Banana Peanut Butter Cacao Smoothie

For anyone who lives in Columbus, I am sure you have heard of Native Cold Pressed – for those of you who do not, don’t worry I will tell you about it! Native Cold Pressed is an awesome local restaurant/shop/cafe in the city that offers organic, raw pressed juices, smoothies, smoothie bowls, salads, and more. The food is delicious. Everything is fresh and packed with fruits and veggies. I love to new dishes there because it gives me inspiration! There are so many raw ingredients and wonderful flavor pairing out there that I don’t even know about. It is such great inspiration! In fact, Native’s Cacao Craze Smoothie WAS the inspiration for this Banana Peanut Butter Cacao smoothie!

It all started last week – I woke up, went to an 8 am sculpt class (which was killer) – then I had about 45 minutes of free time before I had to be back at the studio to teach my own yoga class! I hopped over to Native down the street and figured I’d grab something light. I overheard someone else order the Cacao Craze and thought – damn, that looks good.

And ya know what? It WAS AMAZING! Creamy, rich peanut butter and banana flavor, swirled with rich chocolate – crunchy oat and chocolate tidbits. So fresh tasting, yet so friggen delicious. I loved it so much, as soon as I finished I wanted another one – seriously.

Now, I wish that I had the money to go to Native every day – scratch that. I wish I had enough money to hire a personal chef to make me fresh, healthy, delicious foods everyday. But, sigh, I do not. So – I needed to try and recreate this wondrous smoothie into an affordable homemade option.

I started investigating the ingredients Native mentioned on their menu and I had questions – whats the difference between cacao and cocoa? Where do I buy cacao nibs? What are cacao nibs? Hemp? Clearly, I am a smoothie newwwwbbbb! But that’s okay – you live and  you learn right?

I gathered my list of ingredients and started messing around.

Creamy peanut butter and banana, swirled with rich chocolate - crunchy oat and chocolate tidbits. This Banana Peanut Butter Cacao Smoothie is perfection! | NOMaste Kitchen

Cocoa vs. Cacao

My first few times making the smoothie, I actually used regularly baking cocoa – let me tell you though. I HIGHLY recommend buying powdered cacao for this recipe! Its not expensive, yet SO much richer and smoother than traditional cocoa powder. In order to get a chocolatey taste with cocoa powder, I had to use multiple tablespoons and it ended up tasting chalky. With cacao powder, just 1 tbsp is plenty!

Cacao Nibs

Despite my original belief, cacao nibs are not small pieces of chocolate (yum). They are actually dried and fermented bits of cacao beans – so much healthier than chocolate, not nearly as tasty by the fistful (they actually look just like little bits of coffee beans!). I will admit I did make one round of this smoothie with dark chocolate chunks… and woah, it was yummy!

Creamy peanut butter and banana, swirled with rich chocolate - crunchy oat and chocolate tidbits. This Banana Peanut Butter Cacao Smoothie is perfection! | NOMaste Kitchen

Bananas – Frozen vs. Fresh

Do your bananas ever turn brown before you get chance to eat them? In my mind, you NEVER throw out bananas (what a waste) – you do have two options:

Depending how you like your smoothies, you may want to use a frozen or fresh banana. Personally, I like my smoothies cold and extra thick. Using frozen fruit (or a frozen banana in this Banana Peanut Butter Cacao Smoothie) will make for a colder, thicker smoothie – yas yas YAS!

Oats

I love adding oats to smoothies because it gives extra texture and honestly makes your smoothie feel more like you are eating a meal! But who knew there were so many types of oats?

For this Banana Peanut Butter Cacao Smoothie I tested using quick cooking oats first – honestly, they tasted good! But I found as I was drinking the oats softened, so there was less to chew. I opted to try steel cut oats next which do not soften as easily.

Creamy peanut butter and banana, swirled with rich chocolate - crunchy oat and chocolate tidbits. This Banana Peanut Butter Cacao Smoothie is perfection! | NOMaste Kitchen

Protein Source

If you have a favorite protein powder – feel free to use it here! I chose to use Collagen Peptides as my protein source because they are tasteless and I wanted to see what my smoothie actually tasted like without any added “protein powder vanilla” flavoring.

Nut Milk

You are welcome to use any type of milk you’d like! I personally prefer almond or cashew milk, hence my recommendation in the recipe! If you prefer soy or traditional dairy – that is your prerogative! Note: If you do use any “sweetened” milks – such as vanilla almond milk, you may not need the added maple syrup!

Peanut Butter

Um, duh – its called a Banana Peanut Butter Cacao Smoothie. I like to use all-natural peanut butter because I think the flavor is richer than the more processed brand names.

Cinnamon

You might think that this ingredient is unimportant – but you would be WRONG! This is honestly the ingredient I forgot when making the smoothie the first few times and I just KNEW something was off. The cinnamon adds a magical flavor I cannot even describe – it just makes the smoothie perfect.

Banana Peanut Butter Cacao Smoothie
Prep Time
10 mins
 

Creamy, rich peanut butter and banana flavor, swirled with rich chocolate - crunchy oat and chocolate tidbits. So fresh, yet so friggen delicious.

Course: Breakfast, Snack
Cuisine: Healthy
Keyword: Healthy Breakfast Smoothie
Servings: 1 serving
Author: NOMaste Kitchen
Ingredients
  • 1 fresh or frozen banana
  • 2 tbsp peanut butter
  • 3 tbsp steel cut oats
  • 1 tbsp cacao powder
  • 3/4 tsp cinnamon
  • 1 tbsp maple syrup or honey
  • 2/3 cup unsweetened almond or cashew milk
  • 1 scoop Vital Proteins Collagen Peptides
  • 1-2 tbsp cacao nibs

NOMaste,

Haley

Loved this healthy, indulgent snack? Try another! Chocolate Peanut Butter Protein BarsHealthy Banana Oatmeal PancakesBaked Chickpeas

P.s. I seriously need to work on my smoothie pics, I know – work in progress!



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