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Healthy and Affordable Coffee Protein Smoothie

I'm not a huge fan of the taste of coffee, so it really surprised me that I liked the coffee drink that came in one of my juice cleanse orders.  If you are a coffee lover, you might find that you want a stronger coffee flavor in this smoothie.  At the ridiculous prices (and often scary nutritional info) of getting coffee out, I played around with making mine.

The recipe comes in 2 parts - making the cold brew coffee and then making the smoothie itself.  It's written out for a quantity of 4 smoothies because I've found it tastes much better after it's chilled in the fridge for a few hours and I'm less apt to get bloated from the air being whipped in during blending after they've sat for a bit.  And since it's just as easy to make a quadruple batch than a single - it saves you cleaning the blender and pitchers an extra 3 times.

To Make the Cold Brew Coffee (regular strength)

1/2 cup of course ground organic* coffee grinds of your choice 

32 oz of filtered water

Pour the water over the coffee grinds and let sit for 12 - 24 hours.   I use a French Press pot because I can then just press the plunger down and pour off the coffee.  You can also do it in a large pitcher and pour the mixture through a coffee filter into another container.  End result, you want the liquid not the grinds.  Changing the type of coffee and ratios of coffee to water will do more to make the coffee stronger than the length of the steeping time.

You can also purchase cold brew coffee concentrate at many retailers - this will often be a bit stronger, then the cold brew coffee above, so it's a great route for people who like the strong coffee flavor.

*Coffee is one of the most heavily pesticided crops in the world, splurge on the organic.

To Make 4 Smoothies

2 Cups Cold Brew Coffee

1 Cup Raw whole cashews soaked overnight* in water and then drained from that water

4 Cups of filtered water (divided)

8 Pitted dates

1 Tbs Ground Cinnamon (no that's not a typo)

2 tsp Vanilla Extract

3 Scoops/servings of unflavored protein powder ( I use Raw Grass Fed Whey)

In a blender, combine the cashews, 3 cups of water, dates, protein powder, cinnamon and vanilla extract.  

Blend on the smoothie setting or as long as needed to make a smooth, but thick liquid.

In a large pitcher combine the coffee and 1 cup of water and then add the blender mix (my blender only has a 48 oz capacity, so this is part is a necessity for me - if your blender is much larger, you might find you do okay tossing everything into the blender in one shot).

Stir the pitcher mix and divide into 4 bottles.  (I use glass bottles like THESE).  The bottles will appear very full but once the air drops out a bit the level will too.

If you like your drinks sweeter - add a Tablespoon or 2 of pure Maple Syrup (but remember to add that into your nutritional info.

* Cashews get amazingly soft in water, I will often let mine soak more than a day.  I've not found that substituting any other nut will work.  If you don't do cashews - try subbing out 3 cups of your milk of choice for that much of the water.  I prefer making my cashew milk so I don't get all the other fillers, sweeteners etc put in the boxed products.

Nutritional Information per serving

Calories - 387

Fat - 15g

Saturated Fat -3g

Cholesterol - 39 mg

Sodium - 37 mg

Total Carbs - 48 g

Dietary Fiber - 4 g

Sugars - 36 g

Protein - 23 g

2% of Daily Vitamin A

16% of Daily Calcium

14% of Daily Iron

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