Recipe for the perfect breakfast shake

Ever find yourself in a rush in the morning? You’re not alone! Many people, when faced with the pressures of time that the morning can bring either choose something quick (such as a muffin or a bacon and egg sandwich) that usually ends up being unhealthy, or skip breakfast entirely. Skipping breakfast is never a good idea; studies have shown that people who skip breakfast are up to four times more likely to be obese than those who eat breakfast on a daily basis.  A quick and easy way to ensure you’re getting a quick but still healthy breakfast is with a healthy breakfast shake.

But what makes the perfect shake? Something tasty and sweet? Something healthy? A protein shake for those who exercise in the morning or a combination of these? Let’s look at the two basic ingredients needed to build a good shake as well as some extras that will help you tailor your shake to your needs.

1. Liquid!
You need to build the shake on something, so let’s start with what to use for your liquid. Milk works well, as does low fat milk and non-dairy alternatives such as Soy Milk. However, beware of sugar content in some of the latter; often sugar and other added ingredients offset their positive nutritional value. Perhaps the best idea is to use plain yoghurt. While low in fat and sugar, yoghurt also contains beneficial bacteria that survive any blending or mixing! Fruit juices are not the best idea due to high sugar and calorie content – remember, this is going to be delicious AND healthy!

2. Fruit
The best way to make your shake sweet while keeping its flavour and nutritional benefits is to add fruit. Frozen fruit such as berries work well and will make your shake cool and thick – perfect for summer! Another good option are bananas – while providing energy and fibre, bananas also contain pectin which gives banana smoothies their creamy feel. Mangoes, peaches and strawberries are also great fruits to add to your shake. Try a few different fruits until you get the right taste – there are numerous possibilities.

3. Extras 1: Protein
While the milk or yoghurt contains some protein, it’s a good idea to top it up with some more – especially if you exercise before breakfast. Protein powder is an option for this, but can be expensive and lacks the nutritional benefits of protein found in food. Tofu adds protein without effecting the taste, while peanut butter can add a different flavour (peanut butter and banana? Yum!) while still contributing protein.

4. Extras 2: Cocoa Powder 
Now we all love chocolate, but we all know it’s not good for you. But that doesn’t mean that we can’t have a chocolate flavoured shake! Cocoa powder, one of the ingredients that make chocolate, contains no sugar, very few calories and adds some excited flavour to your shake.

5. Extras 3: Greens
Throwing in some spinach or other leafy greens will turn your shake into a greenish colour, but if you can get past the sight of it you’ll find that you can’t taste the added greens but still reap their nutritional benefits.

After you’ve thrown in your personalised mix of ingredients, you should have the makings of a healthy, nutritious and awesome tasting shake – the last thing to do is blend, and enjoy!