Some days, a fork and spoon can feel like a bit of a hassle. Okay, not really, but the temptation to simply drink our food is one we give into now and then when convenience is a priority. A Primal shake is a good way to mix things up, treat yourself to a healthy snack in the afternoon or add a little extra something to an evening meal. Some shakes, even without the addition of dairy or added sugar, can even satisfy a hankering for dessert.
When you’re making a shake, it’s tempting to throw anything that looks good into the blender, stick a straw in it and suck it down. But be careful; what started as a healthy snack or meal-replacement can quickly turn into a huge glass of carbs and sugar.
In the following recipes we avoid this pitfall by limiting sweeteners and starting our shakes with a solid base of healthy fats, ideally, 50-70% of the total calories. Coconut milk, nut butters and avocado are a good starting point, and you don’t have to choose just one. Coconut milk and nut butters are practically decadent together and coconut milk with avocado is a soothing combination worth trying. The avocado loses all its savory inclinations and blends into a shake with a slightly sweet flavor and incredibly creamy texture. An occasional spoonful of seeds will add fat too, as will a drizzle of coconut or olive oil, or an egg if you’re so inclined. Which leads us to the next layer in our shakes: protein.
Generally speaking, you’ll want to shoot for 10-30 grams or so of protein. Again, nut butters are great for this, and a scoop of whey protein can boost the protein content of any shake. Once you have your fat and protein in place, the last thing to consider is keeping the carbs in check.
Try not to total more than 25 g per shake; the lower the better. Though, of course the precise carb count will depend on your particular goals. Berries work well here. Their carb/antioxidant ratio is tough to beat and they’re high in flavor, so a mere 1/2 cup is usually plenty.
Even if you concoct the perfect ratio of fat, protein, and carbs, it’s all for naught if the shake doesn’t taste good. If you throw ingredients into a blender in clean-out-the-fridge mode you might end up with some questionable flavors and colors. Then again, you might stumble onto some combinations that are pure genius. We already mentioned the avocado/coconut combination we stumbled upon. We’re equally fond of the refreshing combination of blueberries and kale, and a savory shake made with tomato and cucumber. We’ve provided recipes for these shakes and a few more to get you started, but experimenting is the best way to come up with your own favorite. For example, the last two recipes are delicious as-is but are low in fat, so you might want to either add some fat or create them as a complement to a fatty Primal meal.
Tell us what you think in the comment board. Share your thoughts on your personal favorite Primal Shake concoctions. Grok on!
Fat: 36.2 g
Carbs: 17.2 g
Protein: 26.9 g
Fat: 43.7 g
Carbs: 16.5 g
Protein: 26.0 g
Fat: 10.9 g
Carbs: 13.2 g
Protein: 3.1 g
Berry-based shakes tend to be higher in carbs and lower in fat, which is why we prefer drinking them right before or after a meal that is high in fat and protein, like eggs or steak. You can, however, up the fat content in either of these shakes by adding half an avocado, a spoonful of coconut milk or oil, nut butter, or yogurt if you eat dairy.
Fat: 0.9 g
Carbs: 26.5 g
Protein: 17.9 g
Fat: 1.8 g
Carbs: 22.8 g
Protein: 19.9 g