5 Ideal, Fast-and-Easy, Morning Protein Smoothies

The timing and type of protein you eat matters more than you may realize. Many of us eat most of our protein for the day in the evening – leaving mornings low in the nutrient most likely to keep us full. To ensure your day gets off on the right start, opt for a breakfast with more protein. Getting enough protein at breakfast can help you stay fuller longer, so you’re more likely to stick to your healthy eating routine. 

The average breakfast bowl or plate contains on average 13 grams of protein, yet some experts recommend getting to 20-30 at each meal.[1],[2] Sure, you may think it's a lot of work to add protein to your breakfast, but did you know you can get eight grams of protein by just drinking one 8-ounce glass of milk? Adding milk to an easy-to-make smoothie is a delicious way to add protein in the AM.

Not sure where to get started? Check out these five easy and delicious made-with-milk smoothie recipes.

Berry Berry Smoothie

This delicious treat combines sweetness from vanilla extract and honey with a blend of berries and a boost of protein from milk. Sweet and simple!
Makes two 1 cup servings, 4 ounces of milk per serving

Ingredients:
·       1 tsp vanilla extract
·       2 tsp honey
·       1 cup frozen mixed berries (like blueberries, strawberries and raspberries)
·       1 cup low fat or fat free white milk

Directions:
·       In a blender combine all ingredients.
·       Cover and blend until smooth.
·       Serve immediately.

Nutrition:
104 calories; 0 g fat; 0 g saturated fat; 2 mg cholesterol; 5 g protein; 21 g carbohydrates; 3 g fiber; 52 mg sodium; 164 mg calcium (16% of daily value). Nutrition figures based on using white fat free milk.

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PB&J Smoothie              

If you're craving everyone's favorite PB&J, but don't want the sandwich, this protein-filled smoothie is for you!
Makes 1 serving, 8 ounces of milk per serving

Ingredients:
·       2 tbsp strawberry preserves
·       2 tbsp chunky peanut butter
·       1/2 cup ice cubes
·       1 banana
·       1 cup low fat or fat free milk

Directions:
·       In a blender combine all ingredients.
·       Cover and blend until smooth.
·       Serve immediately.

Nutrition:
238 calories; 8 g fat; 1 g saturated fat; 2 mg cholesterol; 16 g protein; 36 g carbohydrates; 3 g fiber; 130 mg sodium; 163 mg calcium (16% of daily value). Nutrition figures based on using fat free milk.

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Creamy Green Goddess Smoothie

Lowfat milk and avocados make this smoothie extra creamy, and it’s packed with spinach, pineapple and bananas so it’s a choice you can still feel good about.
Makes two 1 cup servings, 4 ounces of milk per serving

1 cup lowfat milk
2 cups spinach
1 small banana, peeled, sliced and frozen
1 cup pineapple chunks, frozen
1/2 small avocado, sliced

Combine milk with spinach in blender and pulse several times just until spinach has been incorporated. Place remaining ingredients into the lender and blend until smooth and creamy.

Nutrition:
208 calories; 8 g fat; 2 g saturated fat; 10 mg cholesterol; 7 g protein; 31 g carbohydrates; 5 g fiber; 77 mg sodium; 190 mg calcium (19% of daily value).

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Super Food Smoothie

Want to give your day a kick in the pants? Start it off with this super food-fueled smoothie! Get a  boost from milk, blueberries, a banana and more.
Makes two servings, 4 ounces milk per serving

Ingredients:
·       1½ cups frozen blueberries
·       1 cup low fat or fat free milk
·       1 banana, sliced
·       2 tbsp honey
·       1 tbsp vanilla extract
·       1 tsp lemon juice
·       ½ cup ice

Directions:
·       Blend all ingredients in a blender until smooth.
·       Pour into glasses and serve.

Nutrition:

230 calories; 1 g fat; 0 g saturated fat; 0 mg cholesterol; 6 g protein; 50 g carbohydrates; 5 fiber; 0 mg sodium; 150 mg calcium (15% of daily value). Nutrition figures based on using fat free milk.

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Shamrock Smoothie

While the name suggests this smoothie may be apropos for St. Patrick's Day, it's perfect to drink year-round. This delicious, powerful smoothie gives you a serving of vegetables from the kale, healthy fat from the avocado and protein from the milk.

Makes 1 serving, 8 ounces milk per serving

Ingredients:
·       1 cup kale leaves (stripped from the stalks)
·       ½ cup low fat or fat free milk
·       ½ cup ice cubes
·       ½ ripe avocado, peeled and seeded
·       1 tbsp honey
·       ½ tsp mint extract
·       ¼ tsp vanilla extract
·       ¼ tsp lime or lemon juice

Directions:
·       Combine all ingredients in a blender.
·       Blend until smooth.
·       Serve immediately.

Nutrition:
300 calories; 15 g fat; 2 g saturated fat; 0 mg cholesterol; 8 g protein; 39 g carbohydrates; 8 fiber; 35 mg sodium; 250 mg calcium (25% of daily value). Nutrition figures based on using fat free milk.

 


[1] What We Eat in America, NHANES, 2009-2010.

[2] Layman D. Dietary guidelines should reflect new understandings about adult protein needs. Nutr Metab. 2009; 6: 12.