Smoothies can be a delicious and healthy way to add an extra boost of nutrition to your diet (and a sneaky way to get extra nutrition into kids). I have a collection of some of our favorite whey-free smoothie recipes here, but this strawberry cheesecake smoothie is just as delicious as our old favorites.
Unlike a lot of smoothies, this one is low in sugar and filling because of the extra protein from my new favorite secret ingredient… cottage cheese!
Wake Them Up With a Strawberry Cheesecake Smoothie!
I have no trouble getting the kids going in the morning when they know I’m whipping up a blender-full of strawberry cheesecake smoothie. (I learned long ago it’s all in the name… only I have to know how healthy it really is!)
Instead of actual cheesecake, this smoothie gets its dessert-like creaminess from cultured cottage cheese, which adds a whopping 14 grams of protein. This makes it great for breakfast or a mid-morning snack.
Don’t worry, the cottage cheese blends up nice and creamy (no lumps!)… cheesecake fake-out complete.
Healthy Smoothie Ingredients
So what makes such a delectable smoothie different from dessert? I’m glad you asked…
Cottage Cheese (But Not Just Any Cottage Cheese)
We avoided dairy for quite a while while I was getting my autoimmune disease under control and healing my son’s dairy allergy, but dairy is back in the rotation now. Since cottage cheese is cultured it’s also easier to digest than some other dairy products. We use the Good Culture brand at our home because it’s grass-fed, organic, and contains probiotics. (Check local grocery stores and if they don’t have it, ask them to start carrying it!)
Chia seeds are another commonly used ingredient around our house. I always have a big bag on hand for family favorites like chia seed pudding. This recipe doesn’t call for a large amount, but these tiny seeds still really pack a punch. Chia seeds satiate the appetite, contain protein and antioxidants, and help hydration, all of which help support a healthy weight.
One interesting fact about chia seeds is their gelling effects may have health benefits. Researchers think that this gel action also occurs in the stomach, creating a barrier between carbohydrates and enzymes in the stomach which slows the conversion of carbs into sugar.
There are so many benefits to collagen powder that I could write a whole post on them (oh wait, I actually I did here!). Grass-fed collagen powder adds extra protein and is a little more versatile than drinking bone broth, especially on hot days. Collagen is similar to gelatin in its benefits, yet it dissolves in cold water and is a little easier to digest. My family consumes some form of gelatin or collagen daily.
There’s some controversy over whether stevia is healthy or not. I go into the whole debate extensively here, but the bottom line is that it’s something I feel okay using. Unlike raw honey and natural maple syrup (which are a step above processed sugar), stevia won’t spike insulin levels and has no carbs. I use stevia in whole leaf form or tinctures made from the leaf but skip the white, highly processed powder.
Put in all in the blender, and there you have it… enjoy!
Strawberry Cheesecake Smoothie Recipe
- 1 cup milk of choice I used almond milk
- 1 cup cottage cheese I use Good Culture since it is grass-fed, organic, and doesn't have gums or fillers
- 1 cup frozen strawberries
- 1 tsp vanilla extract
- 1 tsp chia seeds
- 2 TBSP collagen powder optional, for extra protein
- stevia drops to taste for sweetness I love this berry-flavored stevia
- Blend all ingredients in a high-powered blender until completely smooth.
- Garnish with sliced strawberries if desired.
What are some of your favorite healthy smoothie ingredients? Have you found ways to sneak in extra protein, fiber, or even veggies?