I've been on a huge smoothie kick lately. Our bills for juice shops and smoothie stops are a bit ridiculous. To feed my addiction, improve our healthy meal options at home, and save some time and money- we jumped on the bandwagon and purchased a good blender. After comparing a handful of different brands and models, we decided on the Nutri Ninja from Target (used their convenient online order and in-store pick-up feature!). It beat the others hands down in terms of the 5 C's:

1. Compact - Small footprint and vessels. We didn't need a party size mixer.
2. Convenient - We love how we can blend and go without having to transfer the smoothie to another container. The travel lids are perfect. There aren't any clunky knobs or fancy settings. 
3. Construction - Blades and motor are top notch. Crushes ice and frozen fruit together like a dream.
4. Cleanability - No big bulky things to wash, minimal parts that can get lost! All dishwasher safe.
5. Cost - At only $89.99, it's a great bargain. We were considering a $600 blender, but after asking lots of friends and reading a million reviews, felt it was unnecessary.

We haven't had the blender that long, but I've already discovered a few family favorites. First up is my own: Chocolate Peanut Butter (vegan and guilt free!). Okay, so this isn't the most nutrient packed. But it is loaded with a chock full of fiber and protein, has very little added sugar and curbs my sweet tooth cravings. It is sooo yummy!

Makes 1 serving

1 banana, sliced and frozen
1/2 C crushed ice
1 TBSP unsweetened cocoa powder
1 TBSP peanut butter
1 TSP chia seeds (optional)
1/2 C vanilla flavored coconut milk
1 TSP organic raw coconut sugar (optional)
A pinch of freshly ground sea salt

Place all the ingredients in the blender and blend till you reach the desired consistency. I prefer thicker smoothies, so I increase the ice and add the coconut milk until it's perfect.

All the ingredients are available at Trader Joe's (our fave!) 

You can experiment and add your own boosts (fiber, protein, maybe even some spinach or kale, etc)

Cut, slice and freeze your bananas when they are ripe. If you're  not a fan of bananas, do not worry - you don't taste them! Its pure chocolate peanut butter goodness.

You can swap out the coconut milk for greek yogurt but I prefer the milk since I'm not a fan of the tart taste the yogurt gives off with the chocolate and peanut butter. Another good alternative is almond milk.

You can eliminate the coco sugar or adjust to your preference. I prefer this over any other sweetener, and it's a healthier alternative to white sugar. I'm not an anti-sugar mom - a little bit here and there is perfectly fine.

I prepare and freeze all the fruit beforehand and store them in individual servings in small ziplock bags.

Do you have any delicious smoothie recipes to share? Thanks so much for dropping by!