peanut butter chocolate milk

I told Tim the other day,

you know,

the best things in life

really are free.


Like sunlight in the morning:

morning sunlight

And sunsets at night:


Parks filled with trees:

parks filled with trees

Views like these:

windows in my kitchen

views like this

A day at the lake:

a day at the lake

And the man that I love:


I mean, I don’t know about you, but I need to be reminded of this. Because, as much as I talk about simplicity here, the truth is: I am easily swept away into opinions and concerns that are anything but.

That’s why I’m starting a new series here at the blog (in life?) focused on simplicity—starting with a recipe that’s so easy, it’s honestly ridiculous. Those of you who wanted more Vitamix recipes, here you go! Those of you who don’t have a Vitamix, a regular blender still works.

Behold: time-tested, always delicious, peanut butter chocolate milk.

making peanut butter chocolate milk

peanut butter chocolate milk

Peanut Butter Chocolate Milk
Serves one.

1 cup whole milk (raw is best, organic is good; other options would be diluted kefir or yogurt)
1/2 a frozen banana
1 Tablespoon natural peanut butter
Cocoa powder, to your liking (optional if you prefer PB milk)

Combine milk, banana and peanut butter in Vitamix or blender. Add cocoa until the taste and color are to your liking. Enjoy!

Shanna Mallon

Shanna Mallon started Food Loves Writing back in 2008, as a way to remember her grandma and write about her life through food. Since then it's become a place leading her to a lifestyle of eating whole foods, a new home in Nashville and the love of her life, Tim. Follow Shanna on Twitter @foodloves, keep up with Food Loves Writing on Facebook and stay inspired with the monthly newsletter.

This Post Has 22 Comments

  1. Maddie

    If this is what simplicity tastes like, then I’m on board! Your original Vitamix post got me making smoothies every morning, and this sounds like another great way to use my blender.

    But really, I’m so glad you’re going to start riffing on the subject of simplicity here. As a writer, you’re really great at identifying what’s important without getting caught up in the distracting, extraneous stuff — and isn’t that just what simplicity is about in real life, too?

  2. Lan

    milk shakes are not on my radar but using the vitamix is. i am fan of this contraption.

    it’s always nice to be reminded of the best things in life but to live it? that is the best of all.

  3. Jacqui

    I love starting my day with an email and a blog post from you! Thanks for your encouraging words, and for these simple, beautiful images.

  4. Cookie and Kate

    Funny, that’s a lot like the smoothie I made for breakfast this morning: frozen banana, milk, peanut butter, a little bit of honey, cinnamon, flax seeds. Yum.

  5. viktoria

    I would love to know what you’re using to achieve the vintage-y look to your photographs. Thanks for the awesome recipe. I’m having it for breakfast!

  6. Amanda

    i made something very similar to this almost every night when i was pregnant! … mMM MMM!!!! ps. simple = great

  7. Mandy@Withmilkandflour

    Really lovely post. Whilst enjoying a day out in the park with some friends over the weekend, i too was thinking that the best things in life really are free. Great photos.

  8. Kim

    Banana freezing question: I usually freeze bananas whole, in their peels, and then put them (peels and all) in a bowl in the fridge when I want to thaw (since I usually thaw to make banana bread and it’s ok if they get all mushy). What is your method for freezing, sans-peel? Do you peel and freeze in a single layer (like on a cookie sheet) and then pile them all into a bag when they’re hard? Is that flash-freezing? I do that with cookie dough sometimes, so I assume that’s what you’d do? I’ll have to try this…

  9. Shannalee

    Maddie, Are you really doing regular morning smoothies now? That makes me happy. Welcome to the club! And thanks for the kind words about my simplicity focus–you are right: that is important in life.

    Lan, Me too. I love my Vitamix to pieces, I really do.

    Jacqui, You always leave the nicest comments.

    Cookie and Kate, YUM!

    Viktoria, It’s an iPhone app called Instagram–kind of social media meets photo editor meets camera–and I’m addicted. If you have an iPhone and want to try it, find me! I’m @foodloves.

    Amanda, HA! That’s awesome. That also doesn’t surprise me at all… given that I am prone to enjoying things pregnant women do. I swear, the day I really am sometime, it will seem like business as usual in the kitchen.

    Mandy, Love that.

    Kim, Good question! Here is what I do: peel the bananas, break them in half, put them in ziplock bags, throw them in the freezer. I break them in half because I generally only use half when I’m making a smoothie for just me. I put them in ziplock baggies because it’s super easy. Hope that helps!

  10. Kim

    So the bananas don’t stick together in the freezer? I’d be worried that they’d get all stuck together when they freeze.

  11. wandering educators

    yum, yum, yum! we add trader joe’s protein powder to ours (the chocolate kind). delish!

  12. Hayley Daen

    this makes me wish I had a vitamix or blender! looks and sounds incredible

  13. Jolynn

    Love this! On a somewhat related note, I’ve used a similar recipe with chocolate almond milk (+peanuts, +frozen banana). What’s your take on almond milk? Is it a real food? I go back and forth on that one, but I’ve continued to use it b/c the recipe is so good. Appreciate your thoughts!

  14. Kazia Jankowski

    Your pictures are beautiful and your words are inspirational! Great recipe as well :)

  15. nealy

    I want to be like you when I grow up. :)

    I think we all need simplicity in this complex world.

  16. Shannalee

    Kim, Blueberries definitely do—I learned that from experience. But bananas have been fine. If they do stick a little, they’re super easy to separate. Again, not blueberries.

    Wandering Educators, Never tried that, but I love TJ’s.

    Hayley, So worth it!

    Jolynn, The key is to look at the way the product is made. With almond milk, there is usually a lot of processing going on, and, at least with the ones I’ve looked at, weird ingredients added. For that reason, I stay away from it. If you want a non-dairy alternative, I’d go with coconut milk—just look for one with very pure ingredients. Great question!

    Kazia, Thank you!

    Nealy, HA! We really do. Thanks, friend.

  17. Deliciously Organic

    I haven’t made a simple shake like this in years. I think I might make it for breakfast this morning for the kids (they were requesting a smoothie, but this would be a fun suprise!). Love the photos. :)

  18. Shannalee

    That sounds so great, Carrie. What a good mom you are! : )

  19. Erin @ The Speckled Palate

    Oh, yum! This sounds delightful… and like a perfect afternoon snack. Is there any substitute for the banana? I’m allergic and always seem to be having a hard time with smoothies because of this…

    Thanks, girl! So glad that things are positive and wonderful in your life!

  20. molly

    oh GOSH, that sounds good!

  21. Shannalee

    Erin – Really, we use bananas because they’re creamy and sweet, but you could experiment with other combos. For sweetness – pineapple, apple, other fruits. For creaminess – try avocado.

    Molly, Enjoy!

  22. katie @KatieDid

    Mmmmm, I bet a touch of full fat coconut milk in there would be heavenly as well. I strive to live a simple life everyday. I’ve really found such a balance throughout the summer and have been able to slow.down. I know when school begins it’s going to be tough but hopefully I’ll be able to take what I’ve learned these past few months into the school year.

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