A Banana-Free Protein Smoothie!

I know I’m in the minority, but I hate bananas… and they’re everywhere. In cookies! Muffins! Smoothies! After races! I can’t escape them. I know they’re good for me and believe me, I’ve tried to like them. But I just can’t do it. My mom jokes that she must have fed me too many when I was little, and that’s why I don’t like them anymore. I’ll take her word for it and accept the reasoning, since I have no recollection of ever enjoying a banana. Just the thought of them puts a bad taste in my mouth!

I should also note I took to Twitter to ask whether or not you liked bananas and the responses were hilarious. Below are two of my favorites. And yes, the two favorites are proponents of bananas – go figure!


But enough about bananas – this post is about how you can make a delicious protein-rich smoothie without them! When searching for smoothie recipes, I’ve found most of them include a banana – usually frozen – added for texture. I was never really sure what to use to replace the banana, so instead of trying I completely skipped attempting to make smoothies at home. I remember trying to make a “green monster” a few years ago with frozen spinach and a crappy blender, and it was gross. I begrudgingly gulped it down, spinach mush and all, because I thought I was supposed to like it. I’ve since come to my senses and no longer try to like things just because they’re “cool.”

I like to think that I maintain a mostly well balanced diet, but I know there is always room for improvement. And since marathon training is about to start, I know that my diet is even more important; I need to make sure I’m getting enough calories from the right kinds of foods. That isn’t to say I’m going to stop ordering a side of waffle fries with my breakfast egg skillet that includes potatoes at the diner after a long run (yes, I did that on Sunday), but I need to make sure that aside from those moments of pure gluttony, I’m maintaining a well balanced diet. If there’s anything I’m learning as I get more and more into running – which is an entire post for another day – is that that there is more to it than just running.

Since I want to maximize my nutrition, when I realized I had a big bag of spinach in my fridge, I started to think about how I could use it in a smoothie. Like I said, the first (and only) time I made a smoothie using greens resulted in something I could barely drink. After a few minutes of looking through my pantry, I decided I’d throw a few things in the blender and hope for the best. Thankfully, it turned out really well! It’s funny how limited I felt by not liking bananas when it came to smoothies, when the reality is that there are endless possibilities. I’m looking forward to trying different combinations!

Vanilla Peanut Butter Spinach Smoothie | FoodosaurusRex.com


Vanilla Peanut Butter Spinach Smoothie
– makes one smoothie –

12 oz. Vanilla flavored non-dairy milk (I used coconut-almond)
1 scoop vanilla protein powder (I used Plant Fusion vanilla bean)
1 Tbsp Peanut Butter (I used Earth Balance’s coconut peanut butter)
2 handfuls fresh spinach leaves

1. Combine all ingredients in a blender
2. Blend until smooth
*feel free to add some ice cubes to the blender, or just drop them into the smoothie once it’s all blended together

Tell me…
Do you like bananas? 
Have a favorite (banana-free) smoothie recipe you’d like to share?

Mom… the protein!

There was quite a surprise waiting for me when I got home from work on Wednesday evening – protein powder! The awesome folks at GNC sent me a bunch of protein powders to try out, and I couldn’t be more excited. I’m just getting into trying out supplements to aid in my healthy eating and working out, and now that I’m on a mission to get ripped arms, I have just the right tools to do it!

Whey, Casein, Egg, Soy, and Plant protein powders!

As a swimmer I dabbled (I use the term lightly) with protein powders in high school. I remember going to Trader Joe’s with my parents one summer afternoon after long course practice and staring at the options in the supplement asile. After some label analysis we left with vanilla whey, and I drank it here and there, but never really committed to anything. By the time college rolled around I didn’t have the funds to really buy anything, so I only drank the watered down Gatorade supplied by the school at practice. Don’t get me wrong – the Gatorade was great for during the workout, but I wasn’t doing anything to help myself pre or post practice. But, now that I’m determined to have more defined arms, I’ve been on the hunt for new protein powder(s), so this is perfect timing!

I’ve set myself up with a pretty good routine in terms of the different powders, and I’m really loving it so far. Of course, it’s going to take some time to really see any results, so I will absolutely share my progress! I’ll also share my routine of what I drink when, after I perfect it (there’s always room for improvement!). But, here’s what I’m starting with, in terms of my arms goal. These shoulders have seen some serious work over the years (hello, swimming), and I’m looking forward to getting them more toned than ever. I guess you could say it’s my summer goal.

Welcome to the guns show… maybe?

Of course I’m not content just mixing the powder into water or milk, so I decided to get a little creative. Enter the Chocolate Cherry Protein Bites! I’ve had some dates and dried tart cherries hanging around in my pantry, so I knew this would be the perfect opportunity to use them. I decided to use the soy protein as it’s best used twice a day, and I figured this would be an easy way to enjoy a mid-morning and afternoon snack. Of course, you can use any (preferably chocolate) protein powder you see fit.

Here’s a little info about the Pro-Performance Soy Protein 95 powder: soy is the only completely plant-based protein; it contains all of the essential amino acids including BCAA – leucine, isoleucine, and valine. Soy protein 95 is cholesterol-free. Pro Performance Soy Protein 95 features Supro brand soy protein, made from certified non-genetically modified (non-GMO) soybeans that are produced while being tightly monitored and controlled from planting through processing.

So stay tuned for more protein fun! But in the meantime, I want to know: do you guys have any tips or recipes for me to enjoy my protein other ways? AND, what flavor do you prefer – chocolate or vanilla? (I think I like them both equally!)

Cherry Chocolate Protein Bites
– makes 18 teaspoon sized balls –

10 pitted dates, chopped in half
1/4 cup dried cherries
1/4 cup mixed nuts (or your favorite kind)
1 Tbsp dark cocoa powder
1 Tbsp protein powder of choice
1 Tbsp+ chocolate chips (however much you like, really)

1. Place everything into a food processor, and process for about 2-3 minutes. Everything should be combined, without any chunks.
2. Using a tsp, form the balls and place them staggered about a 1/2 inch apart on parchment paper. You can then roll them in the parchment paper, and put them in a container for easy storage in the fridge.
*They are best kept in the fridge so they maintain their form and don’t “sweat”.

DISCLAIMER: These products were sent to me for review purposes, and all opinions are my own.