“When life gives you lemons, ask for something higher in protein.” Unknown
Now, y’all are going to think I’m crazy, and after that crazy post Monday, you’re probably already thinking I have a few screws loose. Haha!! I was on a help session with a “Happiness Engineer” from WordPress, trying to fix some bugs in my site. (Kathleen – you’re great!! Thanks again). During the session, she was showing me how to change things around a bit and I think she either just typed in some gobbldeygook or pasted in some text she had copied from something else, then published to show me what it would look like. Sorry about the confusion!!
Anyway, the point of this post and the real reason for your possibly saying “she’s nuts!” in the next few seconds: I have started adding scrambled eggs to my morning smoothies. Is your first reaction “YUCK!!” ? Don’t stop reading yet. It’s been a great addition!
When I had to go gluten and dairy free, my first thought went to cheese and yogurt. Both were part of my daily diet, as breakfasts and snacks, and important ingredients in SO many meals!! Since most days I ate unsweetened Greek yogurt, I was able to get a good bit of protein to start off my day, 22 grams, in fact!
As I went looking for a milk and yogurt replacement, I was dismayed to find that most nut milks have very little to no protein! Did you know that? Almond and cashew milk have 1g in a cup. Oat milk has 3g. I believe actual coconut milk has 5g protein, but that is not what we find in the dairy free milk coolers. All the coconut milk beverages I have looked at list “<1g” as the protein content. Soy milk beverage has 9g, and when I use soy milk (unsweetened) to make my yogurt, which I strain to make as close to my old Greek yogurt as possible, 1 cup adds up to about 18 grams!. Not too bad!
Now, I know so many people are afraid of soy products (I only use non-GMO), and many others are not able to use soy. For that reason, I’m very grateful that there are other choices out there. But, at least for now, I am happy with my soy milk. Here is a great article that breaks down the differences between dairy free milk beverages. I love this quote from the article: “Soy milk is the most nutritionally similar to a lowfat cow’s milk.”
Ok, back to the point of this post – eggs in smoothies. Hang in there, I’m getting to it.
One of other things I do with my unsweetened soy milk is use it as the base for my smoothies. I make 4 smoothies at a time, so each serving has about 6 ounces milk. That’s only about 7 grams of protein per serving. Hence the need for more protein. I have tried dried egg white powder, and that worked ok, but I just wasn’t sure about it. It had a funny smell (yeah, I know – it’s eggs, but I felt like I wouldn’t be able to tell if it went bad). Then I bought a JUMBO canister of DFGF protein powder from Costco, not realizing it was vanilla flavored, and highly sweetened. They use stevia, which I like, but it’s way too sweet. With all the fruits and veggies I use, my smoothies are perfectly sweet with no added sweetener. So then I started eating a hard boiled egg after the smoothie. But hard boiled eggs take time to make and cool and only stay fresh for so long. Too many times I didn’t have any eggs prepared, so I’d just have to do without. And of course, we all know the risks involved with consuming raw eggs, so that wasn’t an option either.
It hit me one day that scrambled eggs are very quick and easy to make, cool quickly, and (best yet), can be frozen. I was worried about the taste overwhelming the other ingredients, but I didn’t notice it at all!
Are you intrigued? Ok, so here I go – here is what goes into my smoothies. (I’m not going to go an actual recipe because the ingredients are so variable.
I make smoothie packets (seen in the middle in the pic above) every few months. As I go through fruits and veggies, I cut up and toss bags items that have gotten a bit too ripe (but not rotten, of course – there is definitely a fine line!) in the freezer, and then use them for smoothies. Each packet typically includes 1 whole banana, 1/4 – 1/3 apple, a large handful of grapes, then assorted ingredients like berries, citrus fruit, cherry tomatoes, and cut up cucumber – basically whatever I have stashed the previous months. I then add about 1/4 cup of a grain mix I make (gluten free oats, chia seeds, flax seed, hemp seed, and cinnamon), seal it all in a quart-sized ziplock bag, and store it in the freezer.
I also freeze kale and spinach -some I buy, some I’ve grown – for smoothies. I use about 1 cup of greens for my 32 ounces of soy milk, or 4 servings. Oh, and with my Misfits Market box, I have discovered other greens that work well in smoothies. Carrot and beet greens are just a few of the greens I’ve tried. I add them to the milk first, then puree until the milk turns a light green and there are no more large pieces left.
Ok, commercial’s over – back to my smoothies!
So there it is. A lesson on dairy free milk beverages; a discount off a way to get excited about veggies again; and a description of how I make my power packed, full of protein, fiber, and other nutrients smoothies. Enjoy one and save the others for later, or prepare to share during a special breakfast, making good food for dear friends.
Until next time,