The summer before my sophomore year of college, I went through a very difficult jaw surgery. Despite the fact that the operation has been streamlined over the years to the point that patients no longer have to have their mouth wired shut and only one night in the hospital is required, the recovery period after that still takes about 2-3 months. During that time, I was not allowed to chew anything, so my diet consisted of a variety of shakes and smoothies, yogurt, soups, mashed potatoes, pasta, and other things that could simply slide down my throat. Of course, the vast majority of those milk shakes were chocolate. Because it is so much harder to get good nutrition when your choices are so limited, I learned how to pack the most punch out of making a milkshake. Here are some tips and tricks I learned:
- Get yourself a smoothie maker! They’re easy to use, and a lot of fun. This one from Walgreens is very similar to the one I own, with a pour spout and easy pour handle, as well as a pulse button for easy dispensing.
- Cut down on fat by using skim milk or almond milk, as well as frozen yogurt over regular ice cream.
- Ben and Jerry’s released a fantastic line of Greek frozen yogurt line over a year ago, and ever since then, store brands and other ice cream makers have been following suit. I particularly enjoy the banana and peanut butter flavor. Any Greek frozen yogurt will be higher in protein, so it will fill you up and be more satisfying, but keep in mind that it will also be a little higher in calories.
- Add a nutritional boost by using Carnation instant breakfast powder (in chocolate of course) or even cans of Ensure. Yes, those little cans of nutritional supplements typically used in the old folks home aren’t the greatest on their own, but added with other things and blended into a milkshake can actually be quite tasty!
- Fresh fruit is always a great addition not only for flavor, but for all those vitamins and minerals. Bananas, strawberries, and other berries are particularly great. If you can’t keep fresh stuff on hand, store a bag of the frozen stuff in your freezer.
- Add peanut butter or another nut butter can add a lot of protein to the mix. Bonus points if you’re able to use the all-natural, organic stuff.