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This better-for-you version of a coffeehouse favorite combines the rich, decadent flavors of chocolate and coffee with a hint of sweet and salty caramel. My Salted Caramel Mocha Protein Shake is the perfect on-the-go breakfast to get you moving in the morning, and it’s an ideal snack when you’re looking for a nutritious afternoon pick-me-up!
I’ve mentioned my love for coffee on this blog about one, two, or ten times. Maybe it’s sad to admit, but my morning cup is one of the highlights of my day! Hey, I even got my very own heated milk frother for Christmas and I’ve been enjoying homemade cappuccinos and lattes every day since. It’s the little things that make me happy, right?
Well as the weather gets warmer, I’m turning more and more towards cold, refreshing beverages during the day. Don’t get me wrong…my mornings will always start with a big, hot, steaming mug of coffee. That’s non-negotiable. But after a morning of wrestling little kids into car seats, dashing back and forth to the preschool, and trying to squeeze in some actual desk-time for work…I’m in need of a cool treat that will also give me a little boost to get through the rest of my day.
That’s why I’m so excited to share today’s recipe with you. It’s perfect for the sunny weather that we’re finally seeing, and I know that it will give you that added little oomph that all busy moms need!
On a recent shopping trip at Walmart, I scooped up a couple of boxes of McCafé coffee pods as soon as I saw them. I love the smooth, bold flavor of the McCafé products, and I knew that they would be the perfect addition to this little recipe that I had in mind.
When making a cold coffee beverage, it’s always KEY to use a strong coffee so that your final product doesn’t end up tasting watered-down and just…blah. The rich flavor of the McCafé coffee is just right for sipping out of a hot mug, or for swirling in a blender for your next tasty concoction!
McCafé coffee tastes so darn good because it’s made with 100% Arabica Beans, which are harvested from the rich soils and mountainous regions of the foremost coffee-growing areas of the world. This is the premium stuff! Plus, there are 8 flavors to choose from, and it’s available in both premium bags and in pods…meaning there’s something for everyone!
One of my greatest secrets when making chocolate treats is to add coffee to the recipe. Whether it’s a boxed brownie mix used in Salted Caramel Brownie Trifles, a Chocolate Raspberry Tiramisu, or a Skinny Chocolate Banana Power Smoothie, that extra little flavor boost from the coffee just heightens the rich, chocolatey taste in the food or drink. Trust me…once you try it, you’ll never go back!
So, to make this Salted Caramel Mocha Protein Shake, you’ll need to start with these ingredients (that’s a COLD cup of coffee that you see, by the way, so be sure to allow adequate time for the coffee to cool before trying to make your shake):
Once you have your ingredients ready to go, this is just a 2-minute “recipe!”
Start by adding the ice to your blender. You can play with the amount of ice in your shake, based on the thickness that you prefer. I like a THICK smoothie that I can eat with a spoon, so more ice is always my preference!
Then just toss in the rest of your ingredients (coffee, milk, cottage cheese, protein powder, cocoa powder, caramel extract, stevia, and a pinch of salt). Cottage cheese may sound a little odd, but don’t worry — you don’t taste the cottage cheese in your drink. It’s just smooth, creamy, and slightly salty when blended into this shake. Plus, it adds more protein and calcium!
Once your ingredients are all combined, you can garnish your shake with a little bit of whipped topping and salted caramel sauce, if desired. Personally, I wouldn’t skip this step. That caramel sauce is a MUST in my world!
Chocolate, coffee, caramel, and a little boost from some caffeine. Could you ask for a better way to start your day?
Here’s the handy printable recipe:
- ½ cup McCafé brewed coffee, cooled
- ¼ cup unsweetened vanilla almond milk (or other milk of your choice)
- ¼ cup low-fat cottage cheese
- 1 scoop chocolate or vanilla protein powder (if using vanilla protein powder, add an additional 1 Tablespoon of cocoa powder to your shake)
- 1 Tablespoon unsweetened cocoa powder
- ¼ teaspoon caramel extract
- ⅛ teaspoon salt
- 1 packet stevia
- 1 cup ice
- Optional: whipped topping and/or salted caramel syrup for garnish
- Add all ingredients to blender and combine! Garnish with whipped topping and salted caramel syrup, if desired.
Question: How do you like to enjoy your coffee? A hot, steamy mug…a frozen shake…or like me (any way you can get it!)?
If you like this recipe, you might also enjoy:
Skinny Chocolate Banana Power Smoothie (uses coffee, too!)