Perhaps you saw this title and thought: Who would want high-calorie anything? Usually we only hear about lowering calories, watching caloric intake and cutting back. A recent issue of Bicycling magazine actually suggested cyclists replace cookies with whole-wheat waffles. PUH-LEEZ! That may be healthier, but I don’t eat cookies for health; I eat them for enjoyment.

Smoothies, however, we usually do eat for health. They’re a great way to get fruits and even some veggies in a tasty, healthy, quick-to-consume snack. They’re versatile and forgiving, and you can toss in almost anything with happy results. For athletes – and, as it turns out, nursing moms – they can also provide an excellent way of consuming the extra calories and/or fats needed to stay healthy (and, in our case, produce enough milk).

I’ve been making smoothies for the last eight or nine years, so when I started nursing Benji and learned I had to consume 500 extra calories a day on top of my normal intake, smoothies naturally came to mind. I started experimenting. Here are my results.

1. Peanut butter is very hard to work in without ruining the flavor. Any suggestions for PB integration are welcome.

2. These are ingredients I always use:
-OJ, canned pineapple juice, or milk (for a base)
-Banana (frozen or fresh)
-Yogurt (Greek or regular, always full-fat, always plain)
-Berries (frozen or fresh; includes blueberries, strawberries, raspberries, blackberries)

3. Other ingredients I add based on availability or taste:
-Canned pineapple
-Half to one-third of an avocado
-Carnations Instant Breakfast (various flavors, depending on other ingredients)
-Dash of vanilla
-Shredded coconut
-Other fresh fruit
-Vanilla ice cream (if very decadent or out of yogurt)

I have heard people put spinach and other veggies in smoothies, too, and although I haven’t tried it, I can well believe it would work. I imagine the fruit would mask those flavors.

I particularly like a milk, banana, Greek yogurt, strawberry, avocado, and chocolate Carnation Instant Breakfast combo. Yum.

One last note: You can save smoothies in the fridge for up to 24 hours. It might need a little stirring, but should age well… Unless it contains avocado. Then it turns brown and the flavor goes off a bit. Enjoy avocado smoothies immediately and make friends by sharing extra.

For the Benji picture, a dark one of him and Daddy playing.

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3 thoughts on “High-Calorie Smoothies

  1. I haven’t made many smoothies but I did find that spinach is fine and doesn’t affect the taste much. Kale, on the other hand, makes it taste like you’re drinking a salad. Yuck.

  2. You could toss in some extra-calorie weight-gain drink like Ensure or Boost. The chocolate flavors aren’t bad. That said, have you tried a peanut-butter chocolate combination? Banana would fit it, but I’m not sure about other fruits. Substituting whole milk in would add calories too.

    We did a smoothie of frozen blueberries & strawberries with fresh banana, spinach & apple juice this week – YUM! You couldn’t taste the spinach and even the color was masked by the blueberries. This is obviously a low-calorie smoothie, but I’m sure adding some dairy would fix that.

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