Thanks to Premier Protein for sponsoring this post!
Over the past few years, I’ve made it a point to listen to my body and what it needs. Most recently, I need protein – especially on the days I workout (which I’ve been trying to do even more lately to help beat those early fall/winter blues).
One of my favorite ways to fuel my body with protein is with shakes. While I’ll frequently make my own at home by mixing my favorite powders with milk, when I’m super busy, on-the-go, or just plain lazy, that’s when I’ll reach for one of Premier Protein’s pre-made shakes. They provide a boost of protein (30 grams of it!) plus vitamins & minerals, all in one super convenient, portable little package. They also come in so many delicious flavors too – including Vanilla, Strawberries & Cream, Bananas & Cream, Caramel, Chocolate, Peaches & Cream and Cookies & Cream. In addition to post and pre-workouts, I also enjoy them for a quick breakfast when I am rushing around in the morning, and also as an afternoon snack!
Also, as a nature enthusiast, I’m happy to see that Premier Protein is making moves to help protect and restore the health of the planet. For example, just last week, they announced their new Earth First packaging. This means that all of their ready-made protein shakes will now come in FSC®-certified Tetra Pak cartons with re-sealable plant-based caps derived from sugarcane, which are more eco-friendly and sustainable! The new packaging will help reduce the brand’s environmental footprint across the entire value chain – from sourcing and production, to use and disposal. This covers not only greenhouse gas emissions, but also resource use, waste, water and chemicals.
Now let’s take a look at each individual part of the packaging. First up – the cartons. Not only are they durable and lightweight, they’re also recyclable and newly FSC®-certified, meaning the materials used have been responsibly sourced. They’re made of mostly from paper, which comes from sustainably managed forests where trees can continue to grow. And once the Tetra Pak cartons are recycled, the paper fiber inside can be re-used to make new products, like tissues, coloring books, and even building materials.
The plant-based cap is also very durable, protective, and 100% recyclable. It’s made of sugarcane sourced from Brazil and grown in a region of the country that does not upset ecosystems or food supplies since it only needs rainwater to grow. And by utilizing a resource that grows back each year, global CO2 emissions are significantly reduced in comparison to plastic made from petroleum.
You can spot Premier Protein’s new Earth First Tetra Pak cartons at the grocery store simply by looking for a leaf imprint on the cap, which indicates the packaging is 100% recyclable!
While I also love how tasty Premier Protein makes their shakes, from time to time I’ll combine them with a few simple ingredients to create a rich, and more filling smoothie bowl. Of course, with the fall season now upon us, what could be better than a pumpkin smoothie bowl?! The one I’ve been making lately is super simple, super tasty, and you can whip it up in under 5 minutes! Here’s the breakdown of how to make it…
To start off, you’re going to need two key ingredients to get that rich, fall flavor, and that’s pumpkin puree and pumpkin spice. Both are relatively easy to find at your local grocery or health food store.
Another key ingredient is banana – it’s there to add sweetness, as well as to give your smoothie bowl a creamier, richer texture. (Not a fan of banana? Don’t worry – you’ll barely notice the flavor with all those pumpkin ingredients!). You’ll want to use frozen ones as they’ll help chill your bowl and make it more ice cream-like. Also, make sure to use overripe bananas (which are sweeter than ripe) and slice them before freezing for a quicker, easier blend.
Add all three of these ingredients along with the Premier Protein protein shake into a blender and voilà! It’s ready to eat!
If you want to tweak your smoothie bowl a bit and maybe make it richer or sweeter, try adding one or more of the ingredients below to your blender before mixing:
- a few tablespoons of Greek Yogurt (vanilla, plain, or pumpkin) – for a richer texture
- a few tablespoons of almond butter – for a richer texture + extra protein
- honey or maple syrup, or a splash of vanilla extract – for extra sweetness
And for toppings to give you bowl a little extra crunch, there are an endless amount of options. Here are just a few to give you some inspiration:
- Coconut flakes or chips
- Seeds (chia seeds, flax seeds, pepitas, sunflower seeds)
- Tree nuts (walnuts, pecans, almonds)
- Fresh fruit (sliced apple, bananas, etc)
- Dried fruit (cranberries, raisins, cherries, etc.)
- Cacao nibs
- Sweetener (honey or maple syrup)
Ok, so now that we have the basic bowl ingredients down along with some optional extras, let’s move onto a quick recipe that uses just those 4 main ingredients. I also threw in some of my favorite toppings!
Pumpkin Pie Protein Smoothie Bowl
- 1/2 cup pumpkin purée
- 1/2 tsp pumpkin pie spice
- 1/2 cup of Premier Protein shake in Vanilla*
- overripe frozen banana, sliced (1 large or 2 small ones)
- Toppings: add your favorites! (Mine are sliced bananas, roasted pecans, pepitas, & chia seeds)
- Place all ingredients, except for the toppings, in a blender. Blend until smooth. (Add more of the Premier Protein shake if smoothie is too thick.)
- Pour into a bowl and add any toppings.
- Serve immediately. Eat with a spoon and enjoy the taste of fall! 🙂
*Instead of a pre-made protein shade, you can substitute it out for a milk of your choice (~1/2 cup) + one scoop vanilla protein powder (optional). I recommend using vanilla flavored protein powder, but you can experiment with chocolate or other flavors if you’d like!
If you’re constantly on-the-go, or want to streamline your breakfast, snack, or pre-workout routine, consider giving Premier Protein’s shakes a try over plastic-bottled ones!
And for more recipe ideas, visit the recipe section of their website here!
Have you tried a pumpkin smoothie bowl? What are some of your favorite ingredients to add to your smoothies or smoothie bowls for a boost?