I had to admit that when I started my fitness journey over a year ago that I really had little appreciation for smoothies. Sure, I had made them before but not very often. It is possible to pack a lot of calories into a smoothie and if the focus is on fruit, a lot of carbohydrates as well. As I worked my way up to a daily high calorie burn routine, smoothies became an appealing way to incorporate a high protein recovery meal. They are an economical, easy to prepare post-exercise meal that can be tailored to individual needs. I tend to boost the protein on the days I have a high exercise calorie burn but on the weekends when I take a break from the higher burns, I don't worry about boosting the protein. I also pay attention to the carbohydrates content adjusting based on activity.
Canadian Tire had a good sale on small kitchen appliances. The Ninja Professional was reduced to $79.99. This is a no frills, heavy duty blender that had good reviews so I bought one.
base fits a mason jar and a separate smaller blending jar that I use quite often for sauces and dressings. This is not a feature available on most newer blenders so my Osterizer will not be going anywhere any time soon.
The Ninja is a 1,000 W blender with three settings - on, pulse and off. It has a heavy 72 oz plastic blender. The size is impressive, definitely larger and heavier than the Osterizer. The lid has a locking feature that must be activated for the blender to work. A mason jar cannot be used on the Ninja base.
protein powder are great by themselves. They are the perfect base for smoothies. My morning smoothies start with a base of protein powder and almond milk. This gives a base calorie value of 165 to 195 depending on which protein powder I use. I like to boost the protein content and nutritional value. I made a tasty raspberry coconut smoothie inspired by a cookie recipe to test out the Ninja. The carbs are a bit higher than I would like so will adjust to reduce that but overall I'm pleased with the taste.
The Ninja gives a thicker, frothier texture to the smoothie which is quite appealing. It is nice and thick, similar to a milkshake without adding a thickener or crushed ice. The volume was increased as well. This is a definite improvement over the Osterizer. The Osterizer makes a nice smoothie especially using unfrozen ingredients, ice or harder fruit but it is a thinner consistency than a smoothie made in the Ninja.
Raspberry Coconut Smoothie
recipe by: Garden Gnome
1 c Silk unsweetened almond milk
1/4 c (100 g) Greek yogurt, 0% MF, vanilla
1 scoop (33 g) Vega Sport Performance protein powder, vanilla
15 (50 g) raspberries
Measure ingredients into blender. Blend until smooth. Serve.
Yield: 500 ml (16 oz)
Nutritional value: 322 calories, 30 g carbohydrates, 6 g fat, 38 g protein, 452 mg sodium, 6 g fibre