Banana & Coffee Protein Smoothie: Licuado de Proteina con Banana y Café

Have I told you that I’m getting married…in 10 days??
Have I also told you that I’m not your typical bride??
Like, the kind of bride that doesn’t have decorations yet kinda bride.
So needless to say, I haven’t really been a morning person lately…
Usually I am just fine with green tea or a smoothie in the morning but these last few days 
that stuff is just not cutting it.
 I had to upgrade my morning stimulant to get me going on this whole wedding thing
 & since crack is whack & I like keeping my teeth, I decided to upgrade to coffee.  
The problem: I don’t like the taste of coffee…like, at all. 
So I decided to disguise my coffee in a delicious & healthy fruit-filled concoction that draws on my Latin & American roots…
And so was born the Banana & Coffee Protein Smoothie 
a.k.a. Licuado de Proteina con Café y Banana!
(keep reading to find out what a “licuado” is!)

You’re probably wondering what the heck a “licuado” is & why I just don’t call it a smoothie like normal people.

Well, first I’m not a normal person & second, it’s not quite the same thing as a smoothie.  
Licuados are a popular Latin American drink, usually served at breakfast, that are composed of whole fruit, milk, & ice.  They commonly have a banana in them which when combined with the milk, gives this healthy drink it’s distinct frothiness.  
You can usually find these drinks anywhere you find Latin Americans (open air markets, downtown L.A., my mom’s house…etc, etc…).
Licuados differ from traditional smoothies in that they are thinner in consistency & contain a milk base with no fruit juice-just the whole fruit.  In the 1990’s, licuados began to gain popularity in the United States when the Latin population began to grow in the U.S.  It wasn’t until 2002 that the California Milk Processor Board spent over $1.5 million dollars to promote the drink as a healthy way to consume milk as part of the Got Milk? campaign.  I guess it worked because I find these drinks everywhere!
American smoothies on the other hand typically have a base of fruit juice with sherbet, yogurt, & other sweeteners like honey or syrups added.  They tend to be very sweet & really thick.  Fruit smoothies are much more common now that we have become more health conscious.  These fruit smoothies are the ones you see on Pinterest & contain fresh fruit, ice, minimal sugar (if any) & water but are still relatively thick when compared to the licuado.
I remember my mama making these during the summer months & thinking they were just about the best thing ever so what better way to hide my coffee than in a grown-up, protein packed, stimulant rich morning smoothie buzz.
  I replaced some of the milk with cold coffee & added lots of ice & a banana to make it extra frothy.  I also added a little vanilla protein powder to make it an adequate breakfast meal replacement.  The protein powder also adds a little sweetness without having to dump a bunch of sugar in it but if you need your drink a little sweeter than usual, add something natural like honey!
I could show you a bunch of photos of how I made this but it’s another one of those “take-all-of-these-ingredients-and-dump-them-in-the-blender” kind of recipes.  
Besides, you haven’t had your morning fix…yet 😉
Banana & Coffee Protein Smoothie

Prep Time: 15 minutes

Serving Size: 2


  • 2 cups brewed coffee, cooled
  • 2 cups of 2% milk, cold
  • 2 bananas, ripened
  • 1 cup of ice
  • 4 Tbsp vanilla-flavored protein powder (chocolate will also work really well!)
  • if sweetener needed 1-2 Tbsp honey


  1. Place coffee, milk, bananas, ice, protein powder & sweetener (if needed).
  2. Blend on high until smooth.
  3. Drink immediately.

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