Frozen Banana Shakes

March 1, 2012

Spiros, I gave up sugar for Lent (just a little boost to help me lose those first 10 pounds), and discovered that it also meant giving up chocolate.  Fortunately, I found this healthy solution to both problems.  Enjoy!

——————————-

When I was a kid, we were broke and my Mom was a super bargain-shopper. One day she discovered bananas on sale at the grocery store for a nickel a pound. She asked the produce man how many pounds he had. He said “80.” She replied “Fine, I’ll take them all.” And soon there was a mountain of very ripe bananas on our kitchen table. “What are you going to do with them all?” we asked Mom, but she hadn’t figured that out yet. So she just told us to peel them and put them in the deep freeze.

Then we began to experiment. (You can only tolerate so much banana bread…) We loved banana milk shakes made with milk and ice cream, and so one day Mom popped a frozen banana in the blender with the milk (no ice cream) to see what would happen. It turned into a super-thick, creamy milkshake with no need for ice cream — the frozen banana did the thickening.

Well, it was summer, and those cool, frosty banana milk shakes poured out of the blender for breakfast, lunch, snacks, midnight snacks…. Those 80 pounds of bananas only lasted a few weeks. So maybe they weren’t that great a bargain after all — who knows how many extra gallons of milk we went through!

Anyway, I still adore frozen banans milkshakes, especially in summer. I make them with skim milk, so there’s no fat and no sugar. You can even add a spoonful of unsweetened cocoa powder to make a decadent chocolate guilt-free shake. Or
splurge and put a glob of peanut or almond butter in with the chocolate for a “Peanut Butter Cup” milk shake. Or add other kinds of frozen fruit, like peaches or blackberries.  Yoghurt is a nice addition too.  You get the idea. Enjoy!

Frozen Banana Milkshakes

1 ripe 6″ banana peeled, cut into 1/4″ sliced and frozen (The skin should have freckles so it’s sweet enough)
1/2 – 1 cup skim milk (I’m never sure how much milk it is, but it’s not enough to cover the banana.
After a couple of tries you’ll get the feel for how much milk to use.)

Optional (choose from the list, not all at once!):

Other kinds of fruit (if frozen, reduce banana or increase milk; if fresh, reduce milk, since the fresh fruit provides additional liquid)
Yoghurt
A heaping teaspoon of unsweetened cocoa powder
A Tablespoon of creamy peanut butter or almond butter
A dash of nutmeg or cinnamon

Put into the blender the banana (plus yoghurt, if you’re using it and any other frozen fruit, but not fresh fruit) and a small amount of milk.  Pulse to start (the ice crush setting works well for this), then increase speed.  Gradually add milk until the mixture is just liquid enough to spin in the blender.  If using fresh fruit, alternate milk and fruit until the mixture is just liquid enough to spin in the blender.  If using chocolate and/or nut butter add them now.  Hold the onto the lid and the bottle while blending until the lumps are gone.   Serve immediately.  (Don’t get addicted (yeah, right!)).

For a healthy “ice cream” you can pour it into a shallow dish and put it in the freezer for 30 minutes.  Remove from the freezer and stir until smooth, then freeze for 15 minutes longer before serving.

Advertisements

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: