The Ultimate Chocolate Peanut Butter Protein Shake Recipe
If you’ve ever grabbed a premade chocolate peanut butter protein mix right off the shelf from the health food store, you were probably very excited until you actually tasted it. Unfortunately, most flavored proteins overpromise and underdeliver. They just don’t quite taste as good as many people hope.
This can be because they either utilize less flavoring, or they swap ingredients to remain shelf stable, leaving you with something that doesn’t taste fresh or delicious. If you’re a fiend for your peanut butter cups, don’t settle for a subpar protein powder. Do it your own way and scratch the itch for chocolatey, peanut buttery goodness.
Start With Your Protein Base
Although both chocolate and peanuts have a little bit of protein, they aren’t enough to constitute a protein shake. You need to choose your unflavored base to add your ingredients to. There’s a kind of protein for every dietary preference or restriction.
Whey or Dairy-Based Proteins
Whey protein, whey isolate, and casein proteins are all derived from cow’s milk. People whose diets and lifestyles allow for milk usually prefer these kinds of protein powders. They often create a rich and delicious protein shake base that mimics that of a milkshake, but without the added fats and sugars.
If you want your protein shake to taste like a decadent dessert, you’re probably going to love whey protein powder.
Egg based protein powders derive their protein from egg whites. They’re a great option for people who are not vegan, but may be lactose intolerant or have a dairy allergy.
Egg white protein is light, and it fluffs up beautifully in the blender. You’ll get a beautiful whipped texture from your shake if you blend it for a little longer.
Plant based proteins can come from sources like peas, rice, and nuts. These kinds of proteins are agreeable for almost everyone. Vegans, vegetarians, and even complete carnivores can benefit from a plant-based protein powder.
Since the protein source is a plant, the powders will often have similar vitamin and nutrient contents to those plants. This is a major bonus for people who are looking to sneak in a few extra servings of greens every day.
Pick a Milk
Mixing a protein shake with water is almost sacrilegious. It’s great to drink water on its own. It’s not so great to drink water with a starchy protein powder, peanut butter, and chocolate. Instead, opt for a milk. They’ll give your shake a creamier texture and add even more nutrients, making your shake a little more filling and robust. If you really want to keep dehydration at bay, drink that glass of water while your milky protein shake is mixing up in the blender.
If you aren’t lactose intolerant or vegan, there’s nothing inherently wrong with choosing dairy milk. A lot of people tend to steer away from it, but it’s really only whole milk that’s the issue. Whole milk isn’t even unhealthy -- it simply contains a lot of calories and a lot of fat.
Go for 2% milk or 1% milk for the benefits of dairy without the extra calories.
Milks made from rice or oats get their richness and texture from the starches they contain. Rice milk is a bit thinner and cloudier than most milk alternatives. Oat milk looks like real milk, and can sometimes be just as creamy. Oat milk is also easy to make at home. Both of these milks are great options for vegans, people with nut allergies, people with lactose intolerance, and those with a sensitivity to soy.
Nut milks are great alternatives to dairy milk for anyone who doesn’t have an allergy to nuts. Nuts like almonds boast minerals and antioxidants that make their way into the milk. Cashew milk is rich, thick, and delicious. If you look hard enough, you’ll even find macadamia, walnut, and pistachio varieties.
Soy milk is as close to milk as alternative milks get. Soy is naturally fatty, giving it the same thickness and viscosity as full fat dairy milk. The two are so close that they work as identical swaps when cooking and baking.
Despite all these benefits, it’s worth noting that soy is a natural phytoestrogen, which is something similar to the estrogen produced by the human body. Although soy’s effects as a phytoestrogen are very weak, people with a sensitivity to estrogen might want to play things safe and choose another milk.
Choosing Your Chocolate and Your Peanut Butter
Here is where the real fun begins. You can use the same protein shake base over and over again for every kind of shake, especially if you’re using unsweetened milks and vanilla or unflavored protein powders. The finesse comes in choosing your chocolate and peanut butter, as well as adjusting to the amounts of maximum decadence in the healthiest way possible.
When you’ve read that doctors say that chocolate can boast health benefits, dark chocolate is the specific variety they’re referring to. Dark chocolate is mostly, if not all, cocoa solids. Rarely are sugar or other additives used to change the way that dark chocolate tastes. This is only the case when it’s been made into a bar or a chip. The powder is usually free of additional ingredients.
Raw Chocolate or Pure Cacao
Pure cacao is merely powdered chocolate, straight from the plant. Chocolate is a nut, and it offers many of the same health benefits that most nuts have, plus a tiny little kick of caffeine. Raw chocolate could reasonably be considered a health food. When you take away the sugar and the dairy, you’re left with a nutritional powerhouse that tastes rich, complex, and delicious.
Other Kinds of Chocolate
The whole point of a protein shake is to make a healthy choice. It’s still entirely possible to enjoy chocolate in a healthy way, but you won’t get that from sweetened chocolate. Milk chocolate is the worst offender, containing more added ingredients than actual chocolate. If you require the sugar, bittersweet or semisweet chocolate powder is your best option.
Keep in mind that you can add sweetness to raw chocolate with natural sweeteners like stevia or yacon syrup. You can also add sweetness by tossing a banana into your peanut butter chocolate protein shake, and who wouldn’t want to try that? Give that a shot before you give up on the idea of raw chocolate.
Peanut butter on its own is very calorically dense, coming in at nearly 200 calories for a meager two tablespoons. You might find that two tablespoons isn’t enough to give your chocolate peanut butter protein shake the boost it needs. It might taste perfect on toasted bread, but in your protein shake, it’s going to be competing with the chocolate for the spotlight.
Many of the calories in peanut butter come from the added oils, molasses, and sugar needed to keep it spreadable. Even though it spreads well on toast, it might not spread well in the blender. It does a great job of sticking to the sides and the blades, causing one big lump of peanut butter that never really distributes itself.
If you’re okay with the extra calories or you have a super high-powered blender, you can go ahead and use the peanut butter straight from the jar. Just make sure you stir it well and measure it out with a tablespoon so you’re not going overboard on portions.
Powdered Peanut Butter
Powdered peanut butter is basically a miracle for protein shakes. Powdered peanut butter is just peanuts, without the oils and additives. It’s a little less dense and a lot lower on calories. Because it’s powdered, it mixes into yogurt, oatmeal, and protein shakes like a dream.
If you use a blender bottle or a low-powered blender, you’ll be thankful for the powdered stuff.
What About Other Nut Butters?
Use any nut butter you want! Almond butter, cashew butter, and even more exotic varieties like sunflower butter and pistachio butter will work beautifully in your chocolatey protein shake.
Almond butter also comes in a powdered form, making it just as convenient to use as powdered peanut butter. Use a little bit of both for an extra nutty flavor.
As long as you understand the nutritional facts of all of your ingredients, you can craft the perfect chocolate peanut butter protein shake to fit your macros and satisfy your cravings for something a little more indulgent.
If you want a healthy chocolate peanut butter snack that you can grab and go, Mid-Day Squares has your back.