The Texan PB&J Smoothie
Spring is here! The days are getting longer and warmer, the fruits trees are blooming, the veggies are sprouting, and the farmer’s markets are opening.
What does it all mean, you say?
It’s time to start making smoothies again!
So I thought I’d begin this spring with one of my all-time favorite smoothies: the Texan Peanut Butter and Jelly Smoothie (peanut butter and jalapeno jelly). It’s a spicy twist on an all-time classic American sandwich! And it tastes exactly like it minus the bread.
This smoothie is made using frozen fruits, peanut butter, fresh jalapeno, and a few other items for some extra nutritional benefits. It comes out silky smooth much like a milkshake (but much healthier)! It’s completely vegan and gluten-free with no added sugar. Use it as a midday snack or even a meal replacement (it’s good with protein powder) and it’s perfect for kids (you can omit the pepper if they don’t like spice)!
I haven’t made a smoothie since last November when pumpkins were in season. And to be honest, besides the fact that almost everything is out of season during that time, I just don’t crave smoothies in the winter. Not that I’d turn my nose up to one if offered but they just aren’t as good.
Even frozen there is a HUGE difference between the flavors of fresh fruits picked at peak season and ones that have been sitting in a freezer for 6 months. And of course, either of those options are better than trying to find fresh produce that has been shipped thousands of miles from some other part of the world, not to mention safer too.
The History Behind My PB&J Smoothie
Did you know that the peanut butter and jelly sandwich first appeared in the Boston Cooking School Magazine of Culinary Science and Domestic Economics by Julia Chandler in 1901? There’s one for the next round of Trivial Pursuit.
That may have been the first publication of the recipe but it wasn’t until WWII that it gained its popularity. This classic was on the US Military ration menu during the war. Which makes sense when you think about it. Peanut butter is shelf-stable and as a sandwich it is portable for long marches. When the soldiers got back from the war, peanut butter and jelly sales soared. From there it became a staple in the lunchboxes of children across America.
Seriously, what American child has not eaten their fair share of PB&J sandwiches in school?
But enough about the history of the sandwich…
I cannot entirely claim the credit of making this smoothie. It was inspired by a smoothie recipe I learned from a local shop in Austin with a few tweaks by yours truly. And like the sandwich, their smoothie was one of the most popular drinks on the menu. But I always thought it could be so much better. And not that I don’t like their version of the PB&J, but I think this one is so much tastier.
For one thing, a basic jelly is good…but have you ever had jalapeno jelly?
If you haven’t, you are missing out on life at a fundamental level! This stuff is everywhere in Texas (it was created by a chef in the Lake Jackson area right outside of Houston after all). It takes the sweet/spicy flavor combination and runs with it.
So I thought to myself, “Self, how about PB&JJ sandwich? It gives just a little extra complexity to the classic. And here I have this smoothie. Why not drop a jalapeno in there and see what happens?”
One taste of that and I could never go back to the old version again. But I didn’t want to stop there so I took out some things, changed the ratios of others, made a substitution or two, and added a few other things that I always thought their smoothie was lacking. And the end result is what you see now. Ta-da! Perfection!
Tips to Make a Texan PB&J Smoothie
As always, I’ve got some suggestions on how to make this the best tasting smoothie for you. So here are some important things to keep in mind when making this recipe.
- Like all my smoothie recipes, this one calls for using frozen fruits. As it is better for the environment and minimizes packaging waste, I’d highly recommend freezing your own fruits. It’s really easy to do and takes very little time. Just wash, de-seed (if needed), cut off any stems, and store in the freezer a day or two before you need them.
- Overripe bananas are the best for smoothies. To freeze bananas, peel and break the banana into thirds. Store them loosely in the freezer (trust me, you do not want to try to break apart a frozen banana block). They will be ready to use within a day or two.
- In my humble opinion, frozen fruit smoothies are much better than fresh fruit. However, they do require a high-performance blender to make. These appliances are more expensive than conventional machines but completely worth it. I have a Vitamix 5200 blender and I use it for all my recipes. I have been hearing really good things about the Blendtec Total Classic blender as well and the price is comparable to the Vitamix. However, there are many good choices on the market right now so I suggest you do your research first before buying.
- I do not de-seed my jalapeno. If you have a really good blender, it isn’t necessary. However, you can de-seed it if you want to. In fact, I would suggest doing this if you don’t want it too spicy.
- And like all my smoothies, this one is easily customizable. Don’t like strawberries? Blueberries also work very well (see photo below).
Youwant something hotter than a jalapeno? Substitute it for a habanero or you could try another pepper that strikes your fancy. Or if you don’t like spice, omit the pepper entirely. Allergic to peanuts? Substitute almond or another butter instead. Want more protein? Add more peanut butter or 1-2 tablespoons of protein powder. Either vanilla or neutralflavored powders work really well in this recipe.
- I like to make my smoothies very thick. To do this you need to pour in just enough juice that it sits about 1-inch to 1 1/2 inches below the very top of the fruit. Be conservative about this. You can always add more. Start the blender up on a very low setting and see how it does. If your blender is laboring to turn, just add more juice slowly until the blades turn. Be careful that you don’t crank the setting up too high before doing this or you’ll likely burn out your engine.
- Lastly, if you are unfamiliar with how to make smoothies using frozen fruit, I’ve got a very in-depth post that might help.
Here’s the recipe!
It’s a spicy twist on an all-time classic American sandwich! And it tastes exactly like it minus the bread. It’s vegan and gluten-free with no added sugar.
- 1 cup banana frozen approx. 1 med.
- 1/4 cup strawberries frozen approx. 4 small
- 1/4 cup cherries frozen and pitted approx. 4-5
- 1 tbsp. peanut butter
- 1/2 – 1 small jalapeno
- 1 tsp. hemp oil (optional)
- 1 tsp. chia seeds (optional)
- 1/2 tsp. spirulina (optional)
- 3/4 cup apple juice enough to sit 1” below top of fruit
Place peanut butter, spirulina, hemp oil, jalapeno, and chia seeds in the blender first.
Then add the banana, cherries, and blueberries.
Add the liquid until it sits about 1-inch under the very top of the fruit.
Turn on blender at the lowest setting and let it run for about a minute. Add more liquid if needed to reach desired thickness. Use tamper if needed.
Slowly turn the setting to high.
Blend just until smooth. Immediately serve.
You can substitute blueberries for the strawberries at the same ratio.
If allergic to peanuts, use almond or another butter instead at the same amount.
Avoid blending any longer than what is needed. The blades will heat up the drink and make it runny.
If sensitive to spice, either use less, de-seed the jalapeno, substitute with ancho powder (1/2 tsp.), or omit entirely.
1 serving = 12 oz.
Looking for other smoothie or milkshake recipes? Why not try:
- Strawberry and Goat Cheese Smoothie
- Matcha Green Tea and Pistachio Smoothies
- Pumpkin Spice Smoothie(Without Pumpkin)
- Spiced Pumpkin Smoothie
- Carrot-fully Spinach Up This Mango-nificent Beet
Did you give this recipe a try?
If you give this recipe a try, I’d love to see your awesome creation! Leave a comment, rate it, and don’t forget to hashtag a photo on Instagram #latesummermama!
Or if you have any questions or feedback, you are always welcome to leave me a comment below. I’d really love to hear from you!