Rules for banana milkshakes

banana milkshake

Blueberry and banana milkshake

This isn’t really a recipe, but I wanted to share a few ideas for the breakfast milkshakes I have most weekends.

I’m not brave enough to go down the ‘green smoothies’ route, but I do like fruit smoothies and milkshakes.  My love of milkshakes stems from childhood – my mum used to make banana milkshakes for my sister and I as a way to get more milk into us.  She only put bananas and whole milk in them, so they were a healthy source of fruit, protein and calcium.

When we were young, my mum occasionally made strawberry milkshakes but we weren’t that keen, and since strawberries are more acidic, we added sugar to them.  I’ve experimented with different fruit combinations since then and have learned a few basic rules:

  • To make a large basic banana milkshake for one (makes 1 pint), you need two bananas and 1/2 pint milk.  Stick in a blender and blitz until smooth (a stick blender doesn’t work that well for this in my experience).
  • It works best if one or both bananas is frozen as it chills and thickens it, like icecream has been added.  I freeze them whole in their skins, then just cut the skiins off when I’m cutting into chunks as I make the milkshake – but you can peel and cut up first if you prefer.
  • You can substitute 80g of pretty much any berry for one of the bananas, but not both – you need the banana to make it sweet enough without adding sugar.  My favourite is blueberry, but raspberry and strawberry both work well.  Or you could use a mix of two or more berries.
  • Even better, use frozen berries – either freeze your own (works well if you can get them reduced) or buy the ready frpozen ones, that cost up to half the amount of fresh.
  • You can swap the milk for water or apple juice (or other fruit juice) with a a couple of spoonfuls of natural yoghurt added in, to make a yoghurt smoothie instead.   Or skip the yoghurt to make a plain smoothie.
  • You can also experiment with different fruits in place of the berries and/or banana but keep it simple and use fruits that work well together.  The worst thing I made was a melon, pear and apple juice smoothie (just because my melon and pears needed used up) – it just tasted terrible for some reason!  A good combo could be mango, banana and orange juice with honey, for example.
  • Optional – in either case, you can add a spoonful of honey.
  • Even more optional and considerably less healthy – you can use one less banana and some vanilla or other icecream instead – maybe not for breakfast though!

So do you make milkshakes or smoothies?  My favourite combo is banana, blueberry and milk, but I’m also a sucker for the plain banana milkshake.  Are you brave enough to try green or vegetable based smoothies?


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