Nourishing Chocolate Banana Adaptogenic Shake

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Our adaptogenic chocolate banana shake in large and small glasses next to ingredients used to make it

We turned our favorite adaptogenic hot chocolate into a shake! Because it’s summer and it’s hot outside, but adaptogens are great year-round.

Just 1 blender, 10 minutes, and 10 ingredients stand between you and this delicious shake. Let us show you how it’s done!

Dates, carob powder, maca, hemp seeds, cinnamon, reishi mushroom powder, maca, ashwagandha, he shou wu, coconut milk, and bananas

What is an Adaptogen?

Good question, and something I wondered about myself up until a few years ago.

An adaptogen is a plant (usually an herb, root, or mushroom) that may help your body adapt to stress (whether acute, episodic, or chronic).

To be clear, I’m not suggesting adaptogens replace stress-reduction practices like yoga, walking, deep breathing, breath work exercises, getting outdoors, therapy, etc. But what they can do is help your body take the edge off when you’re experiencing stress. In this way, I see them as a bit of a stress sidekick.

I’ve personally found adaptogens to be most helpful when paired with other daily rituals like reducing caffeine, eating balanced meals, yoga, walking, meditation, and journaling.

What Do Adaptogens Taste Like?

All adaptogens taste different (and they can taste different to different people depending on their palettes). But in my experience, adaptogens in general tend to not be the most enjoyable in terms of flavor, which is why mixing them with other things like sweeteners or cacao or carob powder makes them more palatable.

Which Adaptogens To Try First?

While I’m not an adaptogen expert, I have been taking them for years with good results. And if I had to choose, these are the three adaptogens I’d suggest getting started with as they’re more widely available and relatively easy to incorporate into your daily routine.

  • Ashwagandha – An herb widely used in Ayurveda (traditional Indian medicine) that’s become most well known for its ability to help our bodies adapt to stress and potentially lower cortisol. It has a slightly bitter taste. Best for adding to smoothies or hot chocolate in small doses (we don’t usually exceed 1/2 – 1 tsp per serving).
  • Maca – A root vegetable grown in the Andes that has serious health benefits — everything from boosting libido to balancing hormones to increasing energy levels. It has a malty, almost caramel-like flavor, making it easier to enjoy. We love it in smoothies, hot chocolate, energy bites, and shakes (we don’t usually exceed 1 – 2 tsp per serving).
  • Reishi Mushroom – commonly used in Traditional Chinese Medicine (TCM) and also known as the Queen of Mushrooms, reishi is especially good for helping our bodies relax and chill out during times of stress. It’s also relatively neutral in flavor and pairs especially well with things like Mushroom Coffee and this shake (we don’t usually exceed 1 tsp per serving).

In this recipe, I also use an adaptogen called He Shou Wu (a.k.a. Fo-Ti), which has been claimed to improve the health of hair, skin, and nails — something I’m always trying to support. It’s a less common adaptogen with a pretty bitter taste, so I use it sparingly and in lesser quantities (usually 1/4 – 1/2 tsp per serving).

Blender with dates, banana, ice cubes, adaptogenic herbs, and cacao

For this shake, we used all four of the adaptogens described: ashwagandha, maca, reishi mushroom, and he shou wu. If you don’t have all of them, feel free to play around with what you have. It’s fairly forgiving and versatile as long as you start with small quantities of the adaptogens and work your way up.

The chocolaty flavor (from carob or cacao) and the sweetness of the banana, dates, and cinnamon balance the bitterness of the adaptogenic herbs. And the coconut milk provides richness and helps it all blend. The result is a shake that tastes like dessert but sneaks in some health perks!

Blender of our creamy chocolate banana shake made with adaptogens

We hope you LOVE this shake! It’s:

Creamy
Chocolaty
Naturally sweetened
Quick & easy
Customizable
Nourishing
& Delicious!

It’s the perfect afternoon pick-me-up without the caffeine rush! And it’s also great as a snack or healthier dessert.

Top down shot of two glasses of our Adaptogenic Chocolate Banana Shake next to ingredients used to make it

Admittedly, this drink isn’t for everyone. It requires a handful of adaptogens, which can be a bit of an investment. But some of you are really into these types of recipes, so we decided to share! If you don’t have all of the ingredients, just use what you have on hand for similar results.

If you’re looking for shakes with more readily available ingredients, we have several delicious options for you below!

More Banana Shake Recipes

If you try this recipe, let us know! Leave a comment, rate it, and don’t forget to tag a photo #minimalistbaker on Instagram. Cheers, friends!

Chocolate Banana Adaptogen Shake next to dates, shiitake mushrooms, hemp seeds, and maca

Nourishing Chocolate Banana Adaptogenic Shake

Incredibly creamy and nourishing chocolate banana shake infused with adaptogens like reishi mushrooms, ashwagandha, and maca powder! Naturally sweetened with dates and rich chocolate flavor. The perfect pick-me-up!
Author Minimalist Baker
Print
Straws in a small ad large glass of our Banana Adaptogenic Shake
5 from 6 votes
Prep Time 10 minutes
Total Time 10 minutes
Servings 2 (Smoothies)
Course Beverage, Dessert/Snack, Smoothie
Cuisine Chinese-Inspired, Gluten-Free, Grain-Free, Indian-Inspired, Peruvian-Inspired, Vegan
Freezer Friendly 1 month
Does it keep? No

Ingredients

  • 1 ½ frozen bananas (for less sugar, sub a little ice for some of the banana // as original recipe is written, ~1 ¾ cups)
  • 2 pitted dates (for less sugar, use half the amount of dates, or sub stevia to taste)
  • 2 Tbsp carob powder or cacao powder (or unsweetened cocoa powder // stick to carob to keep caffeine-free)
  • 1 tsp reishi mushroom powder
  • 1 tsp maca powder
  • 1/2 tsp ashwagandha
  • 1/4-1/2 tsp he shou wu
  • 1 Tbsp hemp seeds
  • 1 healthy pinch ground cinnamon
  • 1/4 cup light coconut milk (or sub other dairy-free milk)
  • Water as needed to thin

GARNISH optional

  • Hemp seeds

Instructions

  • To a high-speed blender add frozen banana, pitted dates, carob or cacao powder, reishi powder, maca powder, ashwagandha, he shou wu, hemp seeds, cinnamon, and coconut milk and blend on high until creamy and smooth. Add more dairy-free milk or a little water as needed if it has trouble blending.
  • Taste and adjust flavor as needed, adding more maca for malty-caramel flavor, carob or cacao for more intense chocolate flavor, or dates for sweetness.
  • Serve immediately and garnish with additional hemp seeds (optional). Best when fresh. Freeze leftovers into popsicles or into ice cube molds (store for up to 1 month in freezer) and enjoy blended as a smoothie later on.

Video

Notes

*Nutrition information is a rough estimate calculated with carob powder.

Nutrition (1 of 2 servings)

Serving: 1 smoothie Calories: 217 Carbohydrates: 46.7 g Protein: 3.5 g Fat: 4.7 g Saturated Fat: 1.8 g Polyunsaturated Fat: 1.98 g Monounsaturated Fat: 0.31 g Trans Fat: 0 g Cholesterol: 0 mg Sodium: 6 mg Potassium: 643 mg Fiber: 7.3 g Sugar: 31 g Vitamin A: 94.31 IU Vitamin C: 7.74 mg Calcium: 57.25 mg Iron: 1.4 mg

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  1. Carla says

    This is perfect for a mid-day working from home snack! I used ashwaganda, he shou wu, chaga and pearl as my adaptogens and it worked super well. Added around 90ml of almond milk for one serving!

    Thanks so much :)

  2. Julia says

    So good!! I’ve made it twice already and son wants it all the time. Perfect for super juice powder to help the toddler who doesn’t eat veggies. Great with a little almond milk and water for the remaining liquid.

  3. Sophie says

    Perfect tasty afternoon snack! I didn’t have he sho wu so left that out. Added cayenne for some heat, highly recommend! I needed about a cup of almond milk to get it to blend 1 serving. I think if I make 2 servings next time it’ll blend easier.

    Thank you!

  4. Elisa says

    I only used the bananas, carob powder, maca powder, hemp seeds and soy milk, and added a bit more milk than recommended because I added in 1 tbsp of unflavoured protein powder. I usually do not place comments but this recipe is just amazing! This is my new post-sports snack from now on :) The recipe made me discover carob, a great cacao alternative that doesn’t affect my sleep. Thank you so much Dana!

    • Avatar for Dana @ Minimalist BakerSupport @ Minimalist Baker says

      Yay! We’re so glad you enjoyed this recipe and that carob works well for you! Thanks so much for sharing, Elisa!

  5. Jackie B. says

    This was really delicious! I think next time it might be easier to double the batch for easier blending in my Vitamix. I have a batch of the adaptogenic hot chocolate mix made up – if I wanted to use that, how much would you recommend?

  6. Deb Vazirani says

    Delicious. Of the four adaptogens I only had maca powder. It is so good. Thank you for creating my new afternoon pick-me-up drink.

  7. Nechama says

    Very nice recipe. Like the ingred. But Amazon says: “ Currently unavailable. We don’t know when or if this item will be back in stock.” About the “he sho wu”.
    Is there a sub for this? What about a protein powder?
    And yes this is way too sweet, don’t need the banana.
    But the idea is a great one.

    • Avatar for Dana @ Minimalist BakerDana @ Minimalist Baker says

      Thanks for the feedback! You can search for he shou wu elsewhere online! We love the brand sun potion. If you try adding a protein powder we’d suggest one of these! Let us know how it goes.

    • Avatar for Dana @ Minimalist BakerDana @ Minimalist Baker says

      It can be! However, the great thing about adaptogens becoming more mainstream is their prices are coming down. I’ve found maca at Trader Joe’s for a great deal, and lots of brands are now starting to produce more affordable adaptogen products. The main thing to keep in mind with bargain hunting is ensuring quality is still there. Let us know if you give it a try!

    • Suzie says

      Sounds delish! Going to try it tomorrow. I live in Denmark and it’s pretty cold here. Would it be okay warming up in a saucepan after its blended as a hot cocoa?😁

  8. Payal Corley says

    Such perfect timing! I just bulk ordered adaptogens because I need some internal resetting. Thanks so much for being aligned with me hehe