Cranberry Protein Smoothie
Wisconsin is the leading producer of cranberries nationally and during the fall our local grocers pack the produce shelves with them. I can’t pass this alluring and pretty red fruit without picking up a bag. Initially, I ate the fresh raw berries in salads, and their flavor never really impressed me. It wasn’t until I started utilizing them in smoothies that I started to appreciate their culinary potential. The Cranberry Protein Smoothie recipe below is the tastiest result from much experimentation. Strawberries and oranges compliment the cranberry flavor optimally while the whey protein provides a nice creamy flavor. I made a vegetarian variety of this smoothie with lentil protein and found that adding an extra spoon of honey powder helped the flavor.
Characterizing cranberries as a super food is cliché, so I won’t do it, but there are others out there praising it as such: whfoods.com
I will say that the cranberry is a powerhouse of nutrients and phytonutrients. Additionally, this recipe calls for an entire cup of cranberries, so you are getting much more than a token serving. This smoothie has 230% of daily Vitamin C requirements! Many of the cranberry varieties cultivated commercially in the United States are native and have a natural ability to resist pest pressure. If you prefer organic fruits you will find cranberries to be readily available. Freshly frozen cranberries are very reasonable in price and always make for a pretty smoothie.
Cranberry Protein Smoothie, with whey and vegan options, has 230% of your recommended daily allowance of Vitamin C and 26 grams of protein. This smoothie can function as a low calorie meal replacement and has a unique and appealing tangy flavor.
1 cup Frozen Cranberries
3/4 cup Frozen/Fresh Strawberries
1 cup Orange Juice
1 serving of Natural Unflavored Whey Protein or Vegan Protein
1 tablespoon Pure Honey Powder (sweetener of your choice)
1 tablespoon Chia Seeds (optional)
1 tablespoon Ground Flax Seed (optional)
Place ingredients in a blender, mix, pour and enjoy!
Fat 1.5 g
Potassium 650 mg
Carbohydrate 56 g (Sugar 44 g and Fiber 5 g)
Protein 26 g
Vitamin C 230%
Need to stock up on protein, flax seed, chia seeds? Want to try the powdered honey for yourself? All are available for purchase at Mike’s Mix or Amazon!
Following a Paleo diet?
I think it is often overlooked that eating a variety of foods is necessary to a well-balanced and healthy diet. A trend in eating a “Paleolithic” type diet is gaining popularity, but from my observation, many of the advocates of these diets limit their food varieties with the fear of eating something that is not “Paleo”. A keystone of a true forager’s diet is eating an extremely diverse array of foods, which is necessary in a natural environment where different plant and animals sources become available or ripe seasonally. Therefore, incorporating a seldom eaten native fruit, such as cranberries, would improve any Paleolithic diet plan.