Climate change, regardless of your stance, has a more dramatic impact than glacier melting or political agendas – it affects our appetites. Cold weather, warm foods. Warm weather, cold foods. It’s a vicious cycle, but one that us foodies embrace wholeheartedly. With the onset of some seriously warm weather, it’s time for a cold refreshment that’s nutritious enough for dinner. I’ve made several variations of this recipe before: Pumpkin Pie, Chocolate Peanut Butter, and Strawberry Banana Kiwi, but I usually called them “ice cream”. It comes out thick, rich and creamy, but I think the term “milkshake” is more applicable. Hence, I present to you a delicious and nutritious Blueberry Vanilla Milkshake:
1 banana, peeled and frozen
1 cup frozen blueberries
1/2 cup no-salt cottage cheese or greek yogurt
1 scoop of vanilla protein powder (can omit*)
2T peanut butter (optional)
splash of milk or water
* Note: If you omit the protein powder, try using vanilla flavored greek yogurt.
Break up the banana and place in a blender. Add cottage cheese or yogurt, peanut butter, protein powder and a splash of milk (the key to achieving a thick consistency is to use as little milk as possible). Blend on medium-high until just a few chunks remain, stopping to stir/mix as needed. Then add the blueberries and blend until smooth. The mixture should be very thick. Pour into a tall chilled mug. If it is a little runny, place in the freezer for 15 minutes and stir well. Top with granola, cereal, chopped nuts or enjoy plain. We have never eaten this for dessert, always for lunch or dinner. My favorite toppings to round out the meal are Kashi cereal, almonds and peanut butter filled pretzels.
It doesn’t freeze well so enjoy immediately – as good a reason as any to finish it in one sitting.
I can’t stress the importance of keeping frozen bananas on hand. Whenever a banana gets too many brown spots, remove the peel, roll it in plastic wrap and place it in the freezer. If you keep other frozen fruits on hand like blueberries, strawberries and peaches, you’ll always have a delicious dessert (or dinner) just minutes away.