One of the perks of being a nutrition blogger is getting to try out different products. Recently I had protein powder samples sent to me from both EAS and from Elizabeth of the blog “Don’t White Sugar Coat It” (who now works for Vega , a vegetarian-based sports nutrition company). Normally if I make smoothies I am pretty lame and stick to tried and true favorites like using frozen fruit or peanut butter + cocoa powder as my add ins. These are fantastic, don’t get me wrong, but upon receiving the protein powder samples I knew I needed to experiment a bit.
Enter my NEW favorites:
Nutella-esque Protein Shake:
- 1-2 scoops chocolate protein powder (I used the EAS Chocolate Recovery Mix).
- 8 fluid oz water or milk of choice
- 1/2 banana (preferably chopped and frozen) – as a sweetener
- 1/2 cup roasted and skinned hazelnuts* (you can use raw if you want or don’t have time to turn on the oven)
- small handful of ice
BLEND. ENJOY. YUMM!
*if you choose to roast the hazelnuts, do a large batch ahead of time so they are ready to get thrown in the blender. I roasted them at 400°F for 6 minutes, let them cool, and then rubbed the skin off.
I also used the EAS Chocolate Protein powder mixed with just plain water and (soy) milk to see what I thought. They recommend two scoops for the serving size and I was a bit nervous that it wouldn’t all mix in well and would taste “chalky” like I remember protein mixes in college tasting like. This was not the case and I liked it in both milk and water!
After deciding I was a genius for this creation (I’m positive I am the only person in the history of the world to do this…) and posting it on Facebook so all my friends could “ooh” and “ahh” over it, I had another “creative” breakthrough. The nice folks at EAS also threw some of their Lean 15 bars in to the box and one of them, the Chocolate Mint (which was fantastic) inspired my next new favorite smoothie…
Minty Fresh Protein Shake:
- 1-2 scoops Chocolate OR Vanilla protein powder (yes friends, this one is good both ways)
- 8 fluid oz water or milk
- 10 fresh mint leaves (or however much you want really)
- 1/2 banana (preferably chopped and frozen)
- handful of ice
- optional: frozen spinach (if you use the vanilla protein powder and you want the end result to be green in color).
As a note of caution, I love mint and will often add mint leaves to water and sometimes just eat them whole…so I guess I can’t vouch for how a normal person would feel about this recipe, but it’s worth a shot!
(forgot to snap a photo, my bad)
From there, Elizabeth told me that she is a big fan of Black Cherry-Vanilla protein shakes. When my assortment of Vega goodies arrived (after 1st gobbling down the Vibrancy bar, highly recommend it) I broke out the blender, again, to follow her advice.
Black Cherry-Vanilla Protein Smoothie:
- 1-2 scoops Vanilla Protein Powder (I used a single-serve pack of the Vega Vanilla Performance Protein mix)
- 1 cup frozen black or dark cherries
- 8 fluid oz water or milk of choice.
Heavenly. Have to love taking suggestions from fellow tasty food-loving RDs!
The last, but certainly not least, of my new favorite protein smoothies grew out of my love for chai tea, both hot and iced.
Vanilla-Chai Protein Smoothie:
- 1-2 scoops vanilla protein powder
- 8 fluid oz cold chai tea (I just made an extra bag one morning and stuck it in the fridge)
- 2 Tbsp milk of choice
- Handful of chai tea ice cubes (literally, just pour chai tea in to ice-cube trays and freeze)
Related side note: if you have never had an iced coffee or iced chai with actual coffee or chai ice cubes, you are missing out. It is life-changing. No more watered down beverages; just pure coffee/chai enjoyment.
What are your favorite smoothie/shake recipes? Ever made ice cubes out of coffee or chai?
Disclaimer: EAS and Vega samples were provided to me free of charge, but I was not asked to post a review of them, nor am I compensated for doing so. Thoughts and opinions are my own!