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I Finally Bought A Blender: Your Favorite Thick Shake Recipes Please!

A couple of weeks ago I posted on the Cookware board for advice on getting the best blender, 200 often intense and passionate posts later, I am the proud and happy owner of a Kitchenaid blender.

Now I'm ready to ask all the thick-shake loving chowhound chefs to share their favorite recipes.

Because my husband's efforts at weight loss gave rise to the low-cal thick-shake plan in the first place, I should warn you all shakes I'll be making will be sweetened with Splenda. BUT, please do not let that stop you from posting thick-shake recipes made with sugar or honey - I'll do the conversions myself. But if you have some recipes that are good and contain artificial sweetener I would be especially grateful.

Mainly, I'm thinking about making my own version of a Macdonald's thick shake - chocolate, vanilla, strawberry. And then my own ideas include - pumpkin, berries, mango, apple pie flavor - the sky's the limit!

Since this is the height of summer this post could not be more timely for helping you all cool down a bit. Of course here in San Francisco it's about 60 degrees and holding steady for the forseeable future. But then, we LOVE it that way.

Thanks so much for your help!

If you know of any thick-shake, smoothie, frozen fruity drinks COOKBOOKS - I would love to buy a few to get more recipes that way.

I'd also like your ideas/suggestions about ingredients. For example I know Hershey's unsweetened cocoa powder is low end, but I had higher hopes for Ghirardelli, our local SF brand. But the shake I made last night using it had a rough, sharp, almost burny taste to the chocolate component. I've used Ghirardelli before for making brownies and cakes and it is great for baking applications. Do you know of any cocoa brands that taste more smooth and mellow in the raw state as in a thick-shake?
Also best brands that maybe are bargains or that I might not choose on my own. For example, I know TJ's frozen mango is to die for. Canned cherries are icky. Best brands for natural flavor extracts to pump up the taste. Unsweetened syrups. Catalogs or websites for finding such ingredients.
Hints like that...

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  1. I'm glad that you finally found a blender that you love! I got my boyfriend a KitchenAid blender for his birthday in July and he has been making some really amazing shakes with it...My favorite is: Banana, Peanut Butter and Soy Milk...sooo good and thick (as you requested). He also makes one with strawberries, bananas, orange juice and a little bit of honey that is great! Pretty basic, but definetaly try the Banana, Peanut Butter and Soy Milk, if you like those flavors!

    2 Replies
    1. re: gourmetgal1

      Yours sounds sensual and indulgent, his sounds all-American and cleanly refreshing. Does your smoothie preferences mirror your personalities?

      1. re: niki rothman

        Haha probably! Didn't even realize that...

    2. Two scoops of good plain vanilla, two crushed up candy canes and a half to three quarters of a cup of milk! Yum!

      Two scoops of Green Tea with a cup of milk. Blend. Add sweet adzuki beans and stir. Serve with a BIG straw!

      An avocado, 1 cup of milk, one banana, two tabespoons of honey.

      13 Replies
      1. re: Diana

        Thanks, Diana! How big should the scoops of green tea be? And are they brewed green tea - liquid tea? Or maybe you mean the powdered instant green tea that is used in Japanese tea ceremonies?

        1. re: niki rothman

          NO, Green tea ICE CREAM !! Yo can find it almost anywhere,now/ Try WHole Foods or Trader joes. Make them typical ice cream scoop size.

          Although matcha mixed with vanilla might be interesting.

        2. re: Diana

          I love sweet aduki beans. Now you have me thinking about making those tapioca pearl bubble teas that are so popular with the SF Asian kids. But I bet it's going to be tough getting a recipe!

          1. re: niki rothman

            I think Diana might mean green tea ice cream.

            1. re: Bat Guano

              Hey Bat, what in God's name is your avatar? Is it legal to own one of those, or does it belong in the evidence file of some creepy felony investigation? What the HELL IS THAT THING? (Note: "Hey, you kids, get away from that thing!!!")

              You're probably right about it being green tea ice cream.

              1. re: niki rothman

                To be honest, I don't really know what it is. Nor does anyone else. It's from an article in the New York Times a few months ago on deep-sea creatures that had recently been discovered. I thought it was kinda cute, though....

                I've got about a half pint of green-tea ice cream left, and had been wondering what to do with it, 'cause I don't really like it by itself. I'm guessing you get sweet adzuki beans in the asian market, maybe?

                1. re: Bat Guano

                  you should..often called just "sweet red beans" . you can get the whole beans or the paste in cans. Also sweet black beans or sometimes white beans.

                  1. re: Bat Guano

                    Bat, Is that your way of asking me for a date? Is that a pint of green tea ice cream in your pocket, or are you just glad to see me?

                    Seriously though, adzuki or aduki sometimes I think, maybe, it's spelled - they get used for fillings of terrible Japanese pastries. The beans have a taste of pure "sweet" that somehow eclipses the purity of sugar "sweet" but in a very nice, if you can imagine, almost Japanese homey way. Subtle. I think the bean paste goes really nicely with that other japanese "ultimate" - the ultimate in chewiness, that somehow eclipses the chewiness even of chewing gum, but in a VERY nice way - mochi.

                    You can get adzuki beans in Japanese markets, like in a can - a paste - I think - also - bagged/sweetened/cooked - perhaps? Chinese markets sometimes, I've even seen them - I think - maybe - in a couple of Latino markets that stock Asian foods, in SF. Maybe even in really big supermarkets in major cities in the Asian departments.

                    Just kidding about the little anonymous cutie pie - I read the Science section of the NYT too.

                    1. re: niki rothman

                      They are sweet, but I think you may be buying really cheap adzuki beans.

                      Scattered over ice creams or dropped into shakes a la boba, like a good green tea or a mango, or even a ginger, they are fabulous. But I would not suggest belnding the paste into a green tea shake. The color would be off putting and the flavors would meld, rather than staying distinct.

                      Now, blending paste into a not too sweet vanilla might yield interesting results..well, just a red bean shake, really.

                      1. re: Diana

                        When I go into ethnic markets my plan includes waylaying matronly looking women who appear to be members of that part of the human family, and asking them about products about I want to learn more about. Also I ask them which is the best exemplar of a particular product I want to buy. That's how that can of very sweet bean paste wound up in my pantry. It's a useful policy, as often the ladies will proudly educate you as to the best bargains in any particular food genre about which you're asking (probably idiotic - to them) questions.
                        I imagine the Japanese housewife going home and regaling her relatives later over dinner, "I set that Gaijin woman straight. She was obviously totally clueless, she thought she had to buy the most expensive bonito flakes to make the best dashi - and we all know that's just not true. Well, she may not know much about Japanese cooking, but at least now she knows how to make a decent Dashi".

                        1. re: niki rothman

                          or perhpas, as many people do when a Gaijin asks about a product, they are giving you what they assume western tastes will prefer.

                        2. re: Diana

                          Hi Diana,
                          Oh, of course you are correct. I was assuming we were talking about 2 separate drinks - one with the beans and the OTHER with the green tea. Of course you are right - a combo of the 2 would be undrinkable, repulsive.

                2. re: niki rothman

                  well, the adzuki beans and the tapioca pears are two very different things

              2. Butternut Squash or Pumpkin Puree + splenda + cinnamon/pumpkin pie spice + vanilla w/ ice and protein powder (vanilla) or use sugar free plain or vanilla yogurt... feel free to add some graham cracker crumbs or crystallized ginger

                RTD Met-Rx cans of high protein low carb shakes are incredibly thick, offer 20g of protein for 100 calories, and make a great "base" for anything else you want to add. I've found these are great for giving a shake that's thicky and creamy.

                I actually made an interesting smoothie the other day using fresh persimmons (LOVE 'EM) and seemed to need less yogurt to thicken; the pulpiness of the persimmons added good thickness. Peaches and Pumpkin seem to have a similar effect as well....

                yogurt (esp. Greek/Total) works well to thicken. Cottage cheese, ricotta cheese, and quark work equally as well. Varying the flavor of yogurts you use can obviously open up to a myriad of flavor combinations

                Oatmeal is another great thickener, so you can do any variety of fruits, such as frozen mango, guava, pineapple, blueberries + non-fat total yogurt + some oats, and if you're looking for a healthy fat boost, try adding flaxseed or almonds!

                Happy Blending!

                2 Replies
                1. re: Emme

                  Hi Emme! You sound like one very intelligent and (Baruch Hashem!) very healthy thick-shake maker. I'm so glad you gave me all that useful information.

                  Thank you!


                  1) Where is the least expensive place/catalog/website to buy RTD-Met RX protein powder? Is there a flavor you prefer? Or does one just get it unflavored?
                  2) Assumption: one should be using cooked oatmeal as a thickener to avoid an icky "raw" taste?
                  3) I bought flax seed meal once - to cook for a hot cereal was my intention. I can honestly say it was the worst tasting thing (that wasn't spoiled) that I've ever had the misfortune to put into my mouth. Did I just get a bad batch of it or do you not taste that horrible frighteningly awful flavor in the seeds themselves?
                  4) Is "Greek/Total" yogurt a brand name, and if so where do you buy it that might also, like a national chain, be in SF?

                  Comments - I actually own a quark maker! Thanks for the great idea of combining quark into the smoothy. QUARK!
                  Love your Avatar - is it from the "Simpsons"?

                  1. re: niki rothman

                    1) RTD Met-RX means Ready To Drink, so it comes in a can. Try www.bodybuilding.com or www.netrition.com... or good RTD Met-RX. I use vanilla, but only really like it when used in a shake, not straight out of the can. I even just like the vanilla RTD shake with cinnamon and vanilla extract and ice. (I also use Isopure protein powder from time to time including the vanilla, strawberry, tropical, or apple melon flavors... also available at online retailers).

                    2) Nope raw instant oats are great, no need to cook at all. It absorbs the moisture in the shake itself.

                    3) I HATE flaxseed meal, but some love the taste including my family members, and love to include it in shakes, not to mention eat by the spoonful. It tastes oily and disgusting to me, so just ignore that advice. It's just a great fat if you like it.

                    Total yogurt or greek Fage is available at TJ's and also Whole Foods, but cheapest at TJ's. A serving of Total 0% (I have no problem with skim, though others say they prefer the 2% or whole... try the 0% first and then move up the scale if you don't like it, that's my suggestion...) has 15g of protein, 6g of carb, 0g of fat and 80 calories... a steal of a deal nutritionally speaking... I like it with splenda, cinnamon, vanilla, and sometimes a little high fiber cereal mixed in for a snack, but it thickens up a protein shakes nicely.

                    P.S. Quark rocks. Gelson's sells fat free quark, and I like it plain sweetened with splenda and a sprinkle of cinnamon. Great protein source, and great snack alongside some melon or pear or apple.

                    [I designed my Avatar myself at the Simpsons' movie site... You can design your own from face to hair to expression to accessories to etc. and then save and upload to Chowhound with ease.


                    Feel free to ask more questions... hope that helps!

                2. I use Droste's cocoa for shakes - whiz it up with a little of whatever liquid you're using (or a couple tbsps of water) first, then add everything else. Our favorite is 2 (or maybe a little more) heaping tbsps of cocoa, splenda to taste, 1-2 previously frozen, overripe bananas (depending on how thick and how banana-y you like it), 2 cups low fat milk, ice. I keep peeled, overripe, individually wrapped bananas in the freezer just for shakes.

                  Non or low fat vanilla yogurt (to reduce sugar, you can make a reasonable substitute with vanilla, splenda and plain yogurt or use Dannon fat free, sugar free), canned pineapple in juice, ice.

                  Cocounut extract, mango, pineapple and/or banana; milk or yogurt.

                  Mori-nu silken tofu works well for fruit flavored shakes. I suppose other brands do, too.

                  2 Replies
                  1. re: JRL

                    Hi JRL - I love your ideas! Silken tofu! I'll buy some Droste's - it's sold all over. I keep my own nasty old bananas in the freezer for my banana breads (add walnut pieces and dried cranberries - yum!). Canned pineapple is easy to get packed in juice and sounds delicious for a shake. With cocoanut extract - brilliant!

                    1. re: niki rothman

                      Glad you like them. I seem to have inadvertently deleted the shakes I've been doing lately.
                      Kefir (if you've never tried it, tastes somewhere between buttermilk and yogurt with a thickness between the two available non fat and low fat), TJ's frozen blueberries or strawberries, splenda. You may need to thin with a bit of milk.

                      If you come up with a good vanilla one, please post.

                  2. My basic smoothie is a cup and a half of yogurt (whatever flavor you like; I use sugar-free, nonfat yogurt from Blue Bunny) and a half cup of milk, a whole banana and a cup or so of whatever kinds of frozen berries I have--strawberries, blackberries, whatever, sometimes frozen peaches. You have to put it in the blender in that order or (I learned this the hard way) you end up burning up the motor in at least the kinds of cheaper blenders I tend to buy.

                    2 Replies
                    1. re: revsharkie

                      This is my basic smoothie as well, I ususally add some ice cubes too.

                      1. re: revsharkie

                        So...the liquid always goes in the bottom?

                      2. Hi Hillary!
                        Great idea - nonfat no sugar ice cream as a base! Thanks!
                        How did I KNOW you'd be a chowhound? It is just so obvious, and with that food loving hubbie of yours! Honey, you've got ALL the Rothman votes!!!

                        1. We make smoothies all the time and we like them cold, one trick we have found is instead of using ice we freeze the bananas (unpeeled) the night before and then when we make the smoothie its nice and cold. Usually its bananas/strawberry/milk/yogurt or banana/blueberry.

                          2 Replies
                          1. re: CarlieInLA

                            Weeeeell....I think everybody likes their smoothies cold. That being said though, you DO have a great idea. My brain started out pretty stuck on ice as THE end all and be all for a thickener. The first smoothie I made was cocoa powder, vanilla extract, skim milk, pinch o' salt, and lots of ice. As you can image it was not all that great.
                            It was watery and not even thick enough. All I could think of to make it thicker was more ice and as you can imagine that made things much worse. Other people have mentioned banana but you just made it click somehow for me that the frozen banana will act as a non-diluting thickener. In fact freezing ALL the fruit I will be using would help in that direction.

                            1. re: niki rothman

                              A lot of times we just buy the frozen mango, blueberries or strawberries at Trader Joe's and use them instead of freezing our own fruit. That works really well also!

                          2. An old favorite of mine is stewed (or canned if one must) apricots, vanilla ice cream and a few drops of almond extract! 'Invented' it when I was 9 and needed to gain weight!

                            5 Replies
                            1. re: OCEllen

                              In season, I flash freeze as much fruit as I can. I would also freeze bananas, in chunks, that I'd bought "last day of sale". My kids learned to take a handful of whatever frozen fruit they could get their hands on, some yogurt, flavoured or plain (whatever they found in the 'fridge) and whizz it. For a smoothie, they'd add milk, and for a low fat snack/dessert, they'd enjoy it in a bowl, thick. It was different every time!


                              1. re: OCEllen

                                I can't even imagine NEEDING to lose weight! Sounds like a license to print money! You did notice I'm posting this because I want to make low cal shakes to give my tubbie-hubbie a low cal dessert option. Of course you did! And your apricot shake IS just about the most sophisticated, delicious sounding combo I could imagine! Here's what I'll do - vanilla no sugar/no fat ice "cream" (they have them and they don't taste all that bad), canned in their own juice unsweetened apricots, and lovely, somehow delicate almond extract. I love it! This is going to be one of the first ones I'll make next weekend after I do the shopping all these wonderful suggestions will entail!
                                Thanks so much!

                                1. re: niki rothman

                                  You mean needing to gain... I made it through a childhood. Had RA.
                                  It is / was wonderful (the shake!) - I think fresh cherries with a little a. extract would be superb, too! And your recipe adaptation sounds excellent! Hope he enjoys!

                                  1. re: OCEllen

                                    You are correct! I DID mean "gain". But...scary personal disclosure of first class Freudian slip ahead - I had gastric bypass surgery 6 years ago. Start the violins...It's been hell in a lot of ways but I'd never go back, and can honestly say, Baruch Hashem, I can't imagine MYSELF ever needing to "gain" weight - I just cannot consume that much food! Semper chowhoundis, though!

                                    1. re: niki rothman

                                      Sounds like you are doing fine now! And getting ready to enjoy that new blender!

                              2. vanilla ice cream, powdered chai and honey.

                                Chocolate icecream and fresh raspberries

                                Honey malt ice cream and fresh mango.

                                1 Reply
                                1. re: purple goddess

                                  Ooooooooh! You sexy purple goddess, you! So sensuous! So delicioso! So fattening! But don't let that stop anybody, please! I can and I will make the adjustments oh so easily.

                                  I'll substitute Splenda for honey. Sad, as honey is so lovely - but they just do not make low-cal honey! (Now, THERE'S a fortune just waiting for the right entrepreneur).

                                  Chocolate no-sugar no-fat ice cream and frozen unsweetened raspberries - brilliant!

                                  Vanilla low-cal ice cream, UN-sweetened malt powder (another brilliant idea!), frozen unsweetened mango chunks from TJ's.

                                  I'm realizing that all the fruit should be in smallish pieces and frozen to act as a non-flavor-diluting thickener instead of ice.

                                  Thanks, purple goddess!

                                2. Jeez Niki, do I want to get involved with this again???

                                  Look for a brand of cocoa labeled "Dutch" or "Dutched". This alkalizing process might lessen the "edge" you mention. But real cocoa is pretty bitter stuff.

                                  You can improve most shakes by using frozen cubes of the primary ingredient (e.g., coffee; any kind of juice) or frozen fruit instead of ice.

                                  1 Reply
                                  1. re: embee

                                    Yes, embee, you DO want to get personally involved again! You have entered a different universe (start "Twilight Zone" theme doot-dat-doot-dat), not unlike THIS universe, but DIFFERENT. A world in which beings who LOOK human, but who are actually very different, obsess endlessly, sometimes to the point of near (?) madness over the fine points of culinary technique and ultra-sophisticated gustation...

                                    That's right!!! The Chowhound zone! Where, in this tiny corner of that vast universe, the strange yet somehow inspired inhabitants are discussing, nay...obsessing about smoothies. I know you've got a blender too. You know I want to know WHICH cocoa is the BEST. embee, you're ALREADY involved up to your ears in the blender and what it can and cannot do. Actually, YOU helped me more than anybody else in all those 200 posts. You know what I'm asking you to do. And you know how to do it. I hope it's not too much trouble. THANKS! I LOVE YOU, EMBEE!!!

                                    P.S. My next stop will be the Simpson's movie site! I have SOooo much to be grateful to you.

                                  2. one favorite in my house:
                                    frozen banana, scoop of nutella, spoon of powdered espresso, plain yogurt, milk.
                                    delicious. and caffeinated. what more could you want?
                                    also: frozen strawberries, banana, and mango, a spoonful of cream of coconut, a squeeze of lime, orange juice.

                                    sorry about the lack of quantities, i just eyeball it.

                                    a plug against protein powders: i do not think that these belong in the diet of a person loosing weight, since they do little but ADD calories. protein does not make you magically loose weight, and most american omnivores get plenty of protein and do not need more.

                                    1 Reply
                                    1. re: pigtails

                                      I like to use the creamest vanilla I can find and then throw in a couple of elberta
                                      Next on my list is bananananana with p/butter vanilla ice cream and a large egg.

                                    2. Yay, Niki!

                                      Half a bag of Trader Joe's Very Berry blend (frozen), a cup and a half vanilla yoghurt, a banana or two, and orange juice to thin out, about two cups. Keeps great in the fridge, too, nice and thick.

                                      1 Reply
                                      1. re: bear

                                        Sounds delish, bear!

                                        At this moment I have the very berry blend you mentioned, plus TJ's mango chunks (awesome!), frozen strawberries, blueberries, and frozen bananas. I have nonfat yogurt, cocoa powder, vanilla extract, LOTS of Splenda, and thanks to you all, a lot of enthusiasm and imagination.


                                      2. Hey congratulations!
                                        You have a lot of really good combo suggestions and most that I've done, all depends on the fruit in the house at the time. But what I love most and I add to most of them is toasted coconut and what I do is to add it to the smoothie at the end and then a generous topping. But then I love coconut. Big straws, that's key!

                                        1. Yumm, green tea ice cream shake...While I like the ease of buying the ice cream, how about using homemade ice cream? I love it so much and up until recently it was hard to find so I started making it a few years ago. It is a lot easier than one would think. http://crossfood.blogspot.com/2007/08...

                                          Regarding putting the green tea powder directly with the vanilla, I'm not sure how well it would blend. I use the powder in my green tea ice cream recipe and it does require mixing well and even using a spoon to avoid clumps of green tea powder from forming. Perhaps you'd have better luck mixing alone with vanilla ice cream.

                                          Here's what I had for lunch: http://crossfood.blogspot.com/2007/08...

                                          ps: I've used the TJ jarred mangoes in the winter and liked them.

                                          9 Replies
                                          1. re: Minicakes

                                            How about mixing it with the sugar to help avoid lumps? Never made it, so I'm just guessing.

                                            1. re: bear

                                              Hi Bear,
                                              Good suggestion. It is worth a shot! I'm also going to try mixing the powder with some hot water to let it dissolve.

                                            2. re: Minicakes

                                              Hi Minicakes! Thanks! I just bookmarked your bee-eau-tee-ful blog! And YOU....you! You just gave me the BESTest idea I have had since I got the idea to get the blender in the first place. MY OWN HOME MADE ICE CREAM MADE WITH SPLENDA!!!
                                              Yikes! It's back to the cookware board to get chowhounds' help finding the perfect icecream maker!
                                              I cannot thank you enuf!

                                              1. re: niki rothman

                                                Hi Niki,
                                                I have a cuisinart. I don't know if it is the best ice cream maker on the market, but it was given to me a few years back and I've been making ice cream with it ever since. It is a reasonably priced gadget around $50 on sale at macys.com. I'm sure you could price shop online and get it for less. For reviews on gadgets, check out Amazon, pricegrabber, epinions and of course, the good old cookware board on chowhound! good luck.

                                                1. re: Minicakes

                                                  Hi Minicakes!

                                                  You have just totally amazed me! I never dreamed in a million years (of cooking - sometimes that's what it feels Like) that a Cuisinart would make ice cream!

                                                  I got a wedding present of a full-sized Cuisinart 25 years ago next week, and it is still going just as strong as it was on day one after the honeymoon. God bless it's tough little motor!

                                                  Since this is the home cooking board, when you have time, could you please give me a recipe along with any handy dandy hints you think are important?

                                                  I think I owe you one, big time. You may have just saved me a whole lotta money!

                                                  Wow, thanks!

                                                  1. re: niki rothman

                                                    Oh, oh. Bad news babe. I suspect that minicakes is referring to a Cuisinart ice cream maker. You can't make ice cream with a food processor. Hmmm - not completely true. If you throw frozen fruit into very cold cream, you can make a soft ice cream in a food processor, which you can freeze hard in the fridge. But we ain't talking diet food here.

                                                    The best ice cream makers have a built in compressor and are quite expensive. There is a Cuisinart (about $300 in Canada). Simac is really good, as is (I think it's called) Lussino - these two cost a fortune. You throw in stuff, press a button, and voila, ice cream.

                                                    The cheaper ones have a cannister that you must freeze before you make the ice cream. Krups and Cuisinart are both pretty good.

                                                    1. re: embee

                                                      Hi Embee and Niki,
                                                      Yes, I am referring to the Cuisinart Frozen Yogurt, Ice Cream and Sorbet maker not the blender. Mine is the one with the cannister that must be put in the freezer beforehand. As I said, it was a gift from awhile ago, so it may be rather outdated now. While it may not be top of the line, it does the job for my basic ice cream needs : )

                                                      1. re: Minicakes

                                                        See - I can be such a big dummy sometimes. I thought you were referring to the Cuisinart food processor as if it could somehow magically make ice cream!
                                                        Heh. The joke's on me.

                                                        1. re: Minicakes

                                                          I have one, it is perfect. I use mine a lot!

                                              2. Niki,
                                                I too am on a quest to loose weight, so I'm trying new ones all the time. Standby is frozen strawberries, plain nonfat yogurt, a banana and a little 1% milk. Comes out to be about 5 points on the weightwatchers scale. I think if you melt the Ghiridellies (sp) in a double boiler it will mix much better and they have a bar that has little calories beats using powder. You can always add the Splenda in as needed. Good Luck

                                                4 Replies
                                                1. re: othervoice

                                                  My God! Othervoice. You are amazing! It actually went through my mind that melting chocolate bar or pieces would taste better but I thought when it hit the cold ingredients it would re-solidify, but YOU, you solved the problem because you told me that that will indeed work! Richard, my husband, is trying to learn the WW point system and it is not easy at all for him. I don't know anything about it myself. Do you know if it is possible to get any WW thick shake recipes (since you seem to know a lot about it) without paying?

                                                  Thanks so much!

                                                  1. re: niki rothman

                                                    Hi, Nikki,

                                                    My son is doind WW, and he joined on-line and can plug what he's eaten, look up many commercially prepared foods and well as individual food items, and get recipes. Really motivating for a techie. I bet there would be shake recipes online, and it might make it easier to figure out the points.

                                                    1. re: bear

                                                      Hi, Bear!
                                                      Thanks for the great idea! I will go to the WW site right now and see if they have any thick shake/smoothie recipes. Somebody else just gave me another wonderful idea here - that I gat an ice cream machine (I don't think they are that expensive) and then I could make my own low fat ice cream with Splenda. Isn't that a fabulous idea? And guess what, it's going to be back to the cookware board again for me. Now I have to find out who makes the best ice cream machine and where to get it for the best price. You were so helpful to me when I was finding my blender, maybe you have some ideas for the cookware board that have to do with ice cream makers too?

                                                      And I'll say a prayer that your son reaches and maintains his WW goal easily.

                                                      1. re: niki rothman

                                                        Sorry, Niki, (sorry for the name misspelling above!)

                                                        I have resisted the urge to buy an ice cream maker, since I'm sure I won't be strong enough to make low-fat ice cream, and I have memories of how delicious the ice cream from our old hand-cranked contraption used to be. Basically, it was frozen creme anglaise, or chocolate made from lots of melted semi-sweet and fresh cream...yum.

                                                        When I have contemplated a purchase, I've been leaning toward the KitchenAid attachment for my stand mixer, just so I don't have one more appliance hanging around. That said, I did give my son the Cuisinart (maybe that's why he had to join WW!) and its worked just fine the few times he's used it

                                                        I wish your hubby great, speedy and painless point-counting as well. He's fortunate to have such a supportive partner, and that should make his journey a little easier!

                                                2. Throw frozen mangos (can get from Trader Joe's), vanilla soy milk, and 1 banana into the blender and mix. Makes for a delicious, creamy and ice-cold smoothie.

                                                  1. For a healthy breakfast smoothie
                                                    6 oz. silken tofu
                                                    1 medium ripe banana
                                                    2/3 cup soy milk
                                                    1 cup frozen blueberries/strawberries
                                                    1 tablespoon honey or sugar/splenda to taste
                                                    2 -3 ice cubes, optional
                                                    I also sometimes add a bit of wheatgerm for protein, but some ppl don't like.
                                                    For a slightly more desserty shake, rather than using a lowfat ice cream, I use soy delicious non-dairy non-fat frozen dessert which is pretty widely available. They have some great flavors. The combo of Peppermint Carob Soy Delicious and Choc. Soy Milk is an absolute dream and one of my faves. I still often use tofu to thicken it up.

                                                    1. I saw the KitchenAid at BB&B for $100, and I was really tempted!! Enjoy!

                                                      2 Replies
                                                      1. re: Mother of four

                                                        I got the Kitchenaid at BB&B for $80 with the 20 % off coupon. If you ask them they will send you $5 off and 20 % off coupons every few weeks, and here's a tip - they even accept expired ones if you smile pretty - maybe even if you don't. I save the coupons and have never paid full price for anything there - 20 % off is quite generous, especially if you are buying something on sale - then you feel like you won the lottery. Just give them a call and ask to be placed on their mailing list for coupons. Do it now.

                                                        1. re: niki rothman

                                                          And, they accept one coupon per item, so you can buy multiple things at a discount. Linens and Things in the Northeast does as well.

                                                      2. Maybe my blender drinks qualify more as smoothies than as shakes. I never add sweetener to them. The bananas are sweet and fattening enough.
                                                        Frozen fruit thickens the smoothie without the addition of ice cream (and its fattening calories). Our family favorites are banana, mango, raspberries, and strawberries (blueberries are difficult to find in France). I generally prefer them mixed with orange juice, but might add a spritz of lowfat milk.
                                                        Chocolate, vanilla, and weight loss do not go together. But, then again, cooking and weight loss don't, either. You have to get into jogging, or something.

                                                        3 Replies
                                                        1. re: Amanita

                                                          I just made a really yummy one (rasberries, strawberries, plums, ice, yogurt, milk and honey) but i dont know my quantities and i have enough for another one (which i cant drink just now) Does anyone know if it stays good in the freezer?

                                                          1. re: gastronomy

                                                            Mine never stay good anywhere. Freezer makes 'em too solid, and they change color in the fridge.

                                                          2. re: Amanita

                                                            I'm thinking about a combo of non-fat ice "cream" sweetened with Splenda, frozen fruit chunks such as strawberry or mango, and maybe some plain yogurt or quark, which is non-sour yogurt - I actually have a little machine that makes it. And flavor essences/extracts and more Splenda. All whipped up in a blender. Perhaps some of that thickening/low cal protein powder that was mentioned, ice cubes made of lemonaide made with splenda - or not fruity but chocolatey - made from melting unsweetened high quality chocolate and sweetening it with Splenda, chocolate extract, or vanilla extract, with vanilla low cal ice cream. These are all ideas that are bumping around my mind today.
                                                            Anyone for a CLAM smoothie? Squid? Time for a break?

                                                          3. Niki......my dear Niki. OK, you bought the blender; THE blender, but the big question is -

                                                            Are you going to KEEP it?

                                                            Do you like it so much that you have thrown the box away? Are you SURE that you passionately like this blender?

                                                            Just checking before I submit my Vidalia onion/Syrup of Ipecac smoothie recipe...

                                                            1. I still go crazy for avocado milkshakes when there is no avocado ice cream available. One avocado, about a cup of milk, 2 tbsp. Splenda should be a good conversion. Otherwise I would make it with ice cream and condensed milk. It is really delicious if you choose to try it and could probably stand up to the addition of yogurt for a tangy twist.

                                                              1. When I do the smoothie route, it's usually for a quick breakfast.

                                                                My base is tofu and usually a banana. Sling in some flax seeds and ginseng. The shake hides the taste. Splenda too of course. Yogurt if you want.

                                                                1. Hi Niki,

                                                                  A great shake is peanut butter (or almond or sunflower seed butter), banana, 2 scoops of vanilla whey protein powder (I use Whey factors, important to buy one with a great tastes), 1 cup skim milk, 1/2 cup ice. Tastes so amazing like peanut butter ice cream. I also add 1 scoop flax and 1/2 cup All Bran (later two ingredients are optional).

                                                                  I also have one for Strawberry (frozen), skim milk, ice, vanilla whey powder and organic hot chocolate milk powder or vanilla powder (this later ingredient serves as a sweetener so how much depends on taste as well how sweet or sour the strawberries are.

                                                                  In the next couple days I am going to figure one out with Adzuki beans. I make both these drinks for my toddler as well as my husband and I for breakfast.

                                                                  A great place to get protein shake ideas is to go to a fancy gym like Equinox and go to their juice bar to get their ideas.