Chocolate Peanut Butter Banana Smoothies

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One of my last posts seemed to really resonate with some of you.  Which makes me incredibly happy and grateful and gives me all sorts of warm fuzzies.  One of the reasons why I started this blog in the first place was to make it a safe, happy place…not just for food, photos, writing, etc, but mostly to make some sorts of connections in the great world outside my geographic locale.

I’m a little amazed at how many personal emails (and phone calls from guy and girl friends alike) I’ve gotten from some of you regarding your thoughts on not settling.  And, ladies (since most of you are ladies who read this), I want to tell you something:

You deserve the absolute best.  Yes, you.

In the grand scheme of this universe, as menial as this may sound, your conscious existence probably doesn’t even qualify as a blip on a radar.  But that’s why it’s up to you to live your life to the absolute fullest.  The choices are yours to make.  There is absolutely no reason why you can’t have (or shouldn’t have) what you want.  There’s an infinite capacity of love in this world…so you finding and reveling in what you love doesn’t take anything away from me finding what I love/want to revel in.  In fact, if you find what you love/revel in, it only helps me find what I love/revel in.  Ever heard of Einstein’s theory of relativity? I believe it.

Growing up in the Midwest (and not to knock the Midwest), I was modeled to go to college, find a husband, and be married by age 25. Because that’s what the mold is.  That’s what your peers do.  That’s just how it is.  Get the degree, get the ring, get the house/fence/dog/job, have two children by age 30.  This works for so many people, and I see the joy/wonderment of so many of my friends who have experienced the miracle of pregnancy/raising a child; this all makes me happy.  I see my nephews growing and learning, and it makes me happy, too.

But my path, as I have found, is actually a different one.  For a long time, I thought it was a bad thing.  I felt like I was trying to fit a square where only a circle went.  And for a long time, when my friends back home would look at me cock-eyed and ask, “Is there a Mr. Shanon yet?”, it would really hurt.  A bit shaming, in a way.  Honestly, what I wanted to say was, “No, but there’s a Dr/Ms/food blogging/vegetarian/space-loving/documentary-watching/non-fiction-reading/spiritual/music addict/animal loving Shanon.  And that’s pretty much all I need.”

Listen, you don’t need a man or woman to define/complete you.  I’ve been through a lot in my life (we all have), but one of the most important things I have learned is that there is only one person that you can 100% rely on in your life.  And that person is you.   All things are temporary; things change, even you.  But through it all, the only person you can totally trust is yourself.  So eat the damn cake, drink the champagne “just because”, and go travel if you get an opportunity.  If you feel like dancing in your kitchen with your pajamas on, do it.  Talk to yourself.  Buy the lipstick and wear it proudly.  Spread your joy.  And don’t worry about not having someone there with you if you don’t (that’s shifting your awareness to the negative-don’t go there-you don’t need to.)  Be happy because you are having the experience.  And only you can have that.

 

Again, this is one of those situations where I feel I have kind of bared my soul a little (sheepish grin), and now I have to talk about a smoothie.  It’s a little awkward.

But you get it.

Who doesn’t love the whole chocolate/peanut butter combination?  And add in a banana?  Ok.  Mix it all in a blender, push the “on” button, and you have a protein-packed smoothie in less than 5 minutes.  I played around here with the proportions of the ingredients, so add/remove them as you see fit.  Use a whey-free protein powder if you are looking for a vegan option.

 

 

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Chocolate Peanut Butter Banana Smoothies

Servings: Two 8-ounce servings

 

Ingredients

1 banana

2 tablespoons unsweetened cocoa powder

1 tablespoon vanilla-flavored protein powder

1/4 cup chunky peanut butter (if you prefer smooth, go for it.  I like chunky.)

1 and 1/2 cups vanilla-flavored milk alternative (use almond, soy, etc-or milk)

Handful ice cubes

 

Instructions

1. Place all of the ingredients in a blender, and puree until smooth.  Enjoy.**How do you like that?  One step instructions (*win*).

 

Source:  A Curvy Carrot original.

 

September 9, 2013 - 6:21 am

Katrina @ Warm Vanilla Sugar - I need more smoothies in my life. Love this!

September 9, 2013 - 6:33 pm

Joanne - I wish I could tell my 20-year-old self this! I was so preoccupied with the thought of getting everything in my life “done” by 25…how ridiculous! There is no right time for anything…just a lot of good moments, if you make them your life.

And i hope a lot of my moments are filled with this smoothie. Because, yes.

September 14, 2013 - 6:10 pm

Sarah - I love this post. Not because of the smoothie (though that looks AMAZINGLY delicious!), but because of your contentedness with where you are in life, and your willingness to share with those of us who can relate. Thank you.

September 18, 2013 - 10:05 am

Jenny - Wow! Nice little breakfast on the run- I got nearly half my required protein, which is always a concern. I used vanilla almond milk and had to forgo ice cubes as they were freezer burnt, but it was still thick and dreamy and filling. And I love how easy it was!

September 24, 2013 - 7:58 am

Best Fall Recipes Ideas — Eat Well 101 - [...] Quinoa Breakfast Casserole, by Healthful Pursuit 3. Chocolate Peanut Butter Banana Smoothies, by The Curvy Carrot 4. Bacon and egg flatbread, by Cherry on my [...]

October 26, 2013 - 12:31 am

Chris - Tried the recipe loved it. Second time I added just a couple drops of vanilla. Made it even better.

January 4, 2014 - 4:06 pm

Cori - I like this recipe! It is definitely not for the sweet tooth, for it is rather bland… but it is filling and delicious. Instead of vanilla protein powder, I used 1/4 tsp. of imitation vanilla. I also used 2% milk. Still tasted pretty amazing to me!

January 4, 2014 - 4:09 pm

Cori - Oh! I also added a few spoonfuls of sugar in addition to the vanilla.

February 9, 2014 - 10:14 am

April - I loved your chocolate peanut butter smoothie recipe!! It looks so good and I am very eager to try it! However, I loved how you put “yourself” into it. Like you, there are certain things I’ve done and haven’t done in my life. Things I want but don’t feel like I can rightfully have. And than I always wonder “why not?” I have every right to get what I want too out of life. Your story is very inspiring to me. You’ll find that sometimes living outside of the norm turns out to be better, thank you!!

February 10, 2014 - 12:34 am

David - Just had this smoothie at a restaurant. So good. Great breakfast smoothie. This is a good recipe without the protein powder.

Love the comment about “freezer burnt ice”. ??? I guess that’s possible, right?

February 24, 2014 - 5:02 pm

Snacks Which Are Trending Lately | Anna Bouey - [...] I saw it on: This Blog [...]

March 14, 2014 - 4:53 pm

Ms Einstein - I was in the mood for something yummy so I googled “banana chocolate peanut butter smoothie” and came across this page. I made the smoothie and then sat down in front of my computer with it. As enjoyed my delicious smoothie, great recipe btw ;) , I read through your post. Your honesty and insight was lovely and warming to read. It was the perfect complement to how happy my taste buds were. Thank you for sharing, and I look forward to trying more of your recipes, and reading more of your posts.

March 21, 2014 - 9:04 am

Nisha - This is very delicious, thank you!!

April 2, 2014 - 11:31 pm

VJK Travels - I’m researching recipes to amp up my green smoothies and to try with a new weight-loss shake. And here I come across another Mid-Westener baring her soul in a way I can relate to. Gurl, I thought you had read a page from my journal! “Be happy because you are having the experience.” I couldn’t have said it better myself!

Thank you for sharing a piece of yourself. Oh, and thank you for the recipe!

April 16, 2014 - 4:25 pm

Chocolate Banana PB Smoothie | Reini Days - [...] recipe slightly adapted from A Curvy Carrot [...]

May 28, 2014 - 4:46 pm

Jessica - I googled “Chocolate Peanut Butter Banana Smoothie” and your recipe was the first to pop up. While I haven’t tried out your recipe yet (I will for sure!), I did want to thank you for “baring your soul”. I don’t believe anything happens by chance, so while I was just looking for a smoothie recipe-the Universe had another message and experience to share. Thank you!

Chai Banana Bread

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I’m a chai fan.  Oh yeah.  Especially this time of year.  I know everyone gets all hyped up on pumpkin lattes and what not (yes, I agree, they are delicious), but for some reason, I always associate chai with fall.  (Technically, it still feels like summer, but you catch my drift.)

But it has been nice here in MKE the past week or so.  I’ve been sleeping with the windows open-it’s been cooling off a lot at night and I have noticed that the days are getting a bit shorter.  So bring on all things related to chai.

Like, this pretty snazzy banana bread.  I love a good banana bread, too, so if you combine these great flavors, you end up with a pretty tasty treat.  I did attempt to make this recipe a bit healthier by cutting out half of the butter and using whole wheat pastry flour.  If you would like, you can omit the glaze here-I personally thought it added a bit of extra spice to the bread, but if you are watching your calories, this is an easy way to cut a few.

Now, if you’ll excuse me, I’m going to make a cup of chai tea and go read a good book.

 

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Chai Banana Bread

Servings: 1 loaf

 

Ingredients

For the bread:

1 and 1/2 cups mashed ripe banana (about 3)

1/3 cup plain fat-free Greek yogurt

3 tablespoons unsalted butter, melted

3 tablespoons unsweetened applesauce

2 large eggs

1/2 cup granulated sugar

1/2 cup packed brown sugar

2 and 1/4 cups whole wheat pastry flour

3/4 teaspoon baking soda

1/2 teaspoon salt

3/4 teaspoon ground cardamom

1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon

1/4 teaspoon ground ginger

1/4 teaspoon ground allspice

1 and 1/4 teaspoons vanilla extract, divided

Cooking spray

For the glaze:

1/3 cup powdered sugar

1 and 1/2 teaspoons milk or milk substitute

 

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Instructions

1. For the bread: Preheat your oven to 350°.

2. In the bowl of your standing mixer fitted with the paddle attachment (or in a medium bowl with a hand mixer), combine the banana, Greek yogurt, butter, applesauce, and eggs, mixing until combined.

3. Add both of the sugars and continue to beat until blended.

4. In a medium bowl, whisk together the flour, baking soda, and salt.

5.  Add the flour mixture to the banana mixture; beat just until blended.

6. In a small bowl, mix together the cardamom, cinnamon, ginger, and allspice.

7. Place 1 and 1/2 teaspoons of the spice mixture into the batter, and add 1 teaspoon vanilla.

8. Pour into a 9 x 5-inch loaf pan coated with cooking spray.

9. Bake the bread for 65 minutes or until a wooden pick inserted in center comes out clean.  Let cool completely.

10.For the glaze: Combine the remaining spice mixture, remaining vanilla, powdered sugar, and milk. Drizzle over the cooled bread.

 

Source:  Adapted from Cooking Light as part of my monthly contribution to the Cooking Light Bloggers’ Connection.

September 6, 2013 - 8:22 am

Katrina @ Warm Vanilla Sugar - I am all the way with you friend. Chai + fall just make sense to me. And this bread? Amaaaazing!

September 6, 2013 - 10:59 am

KerryCan - This looks terrific–what a great idea for a flavor combination!

September 6, 2013 - 11:09 am

Anne ~ Uni Homemaker - Sounds delicious! I love the idea of adding some chai spice to banana bread. Great recipe & pinning!

September 6, 2013 - 11:49 am

Christina - I love the flavors here. Such a new take on banana bread!

September 6, 2013 - 12:59 pm

Lisa @ Lisa Living Well - I love chai too and associate it with fall as well. This recipe sounds really great!

September 7, 2013 - 10:17 am

Joanne - I was recently gifted some chai peanut butter cookies and have been obsessed with the chai spices ever since! Banana bread does kinda seem like the perfect vessel for them.

September 7, 2013 - 11:07 am

jennie @sundayswithjennie - What a fun take on classic banana bread! Looks great!

September 26, 2013 - 9:26 am

Food to Fitness - Looks perfect. Great pics. Keep it up.

May 29, 2014 - 8:32 pm

Warm Vanilla Sugar | May Things - [...] Holy heck brownies by Cookies and Cups Tomato cobbler with gruyere biscuits by Annie’s Eats Chai banana bread by The Curvy Carrot Sweet potato and black bean Mexican salad by Two Peas and Their [...]

May 30, 2014 - 6:48 am

Jules @ WolfItDown - This looks divine! I love a good banana loaf, and the spices in this would certainly be like a hug in the face at any season, time or day :D Thanks for sharing! x

Chocolate Chip Cookie Dough Mini Muffins

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These are vegan.  Yes, vegan.

 

Doesn’t look like it, does it?

I know a lot of people out there have an aversion to anything with the label of “vegan”on it.  Meaning, it can’t taste good.  It must taste like cardboard.  Nothing can taste good if it doesn’t have butter or cream or eggs in it (fair argument for some dishes, I personally have to admit).

But these, my friends, these seriously taste really good.

And there’s a secret ingredient in there, too.  Yes, chickpeas.

Before you run away screaming, please know that I actually tried this recipe with a little pessimistic devil on my shoulder.  I really didn’t think that anything with ground chickpeas in it would even taste remotely good, especially if it was included in a recipe entitled “chocolate chip cookie dough.”  But, please please bear with me here. You can’t even tell that there are chickpeas in here, I promise.  And it’s another affirmation to me about what a fantastic magazine VegNews is as a resource for those interested in/attempting to become/maintaining a vegan lifestyle.

So, my little pessimistic kitchen experiment ended with a totally optimistic hope that my future vegan adventures would taste just as good as these guys.

These little muffins (or cakes, really) are soft, moist, and sweet.  There’s no butter here.  There are vegan chocolate chips, which make pretty much anything better.

I’m not a total convert yet, but I could be if I could always eat little things like these.

 

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Chocolate Chip Cookie Dough Mini Muffins

 

Servings: about 12 muffins (depending on the size of muffin tin you used-I used a mini bundt cake pan, so my yield was about 12, but if you use a standard mini muffin pan, you should get about 24 muffins)

 

Ingredients

1/2 cup quick-cooking oats

1 15-ounce can chickpeas, drained and rinsed

2 tablespoons unsweetened applesauce

1-1/2 tablespoons safflower oil (or vegetable oil)

1/2 tablespoon vanilla

1/4 teaspoon baking soda

1/4 teaspoon salt

1 teaspoon baking powder

3/4 cup brown sugar

1/2 cup vegan chocolate chips

 

Instructions

1. Preheat the oven to 350 degrees.

2. Spray a mini bundt cake pan or mini muffin pan with cooking spray.

3. In a food processor, combine the oats, chickpeas, applesauce, safflower oil, vanilla, baking soda, salt, baking powder, and brown sugar and process the mixture until it is completely smooth.

4. Transfer the mixture to a medium bowl, and gently fold in the chocolate chips.

5.Divide the mixture evenly in your prepared mini bundt cake pan.

6. Bake the muffins for 13 to 15 minutes or until a tester inserted into the center comes out clean.

 

Source:  Barely adapted from VegNews.

 

September 4, 2013 - 9:25 am

Stephanie @ Girl Versus Dough - Chickpeas?? OK, usually I might run away screaming, but these have chocolate chips in them and I’m never one to turn down anything with chocolate chips. Especially in mini muffin form. I’m intrigued!

September 4, 2013 - 9:45 am

Christina - I haven’t tried many vegan treats and I’ll try anything that with the words “cookie dough” in the title.

September 4, 2013 - 4:31 pm

Hannah @ CleanEatingVeggieGirl - I love any excuse to eat chocolate in the morning! ;)

September 4, 2013 - 8:55 pm

Joanne - I’ve made quite a few vegan treats and they always surprise me with how moist and delicious they are! The chickpeas…I’d be wary of. But if you say they’re good then they’re worth a try!

September 5, 2013 - 9:29 pm

Katrina @ Warm Vanilla Sugar - As if these are vegan! They look sooooo tasty!!

September 26, 2013 - 8:00 am

Double Chocolate and Kahlúa Mini Bundt Cakes - [...] all that often. But it just so happens we’ve now used it two times in one week. I also made these one weeknight for a co-workers birthday. Of course if you don’t have a mini bundt pan you can [...]