Chocolate Covered Spinach: The Other Milkshake… err… something

Summer’s here and the time is right for dancin’  in the street drinking creamy, frosty beverages. Seriously, it’s wet-blanket, poor air quality, crap-I-developed-asthma hot and humid down here. It’s gross, and I’m trying not to eat my weight in ice cream as I do every summer. I was not made for heat. I was made for cool, crisp autumn days and warm baked goods.

When avoiding massive amounts of ice cream, smoothies are an option. I’ve talked to you all before about how much I LOVE green smoothies, how they reduce cravings, help Mr. B lose weight, are portable, etc., etc., etc.

Well, a couple months ago I experienced extreme smoothie burnout. I drank essentially the same stuff every day for ages, and my belly and my tastebuds were OVER it.  Then, I took a summer job that has me on campus all day, going straight from campus to the gym most days. I’ve cut waaaay back on animal products which is great, but it often means that my tummy gets a bit rumbly three or four hours after I eat. Also, I need a tiny caffeine hit in the afternoon, and I ALWAYS crave a chocolate chaser after eating super-healthy food. Combine this with actively reducing my refined sugar consumption, and we have a problem.

I’m not a problem-haver; I’m a solution-finder. I knew that a delicious “milkshake” could be made by merging frozen banana, peanut butter, and chocolate. My favorite smoothie back in the day at Planet Smoothie was the Frozen Goat, a meeting of chocolate, peanut butter, coffee, and banana. With these concepts, a new idea was born.

If you make the smoothies for immediate drinking, toss in some ice cubes or freeze your banana first for a thick, frosty delight. Another great tip is to freeze your leftover coffee in ice cube trays. It will keep your iced coffee from getting watered down, and the cubes are great to use in this smoothie or in at-home blended coffee drinks, saving you $4 at That Coffee Store.  Dates can also be used as a natural sweetener. I plan to try my hand at date syrup in the near future. Feel free to change it up and let me know in the comments if you have any successful combos.

This shake is an excellent pre- or post-workout treat, and it’s been keeping my milkshake cravings at bay for quite awhile now.

Alternative Chocolate Milkshake (no, not really the Pearl Jam of milkshakes… sorry)

For two servings (16 oz each, about one liter total), toss into the blender:

Two big handfuls washed spinach (I prefer organic baby spinach because I’m inadvertently becoming a giant hippie)

Two bananas

1-2 tablespoons peanut butter (depending on your calorie/protein needs)

Optional: 2 tablespoons-1/4 cup oatmeal (depending on how much “sticking power” you need)

1-2 tablespoons of cocoa

½-3/4 c. coffee

½-1 c. unsweetened vanilla almond milk

Splash of vanilla

Optional: 1 tsp. sweetener of your choice – I’ve used agave and maple syrup and usually my bananas are sweet enough to go without it, unless I put in too much coffee and/or cocoa, making it bitter

Pulverize until smooth. Pour into lidded vessels of your choice and refrigerate until consumption. The oatmeal will cause the mixture to thicken overnight, and you may notice some separation. I store mine in two pint-sized mason jars so that I can shake them before drinking, and I like drinking out of glass containers. It’s one of my classier traits (though of course, I drink my beer straight from the glass bottle in restaurants and on planes, horrifying servers and probably embarrassing the shit out of Mr. B).

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