It’s protein-packed comfort food time!

One of my New Year’s resolutions was to eat healthier and keep more balanced diet. I’ve managed to successfully wean out dairy milk and am quite happy with drinking Alpro soy or hazelnut milk.

The intsructor who teaches the BodyPump and BodyBalance classes I attend every Saturday morning posts useful information on health and fitness regularly and the most recent one was about protein shakes.

Source: Jamie Oliver

I was always under the impression that those who consume protein shakes are the ones who are trying to build muscle mass and want to look big. I’m quite small and I’ve got no intention of looking like a body builder with my 5’5″ frame. Reading the article though, I realised how important it is to look after how your body works during and after exercise.

When you put a lot of pressure on your muscles, your muscle fibres tear and break. When they rebuild themselves, they rebuild bigger and stronger. So, what does protein have to do with all this? Our muscles need protein to grow and repair so, to repair the damage done during exercise, we need protein.

Rozzie Batchelar, nutritionist for Jamie Oliver’s food team

The article made lots of sense and given that I spend about 6 hours a week in classes ranging from low to high intensity activities, I need to do what I can to look after my muscles.

The article recommended consuming a protein shake within 2 hours of your workout and I was eager to start looking after myself better. I normally go straight to Combat after work so there was no chance of me getting chia seeds at this time of night. The other thing I also considered was, although the recipe sounds very nutritious, I’m still a big fan of enjoying what I’m consuming.

I decided to go with another recipe I found from Sally’s Baking Addiction instead.

Sally’s chocolate peanut butter protein shake

I pretty much used Sally’s recipe as a guide but instead of using added sugar to my shake, I ended up getting chocolate chunks instead. It’s already got sugar in it, but given that I’m not using too much chocolate, the amount in the shake wouldn’t be too detrimental. I liked the idea of peanut butter and chocolate, but I still want to like my shake enough to keep making it! The other thing I changed is the milk – because cow’s milk doesn’t seem to agree with me, I recently bought hazelnut milk to try (I love hazelnut, pralines and hazelnut chocolate spread!) so I decided to use that instead. I also forgot to get yoghurt for the shake, but it still worked without it though. If you really want to up your protein intake though, add the youghurt.

Peanut butter and chocolate protein shake

Serves: 400-500ml, depending on amount of milk used

1 banana, peeled and chopped
A handful of dark chocolate chips/chunks
1 1/2 tbsp smooth peanut butter
1/2 to 3/4 pint milk (I used Alpro hazelnut milk)
6 oz soya or plant-based yoghurt (optional)

1. Just for illustrative purposes, I first cut up the banana into chunks before adding the peanut butter and chocolate chunks

2. Then add in the milk. If you prefer a thicker shake, 1/2 a pint is more than enough, but if you’re like me and prefer a slightly thinner shake, then add in another 1/4 pint. It doesn’t matter if you’re not sure, start with 1/2 pint of milk and you can always add more later. If you’re using yoghurt as well, add this in now.

3. Using a handheld blender or a juice blender, blend all the ingredients nice and well.

4. Check the consistency of your shake and taste to see if it’s to your liking. The great thing is, if you feel it’s too thick, add more milk. If it’s not got enough flavour, add more peanut butter.

Once you’re happy with your shake, pour and serve!

To compensate for the lack of yoghurt and to give mine a bit more flavour, I added another half heaped tablespoon of peanut butter to my recipe instead of Sally’s recommended 1 tablespoon. I’m not a big fan of banana, but I’m surprised to say it doesn’t taste overwhelmingly strong here and I actually quite enjoyed it.

Let me know how you get on with this recipe and if you’ve got any other tasty protein shake recipes to share, I’d love to hear from you!

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