Don’t let the name fool you: There is no banana bread in the making of this shake.
That’s okay, though, because the shake tastes a lot like banana bread. And the best part is, you don’t have to do the extra work involved in making a loaf.
I like to have smoothies for breakfast on the weekends, but lately I’ve fallen into a smoothie rut. I kept going with my tried-and-true recipe of frozen mangos, pineapple, banana, chia seeds and coconut, which is great most of the time. Especially when I want to pretend I’m on a tropical island, not in the middle of a D.C. winter.
But every now and again, I like to switch things up. So this weekend, I decided to riff off a recipe I saw on The First Mess for a banana bread shake.
I skipped the step of making my own walnut milk, mainly because I forgot to soak the walnuts overnight so I could blend them in the morning. I fully intend to try that out someday, though–I’m sure it tastes delicious.
The rest of the shake came together quickly. I used a whole fresh banana, and combined it with almond milk, pieces of walnut (to still get the walnut taste), cacao nibs, a little vanilla extract, cinnamon, maple syrup and nutmeg. I also added a vanilla Icelandic yogurt to thicken up the mixture. I garnished the top with more cacao nibs, chia seeds, sliced bananas and a pinch of Maldon sea salt.
I highly recommend adding the salt. It contrasts nicely with the other, sweeter ingredients in the smoothie.
Banana Bread Smoothie with Cacao Nibs (adapted from The First Mess)
3 cups almond or other nut milk
1 small container vanilla Icelandic yogurt (about 1/2 cup)
1 cup sliced bananas (fresh or frozen)
1/2 tsp ground cinnamon
pinch of fresh grated nutmeg
1/4-1/2 tsp vanilla extract
1/2 tbsp maple syrup
1/4 cup walnuts
2 tbsp cacao nibs
Toppings of your choice (I used chia seeds, sliced bananas, more cacao nibs and Maldon salt flakes)
In an upright blender, combine the milk, yogurt, sliced bananas, cinnamon, nutmeg, vanilla extract, walnuts and maple syrup (and ice, if using). Blend on high until you have a creamy and smooth mixture. Add the cacao nibs and blend for 10 seconds more–just so that you have little cacao “chips” throughout the drink.
Pour the raw banana bread shake into glasses and garnish with toppings if you like. Serve cold.