Protein Shake Essentials

What are the best things to readily have on hand in the kitchen and pantry to make some of the tastiest protein shakes? Over the years I’ve learned I can throw just about anything into the blender and drink it. Well, fruits and vegetables, that is. All it takes is some basic knowledge about assembling a flavorful shake. Admittedly, I like my shakes a little sweet and creamy. Here are some of my favorite protein shake ingredients. By no means is this list exhaustive, but it includes several foods I often incorporate into my pre- and post-workout shakes.

Keep in mind fruit and veggies have a high concentration of water. This translates into needing less of a liquid base than you may initially think. Play around with it!

Five Shake Makin’ Tips

1. BALANCE THE BITTER. If you want to blend a bitter veggie, such as arugula, and you don’t like bitter shakes, make sure you compensate for the bitterness and add something sweet (i.e., banana, pineapple, etc.).

2. DON’T OVERDO IT ON THE FRUIT. Fruit naturally has a high sugar content. There’s no need to put a whole banana or an entire mango into a shake. Take it easy. For example, in one of my go-to shakes, I tend to use ¼ of banana, a small handful of blueberries, and a couple blackberries. Bonus tip: slice your banana with the peel on. Place unused banana in fridge (I like to place mine in the little plastic compartment in the door with the flip up lid) and slice another piece off later for your next shake!

3. WASH, TOSS, AND FREEZE. If you think your fruit is about to go bad, freeze it! Cut ripe bananas into small 1” – 2” slices, toss in a container, and freeze them! Keep in mind they tend to get stuck together when frozen. It’s nothing a little tap with a dull knife won’t solve!

4. BUY LOCAL AND IN BULK. If possible, buy fruit and veggies local and/or in bulk. Support your local farmers’ market. Divide everything up into plastic storage bags and freeze what you don’t need immediately. This saves you money and time. Plus, it feels good to support local farmers.

5. FANCY BLENDERS NOT REQUIRED. There’s no need to purchase a super fancy expensive blender unless you can afford it and insist on having VERY smooth shakes. I have found the “lower end” models work very well; however, you may occasionally get a tiny piece of spinach stuck in your teeth!

Coming soon…my favorite protein shake recipes.

Happy blending!

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