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Ontario, Canada
I am a wife, mother and grandma who enjoys the many aspects of homemaking. A variety of interests and hobbies combined with travel keep me active. They reflect the importance of family, friends, home and good food.
Cook ingredients that you are used to cooking by other techniques, such as fish, chicken, or hamburgers. In other words be comfortable with the ingredients you are using.
--Bobby Flay

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Tuesday, April 15, 2014

Sweetie Pie Smoothie

I recently posted about my new Ninja blender bought specifically to make smoothies.  Smoothies are an ideal way to use protein powder for an after work-out recovery beverage.  The main problem with smoothies is it is very easy to create a high calorie, high carb beverage that is a tasty way to boost your energy level but not help with muscle recovery.  A high carb beverage has a low satiety level as well meaning that in comparison to a high protein beverage, you will be hungry much quicker.  A good protein smoothie will aid in muscle recovery while keeping you feeling full for about three hours so you won't be turning to other high calorie snack foods.

baked sweet potatoes
I've learned several ways to keep the calories low in smoothies.  For example, unsweetened almond milk provides nutrition that water does not but is only 35 calories per 250 ml serving so I use that as a base rather than milk.  Fruits can quickly raise the caloric value and carb content of smoothies so the simplest way to avoid this is limit the amount of fruit used.  Banana is a common fruit in smoothies but I have found avocado gives a smoother, creamier result for less calories, lower carbs and it provides healthy fats.   Peanut butter adds flavour and protein but is high in calories.  Substituting peanut flour keeps the flavour and protein but reduces the calories.

A few days ago, I was looking through the refrigerator for smoothie ingredients.  The left-over baked sweet potatoes caught my eye and quickly became the base flavour for my newest smoothie creation.  Sweet potatoes are a nutritional powerhouse rich in beta carotene.  Their natural sweetness is perfect is breads, muffins and other baked goods so I always bake extra.  Baking the sweet potatoes causes the sugars to caramelize giving a rich, deep flavour.

sweetie pie smoothie
I like to keep my protein smoothies to a protein:carb ratio of 1:1 to 2:1 with less than 10 g sugar per 100 calories.  Many add yogurt to their fruit smoothies but Greek yogurt is a better choice because it is three times higher in protein than regular yogurt.  However, the secret ingredient in this smoothie is 2% MF cottage cheese.  It is lower in carbs and higher in protein than Greek yogurt.  Cottage cheese gives the smoothie an incredibly smooth and creamy texture. 

The Sweetie Pie Smoothie is currently my favourite smoothie.  The flavour echos that of sweet potato pie topped with whipped cream.  It is rich, creamy and delightfully delicious!   

Sweetie Pie Smoothie
recipe by:  Garden Gnome

250 ml (1 c) Silk unsweetened almond milk
39 g (1 scoop) Body Fortress 100% Premium Whey protein powder, vanilla creme
50 g (1/4 c) 2% MF cottage cheese
50 g (1/4 c) cooked sweet potato
1/4 tsp ground cinnamon

Measure ingredients into blender pitcher.  Blend until smooth.

Yield: 16 oz

Nutritional value:  273 calories, 23 g carbohydrates, 7 g fat, 33 g protein, 402 mg sodium, 4 g fibre

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