Green Peanut Butter Banana Spinach Smoothie
by Meghan Rodgers
May 18, 2021
Close your eyes and drink up! You would never suspect a recipe this delicious could be a healthy, green smoothie! If fact, it will deliver up to half of your daily recommended greens before you even start your day.
This luxuriously creamy Green Peanut Butter Banana Spinach Smoothie tastes as though it could double as a dessert, but it’s only made with healthy ingredients — bananas, spinach, peanut butter and soy milk. Just four simple ingredients, and you’ll see why this dairy-free vegan smoothie is so popular at all of the local smoothie shops!
I love this smoothie as a quick on-the-go breakfast, snack, or even as a light lunch. Although it’s not light on calories, it’s a perfect, filling meal replacement. I find when I drink it for breakfast, I’m not hungry until well past my usual lunch hour, thanks to the high amount of protein.
Along with other healthy vitamins and minerals like magnesium, phosphorous, zinc, niacin and vitamin b-6, peanut butter contains a healthy dose of protein — 7 grams (g) per 2-tablespoon serving. Add that to the additional protein provided by your leafy greens, milk (depending on what type you choose), and add-ons such as chia or hemp seeds, and you’ll enjoy a protein-packed powerhouse that will keep you full and out of danger from over-indulging during your next meal.
Is peanut butter sustainable?
Peanut allergies have contributed to a shift away from peanut butter in recent years. Of course, peanut allergies are a very real and serious concern and those afflicted should only eat the nut butters that suit their diet (if any). That said, if peanuts are still within your purview, peanut butter just might be the most environmentally friendly choice.
Peanuts are naturally sustainable. They were originally introduced as a nitrogen-fixing rotation crop for cotton, meaning they naturally replenish former cotton fields (and other crop fields) with essential nitrogen that had been depleted.
Peanuts also benefit from lengthy roots that can reach up to two meters deep in the soil, meaning they have access to a substantial natural water supply, reducing or eliminating the need for irrigation. In fact, peanuts are more water-efficient than other popular nuts, requiring only 59 gallons of water per pound, in contrast to water-intensive pistachios which require 1092 gallons per pound. In a world where the supply of groundwater is being used faster than it is replenished and climate change is making droughts worse, choosing sustainable crops is increasingly important.
Tip: Toss a few bananas in an airtight container and freeze them overnight for a delightfully cool and creamy smoothie with just the right texture.
I like to top my smoothie with a few ingredients to give it texture and mix things up a bit. My favorite toppings include a bit of dark chocolate, chia seeds and granola, but experiment with any of these to customize your drink:
- Flax seeds
- Chia seeds
- Goji berries
- Strawberry slices
- Hemp seeds
- Pumpkin seeds
- Sunflower seeds
- Dark chocolate shavings
- Low-calorie cereal
- Cayenne pepper
Feel free to use any milk you like! Or even cut out the milk entirely and go with water.
Any dark leafy greens will work well. Choose from spinach, kale, chard — you name it!
You can swap out the peanut butter for your favorite nut butter, but consider your favorite nut butter’s eco-footprint. Seed butters are also low in water consumption, so if you’re looking for a peanut butter alternative, consider pumpkin or sunflower.
Green Peanut Butter Smoothie
3/4 cup unsweetened non-dairy milk (or milk that fits your diet)
1 1/2 cups baby spinach, rinsed and patted dry
1 heaping tablespoon of peanut butter
1 frozen banana
Add non-dairy milk, spinach and peanut butter to blender container. Blend on high until bits of greens are no longer visible. Switch off blender and remove lid.
Add frozen banana, replace lid and blend again until smoothie mixture is completely smooth.
Pour, top with desired add-ons and enjoy!