By Laura Mack
May 27, 2016
I simply couldn’t choose my favorite berry, so here’s a Yogurt Berry Smoothie Triple-Play to suit your mood. Whether it’s strawberry, blueberry, or perhaps raspberry-chocolate, we’ve got you covered! Whichever Yogurt Berry Smoothie variation you choose, you can customize the levels of fat, protein, and carbs by adjusting the ingredients slightly.
My smoothie recipe uses plain whole-milk Greek yogurt as the base. It adds great body, mouthfeel, and tangy flavor, not to mention health benefits. I use about a half a cup of yogurt in order to keep the carbs lower. For liquid, I add coconut milk (from the carton, not the can) and sometimes a tablespoon or two of heavy cream for extra fat. If you find that you need to moderate your dietary fat intake for weight loss or maintenance, you can use a low-fat to no-fat greek yogurt and skip the heavy cream.
In addition to whey protein powder for extra protein, I like to add collagen hydrolysate for the health benefits. Daily protein needs vary among individuals, so you may add more or less protein powder depending upon your needs. A small amount of berries adds flavor, nutrients, and a little sweetness without adding too many carbs. I like to use frozen berries for the texture (plus, they’re available year-round), in addition to ice for bulk. You may adjust the quantity and type of berry to suit your taste and your carb tolerance.
To bump up the flavor and/or sweetness, I sometimes add a small amount of extracts or flavored liquid stevia. When I use raspberries, I usually add a tablespoon of cocoa powder because I love the combination of raspberry and chocolate. It adds 1 net carb, which is worth it to me, but you can leave it out if you prefer.
Each Yogurt Berry Smoothie has about 7 grams of fat (46%), 8-10 net carbs, and 32 grams of protein. The numbers vary slightly depending on the fat content of the yogurt, the type of berry used, and whether cocoa powder is added. Feel free to tweak the ingredients to better serve your needs in terms of fat, protein, and carbs. One of these yummy smoothies is ideal for a light meal, perhaps for breakfast or lunch. Health benefits aside, these Yogurt Berry Smoothies taste delicious and feel like a treat!
By the way, I have a very good blender, but my favorite tool for making smoothies is my NutriBullet. It’s so fast, does a great job pulverizing the ice, and is easy to clean.
Have fun experimenting with different combinations of berries and other flavorings to create your favorite smoothie! We’d love to hear about it in the comments section.
My views on the optimal ratios of dietary protein and fat have evolved over the past year. As a result, I’ve modified the original version of this post to reflect my current thinking.
While I had been successful in losing the last 50 pounds of a 130-pound weight loss with a “moderate” protein (50-60 grams per day) and higher fat approach, I’ve since come across compelling evidence from other low carb experts indicating that gluconeogenesis (the process of the body converting protein into glucose, and subsequently raising blood insulin and perhaps blood glucose) is “need driven” as opposed to “supply driven.” While I am not a scientist, my understanding of this process is that the catalyst for gluconeogenesis comes from the body’s need for that conversion, not from consuming “too much” dietary protein (supply). As with all nutritional science, there are a lot of conflicting points of view, even in the low carb world.
Having aleady tried the “moderate” protein approach and having read more about the “need driven” gluconeogenesis hypothesis, nine months ago I decided to experiment with increasing my protein consumption by nearly half (from 50-60 grams per day to about 100 grams per day) and lowering my dietary fat slightly to compensate. I confess that I was nervous, at first, that the switch would cause me to lose some of the benefits of ketosis (i.e., weight loss/maintenance, blood glucose control, satiety, etc.). My experience has since put those fears to rest. I have found it easier to maintain my weight loss, including losing a few pounds whenever my clothes start to feel a little tight. My body composition appears to have improved (more muscle mass). My blood glucose levels, which had become optimal with my earlier “moderate” protein approach, continue to be optimal. Finally, my satiety and overall sense of well-being has improved noticeably. In fact, the changes I’ve experienced have been all positive.
Keep in mind that there is no single, proven “right way” to live a low carb lifestyle. Despite what some “experts” and government agencies would have you believe, there is no scientific consensus on optimal nutrition, merely differing hypotheses. Additionally, individual human bodies can respond quite differently to dietary changes, as they do to medications, for instance. In the end, we must do our own research, determine a course of action that let’s us begin, and experiment with different approaches as needed and when it seems appropriate given new information. As the saying goes, “Your mileage may vary” (YMMV). We are all works in progress, as is the science.
Yogurt Berry Smoothie Triple-Play
Author: Laura Mack
Recipe type: Light Meal
Prep time: 5 mins
Total time: 5 mins
I simply couldn't choose my favorite berry, so here's a Yogurt Berry Smoothie Triple-Play to suit your mood. Whether it's strawberry, blueberry, or perhaps raspberry-chocolate, we've got you covered!
4 ounces / 1 cup ice cubes
4 ounces / ½ cup coconut milk (from carton, not can) or almond milk
3.5 ounces/ scant ½ cup plain whole milk Greek yogurt
2 ounces / about ½ cup berries, frozen (strawberries, blueberries, or raspberries)
14 grams / about ½ scoop whey protein powder, plain or flavored
12 grams/ about 2 tablespoons collagen hydrolysate
liquid stevia or other sweetener, to taste (optional)
Strawberry Smoothie: ⅛ teaspoon vanilla extract, and ⅛ teaspoon strawberry or raspberry extract
Blueberry Smoothie: 1 tsp lemon zest or ⅛ tsp lemon extract
Raspberry-Chocolate Smoothie: 1 tablespoon unsweetened cocoa powder, and ⅛ teaspoon raspberry extract
- Place all ingredients in a blend or NutriBullet and process until smooth. Adjust sweetness to taste with liquid stevia or your favorite sweetener.
- Strawberry Smoothie: 235 cal, 7.4 g total fat (46%), 9.5 g total carbs, 1.6 g fiber, 7.9 g net carbs, and 32.3 g protein.
- Blueberry Smoothie: 244 cal, 7.6 g total fat (43%), 12.2 g total carbs, 2.2 g fiber, 10 g net carbs, and 32.2 g protein.
- Raspberry-Chocolate Smoothie: 256 cal, 8.3 g total fat (44%), 14.7 g total carbs, 6 g fiber, 8.7 g net carbs, and 33.7 g protein.
*I use Living Cookbook 2015, along with package information and data from www.nutritiondata.self.com, to calculate the nutritional information for my recipes. Thus, I can make no guarantees as to the accuracy.