I didn’t grow up making smoothies. I remember my father blending up other frozen treats. One for instance was a virgin strawberry daiquiri, which seems kind of strange to me now that I think about it since I don’t particularly enjoy blended alcoholic drinks. However, back then the icy, sweet drink seemed like a special treat.
It wasn’t until I lived in an apartment during college that my boyfriend-now husband-and I started experimenting with various milkshakes. He grew up having the occasional homemade milkshake at home, usually chocolate syrup or whatever fresh fruit or berry was in season in Yakima where he grew up. Often times when we visit Yakima nowadays, his parents whip up a smoothie for us with freshly picked peaches or nectarines from their backyard during the late summer months.
The milkshakes my husband and I created were usually indulgences-minus the fruit. We would blend together a couple scoops of vanilla ice cream, likely some generic brand such as Dreyers, and a little milk and then stir in some crushed cookies or candy pieces. Oreos or butterfingers were our favorites.
Our tastes and eating habits have changed quite a bit since then and I cannot recall the last time we made milkshakes. I don’t recall having a craving for one either, except perhaps a blizzard from Dairy Queen while on a road trip or maybe after reading this blog post by Molly Wizenberg which kind of makes me want to make her sour cherry milkshake right now (it doesn’t help I have half of a pound of frozen sour cherries in my freezer).
Instead of a milkshake-or strawberry daiquiri for that matter-I much prefer blending together a smoothie I can eat for breakfast, lunch, or even dinner some nights. While I enjoy a number of smoothies, including strawberry banana, blueberry, and spinach and peanut butter, this particular one has been a favorite for some time. I’ve likely made it 50 times since I first discovered the original recipe a year ago in the Oh She Glows cookbook when I underwent my first elimination diet to uncover some food sensitivities. It doesn’t contain any fruit or veggies, but certainly provides a nice protein boost and has antioxidants from the chia seeds which makes me feel like it’s a little bit healthier. Since first making this smoothie, I’ve altered it a bit and come up with my own version which is the perfect consistency for what I am looking for in a smoothie. While the traditional smoothie is typically enjoyed in a glass, I think they taste a little bit better in a bowl with lots of toppings – a habit I would have to owe to one of the first blogs I started following back in 2010 or so, Kath Eats Real Food. This smoothie is perfect – creamy, filling, and tastes like an oatmeal cookie.
Peanut Butter Oatmeal Smoothie (GF/V)
Modified from Angela Liddon’s Gym Rat Smoothie in the Oh She Glows cookbook
1 C unsweetened plain almond (coconut milk works here too)
1/4 C gluten-free oats
2 Tbsp natural peanut butter
1 Tbsp chia seeds
1 Tsp vanilla extract
1 Tsp cinnamon
3 pitted Medjool dates
4 ice cubes
raw buckwheat groats
Combine all ingredients in a high speed blender. Blend on high for approximately 1-2 minutes until frothy and well-combined. The mixture should be completely smooth. Pour into a bowl and top with the buckwheat groats and cacao nibs. Homemade granola, such as this one here, also serves as a great topping for this smoothie if you want a more filling and indulgent meal.