It's no secret that I love smoothies of all stripes, and my goal is to come up with ways to pack in as many nutrients as possible without breaking the calorie bank or having to resort to protein powder.
But I had bought a tub of low-sodium cottage cheese (yes, it exists!) so I thought it would work great in a smoothie. Friendship makes the cottage cheese, and as a bonus it's also higher in protein than most cottage cheeses (16 grams per half-cup serving). Though it's not a salty tasting food per se, regular cottage cheese is surprisingly high in sodium, and this low-sodium variety feels more like ricotta cheese than lumpy cottage cheese.
I figured the cottage cheese would make a great cheesecake-like base for a smoothie, so I grabbed my bag of Wyman's frozen strawberries (I talked to the Wyman's folks at BlogHer Food and they were generous with their coupons) and went to work. I like Wyman's frozen berries because they're less humongous than other brands of frozen fruit so they're more flavorful and less like fruity ice cubes.
I ended up with a thick and creamy Strawberry-Banana Cheesecake Smoothie that packs in a fair amount of protein and fiber without a lot of calories.
You'll find that I add half a frozen banana to pretty much all my smoothies -- they really help thicken the smoothie and they add sweetness without having to add much sweeteners.
Strawberry-Banana Cheesecake Smoothie
- 1 cup frozen strawberries, slightly thawed
- 1/2 frozen banana
- 1/2 cup Friendship no-salt-added cottage cheese
- 1/2 cup reduced-fat milk
- 1 teaspoon honey or agave
- Crushed ice, if you still have room in your blender cup
Blend and enjoy!
Makes 1 serving.
Nutrition information: 273 calories, 4 grams fat, 1.6 grams saturated fat, 124 milligrams sodium, 41 grams carbohydrates, 4.4 grams fiber, 28 grams sugars, 21 grams protein.