You know what sucks about being an adult?
We know we shouldn’t eat certain things…
Like candy, deep-fried oreos, and strawberry banana milkshakes. Ugh.
So instead of clawing out the eyes of every passerby sipping on something so sinfully good, why not make this strawberry banana smoothie recipe?!
It’s got fruit, it’s got protein. Plus, no added sugar.
Trust… your mind, body, longevity and waste line will be so thankful you chose this instead!
Growing up, Jamba Juice was the thing… So much so it became the epicenter of our crew’s after school socializing.
My drink of choice was the strawberry banana orange juice smoothie… I think it was called Strawberries Wild?… Mmmmm.
Which is comprised of a whopping 55 grams of sugar (in the small) and very little anything else.
At that point, you might as well make a strawberry banana smoothie with ice cream… I mean right?? Remember the days when you didn’t think or care about this stuff?
So, in an attempt to relive my metabolism’s glory days… I came up with this strawberry banana yogurt smoothie instead.
Unlike its predecessor, there’s no added sugar in the way of fruit juice or concentrate. Plus, I threw in a dollop of protein packed yogurt to balance the natural sugar ladened fruit.
Creating a cup of harmonious macronutrient bliss.
If you haven’t already done so… you’ve gotta add yogurt to your smoothies.
Creamy, probiotic goodness. Masked by the sweetness of the fruit – the picky eaters in your life will hardly know it’s there!
At this point in life, I’ve become a fully addicted to Greek yogurt. I pretty much slather it on every edible thing I can find. It adds a protein punch to my smoothies, and a creamy texture to everything else.
If you’re new to the Greek yogurt game, let me share what I’ve learned.
Greek yogurt is yogurt that’s been extensively strained to remove much of the liquid, whey and lactose (a sugar found in milk products).
This produces a thicker, lower sugar, higher protein yogurt that’s often regarded as a tangier, less sweet alternative.
As with traditional yogurt, Greek yogurt is packed with gut healing bacteria.
I typically buy Fage Total. Trader Joe’s also has a great version (my family swears it’s sweeter).
One serving of Fage contains 18 grams of protein (and 8 grams of carbs)! Which help to make this strawberry banana smoothie healthy, delicious and sustaining throughout the often chaotic morning hours.
Be leery of labels flaunting “Greek-style”. It’s not Greek yogurt, and in my book, is a no go. With a 10 second glance of the label, you’ll find a list of thickening agents used to emulate the desired consistency of a true Greek yogurt.
These have been added in lieu of the traditional straining method – therefore, eliminating the benefits of straining.
If you’re vegan or dairy free, you can substitute this for coconut or almond yogurt.
Unfortunately, I haven’t been able to find a brand as high in protein as my beloved Fage. If you find something, let me know!
Although… I’m currently crushing hard on all the amazing Kite Hill products.
They make a mean vegan cream cheese, vegan butter, and – get this – a pretty epic almond yogurt. Not very high in protein, however it’s low carb content makes it a much more balanced contender when compared to other dairy free options. Check it out!
If yogurt ain’t your thang, you can make this strawberry banana smoothie without yogurt. Simply add more liquid, whatever milk or milk alternative you’re working with. The drink will be more liquidy – but will still taste delish. Add more banana if you’d like it to be a tad thicker.
For ultra-health kudos, try the far less popular option of swapping your yogurt and/or milk with kefir.
If you don’t know much about kefir, don’t worry. I love it and talk about it A LOT in this article.
Or skip my rant, here’s the quick summary… Kefir is milk that’s fermented in kefir grains to produce one of the most probiotic rich foods you can find.
It has a tangy, almost sour flavor with the consistency of drinkable yogurt. Loved by some and, as you can imagine, hated by others. Despite the taste, no one can deny the plethora of gut healing benefits a few sips of this has to offer.
I personally don’t mind the flavor, and put it in smoothies as an incognito way to douse loved ones with probiotics benefits.
Check it out and let me know what you think! Kefir can be used similarly to milk or yogurt – in dressings, soups, smoothies and baked goods.
Using kefir is an easy was to keep your strawberry banana smoothie calories down. According to Cultures for Health, kefir contains about 1/3 less calories than milk, surprisingly low sugar content and a decent amount of protein.
If you’re looking to sneak extra protein into your smoothie, add a few tablespoons of hemp seeds (buy them here).
Get this, 3 Tablespoons of hemp hearts adds 10 grams of protein, only 3 grams of carbs and 13 grams of fat! Making them a great addition to balance the sugar and carbs in your fruit packed smoothie. Is that not the best news you’ve heard all day or what?!
Hemps seeds have a faint nutty flavor, and a soft and subtle texture.
They’re the perfect addition to smoothies to help balance the macronutrients due to the low fat and protein content of fruit and veggies.
If you’d like your smoothie a little sweeter, try adding maple syrup, agave or honey to the blender by the tablespoon.
For a calorie and sugar free alternative, try adding Stevia. Stevia is definitely an acquired taste. If you know you like the flavor, then make sure you purchase pure stevia and not stevia combined with chemical laden sugar free alternatives.
My favorite way to get my smoothies nice and cold is to use frozen fruit.
If you are freezing bananas, make sure to take off the peel (it’s literally impossible to take off when frozen) and cut into thin slices (a huge frozen banana is hard for any blender to break down).
Smoothies are a great way to start the day right by packing a ton of vitamins and minerals into one fast and easy blended cup of deliciousness.
So, pull that blender out of hibernation and let’s start taking advantage of this season’s beautiful produce!