Andrea Maunder, locovore, wine expert and pastry chef, is the owner and creative force behind Bacalao, a St. John's restaurant specializing in "nouvelle Newfoundland" cuisine.

Breakfast to Go

I have a confession. I have never been a morning person. I’m not overly crooked in the morning, but I am no ray of sunshine either. I would rather snuggle under the covers clinging desperately to sleep for those few extra minutes than get up to make, much less sit down to eat, a proper breakfast. But I do understand that I need the right fuel to start my day. And I have noticed a big difference in energy, weight management and my overall well-being when I take the time to start my day with something nutritious. So I’ve turned to breakfast shakes – quick to make and convenient to drink while I start my workday.

I find commercial protein shakes too sweet or artificial tasting, and it’s hard to find one that isn’t full of aspartame, artificial flavourings or sugar. So I use natural whey powder, bought at the bulk food store, to make my own. I can make it quickly in a single-serve blender mug and dash out the door. It’s easy to keep the ingredients on hand, since frozen fruit works best, and the other ingredients are pantry staples.

Since September is such a busy time for all of us, with the end of summer hours at work, back to school and routines, and most of us trying to detox a bit after summer vacations, I thought it would be a great time to share my breakfast shake recipes (which are satisfying any time of the day, really).

I have provided some variations – but you can  freestyle and customize to your taste and nutritional needs. I worked out the nutritional content for the first recipe, but the others will be pretty similar. One thing – start from frozen fruit to get that nice, thick, cold shake. I freeze bananas and purchase frozen fruit for the rest. Any time you see fruit on sale, buy extra to chop and freeze for your shakes. As you can imagine, melon, pear, apple and orange wouldn’t blend too well, so I advise avoiding those. In the photo are Strawberry-Mango, Peanut Butter-Banana and Mixed Berry shakes.

You can buy freeze-dried peanut butter powder now (I found it at the bulk store and Winners) to add that flavour so many people love – along with extra protein and healthy fats. Regular peanut butter doesn’t blend well and produces an unpleasant texture. All the dry ingredients are available at the bulk store,

and most at the supermarket, usually in the natural food section.

Strawberry-Mango Shake

2 tbsp natural whey powder (try Bulk Barn)
4 tbsp 2% Balkan-style yogurt (any yogurt will work; if flavoured, you may choose to add less sweetening)
6-8 tbsp cold water
1 tsp chia seeds
1 tsp ground flax seeds
1 tbsp maple syrup (or honey or agave)
1/2 cup frozen strawberries1/4 cup frozen mangoes

Whiz everything in a blender until smooth, thick and frosty. Taste and adjust sweetness. If too thick, add a little water. If too thin, add a little more frozen fruit. I tend to add an ice cube or two after I have blended everything and give it another whiz in the blender just so it’s nice and refreshing. Yield:

1 serving. Nutritional content: 300 calories, 25 g protein, 7 g fibre, 3 g fat



Peanut Butter-Banana: swap one banana, cut into chunks and frozen, for the other fruit. Add 1 tbsp peanut butter powder. (Real peanut butter makes an unpleasant texture.)

Mixed Berry: swap 3/4 cup mixed frozen berries for the fruit.

Peach-Mango: swap 1/2 cup frozen peaches for the strawberries. Substitute yogurt with unsweetened coconut milk (optional).

Latte: swap 2 ounces of milk for the yogurt and 3/4 cup ice cubes, along with 2 tbsp instant espresso granules, for the fruit.

Cocoa-Avocado: swap 1/2 cup frozen avocado chunks and 1-2 tbsp unsweetened cocoa (to your taste) for the fruit.


Pina Colada: swap 1/2 cup frozen pineapple chunks for the fruit, substitute unsweetened coconut milk for the yogurt and add 1/4 cup ice cubes. 

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