I mentioned it the other day but I think the biggest thing this whole series has taught me is how to make something amazing out of really simple ingredients. I didn’t spend a billion dollars at the store to buy crazy ingredients or hours on end trying new combinations. I took things that I could find at my neighborhood Walmart and Kroger stores (this isn’t an ad, that’s actually where I shop) and created new drinks and fun combinations with them. It’s amazing the things that spices can do to freshen up the flavor of a simple smoothie, and really fun how cottage cheese or Greek yogurt can be great natural stand-ins for protein powder.
One of my biggest goals when starting Blended was to incorporate more fresh, whole ingredients into my diet. I was getting to a place where protein bars and carb-heavy snack were coming front and center, and my energy levels were terrible. Ever since April started and I’ve been drinking more smoothies as snacks I’ve noticed a difference in both my waistline and energy.
Nate and I are both really adamant in living a life that’s filled with balance. Chocolate cake and cookies are great, but they can’t be a staple if we expect to live long and healthy lives. But that doesn’t mean that life is devoid of them (not the paleo or gluten-free or ‘skinny’ versions – we’re talking the real deal). It means that we have those kinds of treats occasionally and fill our bellies with fresh ingredients and lean meats, and spend time every day getting in some kind of exercise we love. It’s almost too simple, but the less we think about calculating calories or fat grams or tracking every teeny nutrient the more we can truly enjoy life.
So here we are, last day, and I’m giving you a super thick – almost milkshake-y – strawberry smoothie. It’s so good, so creamy, and I had it in lieu of a popsicle for dessert last night. I hope you guys enjoy it as much as I did! And look for a big round-up on Friday to find all the great smoothies from this month in one place!
THICK & CREAMY STRAWBERRY PAPAYA SMOOTHIE
- 1/2 cup cow’s milk (I usually use almond but the cow’s milk gives a great consistency here. If you want a vegan version try coconut milk instead!)
- 1/2 cup water
- 1/2 cup frozen strawberries
- 1/2 cup frozen papaya (I got mine at Walmart in the freezer section)
- 1/4 frozen banana (optional but helps with consistency)
Combine all ingredients in a high-speed blender and blend until smooth!