Banana, Leche y Cafe con Chocolate

banana y leche

banana, leche y cafe con chocolate

It’s so hard to keep that vacation feeling.  That feeling that lets me linger in bed to read a book instead of jumping up to chase the alarm and caffeine.  The smell of sunscreen, the sound of the ocean, the beauty that I don’t immediately need to Instagram.  Clean sheets, card games, lazy laughs.  It’s so good.  It always feels like waaaaay more than I deserve, with a teeny-tiny sprinkle of something that I’ve earned, but really it’s just a big fat blessing.

I spent some quality time on a tiny stretch of beach on the Nicoya Peninsula in Costa Rica last week.  Way more than I deserve.  I learned a lot.

sunset surfer with dog

I learned a lot about sunsets and how to sit and enjoy them with surfers and beach dogs.

banana, leche y cafe con chocolate

I also learned some how to survive the heat of the dry season in Costa Rica:  liquids!  For real.  I spent the entire week flailing around in the waves with a surfboard tethered to my leg and developed a healthy thirst… totally undeserved based on my surfing skills, but healthy nonetheless.

One of my favorite smoothies of choice in Costa Rica was Bananas y Leche: a simple mixture of bananas and milk.  Of course, because few things are just left to be as they are in my kitchen… of course I added coffee and chocolate.

This smoothie is just what I needed to help that vacation feeling linger a bit.  The cancelled flights and rushed airports can really harsh the vacation buzz.   Nothing a little Banana, Leche y Cafe con Chocolate can’t help! I mean… right?

indoor outdoor

We stayed in a beautiful house that was indoors and out.  The walls were bamboo.  Monkeys liked to linger outside.  Awesome and AAHHHH!!

Also, that pineapple was part food and part room fragrance.  Beyond!

boards down the hall

Down the hall, far and away.

zwart cafe for breakfast

Late breakfasts at Zwart Cafe, where the pineapple cilantro smoothies would make any juice-loving Californian want to weep just a little.  They were that good.

zwart cafe

Art and surfboards at Zwart Cafe because…. duh!

product c

We bought super fresh fish from a market and restaurant called Product C.

They buy fresh every morning from the local fishermen, clean the fish up right, serve really lovely fish bowls with brown rice, and have ceviche flavored with just the right amount of dill.  All worth the little bit of snark you might receive from the chef when you order.

making fish in costa rica

We roasted a fresh Red Snapper, made brown rice, and a spicy caper and garlic tomato sauce.

It was the best meal of the trip due mostly to the fact that the fish was straight from the ocean (and I’m an awesome cook) (and really really humble).

hike to the falls

A hike through rocks and shade to Montezuma Falls.

the falls

I know you only live once but I still didn’t jump.

costa rica breakfast

If only I took the time to make this colorful, well-diced, and juicy a breakfast everyday.  Also… more bread baskets please!

hanging flowers

Hanging vines and purple petals.

guard dog

Dogs everywhere in Costa Rica!  Some with owners.  Some strays.

This dog attached herself to us.  We named her Low Tide and she liked to guard me while I watched my friends surf.  She also followed us home and chased away spawning Halloween Crabs.  I dunno… there was a lot of nature happening!

last sunset

The last sunset with pinks and purples and silhouettes.  The last before the airport dash and passport panic (I always think I’m going to lose that dang thing mid-trip!).

banana, leche y cafe con chocolate

Back home and back in the mix!  It’s weird and cool to come home to a new home in New Orleans.  It feels like an extra vacation and that at some point I’ll have to make my way back to California.  

Until I settle and adjust, I’m going to stack banana, milk, a dash of honey, coffee, and chocolate in my blender.

banana, leche y cafe con chocolate

I’ll extend the vacation flavors as long as I can.  I’d also like to extend the rather pathetic tan I acquired.  Here’s hoping.

banana, leche y cafe con chocolate

This drink exists somewhere in the world between a smoothie and a milkshake.  It’s definitely rich with bananas and milk.  It has hints of breakfast with the addition of coffee.  Chocolate just makes the whole dang thing totally over the top.

This smoothie is the perfect refresher after a morning spent flopping around in the waves trying not to embarrass myself.  The trying not to embarrass myself part of the trip was actually the most challenging.  This smoothie serves as a necessary and delicious reminder.

Banana, Leche y Cafe con Chocolate

makes 2 drinks

Print this Recipe!

5 ice cubes (mine were medium in size)

2 small ripe bananas, sliced

3 tablespoons coarsely chopped dark chocolate

2 tablespoons used coffee grounds

2 tablespoons lukewarm coffee

1 teaspoon honey

1 cup cold milk

Combine all ingredients in a blender and blend until smooth and well combined, about 3 minutes.  Add more ice or more milk to create your desired consistency.  Divide between two glasses and enjoy immediately.  

58 thoughts on “Banana, Leche y Cafe con Chocolate

      1. Joy- was the house a rental or were you staying with friends? If it was a rental, would you please share the name? Looks like a little slice of vacation perfection…..

  1. In 2001 I spent a month in Costa Rica getting my first yoga teacher training certification. It was such a magical gift, that I didnt fully even appreciate at the time. But seeing your pics, the surf boards, the sunset, the inside of the cafe, the totally rustic nature of everything, yeah, brings back so many memories! And 14 years or so ago, talk about rustic. Wasn’t even the word :) But Montezuma Falls, was there! Not much has changed :) Thanks for sharing the pics and what a great recipe. Even though we weren’t supposed to be drinking coffee b/c of the yoga aspect, the Costa Rican coffee was so good!

  2. costa rica looks absolutely stunning. it has been on my go-to list forever, hopefully not to long anymore! and that drink sounds pretty darn perfect as well.
    xo, cheyenne

  3. The dappled light in that picture…oh gosh! It’s stunning and it looks like time is suspended for that moment. Thanks for the beautiful pictures and the gorgeous drink. I’m going to take a breath here in grey England and dream of sunsets, sand and salty surfboards.

  4. Oh my your breakfast is like a party on a table! I am in love with the vibrancy your trip to Costa rica has brought to your photography too.
    While I never can pass up a banana smoothie; the additions of coffee and chocolate have me planning this for my next morning pick me up

  5. That place looks truly magical – I’m a tiny bit (ok, a lot) jealous! This smoothie looks awesome – I love how you put chocolate in it, I would never have thought to do that. I’m dying to trying it!

  6. Ahhh it looks so beautiful and relaxing. I love your vacations guard dog too lol. So cute. I can;t wait to try the smoothie, I love anything coffee so, hey, why not add bananas and chocolate?

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