PB&J Chia Smoothie
September 5, 2017 by Nicole Collins
I can't believe it's time to say phrases like “back to school”.
Like, when did that happen?
Before you know it, we'll be saying “Welcome to 2018”.
I shouldn't even care about back to school. But, I do. Not because I have to go back to school or even because I have anyone in my life that has to go back to school, but because of all of the extra traffic that back to school brings.
My commute to work is already tough enough. Pretty much every major highway in Baltimore is going through roadwork which makes things 100 times worse. But, back to school traffic definitely brings people out of the woodwork. It's not my favorite.
Then again, pretty much the next 6 months are not my favorite months of the year, so there's that. Is it summertime again yet? (I warned you I'd be whining about this for a while...)
Anyways...back to school time always makes me think about school lunches. I was a lunch packer (not a buyer). And, I've always been a lunch sharer (still am). I was certainly the kid that liked to trade parts of my lunch for what someone else had. Cookies for goldfish. Half a tuna sammie for half a ham and cheese sammie. Soup from my thermos for soup from your thermos. I learned negotiation skills at the ripe age of 5!
Everyone knows that PB&J sammies are at the top of the list for school lunches. But truth be told, I used to like my PB&J without the J.
That's right, straight peanut butter and bread was all I needed.
And, really I could do without the bread.
It's only been over the past couple years of adulthood that I've decided that now the jelly is allowed to come to my peanut butter party. That's a big deal for the girl who has gone through a whole jar of peanut butter by eating a spoonful at a time (and not using it for anything else like sammies or cookies). #adulting
Today's recipe takes those classic PB&J flavors and mixes them up in a healthy and filling smoothie. It comes together really quickly, and it's so simple to whip up!
The smoothie starts with some super duper ripe frozen bananas. Bananas are really the backbone of any good smoothie. It adds some body. It adds some sweetness. And it blends so well with almost everything.
For the “jelly” element of our smoothie, we're using frozen strawberries and frozen blueberries. You could use all of one kind of berry, but I really love the color the two berries make. Plus, it's delicious...duh!
We also have big scoop of peanut butter and some maple syrup for sweetness going in our smoothie. Plus, we have some unsweetened vanilla almond milk to help blend it all together.
But, the special trick to this smoothie is the chia seeds.
At first, I was a little weirded out by the idea of chia seeds. I still can't think about them without singing “Ch Ch Ch CHIA!”.
The chia seeds don't impact the flavor at all, but they add some pretty great benefits to the mix. They're a source of protein and fiber which helps this smoothie keep you full. They're high in antioxidents. And, they add a little pop of texture which is a little funky, but kinda fun!
If you've been too scared to try chia seeds, what better time than now when we're hiding them in a peanut butter and jelly flavored drink? I mean, PB&J was the cure to pretty much anything as a kid. I feel like that still applies!
So, whether you're going back to school, sending kids back to school, or just feeling the side effects of the back to school season, this smoothie is sure to turn any frown upside down (including those brought on by tough morning commutes)!
Enjoy, and let's drink!
PB&J Chia Smoothie
Serves: 1 Print
½ of a very ripe banana, frozen and cut in half
½ cup chopped strawberries, frozen
½ cup blueberries, frozen
1 tbsp peanut butter
½ tbsp maple syrup
1 tbsp chia seeds
1 cup unsweetened vanilla almond milk (plus a splash if necessary)
Add all ingredients to a high powered blender. Start with 1 cup almond milk. Process until combined and smooth. If the smoothie is too thick, add an extra splash of almond milk. Serve immediately.
*I keep a bag of frozen bananas in my freezer at all times for smoothies. When the bananas are very ripe (more black on the skin than yellow), peel and chop them in to quarters. Space them out individually on a plate or or tray, and place them in the freezer. After a few hours when they're completely frozen, transfer them to a freezer bag until ready to use. Freezing them separately keeps them from clumping together in the bag and being frozen with an undetachable buddy. I'll do the same with any fruit when it's in season, and I have an abundance.
*I find chia seeds in the baking section of my grocery store. You could also usually find them in the organic section.