Here's my favourite/signature smoothie recipe. I've made it hundreds of times and never seem to get sick of it, probably as there's a bit of flexibility in ingredients choice (but it's also really yummy!). This smoothie winds up as breakfast many mornings, or sometimes as a post-workout snack. It's a good source of protein, healthy fats and will give you a boost of natural energy from the serving of fruit.
Although we can easily achieve our daily protein needs through a balanced wholefoods diet, the addition of a protein powder can offer a convenient way to recover after exercise or support weight loss/management (protein is ace at keeping us feeling full).
When selecting a protein powder quality is important. With the large amount of options available on the market (whey, casein, vegan-friendly pea, rice, and hemp, egg white, soy, mass-gain, protein-blends, grass-fed, organic, GMO-free, fast-digesting, slow-digesting…phew), it can be overwhelming to select the best fit for you and your needs. Here’s a few things I like to keep in mind:
- Ingredients list - the shorter the better. Many protein supplements on the market are heavily processed and if you turn over the back of a packet you’ll find an ingredients list the length of your arm. Aim for products with shorter ingredients list, and skip any artificial-this/artificial-that laden choices - you're using it for the protein after all!
- Purpose of the powder. Your fitness/health goals may help determine which protein powder is the best choice for you. For those looking at weight-loss/muscle gain a whey protein is popular due to its a) effectiveness once metabolised, and b) lower price point – it’s usually the cheapest of the lot. If you’re wanting a vegan-friendly product, then pea and rice are great options. Make sure to check your product contains all nine essential amino acids (amino acids are the building blocks of protein) on the nutrition information panel, as our bodies are unable to synthesise these and so we must get them from foods. It's also worth checking the presence of branched-chain essential amino acids aka leucine, isoleucine and valine, as these three are responsible for a third of our skeletal muscle and play a key role in building muscle.
- Taste. With all food you want to make sure you’ll enjoy eating or drinking it. Protein powders can vary drastically in taste and price, so before you commit to a tub it can be worthwhile trying a sample of the product. Most health shops or supermarkets will stock sample packets. My personal favourites re taste and quality are CleanPaleo for egg white, Nuzest for pea and INCA or Red8 for whey.
Get Fit Smoothie
1 cup liquid of choice (e.g. almond milk, rice milk, dairy milk or coconut water)
1 serving protein powder
1/2 cup berries or 1/2 banana
1 tbsp nuts (e.g. almonds, walnuts or cashews) or 1/2 tbsp nut butter
2 tsp seeds (e.g. sunflower or pumpkin seeds)
Big handful of ice
Optional: 1 tsp coconut oil
1. Add all ingredients into a blender and process until smooth. Enjoy!