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When I was a kid, I remember when smoothies just started becoming the new hot thing. Smoothie stores were opening up like crazy in my hometown, and as a kid with a major sweet tooth, I wasn’t super into it.
That is, until I tasted my first chocolate banana smoothie.
My taste buds lit up like a Christmas tree, loving the decadent combination of fruit and my favorite kind of sweet.
It was rich and silky. I couldn’t stop drinking the blended beverage, and I proceeded to beg my mom to buy me one every time we passed by a smoothie shop.
I got so obsessed, my mom actually taught me how to make the chocolate and banana concoction at home so I could have it as an afternoon snack (without draining all of her money).
When I was 18, I had jaw surgery and was stuck on a liquid diet for 5 weeks. Even after drinking these daily throughout that period, I still loved the flavor.
Correction: I still love the flavor.
My friends would come over and make this recipe for me so often over the course of my recovery, they actually broke our blender.
Yet another reason to teach kids how to properly use a blender, you know? Never let someone who is not experienced with the physics of smoothie-making near your fancy blender! It’s bad news.
If I was sentenced to making this smoothie for breakfast every day for the rest of my life, I would be a happy woman.
It has all those luscious flavors of the chocolate banana drink I would buy in the smoothie shops, but it’s actually a lot healthier.
It’s also a lot more filling, and helps me to last until lunchtime without any hunger pangs (and this is coming from someone who loves to eat, all the time).
This recipe is nice and creamy, with a slight tang from the Greek yogurt. The vanilla extract bolsters the flavor of the cocoa powder, and the chia seeds give you a nice healthy boost.
Finally, you finish with some ice cubes and a frozen banana. The result is a breakfast drink that you will never feel guilty about consuming, even though the taste will make you feel like perhaps you should.
I personally am a fan of the chia seeds in this smoothie, but you can easily substitute ground flax if you prefer.
Pro tip: always keep some frozen bananas in your freezer. I like to take a couple whenever I buy a bunch, peel them and put them in airtight zip-top bags when they’re ripe, and throw them in the freezer to use throughout the week.
Adding frozen fruit means you don’t have to use as much ice, which will water down the flavor of your drink.
Just make sure you follow the instructions below based on the type of blender you have – top-loading or bottom-loading. The order of the ingredients really matters, to make sure your drink comes together easily.Print
There’s no better way to start your day off on the right food than with a chocolate banana breakfast smoothie, made with nutritious ingredients.
- 1/4 cup whole milk
- 1/4 cup plain Greek yogurt
- 1/2 tsp pure vanilla extract
- 1 Tbsp cocoa powder
- 1 tsp ground flax or chia seeds (optional)
- 1 medium-sized frozen ripe banana, cut into chunks
- 1 cup ice cubes
- Layer the ingredients in the blender in the order listed above, from milk to ice cubes. The frozen ingredients should be added last, or furthest away from the blades, to help push down the other ingredients.
- If you have a bottom loading blender, simply flip the order so the frozen ingredients will still be furthest away from the blades.
- Secure the top and blend until smooth, for 20-30 seconds. Serve immediately.
- Note: Make this recipe dairy-free and vegan by substituting the milk and yogurt of your choice.
- Category: Smoothie
- Method: Blending
- Cuisine: Breakfast
Keywords: healthy, chocolate, banana, breakfast, smoothie
Cooking By the Numbers…
Step 1 – Chop Banana and Measure Remaining Ingredients
Before you freeze your bananas, cut them up into chunks so they’re easy to toss into blended beverages with no further prep required.
If you only have whole frozen bananas, you can still peel and chop them while they’re frozen. But please be careful when cutting frozen ingredients. Remove the peel from the frozen banana and chop into chunks, about 1 1/2 to 2 inches long.
Measure out all of the remaining ingredients as listed in the ingredients list. Make sure to set out the ingredients in the order listed, to make assembling the recipe easy.
Step 2 – Load Blender
Add the ingredients to your blender in the order they are listed, starting with the milk and ending with the ice cubes.
Personal blenders are great for this, since you can take the cup you blended in and go, sometimes with an included top that is easy to drink out of when you’re on the go.
The most important part of making a smoothie is to make sure the frozen ingredients are farthest from the blades, so they can push down the other ingredients.
If you have a bottom-loading blender, instead of following the order as listed, you will start with the ice cubes and end with the milk. That way, when you flip the container over to blend, the frozen ingredients will be furthest from the blades.
Step 3 – Blend
Secure the top (or bottom) and blend until smooth, about 20-30 seconds. I find it’s not usually necessary with this recipe, but stop and push down any ingredients as needed with a tamper or spatula, to ensure that everything is fully blended.
If you want to drink this on the go and you don’t have one already, there’s really no need to buy a special cup that’s just for smoothies.
I’ve found that a travel coffee mug works perfectly if you stick a metal straw through the hole in the lid (and it’s friendly to the environment too, since you won’t have anything to throw away when you’re done).
My favorite set of these is available on Amazon. It comes with bent and straight straws, which I think is awesome for use in different types of containers, plus two cleaning brushes.
How to Make the Perfect Smoothie
When it comes to making the ideal breakfast beverage, you need to check out our tips to making better smoothies and shakes, without those pesky lumps.
You won’t believe how a few simple tips can give you creamier and smoother drinks that you will fall in love with all over again, each time you take your first sip.
And if you’re a fan of nutritious add-ins, you’ll love our round up of blended beverage favorites.
Can’t get enough smoothies? Check out some of our favorite deceptively indulgent recipes below:
- Pumpkin Pie
- Blueberry Orange Banana
- Strawberry Mango
- Dairy-Free Tahini Banana
- Orange Ginger Sunshine Smoothie
- Berry Date
What’s your favorite smoothie ingredient that you can’t live without? Tell us in the comments below. After you try the recipe, come back to rate it here.
Photos by Meghan Yager, © Ask the Experts, LLC. ALL RIGHTS RESERVED. See our TOS for more details. Originally published on June 12th, 2012. Last updated: January 26, 2020 at 14:18 pm.
Nutritional information derived from a database of known generic and branded foods and ingredients and was not compiled by a registered dietitian or submitted for lab testing. It should be viewed as an approximation.
About Meghan Yager
Meghan Yager is a food addict turned food and travel writer with a love for creating uncomplicated, gourmet recipes and devouring anything the world serves up. As the author of the food and travel blog Cake 'n Knife, Meghan focuses on unique foodie experiences from around the world to right at home in your own kitchen.