This combination is so simple, I hardly consider it a recipe, but I’ve been enjoying it far too often to keep it all to myself.
What I love most about this frosty chocolate shake is that it’s exclusively sweetened with fruit, and has a slushy texture reminiscent of an authentic milkshake. The key to this texture is using frozen banana, which is notorious for its ice-cream like qualities, and adding very little liquid, to keep the mixture nice and thick. Paired with cinnamon, which is thought to help balance blood sugar, and nutrient-rich hemp hearts, this shake packs over 10 grams of protein per serving, and will keep you satisfied far longer than a traditional milkshake!
For an even healthier spin, try adding a handful or two of fresh spinach to the mix. It adds a slightly green tint to this shake, but doesn’t affect its rich chocolate flavor.
The next time you need a post-workout snack, or just a tasty chocolate treat, I hope you give this shake a shot!
Chocolate Banana Protein Shake (Vegan, Nut-free)
1 frozen banana*
3 tablespoons hemp hearts
1/2 cup water
1 1/2 tablespoons raw cacao powder (or cocoa powder)
1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract (alcohol-free, if desired)
1/4 teaspoon ground cinnamon
3-4 ice cubes (optional)
2 handfuls fresh spinach (optional)
*Tip: Be sure to peel your bananas before freezing! If you have a high-speed blender, like the Vitamix, you can leave the banana whole, but otherwise, I recommend slicing the banana into small coins before freezing, for easier and more uniform blending.
Combine all of the ingredients in a high-speed blender, and blend until thick and smooth. Adjust any flavors to taste, as desired, and serve immediately!
Chocolate Banana Protein Shake (Vegan, Nut-free)
- 1 frozen banana*
- 3 tablespoons hemp hearts
- 1/2 cup water
- 1 1/2 tablespoons raw cacao powder (or cocoa powder)
- 1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract (alcohol-free, if desired)
- 1/4 teaspoon ground cinnamon
- 3-4 ice cubes (optional)
- 2 handfuls fresh spinach (optional)
- Combine all of the ingredients in a high-speed blender, and blend until thick and smooth. Adjust any flavors to taste, as desired, and serve immediately!
Reader Feedback: What’s your favorite shake combination?
Questions and Reviews
I’m hyperglycemic and need a post workout snack or I’ll pass out on the floor!
Have been using cinnamon for a while to help control my shakiness and low blood sugar but did not know to pair with a frozen banana to increase this effect.
Agreed on peeling bananas and cutting them up before you freeze! Or they jam in my Ninja, which overall, I love, it gives the ice a nice texture, but you’re right bananas add the perfect smoothie texture. (And I’ll feel better drinking this instead of a Wendy’s Frosty, although there’s a time and place for those too! hehe).
I think I will add the spinach like you suggest. Love spinach in smoothies.
Will try this! Simple yet profound. Thanks for sharing.
Great minds ! I have just started using hemp hearts for making amazingly quick milk and making chocolate smoothies. Love that chocolate can be super healthy!
Love your recipes!
Just wondering what the protein is in this shake….hemp?
Also wondering if you recommend any protein powders….I use Garden of Life….
Thank you 🙂
The protein is from the hemp.
Well hemp seeds are full of protein so that’s why she doesn’t use protein powder
Do you know how many calories the shake is?
I put it into the recipe builder on My Fitness Pal and it came up 301 calories.
This looks great! Spinach is almost always the main ingredient of my smoothies, & I love how the other ingredients suit it so well & yet are appealingly different than what I’d usually go for! I must get hemp hearts, as I’ve seen them in so many delicious recipes, lately! My favorite smoothie has spinach, kale, lemon, apple, cilantro & a few dates in it :0). It’s crazy how I’m a chocolate addict but never put it in my smoothies, but that will finally change!
Hmmm this looks as nice as your chocolate peanut butter milkshake.
I make a very similar shake but have never added spinach, I am excited to add some in next time!
Thus looks yummy, the only thing is hemp food products aren’t available in Australia, would you suggest something else to substitute this?
Perhaps you could try chia seeds? I’d probably use just 1 to 2 tablespoons of those, since they will thicken the shake more.
Thanks Megan. I had the same question as Esther 🙂 I’ll try chia seeds 🙂
I also get mine from hempfoods.com.au – they have a great starter pack. I too only learned about hemp hearts when I saw this delicious recipe from Megan, which is sublime!
Big thumbs up for this recipe. When my husband asks for more of the same I know I’m onto a winner!
Hi Esther. I am in Oz (Victoria) & my trainer at Results Fitness Evolution in Mt Martha sells the hemp products- legally. Google & check the web site for details & brands available
Esther Hemp Seeds are available online in Australia. Google Hemp Foods Australia.
You can get hemp hearts in Australia now, called hemp seeds. Most health stores should have them. Sold as a non food product..
Great recipe again, thanks Megan! I made a v similar shake at the weekend using 1/2 avocado, 1 frozen banana, 1 tbsp cacao powder, 1 tbsp greek yoghurt (but on reflection, it didn’t really need this as would have been creamy enough), a splash of maple syrup and some almond milk to loosen it all…..major YUM!!! 🙂 But next time, I’ll try adding some cinnamon for sure!
Where do u get hemp hearts?
I order mine on Amazon: http://amzn.to/1kizUo8 (Some natural grocers carry it, too!)
Stop and Shop and other grocery stores that sell that type of stuff
Just made this for breakfast (including the spinach) and it’s amazing! Thanks 😀
Can you make this without the banana? I’m not a very big fan of them and I’d like to know if you can substitute it for something.
It wouldn’t be as sweet, but perhaps avocado would work instead of banana.
I have had some hemp seeds around that I have been meaning to use in a smoothly. I hate wasting ingredients and choking things down when experiments don’t come out perfectly, so I was procrastinating about making up a recipe and using them. . Thanks for doing the experimenting for me! I used frozen spinach (it keeps for me, raw spinach spoils so quickly!) in it this morning and shared it with my daughter before school. Very tasty, very good way to start my day. 🙂
I made this yesterday and it turned out greener than your picture. I was worried that I was a little too generous with the spinach but the flavour was amazing! It tasted like a treat! This will be on my regular list for sure. I really like that the protein comes from a natural source and not processed powder. Thanks for another great recipe! 🙂
Oh my goodness amazing and delicious! I used raw cacao powder and vanilla powder from Sunfood Superfoods, and chia seeds in place of hemp hearts. Simple, delicious and creamy! Thank you!
Yah. So. This is not a protein shake at all. This has 2g of protein. If you’re really in the need for protein add some Greek Yogurt or better yet, whey. Ridiculous. This is just a smoothie.
Hemp hearts have 10g of protein per 3 tablespoons, making it a good source of protein for those who can’t tolerate dairy.
actually hemp hearts are high in protein ad 8 T. and then you will have 27g of great potein. I order mine online from Lethbridge better than the ones sold in the stores.
I plan to try this recipe and wondering if anyone tried substituting water with coconut water and add blueberries instead of bananas
Delicious!! Made it this morning 🙂 I added one dried fig (that I had rehydrated overnight), and used hempseed butter (http://www.amazon.com/Windy-City-Organics-Dastony-Butter/dp/B00B7858PG, didn’t have hempseeds). SOOOO YUMMY!!
This shake is sooo delicious! I didn’t have enough hemp hearts on hand so I supplemented them with chia seeds, added some frozen spinach, and opted out of the ice cubes. What a treat and made out of dense, nutrient-packed superfoods no less! Thank you so much for sharing! 🙂
Oh, and I love what the cinnamon does for the flavor! Yum!
I made this the other night and it had a bitter after taste–actually lingered for several hours. Could it be the hemp hearts? I haven’t experienced that with a smoothie before.
How strange! The only thing I could think of would be that maybe you used hemp seeds that haven’t been hulled? Hemp hearts (also known as hulled hemp seeds) are the tender kernel of the hemp seed, so they have a pretty mild flavor. In my experience with other types of seeds, if they aren’t hulled the flavor is really bitter, so the same might be true for hemp seeds, too.
They are the Manitoba brand, raw, shelled hemp hearts. I used cocao powder which can be a little bitter as well. But I have used it in shakes and haven’t had a problem. Not sure. Other than that, it was a delicious shake!
I have had this happen too. I use the Manitoba hemp seeds as well. I noticed that if I use too much cocoa, that’s what makes it bitter.
Thank you Megan for this recipe and so many others! One two part question, could I use a hemp protein powder https://www.azurestandard.com/shop/product/20878/ in place of the hemp hearts? Which ingred has the advantage?
Delicious! I have hemp protein powder and yesterday I received my amazon shipment of the hemp hearts. I have made the shake both ways. I prefer the hemp hearts because the powder made the shake less creamy. Delicious treat!!
Hi Megan, the doctor just told me that I have a yeast. So I am starting the candida cleanse. Do you know if I can consume hemp or chia seeds? I am using this recipe since you blogged it :o) It’s great! but I am not sure about these seeds and the candida. Thank you for all the info you share every day! Looking forward to your cookbook!!
Hi! Can you also use Hemp Powder? Thank you!
Hemp powder is a little grainier than the hemp seeds, so the shake won’t be as creamy, but you’ll still get a nice dose of protein!
I used this recipe as my base: I used /2 banana, hemp seeds, cinnamon, 1 scoop of sun warrior, ice and 1/2 C water. Absolutely delicious. love the hemp seed idea. Thank you!!!
I love this combo and eat it at least three times a week! I was wondering what yours thoughts are on Rockin Wellness? I ordered it but had second thoughts about the soy lecithin in it. Any info would be so great Megan!
If you have hypothyroidism, skip the spinach. Raw spinach, kale, broccoli and caulifloswer contain a compound that inhibits thyroid homone synthesis……cooking destroys this compound.
Hi. I have had hypothyroidism for 7 years. I am allowed a small portion of these items per week and it does not affect my levels. My doc never likes to restrict her patients from eating healthy foods.
Amazing and delicious Thanks 🙂
Is frozen spinach ok in these smoothie recipes? They’re easier for me to buy b/c they won’t go bad as quickly. Thanks!
I haven’t tried using frozen spinach myself, but I don’t see why not! Let us know if it affects the flavor at all– you typically can’t taste the fresh spinach much.
Its the only kind of spinach I ever have on hand. I use the ninja which doesn’t do such a great job blending it up, compared to the vitamix. There is definitely a slight, noticable spinach taste anytime I have used it. But I kind of expect that. 🙂
I just asked b/c some veggies are better in certain forms. Like I’m hearing that cruciferous veggies need to be steamed to be properly digested, carrots and tomatoes are more nutritious cooked, etc…
I love this shake! I add 1 tablespoon of Great Lakes Gelatin Collagen Hydrolysate which means it’s not vegan but it adds 6 grams of protein.
I love the chocolate banana combo, so I will definitely try this! I have some Nutiva Hemp Protein shake powder in chocolate flavor, so maybe I’ll try it with that. I always keep frozen bananas in the freezer, so I can make this today! Thanks, Megan!
Yum! I just made this (spinach included) and it was good! I decided to throw in a couple strawberries that were about to go bad and also added a tablespoon of coconut oil (i’m trying to eat more fats) and a splash of almond milk to thin it out a bit from there. so good!! thanks megan!
I am 3 days post dental surgery and trying to get as much nutrition in as possible. I just made this smoothie using chocolate hemp protein, pb2, cinnamon, and water. It was so
yummy! Thank you!
I made this using sunflower seeds in place of hemp b/c I didn’t have any, and cocoa powder. It was just the right amount of sweet! I might add more cinnamon next time. Thanks! I like the almond milk suggestion.
I have a Vitamix (which I swear would turn rocks into pea gravel!) and make a smoothie every morning for breakfast. It sounds crazy what I put in it but it turns out REALLY tasty and gets my morning off to a great start. Here’s the basics of what goes in (this makes two large cups of which I drink both):
Unsweetened Almond Milk
Greens (either spinach or a mix of kale/chard/spinach)
Greek Yogurt (non-fat, plain)
Mini carrots (maybe 3)
2 dates (for sweetness)
Whatever other veggies I have on hand, brussels sprouts, cauliflower asparagus, etc
An ice cube of pomegranate seeds
A quarter or third of a frozen banana
A cup of frozen blueberries
A scoop of chocolate whey protein power (90 cals, 18 gms protein)
A tsp each of: cinnamon, green tea leaves, turmeric, dried wheatgrass powder, chia seeds, nutritional yeast flakes
A tablespoon each of raw cacao powder and PB2 powder
3 drops liquid Stevia
I usually have it around 8am and it holds me a good 4-5 hours. I’ve been having this for breakfast for over a year now and not only have I lost weight (adding exercise, of course), but I feel with all the nutrients I’m getting each day is helping keep me healthy.
I tried pineapple instead of the cacoa since bed time is an hour or so away. Turned out actually pretty decent. Also, didn’t have hemp hearts so used hulled hemp seed. I love the frothy texture that it has! I would maybe add another spice to suit the pineapple, maybe nutmeg?
I am definitely trying this recipe again with the cacao. Thank you so much for a delicious recipe and post-workout drink!
Could i use a scoop of chocolate protein powder- i love Vegas choc-a-lot flavor- instead of the raw cocoa powder (or in addition to it)?
How much Protein is in this?
can I do it with chocolate pieces instead of powder?
Your protein shake recipe is fantastic. I have featured it in our website Green Thickies.
Of course all credits are given to you and linked back to this page. I have not posted the actual recipe, but only a small snippet from this page and one photo from here.
Hope that is okay with you. Thanks a lot 🙂
Yum. Also, thank you for not putting avocado in e v e r y t h i n g. Some people (like me) are sadly allergy to it. Great web site. Really enjoying it and feeling inspired.
Taste great, thanks for this recipe.
How come it needs to be served immediately?
It has the best texture when you serve it right away. If you let it sit, it will still be edible, just not quite as enjoyable!
I was skeptical but this shake is delicious….so good in fact that I drank it so quickly I wanted to make a second one. Luckily I waited a few minutes because what I didn’t expect is that I’ve been really full for a few hours now – must be all the protein. This will be on my list of regulars to have now. Didn’t add spinach yet, may try that next time. Yummy – thanks.
Another winner! Delicious recipe!
This was good. I did subtract 1 T hemp and add 1 T choc protein powder. I also added a small scoop of beet powder. I had no spinach so I skipped it. Thanks.