Brown Paper Bag is baaack!

by Khushboo on October 13, 2011

After a brief hiatus, my Brown Paper Bag series is back!  For new readers/those who can’t remember, BPB is a series where I suggest ideas for healthy packed lunches and ways to make them part of your daily routine.  For the past 2 weeks or so, I’ve been splitting up my lunches into 2 parts.  Anyone who works a desk job will agree that sitting in the same spot for 8 hours can stir up a serious case of the munchies.

Today’s lunch:

Part uno:

Grilled veggies & tofu with hummus, melba toast, and apple slices

Part deux:

Banana & Melon Smoothie with a side of Windows

Believe it or not I used to avoid drinking smoothies because they’d keep me full for all of 5 minutes.   The rational part of my brain figured it was better to ‘eat’ my calories rather than ‘drink’ them.  By bulking out my smoothies, I’ve started embracing them lately and fortunately they fill the fro yo void in my life :) .  I know everyone has their own smoothie style but here are some of my tips for making a filling, yet tasty, smoothie:

1) Choose your base: between liquids like milk, kefir, yogurt, and coconut water the choices are endless.  My only suggestion is to avoid opting for fruit juice as your sole base due to its high sugar content.

2) Select your fruit combo, and once you do peel, chop, and and freeze! Frozen fruit produces such a great, creamy texture.  For natural sweetness, be sure to use ripened fruit.

3) Pack in some protein:  If protein powders are your thing, scoop up!  As you know I’d rather get my protein from real foods where possible so I add in Greek yogurt which has up to 15g protein per cup and/or soy milk which has 10g protein per cup.  Adding in a chunk of tofu or a couple tablespoons of cottage cheese can also boost your smoothie’s protein content.  Although Hulk Hogan may suggest adding raw eggs, that’s entirely up to you! ;)

4) Go green: I know that the idea of adding spinach into a sweet drink sounds gag-worthy.  I thought so too initially but I promise you cannot taste it AT ALL.  A mere handful can amp your intake of nutrients like protein, Omega 3′s and iron.  In fact, my sister cranks it up a notch by even blending in courgettes and broccoli: TOO.HARDCORE.FOR.ME :shock: !

5) Have some fun by adding flavorings like vanilla/almond essence, peanut butter, cocoa powder, or cinnamon.  For an extra dose of healthy fats & fiber, stir in a tablespoon or 2 of chias/flax seeds.

Optional: to improve the consistency & volume of your smoothie, add in a teaspoon of guar and/or xanthan gum.   I’m a big fan of the latter!

How do you ensure your smoothies pack in some staying power?

{ 25 comments… read them below or add one }

Parita @ myinnershakti October 13, 2011 at 7:27 pm

I add Sunwarrior protein powder to my morning smoothies. It adds a hint of chocolate flavor, 16 grams of protein and only 80 calories. Keeps me full until lunch!

And I still need to try the whole Greek Yogurt in my smoothie thing.

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Khushboo Thadani October 14, 2011 at 4:05 pm

I’m not counting calories anymore but I am aware and I have to say, 16g of protein for 80 calories is a pretty sweet deal…talk about getting a bang for your cals!

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janae@hungryrunnergirl.com October 13, 2011 at 7:40 pm

LOVE THIS SERIES GORGEOUS GIRL!!! I add in raw oats every now and then to really bulk it up. Hope you are having a great day!

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Khushboo Thadani October 14, 2011 at 4:05 pm

Yesss oats in smoothies are amazing..I love the chewiness of raw oats + wahay for an easy means to get in wholegrains :)

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Karina October 13, 2011 at 8:10 pm

Love this post! Can’t believe I only had my first smoothie this summer – think I can hands down say it is THE best thing you taught me to make (close runner up being oatmeal pancakes).

Love my green smoothies – did 14 days where i had one every morning and made me feel great (trust me, chop your veg ie courgettes, carrots really thin – i used spiraliser – and freeze them. when you make your smoothie chuck them in, you wont even know they are there and gives your drink a great nutritional boost).

Now you’ve me craving a smoothie – must have one in the morning! For staying power i tend to always add some healthy fat (chias, pb) and must add protein – if i’m using almond milk i throw in some protein powder.

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Khushboo Thadani October 14, 2011 at 4:07 pm

Bahahah get over it- veggies in my smoothie just aint gonna happen ;) ! HOpe you managed to make one after your breakfast fail of not having any suitable liquids!

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Sara K October 13, 2011 at 8:45 pm

Please continue this BPB series as I start my office job next week and WILL be sitting at a desk for 8+ hours ;) I’ve never actually made a smoothie before- but maybe I should experiment and hopefully not end up with something gross tasting haha. Broccoli in a smoothie though…that is definitely a bit too hardcore for me as well

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Khushboo Thadani October 14, 2011 at 4:07 pm

More than food, pleeease try and get some exercise in during those work days- trust me your legs will thank you after 8 hours of sitting :) !

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runningismagical October 13, 2011 at 8:45 pm

You’re right. the thought of adding anything GREEN to a smoothie sounds gross. I’m not much of a smoothie maker, but maybe if someone made one for me without me knowing what was it in i’d give it a shot..haha!

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Khushboo Thadani October 14, 2011 at 4:08 pm

Gotta love the placebo effect! ;)

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Errign October 13, 2011 at 10:05 pm

I like to add protein powders, oats, extra fruit or nut butters :)

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Khushboo Thadani October 14, 2011 at 4:11 pm

Love oats in my smoothie, although always forget to add them!

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Tracy's Treats October 14, 2011 at 3:13 am

I’m actually not a huge smoothie drinker. I always feel uncomfortably cold after drinking them!

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Khushboo Thadani October 14, 2011 at 4:10 pm

For some reason, my taste buds seem to favor cold foods…I even prefer cake/cookies cold over fresh out the oven!

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Tara October 14, 2011 at 4:34 pm

The key to staying power in smoothies for me is volume and protein. They have to be BIG smoothies so that I feel like I’m not just drinking/eating it down in a few minutes. I also find that a scoop of protein powder or yogurt gives it a little more substance so it quells hunger.

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Khushboo Thadani October 15, 2011 at 3:50 pm

Totally agree..it has to be big….that’s what she said haha ;) !

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Alexandra October 14, 2011 at 5:40 pm

Ooh love this post :) So glad you commented on my blog so I could find yours because I LOVE IT!! Can’t wait to read more girl!
Smoothies are the bomb any time of year, can’t get enough! I always love adding baked sweet potato to my smoothies, it makes them SO freakin creamy and thick and holds me well after workouts! :D

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Khushboo Thadani October 15, 2011 at 3:49 pm

Wow, never would have thought about adding sweet potato to a smoothie but I don’t doubt it….another great produce to creamify smoothies is avocado!

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Tessa @ Amazing Asset October 14, 2011 at 5:58 pm

I definitely have fears of drinking calories, but I am getting much better about it as now I realize I can make a pretty darn healthy and filling smoothie! I like to add nut butters, yogurt, cottage cheese, and of course plenty of fruit!

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Khushboo Thadani October 15, 2011 at 3:48 pm

I do prefer chewing to sipping but smoothies are growing on me!

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Christine McCarthy (@OatmealBowl) October 14, 2011 at 8:20 pm

Smoothie making can be challenging if you work far from home. I know green smoothies tend to keep okay in an iced cooler. Maybe lug a small one to work. Or bring a magic bullet to work and the packaged ingredients?

I love “brown bagging” it work. Me and my lunchopolis lunch pack work well together. ;)

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Khushboo Thadani October 15, 2011 at 3:47 pm

I love my smoothie cup- keeps the drink cold without have to hit a fridge!

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Kaliesthoughts October 15, 2011 at 11:35 am

New reader here love the post and blog good tips!

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Khushboo Thadani October 15, 2011 at 3:46 pm

Thanks & welcome :)

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Manek Chotirmall October 19, 2011 at 10:11 am

The smoothie looks so yum! :) Its probably so refreshing especially in the Bombay heat. To ensure my smoothies are packed with the “good stuff” I include chia seeds, flaxseeds, and peanut butter!

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