Spring and summer are all about getting outdoors and soaking in the sunshine. However, that means they’re a lot hotter and more humid.
The scorching summer months can also leave you unmotivated for this same reason. If it’s sweltering outside, you’re less likely to want to go out and be active. Normal activities like bike riding sometimes don’t compare to the comfort of relaxing in bed with cool air.
Let’s Make Shakes and Smoothies!
One way to stay refreshed and energized is to make healthy shakes and smoothies. Not only are they filled with cooling ingredients, but they can offer a lot of nutritional benefits.
Shakes and smoothies are versatile, yummy and often filling. Popular ingredients include Greek yogurt, strawberries, bananas, blueberries, peanut butter, protein powder and nut milk.
To make delicious beverages, all you need is a blender, ice, your favorite shake or smoothie ingredients, the right tools for chopping them (knife, special cutting gadgets), and drinking glasses. They’re cheap to make, quick to prepare and great for convenience. Running out the door in a hurry? Grab your shake or smoothie and you won’t go hungry!
Here are just a few things about shakes and smoothies to keep in mind:
- They can be very high in sugar. To cut back on sugar, choose to sweeten with low-calorie sweetener, vanilla Greek yogurt or a little honey.
- Swap ice cream for Greek yogurt or nut milk.
- Choose whole foods like raw fruit and veggies.
- Use sugary ingredients like peanut butter and chocolate chips in moderation.
- Add flax seeds or Chia seeds for extra fiber and antioxidants.
- Vary what nuts you use (almond, peanut, cashew, walnut, etc.)
Looking for some shake and smoothie ideas to get started? We love these recipes from WLS Daily Plate — the blog of Cassie I. Story, RD, a bariatric dietitian and a nutrition expert that often collaborates with Obesity Action Coalition (OAC).
Peach Cobbler Protein Shake
Prep Time: 5 mins/Cook Time: 3 mins
- 1/2 cup reduced fat cottage cheese
- 1 scoop vanilla whey protein powder
- 1 Tbs. vanilla instant pudding mix (use sugar-free if you wish)
- 1 cup frozen peaches
- 1 Tbs. whole grain oats
- 1 cup water
- Cinnamon – to garnish
Directions: Add all ingredients to blender and blend until combined. Add more water if you want a thinner consistency.
Banana Kale Smoothie
Prep Time: 5 mins/Cook Time: 5 mins
- 1 cup almond milk
- 1 cup kale
- 1/2 banana
- 1 scoop protein powder
- 2 tsp. whole grain granola
- In blender combine almond milk, kale, banana, protein powder.
- Blend to desired consistency.
- If it’s too thick, add more almond milk or water.
- If you prefer it more thick, add a few ice cubes.
- Top with granola.
Toasted Coconut Mango Protein Shake
Prep Time: 6 mins/Cook Time: 2 mins
- 1 cup frozen mango (or fresh)
- 1 cup unsweetened almond milk
- 1 scoop vanilla protein powder
- 1 Tbsp. toasted coconut chips (or shredded coconut) (or 1/8 tsp. coconut extract)
- 1/2 lime, juice (optional)
- 5-6 ice cubs (optional)
Directions: Place all ingredients in blender and blend on high until combined. Top with additional coconut and lime slice, if desired.
For more healthy recipe ideas that taste delicious, visit WLSDailyPlate.com.