The Elvis Shake: Peanut and Bananas All Shook Up with Bacon Ice Cream

memphis-1651843_1920It is said that the peanut butter and banana sandwich was Elvis Presley’s favorite. If there are any purist, Elvis fans out there, please don’t write. I know the King liked bacon, but unless you can figure out a way to puree bacon or you have a source for bacon extract, here’s a tip: Locate some smooth bacon ice cream online. It’s all the rage. My local supermarket does not carry it, or I would give you the brand name. For further instructions, see the tip at the end of this recipe.

Elvis liked his sandwich fried, but we made ours in a shake. We could have pureed the classic Elvis sandwich, but we don’t like the texture of pureed bread unless it thickens a soup. So we chose to make a thick shake. If you want to simulate the soothing temperature of a fried sandwich, you can make the shake and warm it up on the stovetop: use medium heat and a small saucepan, and warm it for maybe a minute. On a very low heat, it takes the same amount of time as listening to “Jailhouse Rock.” Think of it as a tribute shake.

I should really call this the Elvis Plus because we add the chocolate sauce as an option. Skip the chocolate if you think I am treating you like a fool. There are legions of people who love the combination of chocolate, peanut and banana. They may not be purists. They may want variety. Let me know if you want to receive an email copy of a piece I wrote about my exclusive VIP tour of Graceland while on a trip to Memphis.

I researched a piece about who taught Elvis to dance, I know it sounds antique, but he was not called Elvis the Pelvis for nothing. Rufus Thomas, the blues artist, was a DJ at the radio station, WDIA, the station that first played rock all over the South. Rufus told me in a phone interview that Elvis used to go to the black dance clubs in Memphis. The Snake Hip was all the rage in one of the clubs, popular at that time. That’s where Elvis learned to dance. As to the veracity of my source, Rufus knew Elvis and interviewed him many times on the radio. He also saw Elvis many times at that club.

I conducted my phone interview with Rufus in 1992. Rufus was recording on the King Snake label at the time. The founder of King Snake, a blues producer named Bob Greenlee, used to record blues legends who were past their hit-making days, but still performing and creating great music. King Snake was a low-tech studio. There was nothing high tech about it. What it had was that southern feeling. Bob recorded the music in the South, where it was made, not in a big city. Bob said to me at the time, “Nobody ever thought to ask the question.”

That was in the phase of my artistic career where I was producing a documentary about the great bluesman Kenny Neal and Swamp Blues; it was about two generations in a black musical family, but these are stories for another time. I still have the highball glasses that I bought in the Graceland store. They are decorated with images of Elvis etched in gold leaf on heavy crystal. Priscilla picked out the items in the Elvis gift store and Priscilla had very good taste. But, enough about my artistic journey; it’s time to TCB, as the King used to say. Take Care of Business!

This is a classic milkshake without the ice cream. If you like, add ½ cup of ice cream or non-dairy ice cream to the blender when pureeing this snack. This quickie shake has plenty of protein. You can use milk or non-dairy milk. Leftover shake freezes nicely for another time. If you have thickened this to stabilize it, we recommend freezing in glass containers. As we never tire of telling you, xanthum gum thickeners stick to plastic.

Tip: Two hours before making this shake, cut up the two ripe bananas into chunks and freeze them in a zip bag. At snack time, purée them in the blender with a tablespoon of Nocciolata (the hazelnut chocolate sauce with no trans-fats and protein powder). Mix the peanut butter powder with a little water to make a loose paste, then puree it with the almond milk until it is completely blended in and smooth.

Servings: 2


  • Two ripe bananas, frozen and cut into inch- or two-inch chunks
  • 2 tbsp. organic peanut butter powder (whisked until smooth with 2 tablespoons of water)
  • 1 Tablespoon Nocciolata, the hazelnut-chocolate sauce (optional, contains no trans-fats)
  • ¼ cup almond milk, chilled, or ¼ cup chocolate cashew milk, chilled
  • 1 tablespoon good cocoa powder (optional)
  • Optional: 1 scoop protein powder, whey or plant-based
  • Instant thickener to stabilize the shake

For the Puree

In the Pitcher of a Blender

  • Add the peanut butter powder mixed with water
  • Add the hazelnut chocolate sauce
  • Add the two frozen bananas, broken into chunks
  • Add the almond milk as needed to keep this moist and smooth
  • Add the cocoa powder and the protein powder, adding almond milk if needed

Blend until the desired thickness is achieved.

Swirl Away!

Note on Thickening: For all levels of the NDD, one controls the thickness by the amount of peanut butter powder and bananas. To stabilize the shake, add 1 packet of gel or powdered gum thickener and blend. If you are using the powder thickener, place the shake in the refrigerator for five minutes until the full thickening potential is reached. For pudding consistency, use 2 packets of thickener.

Bacon-lovers, take note: I really am going out on a limb here, but bacon ice cream is all the rage in foodie circles. Perhaps you can find a good bacon ice cream online, one that does not have chunks of bacon in it, but is smooth and tastes like bacon. Since ice cream is made with butterfat, they might have used bacon grease for the ice cream. Only you and your healthcare provider know if this is safe for the swallow. You could use bacon ice cream to buzz your smoothie while you listen to “Love Me Tender.” The King would approve. The thickener will bind this concoction of a Memphis Mafia combination of ingredients.

Note to purists: Another possibility – puree a slice of Canadian bacon with a high-speed blender using the pulse function until you break it down. I julienne the Canadian bacon before pureeing in my recipe for Won Ton Soup in the Essential Puree Guidebook. Dairy products contain lactic acid. This aids in the breakdown of protein. Add a tablespoon of vanilla ice cream to help the bacon break down. You will create your very own hog ice cream.

You need a Vitamix or a nutrition extractor for this. A regular blender won’t do. Don’t even go there. I can hear you complaining about how difficult this would be. If you are really a purist, you know that Elvis used to fly to Vegas in the middle of the night on his private jet to get the best version of the sandwich. So you have to work for the simulated, virtual reality bacon experience. No one else is even attempting to offer this to you. Don’t get me “All Shook Up.” Your SLP or physician absolutely must give you clearance for pureed Canadian bacon. Don’t get me in the middle of this!

Swirl Away!


Featured photo credit: USA-Reiseblogger via Pixabaycc