peanut butter banana protein smoothie

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Believe me when I say that I haven’t met a carb I didn’t like. Plump, chewy bagels hot out of the oven slathered with butter, flaky almond croissants, oatmeal piled high with fresh fruit, rye toast — I can rhapsodize on the glories of the carb for days. However, after I had a lengthy discussion with my doctor about my diet, which boiled down to excuses (mine), dismay + shock (his), I need to cut down on my consumption of carbs, considerably. Add brutal workouts and a need to move about the city without feeling sluggish, I started blitzing morning protein-packed smoothies.

Many of you are probably thinking, Oh, please. you’re probably sneaking in an almond butter-smeared rice cake (or croissant) come 10AM. Those who know me well know that I’m always hungry, so if a shake can keep me sane until noon you know it’s the business.

Enter the peanut butter banana smoothie. Rich in protein, potassium and calcium, this thick shake is satisfying and delicious. There are days when I’m still astonished over the fact that I don’t need a mid-morning meal, and I’ve noticed a marked improvement in my endurance during spin + weight training.

Plus, I feel like I’m drinking dessert for breakfast, which isn’t a far cry from my beloved almond croissant.

INGREDIENTS
1 banana (medium or large)
1 heaping tbsp of creamy peanut butter
2 heaping tbsp of protein powder (I bought an organic hemp variety, flavored with vanilla spice, which adds a nice kick to the smoothie)
1/2 cup almond milk
4-6 ice cubes

DIRECTIONS
Add to the blender + blitz until completely combined. Drink immediately.

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peanut butter banana bread

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Just when you thought banana bread was the height of loaf perfection, imagine peanut butter stepping into the game. Typically, I’ve been baking banana loaves with grape seed/coconut oil and using everything from dark chocolate to coconut in adding layers of texture and flavor, and never did I conceive of the most brilliant addition: PEANUT BUTTER.

I love how, with each bite, you get the crunch from the chips, the smoothness of the creamy peanut butter and the sweetness of the bananas. A cinch to bake, you will thank me (or want to punch me) after you’ve hoovered the whole loaf.

INGREDIENTS: Recipe adapted from Oh Sweet Basil, with minor modifications
1 3/4 cup all-purpose unbleached flour
3/4 tsp baking soda
1 1/4 tsp cream of tartar
1/2 tsp salt
1/3 cup (5 tbsp) butter, room temperature
1/3 cup creamy peanut butter (I use Peanut Butter & Co)
2/3 cup cane sugar
2 large eggs
1 cup mashed, ripened bananas (2-3 medium bananas)
1 cup chocolate chips

DIRECTIONS
Pre-heat the oven to 350F. In a medium bowl, sift together the flour, baking soda, cream of tartar and salt. Set aside.

In a stand mixer fitted with the paddle attachment, beat the butter and peanut butter until smooth. Add the sugar and eggs, and mix on medium/high speed to combine.

Turn the mixer to medium speed and add a small amount of the flour mixture and a tablespoon of banana until fully incorporated. Alternate between the flour mixture and the banana, starting and ending with the banana. Fold in the chocolate chips to combine.

Spray a 9×5 loaf pan, with cooking spray and add the banana bread mixture and even out with an offset spatula. Bake for 50-60 minutes, tenting with foil the last few minutes to avoid too dark a crust.

Allow to cool for 10 minutes and turn out onto a wire rack. Enjoy!