Sometimes it’s hard to find a foodie treat that really feels like a treat for every member of the family. Let me explain …
- #1 teenage son makes ‘champion’s choices’ when it comes to food and it’s rare that you see much indulging in the diet of your average champion.
- Hella’s heart will always sing at even a mention of chocolate, but often her eyes are bigger than her appetite and she gets defeated when she’s barely even started.
- My lovely husband is only keen on sweet stuff when it’s seriously good. Nothing too processed or sickly for him.
- I am, of course, dentally challenged with my adult braces so nothing at all sticky, gooey or hard for me and I tend to avoid things on the dark chocolate spectrum – unless I’m just seconds from a bathroom for a bit of emergency dental hygiene action.
- #2 teenage son, come to think of it, is easy to please.
So last weekend was a hot one. We’re at that time of the year now where every waking (and sleeping) hour is a hot one (note – as I write, yesterday the UAE was in fact the hottest place in the world at 50.5°C. Ouch), but this day seemed to be particularly draining. We were all hot. We were all tired. We were all a little bit grumpy.
It was too early to be ‘wine o’clock’ so a cool, indulgent, delicious shake felt like a treat that might lighten the mood and return us all to a full tank. Bring on the Healthy Chocolate and Peanut Butter Shake.
Now you could easily believe that the velvety texture of this shake comes from a generous scoop of ice cream and that the chocolate element was masking a mountain of refined sugar but … Ta Dah … you’d be SO very wrong. This shake is packed with all the good stuff but tastes like you’re being seriously naughty.
Here’s what you’ll need –
It’s the frozen banana that works the magic here – I’ve mentioned its amazing culinary powers before. The size of the banana will determine how velvety and creamy the shake is … Bigger Banana = More Creamy. You’ll also need to add more milk if your banana is big or your shake will be so thick that you’ll do yourself an injury trying to suck it up the straw. And while we’re talking about the milk – feel free to use whichever type you fancy… dairy, soya, rice, almond. So much choice.
And the method? Throw everything into a blender and blitz. Done.
And why did this prove to be the perfect treat for the whole family?
- For #1 teenage son, the presence of peanut butter (protein), cacao powder (a whole bunch of antioxidants), banana (energy boost, prevents cramps, high in potassium, tastes good) and a drizzle of maple syrup, pretty much ticks every box. TICK.
- For Hella it was not too rich, not too peanutty, not too overloaded with chocolate. And in the words of our three furry friends – it was just right. And she drank it all. TICK.
- My lovely husband and #2 teenage son prefer soya milk to dairy, so their wish was my command. And I could moderate the sweetness too by being light or heavy handed with the maple syrup. DOUBLE TICK.
- And for me … well, anything blended to oblivion is good for braces, so I was in heaven – a decadent, chocolate peanut heaven. TICK.
Next time I’ll be making these for a weekend breakfast. What a delicious but virtuous way to start the day that will be? …
- 1 frozen banana
- 1 tablespoon cacao powder / cocoa
- 2 tablespoons peanut butter - I used crunchy and sweetened. Smooth would be fine too. You may need a little extra maple syrup if you opt for the unsweetened variety.
- A drizzle of maple syrup (optional)
- 200-300ml (7-10 floz) milk - depending on the size of your banana and how thick you like your shake.
- Put the banana, the cacao powder/cocoa and the peanut butter into a blender and add about 200ml (7floz) of milk.
- Blitz until completely smooth - you will need to do this for longer if your peanut butter is the crunchy variety.
- If the shake is too thick, add a little more milk and blitz again.
- Now taste for sweetness and add a little maple syrup if necessary, blitzing the mixture to make sure it is fully blended.
- Pour into a glass and enjoy immediately.