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Whip up this chocolate banana smoothie as a great pre workout energy booster. It’s got protein + natural energy to fuel your day to the workout and beyond.

chocolate banana smoothie

I’m always on the lookout for quick + simple snacks before and after a workout. I don’t have time to spend hours in the kitchen prepping complex meals after a long run! That’s where this chocolate banana smoothie recipe comes in.

It’s super simple, as well as quick to make. It is 100% plant based, and will fuel me with the protein boost I need for a great run or gym session. A chocolate banana protein shake is going to empower your body with the right ingredients to maximize your activity–whether that’s a gym, a mountain hike, or swim.

Table of Contents
  1. Almond Butter in Smoothies
  2. Can a Smoothie be Dessert?!
  3. How to make a Chocolate Banana Smoothie
  4. Chocolate Banana Smoothie Recipe

Almond Butter in Smoothies

Almond butter is quite possibly my favorite nut butter. I use it all the time, from strawberry vegan muffins for breakfast to sweet potato noodles for dinner, and everything in between.

I use both roasted and raw almond butter. The roasted version has a stronger almond flavor. Raw has a milder flavor. Either work in this chocolate banana smoothie recipe. My favorite brand is Barney Butter which uses almonds from my home state of California, or I also make homemade nut butter when I have the time.

Nuts in general are loaded with healthy fats, protein, vitamins, and minerals. Adding some almond butter to my smoothie gives me all of those plus it’s extra satisfying, and can even be used as a meal replacement. Don’t be afraid to add in an extra scoop or two if you’re really hungry!

Another plant protein option

You can also boost the protein in your smoothie by using homemade protein powder. One serving adds 10 grams of protein! I created this protein powder because I wasn’t happy with the ‘clean’ options on the market.

chocolate banana protein shake

Can a Smoothie be Dessert?!

1000% yes! On my site and in my books + ebooks, I have a bunch of dessert smoothies.

While I am not against having dessert-dessert, I sure love blending up a smoothie that tastes like a milkshake. Spinach in a dessert??? Yup. And I happily sip away knowing I’m ticking off all the boxes when it comes to a healthy, wholesome, satisfying dessert. This chocolate banana smoothie really does taste like a milkshake! Here are some more of my fave dessert-like smoothies:

While smoothies can totally taste fresh + healthy, they can also be perfectly satisfying for that sweet tooth. Yum!

delicious dessert smoothie

How to make a Chocolate Banana Smoothie

There’s so many ways to do a chocolate shake like this, but I’m gonna show you the healthiest and tastiest. It’s been my fave for awhile now, so I have a feeling I’m gonna get you hooked on it too.

Pro tips: use frozen bananas to up the creaminess + chill in this drink. If you want to keep the sugar down, then only use half the bananas. If you don’t have a high powered blender, then no worries! Just be sure to blend the spinach + liquid first. Once there are no leafy chunks, then add the remaining ingredients. That ensures the smoothest smoothie possible.

Smoothie ingredient swaps

Smoothies are perfect ingredient swap recipes. If you’re out of almond milk, then swap with oat or cashew milk. Any nut butter can be used in place of almond butter; just pick one with a simple ingredient list (nut butters don’t need extra oil + preservatives, just the nuts and maybe some salt!). If cacao powder is hard to find, then swap out for 100% cocoa powder. Need a little extra sweetness? A bit of maple syrup turns this into an incredible dessert.

Now ready, set, blend! Then leave a rating + comment with how your chocolate banana smoothie turned out.

4.86 from 47 votes

Chocolate Banana Smoothie

This chocolate banana smoothie is based on a classic ice cream flavor. Yet I’ve upgraded this smoothie for maximum flavor and nutrients. It’s like drinking a dessert! Almond butter adds a boost of protein while cacao powder adds in powerful antioxidants. 
Prep: 5 minutes
Total: 5 minutes
Author: Jen Hansard
Course: Breakfast, Smoothie
Cuisine: Plant-Based, Vegan
Serves: 1 smoothie


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  • Blend spinach and almond milk in blender until smooth.
  • Add bananas, homemade protein powder, and cacao, and blend again.
  • Pour into a cup and enjoy.



  • Use frozen bananas to make smoothie cold.
  • You can swap homemade protein powder for 2 tbs almond butter or protein powder of your choice.
  • Swap the almond milk with the dairy-free milk of your choice.
  • Swap the spinach with any leafy greens.


Calories: 381kcal, Carbohydrates: 70g, Protein: 17g, Fat: 9g, Saturated Fat: 1g, Polyunsaturated Fat: 2g, Monounsaturated Fat: 2g, Sodium: 353mg, Potassium: 1407mg, Fiber: 18g, Sugar: 30g, Vitamin A: 2964IU, Vitamin C: 29mg, Calcium: 415mg, Iron: 8mg
Tried this recipe? Show me!Mention @SimpleGreenSmoothies or tag #SimpleGreenSmoothies!

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  1. With all that is happening all you can do is talk about a chocolate smoothie? Very disappointing.

    1. Shame on you for putting others down for trying to stay positive during trying times! I personally think it’s important to focus on these positives!

      1. Hi Thia, we do try to focus on the positives out there. That said, I think we are all hurting right now and processing our pain in different ways. We could all use a little more empathy and understanding.

    2. Hi Nunya, I’m sorry you feel disappointed. This is a green smoothie + plant-based diet website and those are the things we will continue to write about. Just because we do not discuss current events or news of the day here does not mean we aren’t aware of what is going on in our world and it certainly doesn’t mean our hearts don’t hurt over it. Please continue to come here for delicious green smoothie recipes and other rawesome plant-based meal + snack recipes.

  2. 5 stars
    I just got my first order of homemade protein powder and just made this recipe with it! I did it with half the bananas and adding in some avocado to keep the sugars down, but the cream factor high. It was amazing!

  3. 5 stars
    My favorite!!! Classic flavors of chocolate & nut butter, combined with creamy banana – yum!!!

  4. 5 stars
    So delicious! This was my first time using a nut butter in a smoothie, and it gave it a great flavor and texture! I will definitely make this again, but maybe with a little less banana or less cacao if I drink it for breakfast – it was a bit on the sweet side!

  5. 5 stars
    Absolutely, deliciously decedent!! Looked like a smoothie, but tasted like a shake and very healthy shake! Yum!!!

  6. 4 stars
    The Simple Monkey was good for a dessert but not a smoothie I want in the morning. I prefer tropical smoothies. This is surprising since I love chocolate!

  7. 5 stars
    Love this one. Simple Monkey is creamy and rich. Who knew good for you could taste so good!