Eating cleanly 5-6 meals per day every 3 hours can be time consuming and a pain at times. Smoothies/protein shakes are one of my favorite solutions to making eating clean a little easier. I use smoothies/protein shakes as a quick and easy solution to 1 or 2 of my meals especially when the weather is warm.
My basic smoothie recipe is based on the Green Monster Smoothie:
- 1 cup unsweetened vanilla almond milk
- 1 banana
- 1 handful of spinach
Blend until smooth.
This recipe is the building block to 90% of the smoothies I make, sometimes I do substitute other fruit for the banana, but the majority of the time I use all of these ingredients.
I have recently added a few new additions to my smoothies to make them more tasty and healthy. With all the weight training I have been doing I knew the addition of protein powder to my smoothies would be beneficial to my body and increasing my muscle strength. I am extremely picky about the type of protein powder I use because I am not a big fan of artificial sweeteners, additives and the nasty aftertaste that most of these products leave in my mouth. It is difficult to find an unflavored protein powder with no added sweeteners, trust me I know because it took me months of searching before I finally found one that fit the bill. I used to use Any Whey which is a protein powder that only contains whey protein and has no flavor so you can add it anything but I couldn’t find it anywhere. I finally found a protein powder equivalent if not better than Any Whey:
This Whey protein powder by Jarrow Formulas is fantastic. It is flavorless so it can be pretty much added to anything you want without altering the taste, a big plus for me. It has no artificial ingredients or additives, the only ingredient it contains is 100% Ultrafiltered Whey Protein. Each heaping scoop contains 94 calories, 2 grams of fat and 18 grams protein. I have added this protein powder to smoothies, oatmeal, pancakes and baked goods without altering the flavor at all. I did have some minor textural issues with clumping when I added it to my oatmeal the first time, but the second time I stirred the protein powder in at the end rather than while cooking and it turned out great, no clumping. This is my new go to protein powder, it is not only unflavored and free of artificial sweeteners it is reasonably priced (I paid about $13 for this 1 lb. container). If you are looking for an unflavored protein powder this product is perfect!!
The other protein powder I have been using is GNC’s Be-Buff protein and fiber complex mix, vanilla flavored:
I purchased this protein powder while looking for an unflavored one to use in the interim. This protein powder is vanilla flavored and does have artificial ingredients in it. One scoop weighs in at 100 calories, 1 gram fat, 15 grams protein and 3 grams fiber. When I add this to my basic green monster recipe with peanut butter I can tolerate the taste, but unfortunately it does leave an aftertaste in my mouth that I do not like at all. I will continue to use this until the bag is finished because I hate to waste my money but I will not be buying this protein powder again.
The last ingredient I have been adding to my smoothies is a fantastic product called PB2:
PB2 is powdered peanut butter which they make by slow roasting then pressing the peanuts to remove the fat and oil. After this process you are left with this low fat, peanut butter flavored powder that tastes delicious when added to smoothies. This product does not contain any additives or artificial ingredients and 2 tbsp. weighs in at 45 calories, 1.5 grams fat, 2 grams fiber, 5 grams carbs, and 5 grams of protein. I used to add regular peanut butter to my smoothies but PB2 adds so much more flavor without all the fat. If you like peanut butter you will love PB2 you should give it a try. I have not added it to anything else but I am sure it is great in oatmeal, baked goods, pancakes and anything else you can think of adding it to.
So break out your blenders and try a smoothie! It is a quick and easy way to add protein and nutrients to your diet!!
What are your favorite smoothie recipes? What ingredients do you love to add in?