Friday, September 4, 2015

Peanut Butter, Spinach and Banana Smoothie--an Allergen Friendly Recipe

Peanut Butter, Spinach and Banana Smoothie--an Allergen Friendly Recipe

Creamy, satisfying and green, this peanut butter, spinach and banana smoothie has it all. A smoothie you drink because you want to, not because you want to feel good about what you're ingesting.

I feel like I'm cheating on my Community Supported Agriculture (CSA) farmers. I have a weekly Saturday morning rendezvous with my Spinach guy because, quite frankly, he gives me what I crave. My mindset switch this year. Instead of only eating from the farm share and the garden, I'm eating what I want in addition to the produce from the farm share and garden. And I want spinach. For this.

If you are already a green smoothie person skip this paragraph. If you're not, why not? I used to drink green smoothies (spinach or kale combined with fruits in an attempt to make the greens palatable) and feel virtuous, not satiated, so I understand the lukewarm feeling towards the green smoothie. But I would like you to try this one, if you've got spinach and banana lying around and feel so inclined. I walk down to the farmer's market each Saturday to buy a bag of spinach and make this. It's that good. It's NOT like the other green smoothies I used to drink. I drink it because I enjoy the taste and feel satisfied after a glass. My kids ask me to make this. Our whole family enjoys this smoothie.

I've moved on to my neighbors and my spinach guy in my quest to change the perceptions of the green smoothie. The 5th time I said to someone, "oh it's easy, just throw a banana, a handful of spinach and a big spoonful of peanut butter into a blender" I clued in that maybe this recipe wasn't too simple for the blog. I never thought I'd share a smoothie recipe, period, but here's my second. Want a terrific idea for (most recently) teachers, or new moms, or anyone recovering from oral surgery who may need an easy nutrition boost? Check out my Make and Take Smoothies post.

I mentioned allergen friendly in the title, and yet this smoothie contains peanut butter and dairy products, two of the big players in the food allergy list. Guess what? THIS SMOOTHIE IS DELICIOUS DAIRY FREE AND/OR PEANUT FREE! Yeah, I'm shouting. Spinach, banana and ice are the common ingredients, but I've had it swapping cultured vanilla soy milk 'yogurt' and vanilla almond milk for the dairy ingredients and my neighbor liked a dairy and peanut free preparation using sunflower nut butter (she let me borrow her jar for the photo op).
So many brands, so little--as in zero--sponsorship. This is what I bought. Or my neighbor did.

So, are you going to try this? If you eat peanut butter you'll love this flavor. If you are peanut free use the nut butter of your choice. Are you dairy free? Use a vanilla-flavored nut milk and cultured soy milk for an absolutely scrumptious smoothie. [After making dairy-free smoothies for my daughter's teacher recovering from throat surgery, I was going to hand over the rest of the almond milk carton to my neighbor. I could use the room in the fridge. However, once I tasted a smoothie I was smitten and kept the rest of the carton.]
A selection of dairy free smoothies for the teacher.

For other recipes using spinach, please see my Spinach Recipes Collection, part of the Visual Recipe Index by Ingredient, a resource for folks like me cheating on their farm share at the farmer's market eating from the farm share and the farmer's market and garden abundance.

This recipe makes enough for 1 very large serving or 2 servings. Smoothies are easy to keep for several days (I use a 1 pint canning jar with these reusable caps (Amazon affiliate link). Simply store in the fridge, take out and shake up to combine the settled out flavors, and enjoy.

Peanut Butter, Spinach, and Banana Smoothie

½ cup vanilla yogurt--if using plain yogurt, add a dollop of honey (cultured soy milk works great)
2 Tablespoons peanut butter (sunflower butter works great)
1 ripe banana
1½ cups milk (vanilla nut milk works great) plus a splash more if you need to help the blender go
2 cups spinach leaves (baby or grown up, the age of your spinach does not matter)
6-8 ice cubes

Layer ingredients in the order shown into a blender capable of crushing ice into tiny drinkable bits. I use my ancient Vitamix. Cover the blender, plug in and turn on [I write this way for me, not you, appliances and I have issues]. Slowly bring up the speed of the blades after you start to see spinach pieces spinning around. Blend at full power until ice is silent (fully incorporated) and you can't see any more pieces of spinach--it's pure green.  Serve and enjoy, or pour some into a storage container for another day.


  1. This is my kinda smoothie! It's such a gorgeous green colour & I love all the ingredients. I'm not allergic but I love the versatility of this smoothie. Great post and thank you for sharing. Sammie

    1. Sammie,
      I was pleasantly surprised by how well this smoothie turned out in every preparation.
      It's too yummy.
      Thanks for stopping by!

  2. Confession: I buy spinach too because we don't get it in the food share and damned if I don't like it in smoothies. It's not bad as a salad base either, but my real preference is smoothies. There's something about it that helps make those blender concoctions satisfying.

    Another confession: almond milk is my milk of choice.

    1. Meghan,
      I stocked up on spinach before the farmer's market closed for the season, and froze it with ripe bananas for smoothie packs.
      They work just fine.
      Almond milk sounds yummy.

  3. I was getting out of shape, so I decided to start taking Green energy drinks while committing to myself that I'd get back to working out and eating better in tandem with this product.