Smooth(ie) Operator




smoothieYou may remember a while back, I mentioned how much I love to blend. I really, really do. I love to food process, too, but that is a topic for another day.

Today, I thought I’d share my current favorite smoothie meal replacement recipe. I always mix up what’s in my almost-daily smoothie, but this one I find particularly good. It isn’t green, but has a lot of good stuff in it, and comes close to tasting like a strawberry milkshake. The calories are on the higher side, as I usually make this one for a meal replacement with a side of Manna Bread. (Don’t know Manna Bread? It is sooo good.) This smoothie for me is great on days when I don’t really have time for lunch but need something to fuel an afternoon workout. If I was making this for a snack instead of a meal replacement, I’d use water instead of milk, and leave out the oats and banana, bringing down the calories substantially.

Test Kitchen’s Butternut-N-Berry Smoothie Meal 

  • 1 cup skim milk (you could use milk replacement here, too, like soy, almond, or rice milk)
  • 1 cup frozen cubed butternut squash (see below for preparation)
  • 2/3 cup frozen strawberries
  • 1 whole banana
  • 1/3 cup rolled oats
  • 1 scoop protein powder (I used Designer Whey Strawberry)

Add the ingredients to your blender and blend until you have a consistency you like. If you have a traditional blender, you may need to add a bit more milk to get it to blend. Thankfully, my Ninja blends the heck out of this in exactly no time flat.

Nutrition

Preparing Butternut Squash
Right now, butternut, acorn, and pretty much all winter squash is close to free at our Trader Joe’s. A big butternut will set you back $1.59 total, not per pound. So, I buy a couple when I’m in there, roast them, and freeze them in cubes for easy access for just about anything. Here’s what you do:

  • Microwave the uncut squash for 3-4 minutes to soften the skin
  • Cut it in half lengthwise and scoop out the insides
  • Place cut size down on a lightly sprayed cookie sheet or roasting pan
  • Roast at 350 for about an hour, or until it is soft
  • Let cool, then, remove the skin (it should pretty much just peel off) and cut into cubes
  • Place on a plate or other flat surface in a single layer and freeze for about 30 minutes, until they set up, which keeps them from sticking together
  • Add the frozen cubes to a freezer bag or container and freeze completely
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