Smoothies are a delicious way to get in multiple servings of fruit, veggies, protein, fiber, and tons of vitamins and minerals. Plus, I’d argue most people would rather get in their nutrients via something that tastes like and resembles ice cream more than they would a salad. But often I hear what people are filling their smoothies with, and that their smoothies are so “healthy” or full of “superfoods” that it makes a great meal (or even snack) to help them to lose weight. Lots of foods that are very nutrient dense (dried fruit, nuts/nut butters, dark chocolate, etc.) are also calorically dense. By no means am I saying to avoid these foods, but if your smoothie was already “healthy” with just a couple of ingredients, adding in more will just cause the calories to pile up.
Here is a recipe for a nutrient-packed smoothie bowl that’s a play on a peanut butter and jelly sandwich, which packs in a lot of great foods but doesn't break the bank calorically.
5 ounces frozen banana (about 1 medium banana)
3 scoops whey protein powder (We used Denovo Nutrition White Cake but get creative!)
1 cup frozen blueberries
1/2 Tablespoon unsweetened cocoa powder
1 cup light unsweetened almond milk
2 Pure Acai unsweetened frozen smoothie packs (We used Sambazon brand, but you could easily substitute a cup of frozen acai berries, raspberries, blackberries, or strawberries.)
2 Tablespoons Whips creamy whipped peanut butter
2/3 cup Trader Joe’s Peanut Butter granola
Blend all the smoothie ingredients and simply top it with the peanut butter and granola. This makes 2 servings. We had this as our dinner after returning to Chicago from Easter, and it was pretty filling.
Calories and Macros per serving:
- 562 calories
- 49.5g protein
- 52g carbs
- 18.8g fat
There are some pretty easy modifications you can make to decrease the calories. The smoothie packs are a little higher in calories than if you just used frozen berries. You could also choose to blend peanut butter powder in with the other ingredients or sprinkle it on the top instead of using the whips. You can also top with oats or wheat bran instead of the granola, which contributed 130 calories per serving. But if you have this as a full meal, 562 calories isn’t all that high. We didn’t have any at our house but you can also add some baby spinach to the smoothie. I find this doesn’t really change the taste but makes the smoothie much “fluffier” so that you end up with more food volume.
I also recently made a different version where I tweaked the recipe to sub more frozen berries in the smoothie instead of frozen bananas, and topped the bowl with some sliced fresh bananas and chia seeds.
Give either one a try and get creative, just always be conscious of the quantity of food you’re using so that your “healthy” smoothies don’t turn into a calorie-laden dessert!
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