Monkey Smoothie
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Monkey Smoothie | The Full Helping

All this talk of Chloe and her wedding have me reminiscing fondly about the days when we shared our very first apartment together after college. Our apartment was mostly wonderful–it was the kind of place you only dream about living when you’re 22, and somehow we’d been lucky enough to snag it. But it had one very notable downside, which was a postage-stamped sized kitchen.

This might not have been a big deal for two other roommates, but Chloe and I are both foodies. At the time, she was a lot more adept in the kitchen than I was, but still, I had at least a couple of vegetarian dishes that I liked to make. And mealtimes weren’t always easy to navigate, given that we couldn’t both fit in the kitchen at the same time.

But we made it work. We took turns cooking, mostly. And once in a while, one of us would make food enough for two.

Today’s smoothie is a based on a blend or banana, blueberries, and peanut butter that I fell in love with while Chloe and I lived together. I forget what my inspiration was, but I whipped it up one morning and christened it the “monkey smoothie,” and it was love at first sip. When I passed a purple glass over to Chloe, she responded with equal glee, and we continued to make this smoothie, separately or together, for the next few years.

Monkey Smoothie | The Full Helping

Monkey Smoothie | The Full Helping
No ratings yet

Monkey Smoothie

Author - Gena Hamshaw
Yields: 2 servings


  • 2 large frozen bananas
  • 1 cup frozen blueberries
  • 1 1/2 cups non-dairy milk
  • 2 tablespoons peanut butter
  • 1 pitted date (optional)
  • handful ice cubes


  • Blend all ingredients in a high speed blender till smooth. Divide into 2 glasses and serve.

Monkey Smoothie | The Full Helping

A few mornings ago, I sipped this smoothie is my new dwelling: a small, sweet, single person’s apartment. I feel lucky to have my own space, but I sure do miss Chloe, especially on weekend mornings when we used to share breakfast and stories from the night before. I raised my glass of yum to Chloe, who’s on her way to Norway with her husband right now, and to days of bygone cohabitation.

Make and share this blissful drink with your roommate, your best friend, your boyfriend, your girlfriend, or to anyone who’s special to you. It’ll bring joy to both of your mornings!


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Categories: Recipes, Breakfast, Smoothies, Snacks
Dietary Preferences: Gluten Free, No Oil, Soy Free, Tree Nut Free

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  1. Oh, I love this! I lived with a friend in college but we were always on opposite schedules. My DREAM is to live within walking distance of MY bestie!

  2. I just had my wisdom teeth removed a few days ago (thank god for novocain and sweet air) so my diet has consisted of many cool and pureed foods…this smoothie will definitely be attempted for breakfast because i’m sick of lukewarm oatmeal, thank you!

    although i miss chewing my food 🙁 haha

  3. Interest flavors to fuse here, I will surely try this. I love making smoothies with banana as my ‘base’ fruit. I love freezing them for smoothies. I’ve tried banana and mango, banana and apple, banana and peaches. Blueberry I kinda miss, I think it’ll be a good fuse of flavors, too. Thanks for sharing this. Everybody in my family simply love smoothies!

  4. I definitely hear you about living alone! I had a single room in boarding school and lived on my own during college. I’d still be happily solo if only Cody hadn’t shown up and insisted that we fall in love and get hitched. 😉 But the way I feel about him is sort of how you feel about your friend, I can be with him and still feel that total peace of being alone. Doesn’t make much sense, but you know what I mean!

    I’m always up for a new smoothie recipe and this one looks delicious! I love adding a scoop of nut butter to my smoothies, takes them from yummy to over the top delicious. Thanks!

  5. I can’t even tell you how much this post describes my life right now – the space sharing, the roommate, the smoothies. Seriously.

    Gena, you’re a fabulous writer. I love reading your blog.

  6. What a sweet story. I can just picture the two of you in your quintessential ny duplex.

    I’ve been diggin’ the blueberry-banana combo myself of late. LOVE blueberry season. I even foraged some wild ones over the weekend. Free food. Score!

    My Berry Boost comes out waaaaay more purple than your Monkey though. Maybe cuz I didn’t add the nut butter? Gonna try your version tomorrow.

  7. Omg i am SUCH an alone-liver kind of girl! Hated roommates back in the day and love my space! It’s a miracle I have a hubs and a kid…LOL! I can see you enjoying your solitude too. Work hard, play hard, be w/ others..but come home to peace and freakin’ quiet is how i like it!

  8. It is so hard to live with someone else! My kitchen is plenty big, and my roommate and I still have a terrible time sharing it. I just thank my lucky stars we have our own bathrooms!

    I have a confession to make, though… I lived at home during college (2 years of it, anyway). And I liked it. =)

  9. Haha, it’s funny that you should mention being able to “be alone” together–that’s exactly how I would describe the relationship between my former roommate and me:)
    I will definitely be making this smoothie in the near future…and maybe I’ll share with Seth, if he’ nice.

  10. Gena,
    I’ve had commercial almond milk and made my own on several occasions, and they taste nothing alike. Commercial milks are thick and sweet and appealing while the milk I make is thin and well, tastes like almonds. I’ve tried blending the nuts with dates and also with vanilla and agave. It also separates. I’ve tried almonds with skin and without, balancing, soaking in the fridge, on the counter, and no soak. It ends up tasting slightly….off…a little bitter, a little almond-like but not very good overall. Please PLEASE HELP if you can! Thanks.

    • I’m the opposite! I love my homemade nut milks, and I can’t stand the ones from the store. I think I have a few tips. Be sure to soak your almonds a good eight to twelve hours. You can leave the skins on. You get the best results with the best ingredients so you want your nuts to be fresh, preferably organic, and preferably raw (though with almonds, fresh is more important than raw). Most recipes will tell you to use a cup of nuts to four cups of water, but I prefer a 1 to 3 or even 1 to 2 1/2 cup ratio. Blend til the nuts are pretty broken up – you want the nut pulp to have a meal-like consistency, you don’t want chopped nuts. I add sweetener (dates if you’re using a high speed blender, otherwise agave), a pinch of sea salt, and vanilla after I’ve squeezed the mixture through a nut milk bag and blend again. You can add a tablespoon of soy lecithin if you’re not anti-soy and that will help the consistency some. Or a tablespoon of coconut butter.

  11. Awww my college roommate and I used to make a lot of smoothies together too, we came up with some interesting concoctions! What a nice memory, thanks for sharing 🙂

  12. I am so used to living alone and weary about living with my boyfriend…except…we have two floors…so we can always be alone if we need some time. I feel ya though, I was never so good with living with girls except for one best friend. Lovely smoothie!

  13. Bloobs!! This looks amazing, banana/blueberry smoothies are the best.

    I love the way you talk about Chloe and your relationship. I do believe you can have many soulmates in different forms and this is a perfect example!

  14. i’m not much of a smoothie person, but i have to tell you how taken in i am by your memories and words about your relationship with chloe. there is something so special about girlfriends, isn’t there? i think i’ve said before that i can really appreciate (and relate to) the way you maintain your independence along with such meaningful relationships.

    this is all rather irrelevant to your post, but i am commenting nonetheless!

  15. I just started living alone again last weekend. It’s an adjustment but I’m familiar with it so it won’t take too long to get settled.
    Today’s smoothie was frozen banana, frozen cherries, spinach and coconut butter blended with coconut kefir…first time using the CB in the smoothie and it was a good move 🙂
    I have a maid of honor speech looming; what tips can you give me? There’s so much I want to say but whenever I put the words on paper they don’t do proper justice to my feelings and intentions.

  16. What a lovely post. You are so lucky to have had such a good roommate experience. I am exactly like you in terms of loving my own space, though somehow my husband and I are able to achieve “alone, together” in our 550 sq. foot apartment.

    My new dehydrator just arrived yesterday so I am excited to experiment with it. I see plenty of raw breads and kale chips in my future 🙂

  17. I remember when I was in middle school, I took my first trip to New York, and I told my parents, “After college, I am coming to live in New York.” I feel like what you just described is exactly how I envisioned my apartment there being like. 🙂

    I ended up in the middle of the country, going to grad school in Indiana instead. Funny how life turns out, right? 🙂

  18. Yummm! I really should make more smoothies, but I ended up just eating the fruit before blending it- haha!

    Like you, I have to say that living alone is wonderful. I have no idea what’s going to happen in the next two months with finding a job, but I can only hope I can continue this 🙂

  19. This looks delicious! And I have all the ingredients! 🙂

    I’m with you, I like living.. and being alone! 😉 My husband is okay..hahaha, but I really don’t mind when I’m alone during the days. Nothing like the peace and quiet of yourself!

  20. This may be a crazy question, but how is it red? I don’t see any ingredients that would make it that color? I was all excited that there were strawberries or cherries in it…LOL. Maybe I’m just going blind. 🙂

  21. I love using blueberries + bananas in a smoothie! so delicious… I will definitely follow your recipe, looks fab! 🙂

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