Happy Monday — and happy Meatless Monday! Today is a bittersweet Meatless Monday. It is my last official time co-hosting the Meatless Monday linkup with Annmarie. It’s been an amazing couple of years and I’ve really enjoyed so many of the new recipes and ideas I’ve discovered from the Meatless Monday linkup. Unfortunately the responsibility of hosting three weekly linkups (this one, Running Coaches’ Corner, and Friday Five 2.0) is just a bit too much for me right now. I’ll still be creating recipes and continuing to link up with both Meatless Monday linkups as I have been doing for the last few years, but relinquishing my role will help me create even better content for you while helping to keep my sanity as mom, blogger, and running coach. Thanks for linking up every week. It’s been a pleasure!
Let’s get on with the post and recipe today, shall we? I think you’ll enjoy it as the final result is a delicious bedtime snack!
As you likely know by now, I’m training for a slew of upcoming spring races. (And if you didn’t know, now you do!) In addition, my husband is also beginning to work on some strength training as well as increasing his running distance. As such, we’re both being very picky about what we’re eating, when we’re eating, and the types of exercises and strength training we’re doing.
This post is sponsored by Naked Nutrition. All reviews, opinions, recipes, and photography are my own.
My husband and I, though we have similar goals, could not be more different. He’s tall and lean, and I’m short and curvy. Our athletic pursuits are also different. I’m focusing on long, slow distance. I need to build my aerobic base and turn my body into an efficient machine. I want to eat foods that help me repair muscles quickly and other foods that will keep me fueled sufficiently for the distances I cover on foot. My husband, on the other hand, is focusing on strength and power. He works muscles really hard and they rebuild themselves stronger than they were before. He relies on foods that will help him build muscle over time and chooses fewer carb-heavy foods than I do. (You may know where I’m going with this, but if you don’t, no worries because I’ll explain in the next paragraph.)
As you might suspect, our dietary needs are much different, too. He requires a lot of calories and burns through them with lightning speed. I can eat twice as much as him in one sitting but I don’t need the overall amount of calories he does nor do I need to eat quite as often. Because of our differences in physique, athletic goals, and dietary needs, our protein needs — though similar — are also not the same. While I tend to favor whey protein, which is optimal for rebuilding muscle very quickly (among many other things), he favors casein to keep him fuller longer. Casein is also great for him because his muscle growth depends on a balance of protein synthesis and breakdown.
The great debate of whey vs. casein has been ongoing for years. They are truly both great options so I can’t comfortably say one is better than the other. What I can say, however, is to be selective when purchasing protein powders. There are a ton on the market. Some are phenomenal, others notsomuch.
One amazing brand of protein powder I’ve had the opportunity to try recently is Naked Nutrition. What I particularly like about Naked Nutrition is there’s one ingredient. In my case the one ingredient is Micellar Casein. But for the many other protein powders they offer, there are not more than three ingredients per protein powder — even for those with sweeteners or flavors. I also like that Naked Nutrition uses rGBH-free skim milk, no artificial flavors, sweeteners, or colors, and their protein powders are GMO-, soy-, and gluten-free. They offer a large variety of protein powders — both milk-based and plant-based — as well as supplements.
I tried the Naked Casein and decided to put it to the test. With my husband in mind, I created a recipe for the active person that prefers a snack before bedtime and has slower-digesting protein needs. This recipe uses casein protein, tastes like dessert, and is incredibly simple to make. Plus, it can easily be made into a low-sugar option and enjoyed as a dessert smoothie for those of us who don’t necessarily need a bedtime snack. My Coconut Banana Bedtime Snack Smoothie is a crowd pleaser regardless of your snacking or athletic goals. Enjoy!
Coconut Banana Bedtime Snack Smoothie
- 1 banana, plus more for garnish
- 1 scoop Naked Nutrition Naked Casein protein powder
- 1/2 Tbsp coconut oil
- 1/4 C vanilla Greek yogurt*
- 1/2 C water
- 1/2 C ice cubes
- 1/4 C 2% milk
For the smoothie
Combine all ingredients in a high-powered blender such as a Ninja or Vitamix. Pulse to combine. Set aside.
For the frothed milk topping
Heat milk in a medium saucepan over medium-high heat. When it begins to bubble ever so slightly, remove to a bowl. Whisk vigorously until the consistency becomes frothy.
Pour the smoothie into a glass and spoon froth over top. Garnish with additional banana slices. Drink and enjoy!
*for a low sugar option, use 1/4 C plain Greek yogurt plus 1/2 tsp vanilla extract.
If you’re in a hurry or don’t have a taste for the topping, simply omit it. The smoothie is equally delicious with it and without it. And if you’re looking for a lower sugar content drink, swap out the vanilla yogurt with plain yogurt (just be sure to add a little vanilla to get the right flavor).
No matter your training needs, protein shakes and smoothies are a delicious way to pack in a lot of nutrition when you need it most. Things to consider: whey protein is great for a quick-release protein right after a workout. Casein is great for a slow protein burn. It helps you stay fuller for longer and it’s wonderful for building lean muscle mass. My Coconut Banana Bedtime Snack Smoothie is great for anyone looking to increase their protein intake in a delicious, healthful way.
Thank you so much for linking up week after week for the Meatless Monday linkup. I’ll miss hosting you guys but I can’t wait to become a linker myself! Happy Monday. 🙂
TALK TO ME!
What’s your preferred form of protein?
Do you like eating a bedtime snack?
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