I came up with this blueberry-banana walnut smoothie with my older son in mind. He, like me, avoids the super sweet smoothies, favoring ones like this instead. This smoothie recipe has some power to it, loaded with protein, fiber and antioxidant power. The three key ingredients here are blueberries, banana, and walnuts–the perfect trifecta in the smoothie world, if you ask me.
Blueberries and their low-calorie Superfood classification are a go-to for me in smoothies. Loaded with fiber, blueberries are also considered the “king” of antioxidants as they have the highest antioxidant capacity of all commonly consumed fruits and vegetables–now that’s impressive!
Bananas are considered the most popular fruit on Earth. Bananas are sweet, easy to eat, and come in their own case, eliminating the need for washing. With a fair amount of fiber, bananas are also great for digestive health. In baking, bananas are used to help keep items moist, and they also reduce the amount of sugar, butter, oil or eggs that you need. Bananas are also a great ingredient in smoothies to help as a natural sweetener, as well as a thickening agent so I tend to use them often.
Walnuts are high in monounsaturated and polyunsaturated fats and a great source of protein. When people thought that all fat was bad for you, nuts got a bad reputation. But they are great in moderation, as they are dense in nutrients and provide heart-healthy fats. Large studies have shown that eating nuts helps you live longer. Added to a smoothie, sprinkled in a salad or a handful as a snack, nuts can be a great, healthy option. In walnuts, the combination of healthy fats, protein, and fiber increases your sense of fullness–another plus to me.
Although I like smoothies on the less-sweet side–and the base of this one is unsweetened almond milk–I add a bit of sweetness with a little peanut butter, dried dates and agave. (The sweetness profile of this drink is similar to my favorite breakfast protein shake.) I have one kid who loves this drink and one who thinks it’s just not sweet enough, so feel free to play around with the sweetness level and adjust to your tastes. This blueberry-banana walnut smoothie is a great breakfast option, perfect for a busy Monday morning, but is truly a great go-to anytime of the day when you simply need a boost.
Blueberry-Banana Walnut Smoothie
- 1/2 small banana
- 1/4 cup blueberries
- 1 tablespoon walnuts, chopped
- 2 dates, pitted
- 1/2 cup low-fat Greek vanilla yogurt
- 1/2 cup unsweetened almond milk
- 1 tablespoon natural peanut butter
- 1 teaspoon chai seeds
- 1 teaspoon agave or honey
- 1 cup ice
- Step 1 Place the banana, blueberries, walnuts, dates, yogurt, almond milk, peanut butter, chai seeds, agave and ice in a kitchen blender.
- Step 2 Blend, on high, for about 20-30 seconds until all ingredients are incorporated.