Saturday, September 22, 2007

"Cheap" and yummy protein shake

It's a recurring theme on the Guestbook: how expensive the Meal Replacement Shakes are, and that the bars are really glorified candy bars. To add insult to injury, most of these have considerably more carbs than protein.

So it's time for a bit of BFL Kitchen Chemistry. The shake below works out to about $0.40 per serving.

PROTEIN POWDER. I buy mine at my local Costco where, over in the pharmacy section, they have 6 pound bags of EAS PREMIUM PROTEIN. It's a blend of casein, soy and whey protein. Here in NC, it costs about $28/6 lbs so it's relatively cost effective. For the recipe below, that means about $0.30 per serving. Note that I use chocolate powder; EAS also makes vanilla which I have not tried, but it should work just fine.

CARBS. Oatmeal. Cheap, and good for you. Note that your oats need to be fresh: if that box of oats has been in your cupboard for a couple of months, the oats are probably stale and will taste like cardboard. Toss 'em and buy new. I buy oats in the bulk food department, buying as much as I need each week.

FLAVORINGS. I use cinnamon, vanilla and a packet of splenda. If your cinnamon is "old" toss it and buy fresh. Cinnamon oil will go rancid. Keep you cinnamon in an airtight container in the dark.


1) A few hours before you want to drink the shake, cook: 2/3 cups oats with 1-1/3 cups of water and if you wish, a dash of salt (normal oatmeal cooking). Refrigerate overnight, or until you have a cold blob of oatmeal. (Note: I usually do this step at night, ready for the next day.)

2) Put the oatmeal blob in your blender (cut it up into a few pieces) and add 1 cup cold (refrigerator cold!) water. Puree to make a nice creamy oatmeal slurpee.

3) Add 3 scoops EAS Premium Protein Powder, a big dash of vanilla, several good shakes of cinnamon, and one packet of Splenda. Blend well.

You now have about 20 ounces of oatmeal protein drink. THIS RECIPE MAKES TWO SERVINGS

I divide the shake into two containers and put it in my cooler bag with blue ice blocks. Because there is no dairy, I'm not concerned with keeping it super-cold during the day; blue ice is fine. Now I've got two meals that I can gulp quickly during my hectic day. And they're filling and cut "sweet" cravings, even though they havve just half a packet of Splenda per serving.

NUTRITIONAL CONTENT. Using the EAS powder, this recipe works out, per serving, to:
* Protein = 24 g
* Carbs = 20 g (sugars = 2 g)
* Fat = 4 g
* Calories = 212

VARIATIONS. Be careful. Flavorings like cinnamon and vanilla don't add calories. If you start adding bananas, berries or peanut butter, be aware of the additional cals, sugars and fats. If you don't like cinnamon, experiment with other flavorings like peppermint extract, nutmeg, etc.

It's a grab-n-go BFL meal!

And, as always, take a high quality multivitamin every day!

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