You pinch your nose and gag on another glass of expensive protein powder swill because protein shakes help you pack on muscle, and that's worth a sacrifice. But there's no need to slaughter your taste buds on the altar of washboard abs. You can make your own healthy and delicious protein shake at home for a fraction of what you'd pay at the store. Stock your refrigerator and pantry with low-fat dairy, fresh fruit, nut butters and other high-protein ingredients to save money and your taste buds.
Choose a liquid base for your smoothie. Whole, low-fat and skim milk all have roughly 8 grams of protein per 1-cup serving. Skim milk has less fat and cholesterol than higher percentages and is the heart-healthy choice. Other options include plain soy milk which has approximately 7 grams of protein and coconut milk with 5.5 grams of protein per 1-cup serving. Pour the milk of your choice into the bowl of a blender.
Mix in one or two high-protein ingredients. Your best option is Greek-style yogurt with a whopping 18 grams of protein per 6-ounce serving. Close second is half a cup of cottage cheese with 13 grams of protein. Other high-protein additions include nut butter and egg whites. Eating raw eggs puts you at risk of developing a gastrointestinal infection called Salmonellosis, but you can purchase pasteurized powdered or liquid egg whites that are safe to add to a smoothie. One tablespoon of egg white powder has approximately 6 grams of protein.
Add fresh fruit for flavor and sweetness. Although fruit isn't particularly high in protein, it is rich in other healthy nutrients including fiber, vitamin C and potassium. Berries, peaches, bananas, apricots and mango are all good options.
Drop a few ice cubes into the bowl of the blender and blend the smoothie for 60 seconds or until smooth. Another option is to use frozen fruit in place of ice cubes. Pour the smoothie into a chilled glass and enjoy.
Carolyn Robbins began writing in 2006. Her work appears on various websites and covers various topics including neuroscience, physiology, nutrition and fitness. Robbins graduated with a bachelor of science degree in biology and theology from Saint Vincent College.