Mandy's Marvelous Meals

Recipes, tips, tricks, and my journey into cooking fabulous food!

Warm Weather Means Cool Treats!

on March 14, 2012

As the weather warms up, I have been getting back into eating Smoothies for breakfast, as a healthy snack or sometimes even as dessert. There are a million and one different smoothie recipes out there but today I’ll be sharing my personal favorites.

(BTW, I haven’t snapped any photos of my smoothies so this was one I found on a free photo site.)

This past week has been a struggle….and I’m not sure why, but I have been feeling so hungry. I did drop 2 more pounds, and really didn’t go off the wagon (stayed in my WW “points” budget despite eating fast food and indulging in some “Faturday” treats! Thanks WW!). I feel like I am eating a lot, but still I am hungry!  I’ve increased the amount of veggies and fruits I eat (since they are 0 points and packed with fiber) but it just doesn’t seem to be helping.  I know all the nutritional information out there says that fiber-rich foods will fill you up but this just does not happen for me!

Which brings me to protein powder…

I do sometimes add vanilla whey protein powder to my smoothies, especially if I make them for breakfast so as to help keep me fuller. I’ve read a bit here and there about protein powders in regards to the average person (not athletes or body builders) and there is a lot of mixed information, including some studies that say protein powders do not work and that you are basically just consuming chemicals….hmmmm…interesting.

So based on what I’ve come across I choose to believe:

  • They can be harmful if over used or not used properly.
  • They should not be used for weight loss (i.e. don’t replace all or most meals with protein shakes) and they should only be used if you are not getting enough protein in your diet.
  • They do make you feel fuller.
  • As long as I am not ingesting more grams of protein than I should be in a day, then I will use them every now and then.

And as I’ve mentioned before, when I begin the “healthy phase” of my transformation (that is when I am finished with my diet, have dropped all the pounds I need to, and work towards a healthier lifestyle), I will try to find an alternative, as I do not think they really fit into the category of what is genuinely “healthy”.

Speaking of alternatives….

I’ve started to switch over to Greek yogurt which has much more protein than regular yogurt. At first I really didn’t like it, but it has grown on me and I do like to use it for baking (it’s awesome in pancakes & waffles!) and now in my smoothies. So if you use Greek yogurt you definitely would not need the protein powder because you’ll be getting a large amount of protein from it. For the recipes in this post that use yogurt, my personal favorite is Dannon Light N’ Fit Vanilla, but you can use whatever you like.

One last note about using a blender…the most important thing to do when using any type of blender is to follow the instructions that came with your blender. They should include instructions on how to crush ice, as well as what order to put the ingredients in. For example, in the case of smoothies or things with ice, you typically would put in the liquid ingredients first and building up to the ice last. Until I realized this, I could never get my stuff to blend well….even with a decent blender.  After getting fed up I turned to the instruction manual and learned that I had been doing it all wrong.

I hope you enjoy these recipes. I’d love to hear what your favorite smoothies are and please feel free to share your own thoughts on making these delicious treats!

Chocolate Covered Strawberry Smoothie (WW pointsplus: Without protein powder = 4; With protein powder = 7)

1 cup light chocolate soy milk

1 cup frozen strawberries

1 cup ice

1 scoop vanilla protein powder (optional)

Splenda, to taste (optional)

  1. Add all ingredients to a blender and blend until ice is crushed and it reaches smoothie consistency.

 

Strawberry Cheesecake Smoothie (WW pointsplus: with protein powder = 7; Without protein powder = 4)

½ cup fat free skim milk or almond milk

1/3 cup fat free cottage cheese

1 tsp. vanilla extract

2 tbsp. splenda

1 scoop vanilla protein powder (optional)

1 cup frozen strawberries

2 tbsp. fat free whipped cream (optional)

  1. Add cottage cheese to blender and blend for about 30 seconds until smooth.
  2. Add remaining ingredients and blend until desired consistency is reached.
  3. Top with whipped cream.

 

Strawberry Banana Smoothie (WW pointsplus = 5)

½ banana, sliced, frozen

½-3/4 cup frozen strawberries

½ cup fat free vanilla yogurt

½ cup fat free skim milk or almond milk

2 tbsp. splenda

 

  1. Add all ingredients to blender and run until well combined and smooth.

 

Peanut Butter Banana Smoothie (WW pointsplus: with protein powder = 9; without protein powder = 5)

1 cup fat free skim milk or almond milk

2 tbsp. PB2 or  reduced fat peanut butter

1 tbsp. Hershey’s unsweetened cocoa

2 tbsp. splenda

1 cup ice

1 scoop protein powder (optional)

  1. Combine all ingredients in a blender and run until smooth.

 

Tropical Fruit Smoothie (WW pointsplus =  5)

1/2 cup non-fat yogurt

1/2 cup unsweetened apple juice

1 cup frozen mixed fruit (like the kind by Dole)

1 cup ice

1-2 tbsp. splenda (optional)

  1.  Blend all ingredients in a blender until smooth.

 


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