Protein shakes fit the bill when you need an energy boost after a workout, or are simply trying to modify a traditional milkshake. To make the healthy shake especially tempting, make it a chocolate one. If you prefer unsweetened cocoa to chocolate protein powder, it helps to add a bit of nut butter to up the protein content. Of course, even if you do use protein powder, the nut butter is a tasty and nutritious addition. A banana adds creaminess, and -- if you freeze it beforehand -- better approximates the ice cream used in traditional shakes.
Peel and slice a banana into chunks, and place it in the freezer for at least 1 hour.
Wash, dry and chop kale or spinach leaves, if using.
Pour in about 1 cup of milk into the blender for every serving you're making.
Put in one generous spoonful each of nut butter and either protein powder or cocoa powder for every serving.
Toss in a handful of spinach or kale and a spoonful of chia seeds, if using. Multiply this amount if making more than one serving.
Cover the blender and pulse the ingredients until they are combined and the liquid becomes shake-like. Add a scoop of ice if the blend isn't as thick as you prefer, then pulse again.
Pour the mixture into one or more glasses and serve.
Ellen Douglas has written on food, gardening, education and the arts since 1992. Douglas has worked as a staff reporter for the Lakeville Journal newspaper group. Previously, she served as a communication specialist in the nonprofit field. She received her Bachelor of Arts from the University of Connecticut.