This tasty shake has a hint of maple sweetness with the added bonus of a dose of greens. It's a dairy free dessert shake that is sure to take you back to those good old milkshake days (minus the belly ache). I was making a similar version of this for quite some time, but was only using half of a banana and no maple syrup. That is the lower sugar version of this treat that I would recommend if you're drinking this on a more regular basis. However, once in awhile, this shake foots the bill for those occasions where you're looking for something a touch sweeter, yet still wanting to ensure that you're getting some nutritional value.
Almond butter provides a dose of healthy fats, fiber, and protein in each heaping spoonful. This is a nice option for adding creaminess and flavor to your smoothie, while also ensuring that you don't immediately crash after consuming the natural sugars from banana and maple syrup. Unsweetened almond butter contains cardiovascular benefits, improves blood cholesterol levels, and provides energy. When purchasing almond butter, read the ingredient label closely to ensure that it contains one item only: almonds. Many brands come with added sugars and oils that take away from the nutritional value, increase inflammation, and are completely unnecessary for flavor.
Hemp seeds are a good source of essential fatty acids, protein, and fiber. In fact, they are comprised of 30% protein, which makes them a good source of plant-based protein. Hemp seeds, also known as hemp hearts, are good for heart health. I wonder if that's how they got their other name? This ingredient is listed as optional on the recipe list because I know they aren't an ingredient found in every kitchen. If you do have them, use them. If you're interested in trying them, go for it! Be sure to store them in your refrigerator or freezer for extended shelf life. They're great blended in smoothies or sprinkled on salads for an added boost of plant protein.
Maple Almond Shake
Makes: 2 servings
Note: double the recipe for 2 people, if using a portion for afternoon snack
- 1 ½ C. unsweetened almond milk
- 1 frozen ripe banana
- 2 lg. handfuls of spinach
- 2 heaping Tbsp. unsweetened almond butter
- 1/4 avocado
- 2 Tbsp. hemp seeds (optional)
- 2 tsp. maple syrup
- 1/4 tsp. vanilla extract
- 1/8 tsp. sea salt
- 4 ice cubes
Combine all ingredients in a high-speed blender. Blend until smooth and creamy.
Prep: rinse and spin-dry your greens the night before, for a quick start in the morning. Store in sealed containers in the fridge until you’re ready to blend.
Prep: peel and chop ripe bananas into quarters and freeze in an airtight container/bag for future use. This way, you always have ripe bananas for future smoothies or baking. Frozen bananas add that creamy factor to smoothies and cut down on waste.
Snack Attack: this will make enough for 2 servings, so save 8 oz. of this smoothie in a sealed jar in the refrigerator. This will come in handy for your afternoon snack. Just shake before drinking.
Let us know what you think of this smoothie in the comments section below.
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