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
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.
Other POYEL Meal Planning Posts
P.S. Looking for more ways to simplify and connect with your family?