I am not a morning person by any stretch of the imagination, so one of the biggest challenges to the whole wellness/smoothie life thing I’ve committed to is, how do I get a smoothie and a cup of coffee into me during my 20-minute drive to work? I need the coffee to do the smiling and the talking (very important in the business we call retail), but I need the smoothie and the protein to not starve to death within my first hour of work. I’ve never been a chugger of liquids—my La Croixs always go flat before I finish them, and I’m used to dealing with watery iced coffee and cocktails. I needed a solution—one that didn’t involve me actually waking up earlier, duh.
So, many moons ago, while make the baby steps towards the wellness journey on which I now find myself, I discovered a little website called Nutrition Stripped. The lifestyle site is run out of Nashville by dietician/nutritionist McKel Hill. It’s basically a smoothie-recipe Mecca. As the completist I am, I pre-ordered McKel’s cookbook and everything. It’s been a big hit here at the Fig household.
So, when I discovered the Mood Boosting Cocoa Smoothie, it was my Eureka moment.
It puts the coffee IN the smoothie!
I’ve made this smoothie, like, a hundred times, with minor variations here and there based on ingredients I have on hand. I’ve been adding spirulina to get those greens! But when you have something every day, you’re bound to get a little restless and want to try new things. Therefore, I give you, The Strawberry Morning Milkshake! It’s just a variation on McKel Hill’s theme, credit where credit is due, but my oh my is it a delight.
Strawberry Morning Milkshake
makes just under 4 cups, serves 2
- 1 banana, fresh or frozen*
- 1/2 c. chopped strawberries (about 4 large strawberries), fresh or frozen*
- 2 tbsp. chia seeds
- 1 scoop Vega vanilla protein powder
- 1/2 c. to 1 c. of cold brew
- 1 c. unsweetened organic almond milk
In a high-powered blender, add all ingredients and blend until smooth! Serve immediately, and refrigerate leftovers for up to two days.
If you have a normal blender, like me, add all ingredients except almond milk, and process at a slower speed until smooth. Then add in your almond milk and go to town on that high setting!
I prefer a thinner smoothie, so I add all of the coffee I possibly can to this. But if you want a classic milkshake feel, I’d keep the 1/2 c. cold brew : 1 c. almond milk ratio.
*I recommend frozen fruit for this recipe, both for the temperature of the smoothie, and the milkshake-esque texture.
Optional Add-ins for Optimal Nutrition
- 1 tsp spirulina*
- 1 pitted date (for sweetness)
- 1 c. baby spinach
- 1 tbsp. flax seeds or flax meal
- 2 Brazil nuts
*The spirulina will slightly alter the color and taste of the smoothie, so I recommend trying it once without to get a frame of reference.
So, there you have it. A full cup of coffee and enough protein and nutrients to keep you full until your lunch break. No compromises necessary! You’ll be able to finish this on your morning commute in between embarrassing performances of every song from Hamilton. And if you think strawberries and coffee are an odd combination, have faith, don’t forget your vanilla protein powder, and enjoy!