of honey and blend is how I roll.
(Don’t like spinach, don’t like bananas, don’t like milk that’s not from a cow.)

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Beth April 18, 2012 at 11:56 am

I wish I could cut bananas that fast:)!

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Multi-Testing Mommy April 18, 2012 at 12:58 pm

Ahhhh….my eyes LOL! That flashing photo is hilarious – let’s go monkeys!

I love smoothies and have tried freezing bananas in the skin, but I find they taste kind of funny and they turned brown in the freezer. Do you put anything on them to keep them looking so appetizing?!

I love the coconut idea too!

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Steph at ModernParentsMessyKids.com April 18, 2012 at 2:47 pm

I had trouble with the bananas turning black and the skin begin hard to get off when I froze them in the skin too. Haven’t had any trouble with them since I started slicing pre-freeze.

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Multi-Testing Mommy April 18, 2012 at 12:59 pm

P.S. Is it ok that I pinned your first photo?

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Steph at ModernParentsMessyKids.com April 18, 2012 at 2:47 pm

By all means, pin away :)

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Sandra April 18, 2012 at 1:15 pm

Do the bananas last longer in the freezer? I’m assuming they do. I love bananas and usually make a sliced banana and peanut butter sandwich for breakfast, but they don’t last me all week!

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Lisa April 18, 2012 at 1:21 pm

That was great I too suffer from headaches and have read but oddly enough never done – placing a banana peel on your forehead…I did make smoothies for the kids this morning, not sure if I could do the spinach(I eat it regularly)and a perfect excuse to drink almond milk, which I am not crazy about either but know how great almonds are for you!

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2flowerslearn.com April 18, 2012 at 1:28 pm

Wow if I need to zone out I will watch that .gif!
The sliced bananas look way better than the black scary looking things in my freezer. I will be doing this… somewhat slower unfortunately!

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Michelle DuPuis April 19, 2012 at 12:17 am

Hi Steph, A simple way to slow down your gif is to add multiple (I’d use 3-4) copies of each image. Should slow it down just enough for us to enjoy each yummy photo!

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Steph at ModernParentsMessyKids.com April 19, 2012 at 12:52 am

Thanks Michelle, you’re the best! I’ll try it tonight :)

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Michelle DuPuis April 20, 2012 at 7:06 pm

Happy to help!

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Steffy April 19, 2012 at 6:28 am

Hello
I found this DIY animated gift using photoshop, it tells you how to set the time between pics,
http://www.hankandhunt.com/home/2012/4/10/how-to-make-animated-diy-images.html
hope this help

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Steph at ModernParentsMessyKids.com April 19, 2012 at 6:55 am

Thanks for sharing Steffy, my PSE was actually just being glitchy but another reader helped me out with a work around.

Best,
Steph

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Megan April 19, 2012 at 11:40 pm

This is my first ever comment (I’m kind of nervous!) but I have been following nearly this identical smoothie recipe every morning for the past two months and I have not only have I lost some weight, but no more headaches or mid-morning slumps. I use almond butter instead of the peanut butter and throw in some blueberries for the anti-oxidants, but in the end, it just tastes like a delicious chocolate milk shake.

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Steph at ModernParentsMessyKids.com April 19, 2012 at 11:57 pm

Hi Megan,

Thanks for coming out of your shell ;) That’s awesome that you’re losing weight and even better that you’re feeling great. My preggers friend texted me after this post came out to say that she too loves almond milk in her smoothies and Trader Joe’s makes a really good one that’s a lot lower in sugar than others. I thought it was a great tip.

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debbye May 25, 2012 at 3:54 pm

Spinach in the smoothie! Great! I must try that… when the kids are not looking. My kiddos do not like frozen bananas thus far, but I have not tried slicing them before freezing. That may just work. THANKS!

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lifeabundant October 15, 2012 at 10:32 am

@Steph, I’m visiting your beautiful blog for the first time thanks to Pinterest. Thank you for sharing your recipe & the fact that frozen spinach works well in your smoothie. I already buy Costco’s organic spinach & kale for juicing, salads, cooking, etc. While looking up green smoothie & juicing recipes weeks ago, I read that frozen kale works well in smoothies, too. Those frozen greens are calling to me now since its time for my smoothie! Thanks for the reminder!

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Amber October 15, 2012 at 7:35 pm

I have just started making smoothies in the morning and can’t wait to try this recipe with spinach! What is the brand of whey powder you use for this?

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