A few weeks ago, I found myself in Costco having a nice conversation with a fellow tennis enthusiast, Roger Federer fan and healthy lady who was about my age. We were conversing over the Flax Meal section as I was considering trying the Costco brand over that of Bob’s Old Mill which I had been using prior to that day. She uses the Costco brand, so I was seeking her opinion. As a result, that I now use the Costco brand as it is less expensive in bulk and mixes more smoothly and unobtrusively in smoothies and protein shakes.
Come to find out we both take supplements. Any of you that take supplements, especially if you have a handful like I do, then it is a bit of a drag to swallow them each morning with water. It is my experience and personal preference to take my supplements with a protein shake. My protein shakes are so good, they have the consistency of milk shakes, so taking supplements becomes a pleasant experience. I told her that this is how I took my supplements and she asked for my smoothie recipe, so I thought I would share it with you.
1 cup unsweetened vanilla almond milk (or water)
3 packets of Stevia (zero calorie sweetener)
1/2 scoop of protein powder of choice
4 TBSPNS of Flax Meal
1/4 cup of uncooked oatmeal
1 cup of water
1/2 of a frozen banana
1 cup chopped frozen strawberries
Put the first 5 ingredients in the blender and mix. The resultant mixture will be very thick. Add about 1/3 or 1/2 of a cup of water as your blender could be straining at this point.
Chop frozen 1/2 of frozen banana and 1 cup of frozen strawberries and add a few pieces at a time alternating with the water. The mixture will be thick so you may have to stop the blender and shake it gently to break the suction. Continue until all the fruit is mixed.
Yield 30-32 oz, and more if you add ice.
- Almond Milk/Soy Milk/Rice Milk are your vegan choices. If you prefer dairy then use that. Sometimes I use water if I don’t have almond milk, but just started using almond milk and it is my personal preference now.
- Stevia: I use unsweetened milk so hence adding Stevia to cut down on calories. I also use Stevia when using water to give a little zing to the fruit.
- Protein Powder: I use soy (sometimes whey when cheating), but mainly soy and I alternate in-between using vanilla and chocolate. If I am using vanilla protein powder with the almond milk, sometimes I will add a few drops of almond extract to bring out the flavor of the almonds.
- Flax Meal: I am used to it, so I use 4 TBSPNS. If you aren’t used to flax meal, then start out with 1 TBSPN and work your way up. Flax makes you feel full longer and contains fiber. If you are consuming flax, then you need to make sure you have adequate water consumption during the day so that the flax can do its thing. Not enough water with flax will stop you up and have the reverse effect that you want.
- Oatmeal: This is a new addition to my shakes, and wow is it good! I only use a 1/4 of a cup for the sake of not adding more calories. This amount makes the smoothie plenty thick. I just use the plain oatmeal that comes in a silo shaped container. My father had some extra around, so decided to try it. You will love it!
- Frozen Fruit: Nothing tastes more delicious than taking a bite of a frozen banana. I freeze mine to keep them fresh. When I buy a bunch and just before they become overly ripe, I just take off the skins, chop them into 1/8s and put them in a bag in the freezer. This way you don’t have to worry about them going bad and they taste great too! It is wonderful that none of the bananas go to waste. The fact that they are frozen helps them whip into a nice consistency for a protein shake. I buy frozen strawberries in bulk from Costco. Again the frozen state helps the consistency of the shake and you don’t have to worry about the more expensive fresh berries going bad.
- Add ice if you want the shake bigger or colder. I had been doing that, but now that the weather is colder, I don’t add ice. I like it better with no ice as the shake tastes creamier, too much water alters the consistency.
- One last note: yes, making a shake in the morning is a little bit high maintenance, but they are so delicious and good for you and my recipe will keep you full until lunch. Middle-aged bodies need the extra help with the flax and besides, taking your supplements won’t be such a pain. Everyone needs to eat breakfast to stoke their metabolic fire, so a shake is a good way to do it. Don’t skip breakfast!
- Calories: About 420*. 1/2 frozen banana & 1 cup strawberries = 100. 4 TBSPNS flax = 150, 1/2 scoop protein powder = 50, 1 cup Almond Milk = 50, 1/4 cup of oatmeal = 70. *Numbers adjusted very slightly by rounding. It makes a huge glass, 30-32 ounces and is a very thick shake that you can eat with a spoon in addition to having a satisfying and healthy breakfast substitute.