Whether it’s after a workout or as a treat on a hot, summer day, a refreshing shake can be just the thing to boost your energy and cool you down. But if you’re trying to be healthy, and watching your fat and sugar intake, a shake made with ice cream isn’t always a great option.
Likewise, healthy smoothies and shakes from local shops can get expensive, especially if you want to make drinking them part of your daily routine.
Fortunately, I have a great recipe that is healthy, costs a fraction of what you’d pay in a smoothie shop, and doesn’t require any fancy ingredients or equipment.
Peanut Butter-Cocoa-Banana Power Shake
First, you’re going to need a frozen banana. I keep these on hand at all times because I make this shake a few times a week. If any bananas in the fruit bowl get too ripe, I toss them in the freezer, peels and all, and grab one whenever I want to make a shake.
If you’re not confident in your knife skills when cutting a frozen banana, peel the banana in advance, cut it in half, quarters or slices and store it in your freezer in a freezer-safe container.
Here’s everything you’ll need for the shake:
1 large frozen banana
2 tablespoons good quality, unsweetened cocoa
2 tablespoons peanut butter (preferably all-natural with no sugar added, chunky or smooth)
1 cup milk (nut, soy or cow – whatever your preference)
Measure the cocoa and peanut butter into the blender. Drop in the banana, pour the milk and blend on low for 10 seconds, then increase the speed to high for 10 seconds. Pour into a glass and enjoy.
Depending on your preference, you may want to adjust the amounts of cocoa and peanut butter. I prefer mine extra chocolaty; it gives me a little caffeine boost. Two tablespoons of cocoa contain about as much caffeine as half a cup of black tea.
The health benefits
More importantly, cocoa contains antioxidants, potassium and magnesium. It’s been shown to have cardiovascular benefits, too.
Bananas also contain good levels of potassium, magnesium and fiber. Round out all this goodness with more potassium from the peanut butter, plus protein and some good fats, and you’ve got a tasty treat that will power you through the next several hours.
The financial benefits
One more reason I love this shake is because the ingredients are available year-round, they have a long shelf life (I’ve kept bananas in my freezer for up to three months) and they’re relatively cheap.
Bananas cost around 20 cents each, cocoa powder costs about 40 cents per two tablespoons, and all-natural peanut butter with no added sugar costs roughly 25 cents per two tablespoons. The cost for your milk will vary depending on the type you use. For the purposes of this analysis, we’ll consider cow milk, which costs roughly 20 cents per 8-ounce cup. All said, you’re looking at a cost of about $1.05 to make your shake. It’s a delicious and healthy way to keep your body and your wallet in shape this summer.
You can pick up some of these ingredients at a dollar store. But can you live on dollar store groceries? Find out here.