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After the seemingly endless holiday buffet of donuts, coffee cake, and muffins, our bodies are yearning for a fresh start! Those treats were all tasty at the time, but there’s nothing better than starting the day with a healthy breakfast like this Chunky Monkey Protein Smoothie!

Glass of chunky monkey chocolate protein smoothie with chocolate chips on top

When the cold, gray reality of a February morning sends you running for the pastries or a quick cup of coffee, don’t let your New Year’s Resolutions and positive intentions fall by the wayside.

Instead, you can spend less than 5 minutes whipping up a nutritious meal that your entire family will devour. Loaded with the delicious flavors of chocolate, bananas, and peanut butter, this Chunky Monkey Smoothie is a simple way to power you through the day!

Here’s a reality check: Green smoothies are all the rage, but if I serve my boys (or husband) a glass of thick, brownish-green sludge, there is no chance that they will actually ingest the beverage — regardless of how many vitamins it contains. Instead, if I want them to fuel up with fruit, protein, and healthy fats, I better make it all taste ah-mazing.

Mission accomplished! This Chunky Monkey Smoothie is so rich, so chocolatey, and so thick that the kids prefer to eat it with a spoon!

How to Make a Chunky Monkey Protein Smoothie:

You’ll need the following ingredients for this healthy smoothie recipe:

  • Chocolate Protein Powder 
  • Almond Milk, Cashew Milk or other milk of choice
  • Unsweetened cocoa powder
  • Frozen, sliced banana
  • Peanut butter
  • Ice

An overhead shot of ingredients to make a chunky monkey smoothie

This IdealLean Chocolate Brownie is my favorite protein powder, which has 0 grams of sugar and only 80 calories per scoop. It adds the perfect thick, creamy texture to the smoothie! I also like this Quest Chocolate Milkshake protein powder.

Oh, and one more note: one key to the thick, creamy texture of this shake is definitely the FROZEN banana! Don’t skip that! It’s a great way to use up overripe bananas, too.

When you have dark bananas on your counter, just peel them, slice them, and wrap them individually. Stick the sliced bananas into the freezer and pull them out as you need them.

Then simply combine all of the ingredients in your blender with plenty of ice and your healthy Chunky Monkey Protein Shake is ready in seconds!

My family might think that they’re getting away with dessert for breakfast, but I know that their little bodies are nourished with a plant-based powerhouse smoothie giving them a fresh, healthy start to the day. And with my own tall glass of chocolate and peanut butter goodness, what more could I ask for?!

COOK’S TIPS AND RECIPE VARIATIONS:

  • If you’re preparing this healthy smoothie for kids, you can omit the protein powder and substitute with Greek yogurt. Since the protein powder adds not only thickness, but also flavor to the smoothie, you’ll want to use a sweetened vanilla Greek yogurt or use a plain Greek yogurt and add your own sweetener, to taste. You will also need an additional 1 tablespoon of cocoa powder for that chocolate taste. The taste and texture of the smoothie recipe with yogurt will not be quite the same as the protein powder version, but your family will still love it!
  • Keep the healthy smoothie recipe low sugar by using unsweetened vanilla almond milk and a sugar free protein powder.
  • I prefer whey protein for flavor and thickness in this smoothie, but if you prefer a plant-based breakfast, you can substitute with a vegan protein powder.

You might also like these healthy smoothie recipes:

Glass of chunky monkey chocolate protein smoothie with chocolate chips on top

Chunky Monkey Protein Smoothie

5 from 6 votes
Prep: 5 minutes
Total: 5 minutes
Servings 2 people
Calories 173 kcal
Loaded with chocolate, peanut butter and banana, this 5-Minute Chunky Monkey Protein Smoothie is a healthy breakfast or satisfying snack to fuel you through your day!

Ingredients
  

  • 1-2 cups ice I like to use 2 cups for a very thick smoothie
  • 1 banana sliced and frozen
  • 1 cup Unsweetened Vanilla Cashew Milk or other milk of choice
  • 1 scoop chocolate protein powder
  • 1 tablespoon unsweetened cocoa powder
  • 1-2 tablespoons peanut butter
  • Pinch of salt
  • Optional Garnish: chocolate chips

Instructions

  • Add all ingredients to a blender and puree until thick and smooth. Garnish with chocolate chips, if desired. Serve immediately!

Notes

  • If you’re preparing this healthy smoothie for kids, you can omit the protein powder and substitute with Greek yogurt. Since the protein powder adds not only thickness, but also flavor to the smoothie, you’ll want to use a sweetened vanilla Greek yogurt or use a plain Greek yogurt and add your own sweetener, to taste. You will also need an additional 1 tablespoon of cocoa powder for that chocolate taste. The taste and texture of the smoothie recipe with yogurt will not be quite the same as the protein powder version, but your family will still love it!
  • Keep the healthy smoothie recipe low sugar by using unsweetened vanilla almond milk and a sugar free protein powder.
  • I prefer whey protein for flavor and thickness in this smoothie, but if you prefer a plant-based breakfast, you can substitute with a vegan protein powder.
  • For purposes of calculating nutrition information, I used my favorite IdealLean Chocolate Brownie Protein Powder (which has 80 calories per scoop). You can substitute with a different protein powder, but the nutrition information may vary. Nutrition information does not include optional toppings.

Nutrition

Serving: 1/2 of the recipeCalories: 173kcalCarbohydrates: 18gProtein: 14gFat: 6gSaturated Fat: 1gPolyunsaturated Fat: 1gMonounsaturated Fat: 3gCholesterol: 8mgSodium: 126mgPotassium: 305mgFiber: 3gSugar: 8gVitamin A: 38IUVitamin C: 5mgCalcium: 17mgIron: 1mg
Keyword: chocolate protein smoothie, high protein smoothies
Course: Breakfast, Snack
Cuisine: American
Author: Blair Lonergan

This post was originally published in January, 2017. It was updated in February, 2019.

Disclosure: This post may contain affiliate links. I may earn a small commission for my endorsement, recommendation, testimonial, and/or link to any products or services from this website.

blair

Hey, I’m Blair!

Welcome to my farmhouse kitchen in the foothills of Virginia’s Blue Ridge Mountains. Inspired by local traditions and seasonal fare, you’ll find plenty of easy, comforting recipes that bring your family together around the table. It’s down-home, country-style cooking!

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Comments

  1. Chunky monkey is my favorite type of smoothie! I make this version quite often, but I will have to try it with protein powder. What a great way to start the day! Looks so good!

  2. I’d much rather enjoy this chunky monkey smoothie than green slush for sure! You can never go wrong with bananas, pb and chocolate! It’s like dessert in a glass!

        1. Hi, Sarah! I would use a 6-8 ounce container, but you can start with less (if you like), and gradually add more until it reaches the taste and consistency that you like. Hope you enjoy!

          1. I’m so glad to hear that, Sara! Thank you for letting me know. I hope that your mouth is feeling better soon. 🙂

  3. I’ll take this over green any day! I haven’t bought cashew milk in awhile. May need to get on that!

  4. Blair I am on smoothie kick lately and this one looks so yum!! Can’t wait to make this tomorrow 🙂

    1. Hi, Erica! No, I don’t think so. If you freeze it the smoothie will become hard as a rock (more like a popsicle). 🙂 If you’re worried that it will be too much, I would just cut the ingredients in half and make a smaller quantity to begin with. Enjoy!

      1. oh, yeah freeze it! You can pour it directly into whatever container you want to later drink from. Take it out an hour or two before you want to drink it, so it starts to thaw. I’ve even put it in microwave cups, then when I’m ready it for it, nuke it for 15 secs or so to start it thawing, stir it up, and there you go! Have used containers with lids, taken the frozen drink to work in the morning and by mid-morning break, it’s ready. Left if the fridge to thaw, it was ready for afternoon break. FREEZING IS OK!!!

    2. I make ahead my smoothies and freeze them all the time. The best way to do it is make sure you put it in the fridge the night before.

  5. I have an almost 2 year old. What is the best way to make this for him. I’m trying to get him into drinking smoothies and wasn’t sure if I could use protein powder.

    1. Hi, Bubbles! Kids definitely don’t need as much protein as you get in the scoop of protein powder, so I would just leave it out and make it the alternative way with yogurt that I mention in the recipe. Another option is to prepare the shake with the protein powder, but only serve your son a smaller serving of it. That’s usually what I do with my boys, because one scoop makes a large shake that my 3 kids can share between them. 🙂

  6. Wow, It’s look yummy. Especially I like the name of recipe “chunky monkey” LOL. But I will try it for sure.

  7. Hi, I have not yet tried this recipe yet, but it looks amazing. I have one simple question: Do we have to use peanut butter? If yes, then how can I substitute it, because I don’t seem to have peanut butter…

    1. Hi, Serena! No, you do not need the peanut butter in order for the smoothie to have a nice, thick texture. It’s purely for the taste! If you want to substitute with something else, other nut butters like almond butter would work well, or seed butters like SunButter. Enjoy!

    1. Hi, Dianna! I’m not very familiar with the Keto diet, but I believe that it requires very low carb and low sugar recipes. Since this smoothie includes a banana, it has 17 grams of carbs and 8 grams of sugar — probably more than recommended on Keto. There’s a full nutrition panel at the bottom of the recipe, though, so you can check out more details if you’re interested. 🙂

  8. 5 stars
    My Toddlers Ages 2 and 3 Absolutely loved This smoothie! It was so easy to make, And so delicious that I even made some for myself haha. Thank you so much dor sharing.

  9. This recipe looks good. Is there a substitute for the banana? I’m diabetic and am looking for healthy eating.

    1. Hi, Mike! I can’t think of an exact substitute for the banana, since the banana adds flavor, sweetness, and a thick, smooth texture to the smoothie. You can use avocado to get that thick, creamy texture, or some folks like to use xanthan gum to get that thick texture. You can also just omit the banana — you’ll just have a smoothie that’s thinner. Enjoy!

  10. Although I agree the smoothie recipe is great. The calories per serve is certainly not 174 calories It is closer to 400 calories. This should be rectified.

    1. Hi, Michelle! I ran it through the calculator again, and I’m still getting about the same number. Are you calculating the nutrition for 2 servings, as described in the recipe? Otherwise, you’re right — the total nutrition for the entire recipe is almost 400 calories. It just depends on how large you like your serving to be. I typically split the full recipe into 2 glasses. The exact nutrition information will also depend on the specific ingredients that you use. This calculation was made with cashew milk that’s only 25 calories per cup and with Quest brand chocolate protein powder, which has 110 calories per scoop and 22 grams of protein. I hope that helps to clarify! 🙂