Remember when “E” everything was a thing, around the turn of the century before “i’ everything came along? I was reminded of that era the other day when I saw a salon named “E-Haircuts.” Nordstrom’s still has it’s “Ebar” coffee shop, which is where, famished, I treated myself to a chocolate banana Nutella smoothie after helping my husband shop the anniversary sale. Came home with some new shirts for him and eager to recreate the smoothie for myself.
Nutella has more sugar and palm oil than hazelnuts, so for my own smoothie I used a batch of my homemade vegan Nutella. I portioned it into balls and froze them. I’d drop two frozen Nutella balls into my Vitamix along with a banana and some unsweetened almond milk. It made a darned good smoothie!
Eventually I ran out of Nutella balls and improvised by throwing in some hazelnuts and a few couverture chocolate discs. That’s good too, and it’s what I did the rest of the summer. If you roast and skin the hazelnuts, there’s some prep, but if you throw them in as is (almost as good) it’s as easy as can be. Without roasting and skinning the hazelnuts there will be some specks from the skins. With my Vitamix it doesn’t make an appreciable difference to the texture. If your blender is a monster like mine, you can just throw in the chocolate, too. Otherwise you might want to melt it in the microwave first.
I don’t eat peanuts (allergies) but to me this tastes a little peanut-buttery. And of course Nutella-like, but better (you didn’t really want that habitat-destroying palm oil, did you?). If you make it with a fresh banana instead of a frozen one it won’t be particularly cold. That should make it a good one for the fall and winter months when you might want a smoothie but you don’t particularly want to get cold.
- 1½ cups unsweetened almond milk
- 1 medium banana (about 5 oz.) either as is or chopped and frozen
- ½ oz hazelnuts (ideally roasted, skinned hazelnuts, but any hazelnuts will do)
- ⅓ oz. dark chocolate bits
- Combine all ingredients in a high speed blender, blend and serve.