Shake it Up
So, the Superbowl is over, and we all feel a little guilty about just how much pizza, wings, chips, and dip (hopefully homemade spinach artichoke) we managed to shove in our mouths in a four hour time period. To help ease us out of our bloated, saturated fat, and sodium educed stupors, for this post I turn to the amazingly easy and incredibly versatile health shake.
Now I know we’ve all seen those muscle heads at the gym, guzzling down whey-protein creatine fortified “milk shakes”. This is all good and fine if your goal is squat-press 700lbs in a one-piece singlet, but for the rest of us, there are a lot of better tasting healthy options.
Today’s post is all about giving you choices. I’m simply going to list some ingredients and suggested combos, then it’s up to you to go out and mix and match. Kind of like when you go to your favorite create-you-own burrito store… wait… were trying to be healthy here… sorry, scratch that.
- Fruit Juice: Not technically a milk shake, more of a smoothie if you opt for this. But good for a sweet and refreshing shake. Just keep in mind, fruit juices contain lots of sugar, so this might not be the best option if you’re trying to keep your drink slim.
- Yogurt (light or regular): good for a smooth and easily drinkable consistency. Combine with Milk for best results.
- Greek Yogurt: My personal favorite. Super high in protein, low in fat, and it’s thicker consistency makes for an ideal shake base. Also should be combined with your favorite milk of choice.
- Ice Cream: Ok, not necessarily healthy. But my god it’s delicious. Also needs milk to create the ideal consistency.
- Fruit: I find frozen is often best here. All the flavor of fresh fruit, but it’s easier to have around the house, and it helps to thicken up the shake.
- Chocolate syrup: once again, not the healthiest, but if you opt for a little bit and use a fat-free variety, it adds a nice sweet touch.
- Oatmeal: Ok, this one is weird I know, but with certain flavor combos it can be REALLY delicious, and it helps thicken up the shake well.
- Peanut Butter: Good for high-protein shakes. Not low in calories, but high in satisfaction.
- Miscellaneous additions: Cinnamon, cocoa powder, instant coffee, honey, and flavor extracts.
- It never hurts to add a little protein powder, fiber powder, or other nutritional supplements into your shake. They become virtually tasteless amidst the other components, and have numerous health benefits.
- Add only if really needed for thickening. Usually helps with juice based shakes, but can water down other varieties.
Ok, Now time for some EXAMPLES!
Banana Cream Bliss (as adapted from my favorite local health food restaurant)
- 2 cups vanilla soy milk.
- 1 banana
- 1/2 cup oatmeal
- 1 tbsp cinnamon
- 1/2 cup peanut butter
- 1 tbsp whey protein powder
The Northeastern (named after my cycling instructor roommate who teaches classes at Northeastern and drinks these daily)
- 1 cup plain Greek yogurt
- 1 cup frozen blueberries
- 1 cup vanilla almond milk
- 1 tbsp Protein powder
- A little squirt of honey, if your feeling daring
Tropical Thunder (you should probably drink this with a little umbrella in it..)
- 1 cup orange juice
- 1/2 cup frozen pineapple
- 1/2 banana
- 1/2 cup frozen strawberries
- 1/2 cup of mango or kiwi
- A little bit of vanilla yogurt if you so choose
Ok, so now it’s your turn! Go out and get blending. Let me know what works, what doesn’t, and what becomes your newest milk shake obsession.