6 Tips for Making Delicious and Healthy Protein Shakes
Between balancing work and social obligations (racing from the gym to meeting friends before cranking out an extra hour of work), it can be hard to commit to drinking a healthy shake everyday. Follow these simple tips to make sure there are no more excuses.
1. Freeze coconut milk in ice cube trays
Each tray holds around two tablespoons, and not only does this make coconut milk last longer (just make sure you buy the unsweetened variety so you don’t get added sugar), but it makes it easy to pop two or three cubes out of the tray come shake-time and plop them directly into your blender.
2. Add a metabolism-boosting spice
Cinnamon, which may help lower glucose levels, works great sprinkled into a fruit-based shake, such as banana or berry. Or try a hit of cayenne, which may help lower body fat and boost metabolism and pairs particularly well with a creamy, avocado-studded smoothie. It’s also delicious with chocolate, so use it in tandem with cocoa powder in a banana smoothie.
3. Pick a plant-based protein powder
Whey protein may get all the body-building hype, but vegan protein powders are often more easily digestible and contain less added flavorings and chemicals (not to mention, by default, the fact that they’re vegan ensures they’re cholesterol-free). Many people have difficulty digesting dairy, mainly because of the sugar lactose in it. Instead, plant-based protein powders rely on protein-rich foods like hemp, peas, soy, and more. Look for one with a clean ingredient list (steer clear of ingredients you can’t pronounce) and at least 15 grams of protein per serving. We love ALOHA, which boasts 18 grams of protein and comes in vanilla and chocolate.
4. Slip in some herbs
When it comes to shaking up a nutritious elixir, many remember to include greens like spinach or kale, but herbs like parsley, cilantro, mint, and even basil can give a real taste and nutrient-boost to your shake.
5. Always include some fats
Nut butters like almond and peanut are a good option for some healthy fats, but you can also try a tablespoon of chia seeds or flaxseed for a high-density burst of good-for-you fats. And it may sound weird, but some avocado (try a quarter or a half) in your smoothie adds satiating fat and gives the texture a velvety consistency. You can also add a tablespoon or two of flaxseed oil or coconut oil.
6. Invest in a portable container
When it comes to eating healthy, we all know investing the time in meal prep is half the battle. But once you’ve spent the time swirling up a healthy protein shake, you probably don’t want to chug it standing over your kitchen counter. Instead, for easy transport and to ensure you take your shake with you on-the-go (having your shake handy on the road will also prevent you from caving into fast-food cravings), invest in a smart bottle that you actually look forward to using. We love the sleek S’well line, whose Metallic Collection is as stylish as it is functional. This BPA-free bottle is drip-free and keeps drinks cold for 24 hours (and hot drinks hot for up to 12, if you’re using it to double for your coffee or tea).