Friday: Milk, Banana, Peanut Butter Smoothie (The “Make This at Home!” Post)

What do I remember about my first peanut butter in a smoothie?

Scene: UCLA food court, Arthur Ashe building, central campus. Small, non-Jamba Juice smoothie franchise. Have no idea what it was called, but “rise and shine” or “breakfast boost” (or something like that) was in there somewhere. As was frozen yogurt, fruit, granola, honey and peanut butter, and who knows what else.

All I know is sucking that thing down, from its giant, styrofoam cup with with dancing fruit pieces on it, on my way to my Friday morning class … it was bliss.

photo-1photo-2…Fast-forward to where I rediscover my love of peanut butter in smoothies, while standing in my tiny kitchen in the Upper East Side and trying to make the most of a ripe banana. Staring into my tiny fridge for inspiration, I remembered the peanut butter-enhanced smoothie of college years.

Here’s my go at my own, simpler version:

photo-36-10 ice cubes (depending on size and desired iciness)
1 banana, broken into chunks
2 Tlbs. (hearty scoop) of crunchy peanut butter, Whole Foods’ 365 brand
3/4 c. (just more than a hearty splash) of milk (I found this organic, grass-fed, nonfat milk at a nearby natural foods store for just $3.99 / half-gallon!)

Into blender … and blend. So icy-cool, so frothy, so sweetly banana-y, with that underlying peanut butter reassurance that this smoothie also packs some serious sustenance.

TIP: Jamba Juice’s Peanut Butter Moo’d smoothie, which is more milkshake than smoothie, in both ingredients and calories, is a poser. If you go for it, go in eyes wide open.


Lunch: $2 PBJ. Really.

photo$2 PBJ. It might not be so miraculous except that I just don’t/can’t make sandwiches like that anymore.

For one thing, pre-made PBJs sort of suck. Some part always starts prematurely oozing and gets some part of the bread soggy. And let’s face it, I’m a working professional: There’s no way I’m going to buy a jar of peanut butter and keep it at my desk just because I like sandwiches and toast (ahem, tried, didn’t work); and there’s no way I’m going to keep a jar of jelly at my desk (gross! fear of bugs); and bread? Well, bread goes stale in the time it takes me to stop talking.

photo-1So what a delight to discover that my $2 breakfast sandwich place also does $2 peanut butter and jelly sandwiches, in all seriousness! The sandwich comes with your choice of bread — wheat, multigrain, white, rye, toasted or not — and whatever you choose is slathered with both peanut butter and jelly. It’s a good thing. Because really, all you want sometimes is some peanut butter smeared and melty on some bread. And maybe a little jelly.

J.L.H. Deli, 307 W. 38th St. between 8th and 9th avenues.

Breakfast: Tuesday, May 5, 2009

Banana dressed up with peanut butter — Whole Foods’ crunchy “all natural,” to be precise.

I can’t even be clever and call it the “low carb” PB and banana sandwich because fruit has plenty of carbs, which are something I don’t count anyway.

Let’s consider it breakfast in a pinch and get on with it…

Breakfast: Wendesday, April 15, 2009

Best use of office jar of peanut butter yet: Open-faced PB, banana and honey sandwich.

Sort of feel like I’m five, in the good way, the happy way. Have a sudden urge to find a playground …

COST: minimal
PREP TIME: 2 min.

Breakfast: Tuesday, March 24, 2009

b032409I miss toast.

You know, bread’s warmed, browned, slightly-crispy alter ego that emerges from a session in a toaster hot enough to liquefy peanut butter and reduce fridge-cold butter into a molten spread? That so sturdily cradles fresh avocado dusted with cracked pepper and sea salt, or a smashed, crumbled smear of blue cheese?

I can’t make toast at the office, so I’m trying out creative alternatives. Unfortunately, this morning’s “toast” experiment of crunchy peanut butter (Whole Foods 365 brand) on a brown rice cake (Lundberg) was uninspiring. Sigh …

COST: minimal
PREP TIME: 30 seconds