The Perfect Protein Shake
The Perfect Protein Shake
I am going to put this out into the universe. I am an expert in the art of the protein shake. Whether this is something to be proud of or not, I have been making one every single day for as long as I can remember. If I am going to be completely honest, on many days I drink two. There are many different recipes that you can find on the internet, and there are hundreds of ways you can change the flavor profile to fit your fickle taste buds. There is however, the perfect ratio of ingredients to mimic a creamy milkshake. I personally enjoy one of these wonderful concoctions every single morning. I want to share this with you all, because I seem to send it to at least one person per week anyway, and this way it is on the internet and can be forever used by all of my friends and readers and anyone else who decides they don’t feel like chewing for their next meal.
*Disclaimer: I use a vegan and allergy friendly protein powder, and many of you could use other versions. I will give you some suggestions from the “normal” people in my life and the proteins that they enjoy.
What you need:
1. A blender. My old blender is from wal-mart and it cost around 30.00. They aren’t expensive and I get a lot of good use out of it. I am pretty sure that they have them for as cheap as 20.00. I now use a VitaMix which has completely changed my life. That sounds dramatic, but i low-key mean it.
2. Protein powder:
a. I use Chocolate flavored Plant Fusion or Vega One (Plant based protein) protein powders; this is because of my food allergies. They are also a great option for vegan athletes.
b. Another favorite in my household is Cellucor protein powders (cinnamon bun, chocolate, and cookies and cream all have good reviews). These are usually the ones Bailey sticks too, and what I suggest to many people.
c. PEScience Select Protein powder is also coveted by many fitness gurus, (snickerdoodle and peanut butter cookie seems to be the most popular flavors).
d. ON brand Platinum Hydro Whey and Casein protein is little brothers favorite protein, and he drinks the chocolate flavor. All of these are great options and have a good amount of clean protein per serving.
3. A liquid. This is vague, I understand. There are so many options. I use unsweetened vanilla almond milk or cashew milk. You can always use water, skim milk, 2% milk, or coconut milk. It all depends on your goals. If you are looking for weight loss, or to have a higher calorie dense meal later in your day, I suggest using a lower calorie base.
4. Ice or frozen fruit. I use 8 large ice cubes for the 1.5-2 cups of milk. If you only use 1 cup of milk, only use 6 ice cubes. When I use frozen fruit I use 1/2 cup blueberries and 1/2 cup strawberries you can use whatever fruit you like. The ratio of ice/fruit to milk is one of the most crucial elements to your shake. You don’t want it to become like a slushy, you want it to be like a milkshake, and this is the step where you can go wrong.
5. The banana. A whole one or a ½ of one, I promise you this will give you the consistency you want in your protein shake. Don’t you dare tell me you don’t eat bananas because of the carbs, because unless you are trying to get to 10% body fat and training to compete for a fitness competition, someone has brainwashed you. You do have a legitimate excuse if you are allergic. Anyway, I would suggest adding some. *Disclaimer: I have been making my shakes without a banana in my VitaMix, and they are a great consistency, but i could never get them to turn out this way when I used my other blender.*
6. The extra healthy stuff! Over the last year or so, I have started using my protein shake as a way to get extra veggies and antioxidants! I add green superfood to my shakes every day, which add a ton of extra vitamins, nutrients, and veggie servings. I also add about 2 cups of spinach. Which is completely tasteless and is a good way to add green! I will admit though, the color of your protein shake might not be the best...lol
7. The sprinkles!!! There is so much creativity that can be had with a protein shake! I add Chocolate PB2 and sometimes a little extra cocoa powder. You can add coffee for extra kick or oats for extra carbs! There are so many options!
B’s Favorite Protein Shake(s):
Chocolate PB Berry: Add 2 cups unsweetened cashew milk, 1/2 cup organic blueberries, 1/2 cup organic strawberries, 1 scoop Plant Fusion Chocolate Protein powder, 2 tbsp PB2, 1 serving superfood, 2 large handfuls spinach and blend.
Chocolate PB Banana: Add 2 cups of unsweetened cashew milk, 8 ice cubes, 1 scoop of Plant Fusion Chocolate Protein powder, 2 tbsp PB2, 1 banana, spinach, 1 scoop of Chocolate Green Superfoods and blend.
2. After blending the first time, I grab a spoon and scrape down the sides, so nothing is sticking to the blender and it all gets incorporated. Then pulse or blend again for a few seconds. It is as simple as that!!
*This makes a pretty big shake, around 32oz. I like volume, because I am drinking this as a meal replacement.
Extra: If you want to get fancy, I also have a product called Xanthan Gum, which is a natural product that thickens foods. You can use it in sauces and other cooking too. I put a LITTLE bit in my shakes to thicken them and make them even more milkshake like.
The great think about protein shakes is that you have the ability to be really creative. You can add a tablespoon of any kind of nut butter you can think of. You can add berries for extra vitamins and nutrients. I am going to give you a few ideas below!
1. Banana Cream Pie: 1.5 cups vanilla almond milk, 8 ice cubes, 1 scoop Cinnamon Roll/Vanilla protein powder, 1 banana, 2 tbsp Banana cream pie fat free pudding mix. Blend and enjoy!
2. Chocolate Frappe: 1.5 cups vanilla almond milk, 8 ice cubes, 1 scoop chocolate protein powder, ¼ cup cooled coffee, ½ banana, top with fat free reddi whip! Enjoy your protein with a little extra kick!
3. Protein Powerhouse: 1.5 cups almond milk, 8 ice cubes, 1 cup spinach, 1 banana, ½ cup mixed berries, 1 scoop green superfoods, 1 scoop vanilla protein powder, 1 tbsp chia seeds, ¼ cup oats! This is sure to keep you full and satisfied along with giving you all kinds of great micronutrients!
Tips: If you are using a shake as a meal replacement, like I do sometimes, it is important to think about it as a well-balanced meal. You want to be getting as much nutrients as possible from your shake, which is why I always add Green Superfood or spinach to mine. You can’t taste it, and it gives you servings of veggies! Even when you are drinking a shake for convenience, there is no excuse to skimp on vitamins and nutrients!
Tip 2: If you are not drinking a shake for a meal replacement, and you are just drinking it for added protein after a weightlifting workout, you need to keep your shake simpler. I just grab a Blender bottle and add 1-cup cashew milk, ½ cup water, 5 ice cubes, and 1 scoop protein powder! This way you are getting your protein in without added extra calories. Sometimes if I am feeling froggy, I will add 2 tbsp pb2.
Tip 3: I get all of my protein powders, pb2, and green superfood from Amazon. I have Prime, so I get free 2 day shipping. If you don't have Prime, it will still be a cheaper option for you most of the time. Bodybuilding.com also has great deals on supplements, and it another great place to buy protein, they also have quick shipping!
Tip 4: Wash blender bottle or whatever vessel you decide to carry your drink in IMMEDIATELY! Im not joking. The small is awful and it will just save you some heartache.
I hope all of these ideas help, and like always I encourage you to let your imagination run free and put ingredients in your shakes that you enjoy! That is the only way to be successful in your health journey, eat, drink, and do thinks you enjoy!
With love and a happy tummy,
P.S. Let me know what you make, I always love new ideas!
P.S.S. If you all go buy all of my milk at Kroger, I am going to be low-key upset...just throwing that out there. :)