If you enjoy chocolate avocado pudding, don’t miss this peanut butter avocado smoothie with dark chocolate! This high-calorie smoothie is a great whole food option if you want to gain weight or have trouble maintaining a healthy weight. Peanut butter, avocados, and Medjool dates make this blender drink sweet and creamy without added sugar. The combination may sound strange but reserve judgment until you try it!
Though most tend to think about weight loss when we talk about weight management, weight gain or maintenance is part of the picture too. As a cancer survivor, maintaining my weight during treatments was what was most optimal at that time.
Some individuals with chronic diseases who are underweight can benefit from weight gain. Additionally, some teens and younger children may have trouble eating enough to meet their energy needs. It can be tough with certain picky eaters to ensure they are taking in enough calories without heavily relying on nutrient-poor foods.
There are a number of healthful, whole food options that can help if you are having trouble gaining weight. Here are some of the high-calorie foods I have used in this smoothie:
- Avocado (250-350 calories per avocado)
- Peanut Butter (180-200 calories per 2 tablespoons)
- Medjool Date Paste (140 calories per 2 fresh dates)
What you get is a very high calorie smoothie, with almost 700 calories per serving. Since protein tends to be a very filling macronutrient, I went lower on the protein (relative to calories) with this one. The idea is to prevent you from feeling full too early.
Drinking your calories versus eating them may help prevent early satiety (i.e., fullness) too. These strategies are basically the opposite of what I’d recommend for fat loss. The approach that is “healthiest” often depends on what you need!
Making the best high-calorie peanut butter avocado smoothie
As with many of my recipes, I made several versions of this avocado peanut butter smoothie before posting this recipe. An earlier version did not include the dark cocoa powder. The avocados turned the smoothie a pea-green color.
I liked the taste of this one. Unfortunately, my family really wasn’t having it. The unique color of the smoothie, along with the avocado taste, was not working for them.
I guess Kermit the Frog was right that it’s not easy being green. So, it was back to the drawing board with this smoothie recipe.
My intention here was to create a recipe for a high-calorie smoothie that tastes like a dessert. Since this high-calorie recipe is supposed to help if you’re having trouble eating enough, it must be amazingly delicious.
In addition, I wasn’t willing to compromise on the nutrition aspects of this healthy smoothie. I wanted it to be made with whole foods and no added sugar.
Dark cocoa powder was the magic ingredient that managed to cover up both the green color and the taste of avocado. My family approved, and I think you will too.
By the way, if you don’t like avocado and peanut butter, many other high-fat ingredients can help you to create a high-calorie smoothie. Here are a few ideas to get you started:
- Other nut and seed butters
- Full-fat coconut milk
- Heavy cream
- 6% Cottage cheese (Good Culture’s double cream cottage cheese might just be the best tasting cottage cheese ever IMVHO!)
On the other hand, if you think you’re game for a chocolatey smoothie with peanut butter and avocado, let’s do this. Freeze those slightly overripe avocados and break out the food processor. We’ll be snacking in no time!
And now for the disclaimer…
All recipes on this website may or may not be appropriate for you, depending on your medical needs and personal preferences. Consult with a registered dietitian or your physician if you need help determining the dietary pattern that may be best for you.
The nutrition information is an estimate provided as a courtesy. It will differ depending on the specific brands and ingredients that you use. Calorie information on food labels may be wildly inaccurate, so please don't sweat the numbers too much.
For more information on how the three recipe levels may help with a weight management goal, refer to this post. Let's get cooking!
Peanut Butter Avocado Smoothie with Dark Chocolate (High Calorie Smoothie!)
- 6 Medjool dates, pitted and chopped (fresh dates, not the ones in the baking aisle)
- 6 tablespoons boiling water
- 1¼ cups frozen chopped avocado
- 4 tablespoons creamy peanut butter
- 2 cups milk, 2%
- ½ teaspoon cinnamon
- 2 tablespoons dark cocoa powder
- chopped peanuts for garnish, if desired
- Pour the boiling water over the Medjool dates. Let sit for 10 minutes.
- Put the dates and water into a food processor and blend into a smooth date paste. You will need to scrape down the sides of the processor with a spatula several times because the dates will stick to the sides. (Watch the recipe video!)
- Tip: I almost always make extra date paste because it is easier to blend a larger batch of dates. The extra date puree is a great way to naturally sweeten recipes without added sugar.
- Place all ingredients, including the date puree, in a food processor and blend until completely smooth. Pour into two glasses and enjoy! Garnish with the optional chopped peanuts if desired.
This is a level 3 recipe (weight maintenance and active lifestyles). There are ways to eat healthy that are both higher and lower in calories. One serving of this healthy smoothie has more calories than a decent-sized meal. It’s best for those looking to gain weight or who are having trouble maintaining a healthy weight. To bump the calories up even more, garnish the smoothie with the optional peanuts and swap the 2% milk for whole milk. This smoothie is super thick! I recommend serving it with either a spoon or extra-wide smoothie straws. I’ve linked to the straws I use in the equipment section above. Nutrition information is for one serving of the recipe.
Both high calorie and low calorie recipes can be healthiest, depending on your goals. I hope I’ve shown here how a smoothie with healthy ingredients may not be a good choice for fat loss.
When someone who is overweight tells me they primarily eat healthily, I believe them. It's not too difficult to maintain a calorie excess with a lot of the energy-dense healthy food choices. On the other hand, focusing on these same foods can help someone who wants to gain weight.
If you need additional high calorie smoothie ideas, don’t miss the keto berry smoothie. My banana watermelon smoothie is also over 200 calories per serving and is currently my husband’s favorite smoothie recipe on the site.
What are some of your favorite high-energy smoothie additions? Let me know, and don’t forget to leave a comment and rating if you make this peanut butter avocado smoothie. It makes my day when someone tells me they enjoyed a recipe! 😀