It is SO important to fuel every day with nutritious meals! I LOVE starting my day with protein smoothies to give my day a jump-start and to feed my body after a morning run or workout. I created this protein smoothie the other day when I was really craving a Caramel Macchiato…I got SO excited when I found Dannon’s Caramel Macchiato flavor of their Light & Fit Greek yogurt line!! Yumalicious!! I’ve bought mine at both Target and Safeway (Vons).
One thing about my smoothies…I like huge portions when it comes to my smoothies..anybody else out there feel so disappointed when you pour the smoothie out of the blender, and it fills up like a third of the glass? Plus, your stomach is still growling after you down those two swallows the blender just gave you? Yeah, me too. Sooo…I decided that was just NOT going to cut it! How could I make a jumbo-sized smoothie, but keep the calorie count at a reasonable level? After a lot of experimenting, I found my answer: ice. I mean, duh! I couldn’t believe I hadn’t thought of it earlier! And nope, it doesn’t water down the flavor AT ALL, promise! I use 20 ice cubes in my smoothies, but you might use less, depending on the size of your ice at home. This is the size of mine, to give you an idea:
Also, this recipe uses protein powder. Some people say they don’t like protein powder because of its grittiness. I would STRONGLY encourage you to try it again, blending it into one of these smoothies. I love the Sprouts store brand chocolate whey protein powder, but I also really like Designer Whey, MRM, and Whole Foods store brand. My tip would be to choose one with quality ingredients with about 85-110 calories per serving. Either Vanilla or Chocolate flavor will taste delicious for most of my smoothies (the chocolate flavor is typically VERY mild, and does not taste super chocolate-y in most varieties of protein powder), so choose your own personal favorite! The end result is a smooth, delicious, healthy, super-sized skinny protein smoothie! Yum! And guess what? I couldn’t find a big enough glass to photograph the entire smoothie in, so the recipe yields 2 full of these glasses. Mmmmm….all that gigantic goodness…just for me!!
Here’s what I used in my recipe:
I also used a little bit of Xanthan Gum, which is an amazing, gluten-free thickener, which I forgot to put in the pic. Oops.
Because of the specific ingredients I used, here are the calorie and protein stats for this recipe:
Ice: 0 calories, 0 protein
Dannon Light & Fit Greek yogurt: 80 calories, 12g protein
1 scoop Sprouts chocolate whey protein powder: 90 calories, 18g protein
Cocoa powder: 10 calories, 0 protein
Instant coffee: 0 calories, 0 protein
1 cup refrigerated unsweetened coconut milk: 45 calories, 0 protein
Stevia: 0 calories, 0 protein
Caramel Extract: 0 calories, 0 protein
1/8-1/4 tsp Xanthan Gum : 0 calories, 0 protein
Vanilla extract: 0 calories, 0 protein
Total: 225 calories, 30g protein
*Remember that calorie/protein totals will vary depending on your own ingredients. Calculate using your own for most accurate stats.*
- 10-20 ice cubes (depending on the size of the cubes)
- 1 container Dannon Light & Fit Greek Caramel Macchiato yogurt
- 1 scoop chocolate or vanilla whey protein powder
- 1 Tablespoon cocoa powder
- 1 teaspoon instant coffee granules (I used decaf)
- ¾ to 1 cup milk (I used unsweetened refrigerated coconut milk)
- 1 packet stevia (or sweetener of choice)
- ¼ teaspoon caramel extract
- ⅛ to ¼ teaspoon xanthan gum
- dash of vanilla extract (optional)
- Place all ingredients in a large high-powered blender, and blend until smooth.
- (I use a Ninja Blender, and I begin by blending on low speed for about 1 minute, stop the blender, stir, add more milk if needed; then I turn the blender up to medium for 1 minute, stop and stir; then blend at high speed about 2 minutes. If you have any other blender, your approach may be different, and may take more/less time, and you may need more/less milk to create a smooth consistency. Every appliance is different!)
If you love smoothies as much as I do, you’ve gotta try out these: