Chocolate Peanut Butter Smoothie
by Lauren Allen on Jun 22, 2022
Before I tell you about the health benefits of this recipe, let me share with you the taste benefits. Chocolate and peanut butter has to be one of the greatest culinary combinations of all time. Much better than peanut butter and jelly in my opinion. I might be biased though. I may or may not have grown up having a certain candy-bar flavored, chocolate-peanut butter puff cereal every single morning for the first 20 years of my life. As a kid (and teenager, and adult) I thought it was delicious, but it no doubt contributed to my development of insulin resistance which fueled my PCOS symptoms in my mid-twenties.
Saying that breakfast is the most important meal of the day is really not just a cliché when it comes to women with PCOS. In fact, one of my first recommendations to clients who have PCOS is to start their day off with a nutrient and calorie dense breakfast every morning. The effects of this one simple habit change can be profound.
One study1 done by a group of researchers at Tel Aviv University examined the differences between women with PCOS who ate a nutrient dense, high calorie breakfast vs. a nutrient dense, high calorie dinner for women with PCOS for three months. Results showed that the women who had higher calorie breakfasts than dinners had improved glucose and insulin levels, lower testosterone levels, and increased ovulation rate.
Another study2 by the same group of researchers examined the differences between having a nutrient and calorie dense breakfast vs. dinner for women with obesity and metabolic syndrome. The results of this study showed that the women who had more of their calories at breakfast lost more weight, had greater waist circumference reduction, and lower levels of fasting glucose, insulin, and ghrelin (one of the hormones that tells our brain we feel hungry).
Squeezing in a nutrient and calorie dense breakfast can be tough if you feel like you don’t have enough time to cook, eat, and do the dishes each morning, which is why the breakfast smoothie is one of my favorite tools. As long as you make sure to include enough macronutrients in your smoothie, it can be as filling and satisfying as any solid meal. Plus this one tastes like a chocolatey-peanut butter milkshake dream, which is amazing if you haven’t yet come around to the idea of having a savory breakfast.
It’s important to include all of the ingredients in this recipe. For example, if you leave out the protein powder, you won’t have enough protein to make this a complete meal and balance out the carbohydrates from the banana or the peanut butter. If you don’t include the chia or flax seeds, you’re not going to include enough fiber to help keep you full and balance your blood sugar.
- 1 scoop chocolate flavored protein powder (look for one without added sugar or junky ingredients!)
- 1 2-inch piece of banana, frozen
- 1- 1 ¼ cups almond or cashew milk
- 1 heaping tbsp natural peanut butter (no sugar added)
- 1 handful fresh spinach or 1-2 cubes frozen spinach
- 1-2 tsp chia seeds
- 1-2 tsp flax seeds
- 1 Tbsp organic cocoa powder
- Ice, optional
- 1 tsp peanut butter, drizzled
- 1 tsp cacao nibs
Instructions: Combine all ingredients in a high speed blender. Mix until blended through. You may add additional milk or water until you’ve reached desired consistency. Add extra ice for a “slushy” consistency. Best eaten immediately.
1. Daniela Jakubowicz, Maayan Barnea, Julio Wainstein, Oren Froy; Effects of caloric intake timing on insulin resistance and hyperandrogenism in lean women with polycystic ovary syndrome. Clin Sci (Lond) 1 November 2013; 125 (9): 423–432. doi: https://doi.org/10.1042/CS20130071
2. Jakubowicz D, Barnea M, Wainstein J, Froy O. High caloric intake at breakfast vs. dinner differentially influences weight loss of overweight and obese women. Obesity (Silver Spring). 2013;21(12):2504-2512. doi:10.1002/oby.20460