Banana Chia Smoothie (with peanut butter + variations)

Banana chia smoothie with peanut butter is the ultimate go-to for a quick, delicious, and filling breakfast or snack. This creamy smoothie is nutrient-rich and filled with protein and fiber for satisfaction. It’s ready to drink in less than 5 minutes and also customizable with substitutions and variations.

It’s a nutritious and tasty smoothie that checks off all the boxes.

WHY THIS WORKS

  • Healthy with nutrient dense ingredients: chia seeds, milk, banana, and peanut butter.
  • Filling with 18 grams of protein and 17 grams of fiber for this specific recipe
  • Rich in heart-healthy omega-3 fat
  • Natural sweet flavor from the banana
  • Minimal ingredients
  • A quick, no cooking recipe for people who hate to cook
  • Can be made in advance
  • Easy to customize with your choice of milk, other fruits, and flavors.
  • Ready to drink right after blending. No waiting and wondering how it will turn out hours later like with chia pudding. Keep reading for my review of chia pudding and why I think a chia smoothie > chia pudding.

HEALTH BENEFITS OF INGREDIENTS IN BANANA CHIA SMOOTHIE WITH PEANUT BUTTER

Chia seeds

Chia seeds have been around for thousands of years but it’s only in recent years that they’ve gained popularity due to their “superfood” status. Superfood is not a regulated term and is used more in marketing than in the nutrition sphere. Nonetheless, these foods offer health benefits beyond their nutritional value.

Chia seeds are tiny yet mighty. They contain an impressive amount of protein, fiber, healthy omega-3 fat in the form of polyunsaturated fat, and other nutrients and compounds such as antioxidants. Research has shown that these properties in chia seeds may help lower cholesterol and blood pressure, curb blood sugar spikes, and promote satiety (1, 2).

Bananas

Bananas are a staple food in many countries. They’re incredibly convenient, cheap, and contain essential nutrients, fiber, and antioxidants. Bananas are also naturally sweet and used in place of sugar in some recipes.

Research shows that bananas may support digestive and heart health, improve blood sugar and blood pressure levels, and support exercise recovery due to their magnesium, potassium, and electrolyte content (3).

Milk

Milk has been part of our diet since the beginning of time and is an easy way to obtain nutrients.

Over the years, we’ve seen an increase in a variety of milk. While cow’s milk is still a part of many individuals’ diets, we now have a wide range of non-dairy milk to choose from, including soy milk, almond milk, rice milk, pea milk, and more.

Milk contains many essential nutrients and calcium is what it is most known for. Calcium is essential for strong bones and health. Health experts often recommend milk as a high calcium source to consume to help prevent bone diseases such as osteoporosis (4).

Cow’s milk and some other non-dairy alternatives also contain a good amount of protein which we need for the growth and repair of cells.

Peanut butter

Peanut butter contains 7-8 grams of protein and other essential nutrients in a 2-tablespoon serving. Health experts recommend adding peanuts and other nuts to the diet due to their heart-healthy omega-3 fat content and nutritional value.

Peanuts are also a good source of antioxidants such as vitamin E, which may prevent cellular damage and risk for chronic disease (5).

Low in carb, peanut butter has a good amount of protein, healthy fat, and fiber that would be a good option for people trying to manage their blood sugars (5, 6).

Unfortunately, peanut butter brands today add ingredients such as sugar and trans fats which can reduce the nutritional value. Select a peanut butter that’s naturally made with no additives and with little to no salt.

CHIA SMOOTHIE > CHIA PUDDING (a review)

I’ve been adding chia seeds to smoothies and other recipes for some time. In recent years, chia pudding has been all the rage and since we eat pudding in my household, I wanted to give it a try.

My original intention was to create a post about chia pudding. I experimented using a standard chia pudding recipe that combines 2 tablespoons of chia seeds with 1 cup of milk and used 3 different types of milk: soy, chocolate-flavored pea milk, and cow’s milk.

I followed the directions, taking time to stir the ingredients at 5 minutes, 30 minutes, 4 hours, and 8 hours. At the 8 hours mark, the consistency was still runny, so I added another tablespoon of chia seeds per recommendations. After more than 12 hours in the fridge overnight, the consistency was still runny.

Collage picture of runny chia pudding experiment showing pudding made with various milk sources: soy milk, pea milk, and cow's milk.
Chia pudding experiment: chia seeds mixed with different kinds of milk: soy milk (top left), chocolate-flavored pea milk (top right), and cow’s milk (bottom).

My research into this phenomenon revealed that the runny consistency could be due to the brand of chia seeds or the type of milk I used. Others say it may be due to the freshness of the seeds, but I purchased them just days before the experiment.

I created this blog to help people incorporate easy-to-follow and fool-proof recipes. While chia pudding has worked out for others, it didn’t for me, and I cannot recommend it.

Something so simple should not be this complicated.

This is why I believe that a smoothie is a far better alternative to pudding when it comes to adding chia seeds to your diet. No wondering about the ingredients you’re using. No need to stir periodically and wait hours only to find out you have a runny mess.

INGREDIENTS USED FOR BANANA CHIA SMOOTHIE

Ingredients for chia banana smoothie on a cutting board: banana, a glass of milk, a small bowl of ice, a small container of peanut butter, chia seeds in a small bowl, and cinnamon in a 1/8 teaspoon.
  • Banana – For natural sweetness and lends a smooth, creamy texture to smoothies. Use fresh or frozen bananas.
  • Ice if you’re using fresh bananas. I recommend adding it for the icy cool factor but it’s fine without it, too.
  • Milk – Use any milk you like. I have lactose intolerance and typically consume soy milk or pea milk which have a protein content equal to cow’s milk. I used plain soy milk in this recipe.
  • Chia seeds
  • Natural peanut butter with no added sugar.
  • Optional flavors – I like to add 1/8 teaspoon cinnamon or ginger to a smoothie (cinnamon is used here). A 1/4 teaspoon of vanilla adds a nice flavor, too. These are optional and the recipe is just as delicious without them.

SPECIAL EQUIPMENT USED

Any kind of blender will do for this smoothie recipe.

I use a Magic Bullet which has been working great for the past 10 years. I’ve even blended carrots in it when making a veggie smoothie. It won’t blend like a high-powered and more expensive blender, but it does the job. I drink my smoothies, my family drinks their smoothies, and we get our nutrients.

A blender is a convenient must-have for creating smoothies along with other recipes.

STEPS

Inside of the blender with smoothie ingredients: milk, chia seeds, peanut butter, banana, ice, and cinnamon.

Start with adding milk to the blender followed by the remaining ingredients and blend.

Drink immediately after blending and enjoy!

FAQ

Will chia seed make me poop?

Yes. Chia seeds can help with regularity due to their high fiber content. A 2-tablespoon serving can have 8-10 grams of fiber. Overdoing on fiber is not a good idea as it may cause digestive issues. Experts recommend a moderate intake of no more than 2-3 tablespoons of chia seeds per day.

Can I use other fruit?

Banana is widely available and often used as a smooth creamy base in smoothie recipes. But feel free to reduce or swap out the banana if you don’t like it or want to try it in combination with other fruits. These other fruits, fresh or frozen, work great in smoothies, too:

  • Mangos – The creamy smooth texture is just as good as a banana.
  • Strawberries, blueberries, and other berries.
  • Cantaloupe and melon
  • Pineapple
  • Papaya
  • Peach
  • Kiwi
  • Apricot
  • Avocado is another creamy base for smoothies but since it’s not sweet like other fruits, the taste may be remarkably different.

Can I use another nut butter or nuts?

Yes. Nut butters like plain almond butter are just as healthy with a good source of protein, fiber, and healthy fat. You can also try a seed butter. A high-powered blender can blend nuts, too.

What other flavors can I add to banana chia smoothie?

As mentioned, I added a little cinnamon to this recipe. If you want to experiment with other flavors, give these a try:

  • A little ginger for zing
  • Vanilla
  • Adding coconut flakes or swapping out your milk for coconut milk works well with a tropical fruit blend
  • Chopped pitted dates or a little maple syrup or honey for sweetness

Can I make this smoothie in advance?

If you’re making this banana chia smoothie in advance, note that chia seeds will expand and absorb liquid. The smoothie will be thicker after refrigerating overnight. You might like that consistency. Otherwise, a simple solution is to blend it with a little more milk to thin it out.

Banana Chia Smoothie (with peanut butter + variations)

A nutrient-packed smoothie that's protein and fiber-rich, filling, delicious, and ready in less than 5 minutes. It checks off all the boxes for a healthy and convenient breakfast on the go or snack.
Prep Time 5 mins
Course Breakfast, Snack
Cuisine American
Servings 1 person
Calories 443 kcal

Equipment

  • 1 blender – any blender will do
  • 1 measuring cup to measure out the milk if your blender does not have measurement marks
  • set of measuring spoons

Ingredients
  

  • 1 cup milk of your choice
  • 1 ripe banana (fresh or chopped & frozen)
  • 2 tbsp chia seeds
  • 1 tbsp peanut butter or nut butter
  • 1/2 cup ice if you're using a fresh banana
  • Optional: 1/8 tsp cinnamon or ginger, 1/4 tsp vanilla

Instructions
 

  • Add milk to the blender followed by all the other ingredients.
  • Blend until smooth. About 30-60 seconds depending on your blender.
  • Serve in a cup, glass, or to-go drinkware with a straw. You can also drink the smoothie without a straw if you prefer.
  • See the notes section if you're storing this in the fridge to drink later.

Notes

Chia seeds expand and absorb liquid. If you’re making this smoothie the day before and storing it in the fridge, it will thicken. If you’d like a thinner consistency, blend again with a little more milk when you’re ready to drink it. 
*Nutrition information is an estimate based on ingredients used. 
Keyword chia banana smoothie, chia smoothie, smoothie

Tried this recipe? Share in the comments how it worked out for you and how you made it your own with variations or adaptations you made.

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