Are you looking for a little something extra in your smoothie? You may not have thought about using cinnamon to add some spice to banana or peanut butter smoothies. These drinks are delicious but the flavor can be lacking in an element that brings some heat. Cinnamon adds that burst of spice that brightens the whole drink. It zaps the taste buds and wakes them up.
This recipe, which requires a blender, makes one medium (about 12-ounce) or two small (about 6-ounce) smoothies.
- 1 cup vanilla soy milk (or skim milk)
- 1 large banana (peeled and cut into chunks or use previously frozen banana)
- 2 tablespoons peanut butter (preferably natural)
- 1/2 teaspoon cinnamon (plus more for sprinkling)
- Optional: 1 teaspoon honey (or turbinado sugar)
- 3 ice cubes
- Place the milk, banana, peanut butter, cinnamon, and honey (if using) into a blender, and puree until smooth.
- Add the ice cubes and pulse just until the ice is crushed.
- Pour into a glass, sprinkle with additional cinnamon.
Freezing Ripe Bananas for Smoothies
One pro tip for banana smoothies is to freeze the banana chunks in advance. Your smoothie will be frostier if you use this technique.
You can allow the bananas to get very ripe, well-spotted with brown, so the flavors and sugar are fully developed before you freeze them.
Now you're ready for maximum banana flavor and natural sweetness for your smoothies any time you want to make them. You won't be stuck waiting for green bananas to ripen or having to use them all at once.
Frozen bananas will keep for three to four months. In fact, you can freeze whole bananas without peeling them, although they will only last for about two months and you'll have to let them thaw to peel them before using them.
Natural Nut Butters for Smoothies
Natural peanut butter or other natural nut butters work better for smoothies than the typical supermarket peanut butter. They have a less solid consistency and will mix better. If you use supermarket peanut butter, you will often see a smear of it left on the sides of your blender rather than mixed throughout your drink.
Check at your supermarket in the bulk foods section to see if they have the option of grinding your own fresh nut butter. This way you'll know it's only nuts, without additives and preservatives. If you are sensitive to peanuts, try using other nut butters such as almond butter, cashew butter, and more.