This make-at-home rendition of a local cafe’s customer-favorite smoothie offers natural sweetness, filling fiber, and plant-based protein with just five simple ingredients!
This is my at-home rendition of a smoothie my husband and I have ordered many a Saturday morning from the café at a wonderful local market called Lemon Street.
The names of Lemon Street’s smoothies are as enticing as the ingredients within–Rise Up, Invigorate, Revive…and in this case, Replenish. (Special thanks to Trish, the owner, who created the original and graciously allowed me to use the name.)
In addition to the hearty serving of berries and (undetectable) greens, I love that the Replenish contains peanut butter powder. If you’ve never tried it, this ingredient is essentially a nutty-tasting alternative to the usual vanilla or chocolate protein powder.
What exactly is peanut butter powder?
Peanut butter powder is made by pressing out most of the natural oils from roasted peanuts, which are then ground into a fine powder. The resulting powder is loaded with peanutty flavor and contains 85% fewer fat calories than traditional peanut butter.
The powder can be used just like a traditional protein powder, and it can also be rehydrated with water to form a paste—basically peanut butter minus the oils.
Widely available at most grocery stores (and more economical than many of the traditional protein powders), I always keep a small jar on hand for use in smoothies and the occasional snack or baked good.
Just four more ingredients…
Why use coconut water? Is there a substitute?
The use of coconut water as the smoothie liquid is unique, and I should note that I don’t particularly enjoy drinking coconut water on its own. However, the mild nuttiness and tropical undertones enhance the flavor of the berries while providing hydrating electrolytes and minimal calories and sugar.
You can purchase single-serve bottles of coconut water, which conveniently avoids a large, opened container in your fridge. Just remember to pass over any flavored varieties. If you’d like to experiment, opt for a berry flavor and know that the flavor strength varies greatly from brand to brand.
Conveniently, coconut water is also pantry stable. I often keep a 4-pack of 9.5-ounce bottles on hand (Taste Nirvana is one brand), although single serve bottles (I also like a brand called C2O) are widely available, usually in the grocery aisle where other bottled and flavored waters are found.
Alternatively, you may substitute a milk of choice. I’ve used almond and oat milk, which both produce an equally delicious smoothie.
Spinach in a smoothie?
You could skip the greens, and the resulting four-ingredient smoothie would be a more vibrant shade of purple than seen in these photos. (When blended, green causes purple to take on brown undertones.) The taste, however, would remain nearly the same.
That’s because, as greens go, spinach is both mild flavored and somewhat sweet. My young nieces love this smoothie, can’t detect the nutrient-dense greens, and recently laughed when I told them they were drinking spinach!
Frozen bananas…and what if I don’t like bananas?
Frozen bananas supply creamy texture, natural sweetness, and a wholesome dose of potassium, among other nutrients. Whenever bananas become too ripe to enjoy, I let them get riper yet (think somewhat soft with lots of brown spots).
Then I peel the bananas and freeze them in a food storage bag. You could slice them before freezing, although I tend to freeze them whole and then slice the individual bananas into chunks before adding to the blender. Even when frozen, they are easy to cut with a sharp knife.
The flavor of the banana is not highly noticeable in this smoothie, but if you simply aren’t a fan or have an allergy, the best substitute I have found in similar smoothies is half a large avocado plus some form of sweetener.
The avocado is great for creaminess but lacks the natural sweetness of the overripe banana. A squeeze or two of honey offers a fairly neutral flavor profile and will compensate for the lost sweetness. Alternatively, one or two pitted Medjool dates provide sweetness with a hint of molasses flavor.
Occasionally, I add ¼ teaspoon of vanilla extract and a pinch of sea salt. Perhaps counterintuitively, the latter enhances the natural sweetness of the fruit ever so slightly. More often than not, however, I stick with the basic five ingredients.
Blueberries round out the list.
Frozen blueberries offer convenience and lend additional thickness to this refreshing smoothie. You could substitute mixed berries. Either way, the flash-frozen fruit offers a wealth of nutrients, antioxidants, and vibrant color.
And you can make smoothie packs!
If you like the dump-and-go concept, smoothie packs are helpful. Simply add all of the ingredients–except the coconut water or milk of choice–to a quart-size zip-top bag and store in the freezer for up to three months.
Some of the powder will stick to the bag, but if you aim in between the other ingredients, the this will be minimal. You can wash out the bags and reuse, but I often place the empty bags back in the freezer until ready to refill.
This concept is ideal for those who like to meal prep or play short order cook for family members who are running off to sports practices, meetings, and so on.