A Very Sticky Nairobi Banana Smoothie

Oh dear, oh dear. It was September 2007 and me and my husband were travelling in Kenya. We were waiting to fly back to London and had a couple of hours to spend. We decided to head to Nairobi, the city centre. I called James, my trusted driver (a young man, very nice, driving an awful car). He picked us up and I asked him to drive us to Sarit Centre (a shopping mall in Nairobi). In Sarit Centre there is a very good supermarket and a bookstore and I wanted to buy some nuts and fruits and books for the flight back home.  We bought a couple of books (the few recipe books I didn't already have), had some lovely coffee at Dorman's and shortly before I had arranged for James to pick us up again, we decided to get ourselves a Banana smoothie for the ride back to the airport. Every time we come to Nairobi we crave that particular smoothie. It is so very, very delicious. We got the smoothie, spotted James in the parking lot and rushed inside the car.

Ok now imagine yourself in our shoes. It's over 30 degree Celsius/86 degree Fahrenheit, no air conditioning (I was surprised that the car even started) and you have just spilt roughly 400 millilitres of very, very sticky banana smoothie all over yourself. That is what happened to Jóhannes, my husband. He was sitting in the backseat, absolutely covered in banana smoothie..his t-shirt, shorts, the car seat...everything was covered. It was absolutely disgusting and poor James just sighed. We felt terrible because it wasn't even his car and we knew that he would have to return it spotless (as spotless as a battered old car can get). We managed to get a clean t-shirt from our bags and we dried most of the smoothie off the car seat but it was still disgusting (and the heat did not make it better). We left James at the airport with hands full of money for cleaning and a very generous tip for the inconvenience but the only thing he said was "Hakunamatata" (don't worry) and left us with a smile. I gave Jóhannes most of my smoothie because he felt so very bad about his (it's his favourite smoothie of all times and he likes it more than me). He was still wearing his sticky shorts on the flight with white blotches on the front and down his shorts, smelling of bananas and honey. It was dreadful.

Anyway, this is the recipe and although we can't get our hands on the mini bananas used in Kenya, just use over ripe bananas instead. Just imagine when you are drinking this smoothie..that you are sitting in almost unbearable heat (remember we are from Iceland....) with no air conditioning, covered in most of the smoothie you were about to drink, with an 8 hours flight ahead of you...It's a sticky situation I tell you!!!!

A delicious smoothie although very sticky when in a hot car!

This recipe is:

  • Egg free
  • Gluten free
  • Lactose (dairy) free
  • Nut free
  • Vegan

A Very Sticky Nairobi Banana Smoothie

Serves 2 people


  • 250 millilitres (8½ fluid oz) soy milk
  • 3 large bananas, very ripe
  • 1 tablespoon agave nectar or honey (if not vegan)
  • A couple of ice cubes


  1. Place the ice cubes in the blender or food processor.
  2. Pour 50 millilitres (1½  fluid oz) of the soy milk on top of the ice cubes.
  3. Blend for 5 seconds.
  4. Peel the 3 bananas and add to the blender along with the 1 tablespoon agave nectar.
  5. Add more agave nectar if you prefer a sweeter smoothie.
  6. Blend for 30 seconds or until smooth and almost frothy.
  7. Serve immediately.


  • You can use maple syrup or acacia honey instead of the agave nectar.
  • You can use soy yoghurt for a thicker smoothie.
  • You can also use almond milk, oat milk, rice milk or semi-skimmed milk instead of soy milk.