Although we eat a lot of bananas in this house, it seems like there are always a couple that ripen way faster than we can consume them. I like ripe bananas, but when they start turning black, they begin to lose their appeal. Because of this, I pretty much always have a plastic bag of peeled, extra ripe bananas in the freezer.
During the cooler months, I often reach for that bag when thoughts of warm banana bread fill my head. But during the summer, my bagful of frozen bananas satisfies a completely different craving: banana milkshakes!
I discovered my love of fresh banana milkshakes early in life, but they were not something we ever made at home. It was always a thrill to find a restaurant or hamburger stand that offered fresh banana shakes, because you couldn’t find them just anywhere. I’m not sure what it is about the combination of fresh banana with vanilla ice cream, but I’ve always preferred it over any other milkshake flavor.
As a teenager, one of my favorite places to get banana milkshakes was Daily Delight in Fresno, CA. Who knows how long that place has been open, but it’s been a while. And I was fully expecting it to be closed down the last time my husband and I were home for a visit. But although it’s changed hands since my last visit, the place was miraculously still open and really hadn’t changed much. I couldn’t resist taking my husband there for some burgers and shakes.
And as we sat there enjoying fresh banana milkshakes and Dire Straits on the juke box, we received a phone call informing us that our offer had been accepted on the house we wanted to buy here in San Diego. It turned out to be a great afternoon! That was a month ago, and today we are proud owners of our very first home!
I know, I know, that’s pretty big news to be squeezed into a story about banana milkshakes! But it only seems fitting to share the exciting news along with a recipe for my own version of a banana milkshake.
I discovered the secret to a quick, easy and surprisingly healthy version of my beloved banana milkshake quite by accident. Remember the strawberry milk recipe I posted not too long ago? Well, when I ran out of strawberries, I started drinking banana milk instead. Same method, just different fruit. Frothy and delicious! Then I remembered my bag of frozen bananas in the freezer. Since it’s been really hot down here and we don’t have air conditioning in our current house, I decided that frozen bananas in my milk would be a nice change. What I didn’t expect was for it to taste almost exactly like a regular banana milkshake!
And it really does taste like a banana milkshake. It even has a nice thick consistency. The only thing needed to make it perfect is a few drops of vanilla extract. No ice cream needed for this shake!
You should already know that I prefer whole milk when making these types of drinks, but I’ve tried it with reduced fat milk and it’s not too bad. Just use whatever you have at home, and enjoy your banana shake!
Easy Banana Milkshake
1 frozen ripe banana, cut into chunks
1 cup whole milk
1 – 2 tablespoons sugar
1/8 teaspoon vanilla extract
Blend all ingredients until smooth using a hand blender or traditional blender. Drink immediately.
Yield: two servings
Nutrition info per serving (using 1 T. sugar): 149 calories; 4 grams fat (2 grams saturated fat); 26 grams total carbohydrates; 2 grams fiber; 5 grams protein
Notes: Lately I have been replacing the sugar with one packet of powdered stevia extract (Trader Joe’s brand) and I think it’s great. You could also leave out the sweetener completely since ripe bananas are very sweet on their own. Also, feel free to use reduced fat milk in place of whole milk if that’s all you have on hand. But I do recommend trying it with whole milk at least once!