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Shake It Up: Crafting the Best Homemade Shakes

Do you start your day off with a shake? Or maybe you like them as an on-the-run treat, or mid-afternoon snack? You can buy shakes, either made-to-order, or RTD (ready to drink), but nothing beats homemade. Whether you are looking for a high protein drink, meal replacement, carb-loading shakes, or just a tasty beverage, we have the tips you need for crafting the best ones you have ever tasted.

You Need A Blender

fruit in blender.
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You need a great blender to make great shakes. 

Vitamix – The Powerhouse

If you can afford the price and the counter space it doesn’t get better than a Vitamix. Whether we are making a smoothie, shake, puréeing soups or sauces, our Vitamix has never let us down, and in fact, kind of blows us away every time we use it. It handles large and small amounts and the resulting smoothie texture is unparalleled.

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Nutribullet – Best Personal Blender

If you need something smaller, or just prefer a single-serve size unit, the nutribullet Pro 900 Watt Personal Blender gets high marks for its powerful motor, ease of use, durability and overall design. Plus, it comes in a dozen colors!

Looking for a Value Blender?

Best bang for your buck in a blender? Check out the small Magic Bullet Blender. Similar in concept to the nutribullet, but much less expensive. You won’t get your choice of color, or quite the same power, but it will whip up your shakes quickly. 

Let’s Talk “Protein” Powders

Various protein powders and shakes.
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The reason “protein” is in quotes is because folks tend to refer to many powder supplements as “protein powders” and while some are protein packed, others are carbohydrate focused, while others are total meal replacement powders, with a particular balance of protein, carbs and fats. 

None are better than the others; it depends on your needs. Just make sure you know what you need, and what you are buying.

Examples of protein powders are whey protein isolate, egg white, and certain plant-based sources, such as hemp protein.

Examples of carbohydrate focused powders would be brands like Waxy Maize and ingredients like maltodextrin and dextrose.

For meal replacement powders, you want a formula with the right ratio of protein to carbs and fats. These will keep you feeling full and satisfied longer. Look into FODMAP Foods various flavors of powders.

How to Make High-Protein Shakes 

Whey protein powder.
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Protein is the cornerstone of muscle repair and growth, making high-protein shakes a favorite among fitness enthusiasts. Here’s how to concoct the perfect protein-packed shake:

High Protein Shake Ingredients

Woman at gym with protein powders.
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  • Quality Protein Source: Opt for premium protein powders such as whey, casein, egg white, or plant-based options like pea or hemp protein. These sources provide essential amino acids crucial for muscle synthesis and recovery.
  • Enhanced Flavor: Boost the taste and texture of your shake with ingredients like Greek yogurt, nut butter, or a dash of vanilla extract. Not only do these additions enhance the overall flavor, but they also contribute additional nutrients.
  • Liquid Base: Choose from a variety of liquid bases such as milk, almond milk, or water to achieve the desired consistency and enhance the nutritional profile of your shake. If you are an oat milk or coconut milk fan, go ahead and use it!
  • Nutrient-Rich Additions: Incorporate fruits like bananas, berries, or mangoes to boost the shake’s nutritional value while adding natural sweetness and essential vitamins. (And PS: all these fruits are amazing when frozen).
  • Recipe Idea: Creamy Berry Blast – Blend together 1 scoop of vanilla whey protein powder, a handful of mixed berries (frozen or fresh), a tablespoon of almond butter, and almond milk until smooth. Enjoy this delicious and protein-rich shake post-workout for optimal muscle recovery.

High-Carbohydrate Shakes for Endurance and Energy

woman athlete drinking protein shake. Smoothie.
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High-carbohydrate shakes serve as an excellent source of energy for individuals engaging in high-intensity workouts or endurance training. Follow these steps to create a revitalizing high-carb shake:

High-Carbohydrate Shake Ingredients

woman making smoothie.
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  • Complex Carbohydrate Base: Utilize whole grains, oats, or sweet potatoes as the primary carbohydrate source for sustained energy release during prolonged physical activity.
  • Fruit Additions: Incorporate fruits like bananas, oranges, or berries to provide natural sugars, essential vitamins, and minerals necessary for energy production and glycogen storage.
  • Liquid Foundation: Similar to high-protein shakes, select a liquid base such as milk, almond milk, or coconut water to maintain hydration and facilitate nutrient absorption.
  • Optional Protein Boost: Consider adding a moderate amount of protein to support muscle recovery while ensuring a balanced nutritional profile.
  • Recipe Idea: Tropical Energy Boost – Blend together cooked oats, a ripe banana, a handful of pineapple chunks, coconut water, and a scoop of vanilla protein powder for a refreshing and energizing shake perfect before a challenging workout.

Meal Replacement Shakes for On-the-Go Nutrition

Woman scooping protein powder into container.
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Meal replacement shakes offer a convenient and balanced mix of macronutrients, making them ideal for busy individuals or those seeking effective weight management solutions. Here’s how to create a satisfying meal replacement shake:

Meal Replacement Shakes Ingredients

woman making green smoothie.
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  • Balanced Macronutrients: Achieve a harmonious blend of protein, carbohydrates, and healthy fats by incorporating sources such as protein powder, oats, avocado, or chia seeds.
  • Fiber-Rich Additions: Enhance satiety and support digestive health with fiber-rich ingredients like oats, flaxseeds, or leafy greens.
  • Well-Balanced Liquid Base: Ensure proper hydration and nutrient delivery by using a balanced mix of water and milk as the liquid foundation for your shake.
  • Sweeteners: Opt for sweeteners like fruits or a touch of honey or maple syrup while avoiding excessive sugars in general (including those mentioned).
  • Recipe Idea: Green Power Meal Shake – Blend together a scoop of protein powder, a handful of spinach, a quarter of an avocado, a tablespoon of chia seeds, and unsweetened almond milk for a nutrient-packed meal replacement shake that keeps you fueled and satisfied throughout the day.

I Drink Shakes Because I Like Them!

woman enjoying green smoothie.
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Maybe you don’t have any specific nutrient needs; you just love shakes! Then go wild. Combine whatever you like in a blender and get creative. Here are a few recipes to get you started:

The Takeaway

Colorful smoothies.
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Crafting the ultimate shake is an art that involves understanding your unique nutritional needs and experimenting with different ingredients and combinations. And all of them are easy to make! Whether you’re focused on maximizing protein intake, fueling your workouts, or managing your weight, the right shake can be a delicious and effective addition to your diet. Explore our collection of mouthwatering recipes and expert tips to kickstart your shake-making journey, boosting your health and fitness goals.

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  • Dede Wilson

    Dédé Wilson is a journalist with over 17 cookbooks to her name and is the co-founder and managing partner of the digital media partnership Shift Works Partners LLC, currently publishing through two online media brands, FODMAP Everyday® and The Queen Zone.

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Last update on 2024-07-16 / Affiliate links / Images from Amazon Product Advertising API

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