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Saturday, September 3, 2011

Quick Fruit Shake and Healthy Sugar Free Sweetener

I've always been a fan of shakes for breakfast. Their ease. The fact that they're so filling. That they're nutritious, delicious, and a well rounded meal. That they're quick to prepare and drink on days when you have less energy and time.
And now because they're a good sugar free, gluten free, dairy free recipe that is quite frugal to make.

To sweeten this recipe, I used overripe bananas. Last time I was in the grocery store, bananas weren't that cheap, as they're not really in season yet over here, but there were a bunch of really overripe bananas in the reduced section, being sold for only 18 cents a pound! Needless to say, I bought a good 15 pounds of those yellowish/brown mushy bananas.

Overripe bananas are terrific to use as a healthy sugar replacement in recipes, so long as you don't mind a strong banana flavor, as they are very sweet and delicious! You don't need to buy them fresh and wait for them to get overripe- if you can buy them from the reduced rack, you'll get them the perfect sweetness without needing to pay as much money.


One note- if you're buying overripe bananas, note that they can go from overripe to moldy rather quickly. Buy them, chop them into pieces, and freeze in small portions, taking out as much as you need as necessary at a time.

My favorite way to use these bananas is in "milk" shakes, but they are also great to use as sweeteners in breads, pancakes, cookies, oatmeal, etc...

The way I make my "milk shakes" is by making homemade sesame milk (only without the sugar), and then blending it up with a large quantity of frozen overripe bananas, and whatever fruit are in season. Lately I've been putting in watermelon, but any other non citrus fruit would work.
To make this non dairy free, you can use regular milk in the recipe, or you can use whatever milk substitute you prefer.
I then sometimes add a raw egg or two, and sometimes a few pinches of spirulina powder (a high protein, high nutrient algae powder) to add even more nutrition to the shake.

This shake is so filling, has everything I need to start my day off with a bang, packs a nutritional punch (even without the spirulina and egg), and takes less than 5 minutes to make. My kids love it so much that they each can drink 2 or 3 whole cups of it in one go, so I usually make two pitchers full every morning.
You can also make these as a treat for your kids, it's that yummy; I personally don't save it for special occasions as a) I like my kids to feel like they get delicious treats often and b) this is my lazy breakfast. Why work hard to make a complex breakfast just because something easier is as tasty as a treat?

Are you a fan of shakes or smoothies for breakfast or any other time? What do you put in yours?
Have you ever used overripe bananas as a sweetener in recipes? What types of foods do you make with the overripe bananas?
How much do you pay for for bananas on the reduced rack where you live?

Linking up to Melt in Your Mouth Monday, Make a Foodie Friend Monday, Mangia Monday, Monday Mania , Making You Crave Monday, Traditional Tuesdays, Fat Tuesdays, Real Food Wednesday Pennywise Platter ThursdayFight Back FridayFrugal Friday

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