4 Delicious Shakes That Can Replace A Meal

Sometimes, you just need a quick pick-me-up. Find out how to get the calories and nutrients you need with a sweet twist.

Life can be fast-paced at times. You don't always have the liberty of putting together a full meal. Even when you do, you might not have the time to factor in the calorie count or nutrients. There are pre-made meal replacement shakes you can buy at the store, but these tend to have excessive amounts of sugar.

Ultimately, it would be better for your body to whip up your own version at home. In cases like these, meal replacement shakes are life-savers. They are tasty and easy to make. When prepared with the right ingredients, they can fill you up and give your body everything it needs to function properly.

Start with these four delicious recipes if you're looking for a milkshake to replace a meal.

1. Banana Shake

Meal replacement shake
Image Source: Cuisinart

Bananas are a common ingredient in most smoothies and shakes, but they also pack a powerful punch on their own. This fruit boasts many dietary benefits. According to this food profile by the U.S. Department of Agriculture, bananas are full of essential nutrients such as potassium and fiber and contain enough protein to keep you full. Not to mention, the list of possible flavor combinations is endless; It goes with almost everything!

I really enjoy this banana protein shake by Fit Foodie Finds. Ingredients are kept to a minimum in this tasty recipe. A hint of vanilla extract gives this drink just the right amount of sweetness. It is a shake I can throw together quickly with minimal effort, and one that keeps me full for hours.

What you'll need:

  • ¾ c Greek yogurt (frozen, cubed)
  • 2 c sliced bananas (frozen
  • 1 tsp vanilla extract
  • 2 c milk
  • ¼ c vanilla protein powder

Lastly, blend! I use slightly less milk than the recipe calls for since I like a thicker shake. The recipe recommends unsweetened vanilla almond milk, but I prefer the sweetened kind.

I only use the vanilla extract whenever I'm using regular milk — using sweetened Vanilla Almond Breeze gives the shake all the sweetness I need. I don't always add the protein powder either. It tastes wonderful with or without.

2. Chocolate Shake

Shakes to replace a meal
Image Source: Nutrishop

Many people think they have to avoid chocolate entirely due to sugar, but when used correctly, it can be a sweet addition to almost any meal replacement shake. The trick is to use cocoa powder instead of store-bought chocolate syrup. Chocolate syrup is full of high fructose corn syrup and other things we don't want in our bodies.

On the other hand, pure cocoa powder has real health advantages. Per this study published in the National Library of Medicine, it has the capability to reduce blood pressure. Additionally, this study published in the same journal suggests cocoa might even aid in weight loss.

Finding one chocolate shake combination that works for you can take time, especially when there are so many recipes out there. After trying a handful, I found myself settling on this "mockshake" from Snappy Gourmet.

What you'll need:

  • 1 medium banana (sliced, frozen)
  • 1 c ice
  • 1 c milk
  • 3 tbsp unsweetened cocoa powder
  • 1 tbsp nut butter
  • 1 tsp vanilla extract

Blend! Although the original recipe calls for almond milk and almond butter, these can be swapped for the milk and/or nut butter of your choice to create delicious variations of the shake. Add a dollop of whipped cream, and you've got a healthy spin on a classic.

3. Peanut Butter Shake

Shakes to replace a meal
Image Source: Food Network

Peanut butter is my favorite way to get protein. I can't get enough of its creamy, slightly salty goodness. It's a dense food packed with proteins and good fats — perfect for meal replacement. However, you have to be careful when choosing which kind of peanut butter you're using. Like most store-bought items, name-brand peanut butter can contain added sugars and fats. I would recommend an organic brand with minimal ingredients.

Or, you could make your own peanut butter. It's quick and easy!

Surprisingly, it's a bit hard to find a recipe for a healthy, plain peanut butter shake with actual peanut butter in it — almost all of the ones I found either substituted the PB for peanut butter powder or had some sort of chocolate addition. In the end, I settled on my own variation of this Peanut Butter Cup Protein Shake recipe from Fountain Avenue Kitchen.

What you'll need:

  • ½ c milk
  • ½ c low-fat vanilla yogurt
  • 1 scoop protein powder
  • 1 medium banana (chunked, frozen)
  • 1 tbsp peanut butter
  • 1 c ice cubes

You guessed it — Blend! Again, I don't always use protein powder, but when I do, I use chocolate powder as the original recipe recommends. Let's face it, chocolate and peanut butter are a duo to die for. When I don't use the powder, I usually use a tad bit more peanut butter to compensate.

4. Coffee Shake

Shakes to replace a meal
Image Source: Country Farms

This shake will fill you up and give you a boost at the same time. While mixed coffee drinks can be high in sugar and calories, coffee itself has less than 5 calories according to the USDA. Depending on what other ingredients you add to your drink, you can get your caffeine for the day from a healthy, low-calorie shake. I enjoy this Iced Coffee Protein Shake recipe from Simply Happy Foodie.

What you'll need:

  • 1½ c ice
  • ¾ c milk
  • 1 banana (frozen)
  • 1 scoop protein powder
  • 1 c coffee (cooled)
  • 1-2 tbsp raw honey

Now blend! You can tamper with the amount of cooled coffee you add depending on how strong you want the taste to come through. To top it off, the addition of honey gives it the sweetness it needs to negate the bitter aftertaste of the coffee. The recipe says the honey is optional, but I think it's a must. I like to experiment using different roasts of coffee as well as different blends.

My favorite thing about these 4 ingredients is that they taste amazing on their own, but they also taste absolutely divine when mixed. A Chocolate Banana Peanut Butter Shake? Yes, please!

If you browse the web for different recipes for these shakes, you'll find that the ingredients are often mixed together. Banana is essential for the structure of a shake, especially when you aren't using ice cream as a base.

Peanut butter adds creaminess and thickness, making you more full. Chocolate and coffee are both delicious flavor additions, adding a kick to your shake and giving you the boost you need to make it through the day.

If you are just starting on your meal replacement journey, you can't go wrong with these ingredients or any combination of them.

Writer, blogger, and content creator from Sunny San Diego. When she isn’t writing, you can find her exploring, eating, and watching Netflix.

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