Breakfast Smoothie Revamp

My original Banana Chocolate Protein Smoothie has served me well.  I make one every morning without fail.  It’s still an easy and nutritious way to start my day.  Recently, I had to buy the Carnation Instant Breakfast variety pack because the market was out of the big tub of milk chocolate flavor and I discovered something…although I still hate the vanilla and strawberry flavors, the dark chocolate variety is far more rich and delicious than the milk chocolate.  There’s a hitch though.  The dark chocolate flavor ONLY comes in the variety pack.  I’ve been a big fan of CIB powder…it’s helped me get well and be well fed over this past year with Gastroparesis.  All of us GPers know that frankly, when we’re really sick, have no appetite and are having trouble maintaining weight, sugar content is the last thing on our minds, getting enough to eat is the first but I’ve always had a nagging concern about all the added sugar in CIB (its second on the list of ingredients).

I’ve developed my own version of CIB powder using instant nonfat dry milk and dark, rich natural cocoa powder and not a stitch of added sugar.  The fresh milk, dry milk and banana in the smoothie already provide carbohydrates without the added sugar of CIB.  I already take a quality, high potency, daily liquid multivitamin supplement by Now Vitamins so the 10-25% RDA of vitamins and minerals found in CIB powder seems insignificant and redundant by comparison.

According to the Hershey’s website, natural cocoa powder (not dutched or dutch processed) contains healthy fat, antioxidants and a small amount of fiber (cocoa like coffee, is derived from a bean).  These antioxidants, called flavanols, are associated with good cardiovascular health, healthy cholesterol levels and reduced blood pressure.  Two tablespoons of natural cocoa have more antioxidant capacity than 3 1/2 cups of green tea, 3/4 cup blueberries and 1 1/3 cups red wine.

According to World’s Healthiest Foods, bananas are one of the best sources of potassium, essential for maintaining normal blood pressure, heart function and promoting bone health.  A simple mixture of banana and milk creates an antacid effect by suppressing  stomach acid production.  Bananas also contain pectin, a soluble fiber, called a hydrocolloid that can help normalize movement through the digestive tract and ease constipation…yes, you heard that right!  Although bananas are best known for treating loose bowel movements (think BRAT diet:bananas, rice, applesauce and toast…all coincidentally GP-friendly…something to ponder) they also can promote healthy bowel movements by providing soluble fiber to relieve constipation.

Milk and whey protein powder are excellent and easily digestible (as long as you’re not intolerant!) sources of protein.  Milk contains most of the nutrients essential for the body to carry out its daily functions.  According to Barlean’s, the makers of Barlean’s Omega Swirl Flax Oil Supplement, flax oil is nature’s richest source of vegetable-based Omega 3 fatty acids and promotes heart health, healthy cholesterol levels, joint mobility and bone density, energy, healthy blood glucose and skin, hair and nail health.

Mary’s No Sugar Added Instant Breakfast Powder

Approximately 12 servings at 4 tablespoons (1/4 cup) per serving

2 1/4 cups instant nonfat dry milk

3/4 cup natural cocoa powder

sweetener of your choice, if desired, I like mine unsweetened

Mix milk and cocoa powders thoroughly…a wire whisk works well.  Store in an air-tight container (I’m using my old CIB tub).

Nutritional Information Per Serving:

68 calories, 2 grams fat, 1.6 grams fiber, 6.8 grams protein

Banana Chocolate Protein Smoothie Revamp

Serves 1

1 cup skim milk

4 tablespoons Mary’s No Sugar Added Instant Breakfast Powder

1 scoop chocolate flavored whey protein powder (I use Whole Foods brand)

1 large ripe banana*

1 Tbl Barlean’s Omega Swirl Flax Oil Supplement- Strawberry and Banana flavor (available at health food stores and on-line @

Blend until smooth.

Nutritional Information Per Serving:

Based on a large banana (8″-8 7/8″ long)*

433 calories, 7.4 grams fat, 5 grams fiber, 33.3 grams protein**

*Small banana (6″-6 7/8″ long): 90 calories, 0.3 grams fat, 2.6 grams fiber, 1.1 grams protein)

Medium banana (7″-7 7/8″ long): 100 calories, 0.4 grams fat, 3.1 grams fiber, 1.3 grams protein

Large banana (8″-8 7/8″ long): 121 calories, 0.4 grams fat, 3.5 grams fiber, 1.5 grams protein

**If either of the fat or fiber numbers concerns you, reduce the cocoa powder by half in the Mary’s No Added Sugar Instant Breakfast Powder, omit or reduce the flax oil supplement or choose a smaller banana.


11 responses to “Breakfast Smoothie Revamp

  1. Umm, yes, my morning and evening Chocolate Banana Protein Smoothie is still serving me well as well. I may try combining my egg white protein powder and the cocoa powder as well…that might be easier than doing it all individually every morning and evening. I also mash up my bananas and put them in individual portion sizes in a zip loc bag, and when I need to use them, break them apart a little and put them still frozing into my blender–makes the smoothie thick and smooth. 🙂

  2. I meant to say put them in ziploc bags and FREEZE them, then break them apart and put still frozen into the blender, lol!

  3. It’s so much easier to have some of the ingredients already mixed and ready to go. I froze my bananas in the beginning but they made my smoothie feel really big and overwhelming…haven’t tried it in a while maybe it would be different now that I’m “functionally well” as I like to refer to my current condition (fingers crossed, knock on wood, spit three times!…).

  4. Yes, I’ve been fortunate that the thickness hasn’t bothered me. I seem to be okay with it so far.

  5. hello! I found your blog through the GP yahoo group and I’m soo pleased,it’s been very helpful.

    I’ve always wanted to try the carnation instant breakfast,or recreate it,but I’m lactose intolerant.I’m having trouble finding what I could use for a substitute for the milk powder,any ideas? someone above mentioned egg white powder,I’m not sure if it will mix right though?

    also,stevia has been a gentle sweetener for me and it takes very little to sweeten things up.
    but anyhow,thanks for bloggin’ & keep it up !! 🙂

  6. Hi Hannah! Donna (above) is a frequent visitor and commenter…and she has issues with dairy as well. She posted her breakfast smoothie recipe on the original smoothie post “Breakfast of Champions” back in August (just click on Banana Chocolate Protein Smoothie on the recipe index and it will take you there…I believe she uses egg white protein powder, cocoa powder, coconut milk (found in the same section as the soy and almond milk) and frozen banana…correct me if I’ve missed anything Donna! The dry milk powder adds about 5 grams of protein to the smoothie…an additional half scoop of protein powder might get you to the same place. I buzz my smoothie up with an hand held immersion blender but I know others have the Bullet, Ninja, Vitamix blender etc to make their smoothies. Thanks for reading. I’ll keep posting! Be Well! Mary

  7. Yes, I use coconut milk as my base. Rice milk works well for me too. I put in a little coconut milk (and/or ricemilk), some unsweetened cocoa powder, stevia, Jay Robb unflavored Egg White Protein powder and a frozen banana (or if not frozen I use some ice cubes to help thicken). I put all that in a Ninja (blender works just as well) and whirl it up. It comes out the consistency of a soft soft serve ice cream, so with the Ninja I can eat right out of the container…less to wash. The egg white powder will definitely NOT dissolve well in liquid, so it pretty much has to be blended, although I did try putting some in my hot chocolate–I mixed a little cocoa powder with a little egg white protein powder and stirred that up, then added just a little water to start the process…you can’t add too much liquid all at once though or it will never dissolve.

    I also add a couple of drops of Vit. D liquid vitamins and a little liquid calcium, both of which my doctor wants me to take.

  8. Thanks Donna, I knew you’d know!

  9. I just wanted to add that I think I’ve found an egg white protein powder that dissolves fairly well in liquid. Whole Foods was out of my brand and the girl pointed out another brand. It was Bioplex, and I tested the dissolving by adding it to chocolate ricemilk. I didn’t taste any grittiness or off taste. Yay! 🙂

  10. This is a life saver for me…………thank you Mary,


  11. Glad to hear its working out!