Blendin’ + Peepin’ + Spookin’

by Jenn (eating bender) on October 9, 2008

Last night, I was looking for a way to refuel after a hard workout. I had picked up some Jay Robb protein samples from Whole Foods recently and wanted to try one out for a new Bender’s Blenders recipe. One of the flavors I picked up was strawberry. It reminded me of when I used to go out for strawberry milkshakes at good ol’ McDonald’s with my family after a basketball or softball game when I was little. I used to love those shakes!! I knew it would be impossible to recreate the flavor with protein powder, but I thought I’d see how close I could get.


Bender’s Blenders: Strawberry McShake

This shake is my feeble attempt at mimicking the total taste bud indulgence that is found in a McDonald’s strawberry milkshake. No, I’m not trying to purposely promote The Golden Arches on the blog! But I can’t deny that it’s a part of my childhood and hey, I’m feeling nostalgic!

Ingredients (serves 1):

  • 1 packet Jay Robb strawberry whey protein powder
  • 1 cup 0% Fage Greek yogurt
  • 1/2 cup unsweetened rice milk
  • 4 large frozen strawberries
  • 4 ice cubes




Combine ingredients in a blender and blend until smooth. Top with granola, whipped cream, coconut or anything else you crave if desired. I decided to leave mine without a topping to get the full effect.


It definitely was NOT a strawberry milkshake. I suppose I knew that going in since there was no ice cream, no milk and very little sugar :) The climate certainly wasn’t right for one of those sinfully delicious shakes. Instead, I essentially made a blended Greek yogurt shake with a mild hint of strawberry and a slight protein powder after taste. Basically, next time I’m craving a milkshake, I plan to use something with a bit more sweetness – perhaps vanilla yogurt instead of plain or even frozen yogurt.

However, adding extra sweetness would take away from the fact that this was also meant to be a protein shake that I craved after a hard workout. I can’t deny that a shake with 41g of protein is pretty darn appealing after a good sweat session :) Therefore, I think the health benefits far outweigh what this shake lacks in taste. I recommend it or some variation of the recipe because it kept me full for hours!


  • Calories: 240
  • Fat: 1g
  • Carbohydrates: 17g
  • Fiber: 4g
  • Protein: 41g (!!!)


For breakfast yesterday, Bobby and I decided to meet up at Le Peep and use another one of our latest coupons – buy one entree and get the other for just 99 cents! Granted, it turned out we had to purchase two drinks in order to be eligible to even use the coupon, so in the end it probably cost the same. But it was nice to get out for breakfast, nonetheless.

We each started out with a glass of freshly squeezed OJ. Or at least, that’s what the menu said. It definitely tasted like it had sat in a tub of sugar overnight. That’s not fresh, in my opinion πŸ˜‰ I couldn’t even drink half of it, and I usually love orange juice. As you can see, it really wasn’t our morning at this place.

The entree, however, was pretty spectacular. Bobby got the French Toast while I chose the CranberryGranola Oatmeal. I know it doesn’t seem very creative on my part, but one of my favorite dishes to get when I go out to breakfast is oatmeal. I love the way different restaurants make their oatmeal in different ways. Some have a creamy, runny texture, while others are much more chewy and thick. This time around, it was definitely the latter.

Another thing about oatmeal at restaurants is that it always tastes different than what I make at home. I have no idea why because, essentially, it’s the same ingredients – oats and water. I guess we never know what goes on behind those kitchen doors. But I always think oatmeal tastes better in a restaurant. I topped mine with plenty of granola and cranberries, plus 1 tsp. maple syrup. The bowl of deliciousness was served with fresh fruit on the side – a mixture of cantaloupe and honeydew melon, purple grapes and watermelon. Everything was fresh and I cleaned my plate.

After breakfast, I headed to Whole Foods to pick up the Blogger Secret Ingredient. Now I need to figure out what I’m going to do with it :mrgreen: That’s the trick

And here’s the treat! As I was coming down the aisle toward the checkout, something orange caught my eye and made my day a little spookier.

Spooky S’mores has finally come to my neck of the woods!! In my shock and excitement, I actually grabbed on to Bobby so hard that he said, “Ouch!” I’m sure he’s just going to love that I shared that with you πŸ˜‰ Isn’t it amazing that a little energy bar can have that effect on a person? I don’t think it would have held the same value one year ago. Thanks, blog world!

I added it to my Greek yogurt this morning for breakfast, and am eating it as I type!

In my humble opinion, I don’t think it’s much different than the chocolate chip ZBaR. I definitely find it difficult to pick out the spookiness and the s’mores. I basically taste the same chocolate flavor. However, even though it’s not unique, it still tastes great. Chocolate chip is my second favorite to the chocolate brownie, and now I have a “seasonal” bar to get in the Halloween spirit πŸ˜‰ Sounds good to me!

Now I’m off to catch up on my blog reading! Happy Thursday – it’s almost the weekend! :) What are your plans? I’ll be going to my first home football game of the season! The team is on a roll so it should be fun!

1 fitbottomedgirls October 9, 2008 at 9:31 am

I had no idea Clif bars were putting out fun ones for Halloween. I wonder if people will give them out as treats for trick or treating? Hmmm…

And that leads me to wonder if they’ll have new bars around Christmas time…egg nog, maybe? πŸ˜‰

fitbottomedgirls ~ I think it would be GREAT to hand out ZBaRs to kids on Halloween. At first they’d be like, “Umm…what the heck is this?!” but then hopefully they’d try it and have a new, healthier snack! And I think egg nog at Christmas would be a grand idea!

2 Julz October 9, 2008 at 9:39 am

That is the PERF Girlie pink smoothie! You should send it into Hungry0Girl or Fitsugar or something of the sort! So CUTE! :)

Julz ~ Ooh that’s a good idea! I think I will do that :)

3 Nicole October 9, 2008 at 9:49 am

41 grams of protein! I’ve got to make myself one of those!!

Nicole ~ Do it, do it!

4 Beadie October 9, 2008 at 9:50 am

I love oatmeal out, too.

This weekend is my bday so there will be lots of eating out.

Beadie ~ Oooh, happy early b-day!!

5 Rose October 9, 2008 at 9:53 am

Wonderful post, Jenn. I can’t believe that smoothie had so much protein – that’s great. I bet it really satisfied you.

I know what you mean about oatmeal at restaurants – it DOES taste different! I always ask if they use whole milk, but they say they use water. Strange!

love the spooky granola bar :)

Weekend plans – Friends are coming down, and we’re going to the USA vs. Cuba World Cup soccer game in DC. It’s going to be ridiculous. I have to wear red, sing a lot and (I think) drink a lot. I’m just going to avoid getting trampled.

Rose ~ I know! It’s crazy that they just use water – maybe that’s the trick!! It sounds like your weekend is going to be awesome – have fun!

6 Foodie (Fab and Delicious Food) October 9, 2008 at 10:06 am

“The bowl of deliciousness” – Haha loved that!

7 Megan October 9, 2008 at 10:21 am

I love to get oatmeal out too! They always seem to make it nice and thick and chewy!

I have tried Jay Robb’s, but only liked the vanilla flavor!

Have a great day!

8 HangryPants October 9, 2008 at 11:19 am

Your review of the Z-bar has made me feel much better about not being able to locate them in my area!

I like your McShake!

And, I don’t think I’ve ever ordered cereal out. I’ll look for it next time I am out for breakfast, but I always tend to get eggs or waffles or something more “special.” I guess oatmeal can be special, too though. :)

9 VeggieGirl October 9, 2008 at 11:26 am

The milkshake portion of this post (sorry that it didn’t turn out just right :-( ) made me want to sing that song by Kelis:

“My milkshake brings all the boys to the yard…”

And I’ll stop there πŸ˜‰

Gorgeous restaurant oatmeal breakfast!!

We FINALLY have those Spooky S’mores z-bars around there too!! Just bought a bunch for my dad, and he’s excited to try them :-)

Weekend plans = dance practices galore, and writing a paper.

10 ttfn300 October 9, 2008 at 11:45 am

i got a kick out of how excited you got about the smores bar :) i do the same thing, but it’s usually a happy dance in my head since I don’t want to grab a stranger!!

11 Erin October 9, 2008 at 12:07 pm

I think you deserved a dollop of whip on your protein shake. I used to love the McD’s hash browns, I’m not gonna lie!
Is the post title supposed to be to the tune of Wishin, and Hopin, and Thinking…etc? :) That automatically popped into my head!
What a cool bowl of oatmeal, I love all the stuff that came with!
I’m working on Saturday and chillin’ with the hubster on Sun. :)
And hopefully pulling some weeds!

12 maggie October 9, 2008 at 12:27 pm

Oooo your oatmeal platter looks so good. That smores bar is adorable :) I have to find some of them.

13 ChocolateCoveredVegan October 9, 2008 at 12:33 pm

Sadly I didn’t really like the smores z bar. Oh well, I guess maybe that is a good thing, since it’s only a seasonal flavor. I’d hate to have loved it only to have to give it up come December!

14 jenngirl October 9, 2008 at 12:37 pm

What a fun little breakfast date, that does look like a plate of freshness :)

haha love the z-bar story, I’ve given up on finding the spooky flavor. I did have a feeling it wouldn’t be too different from chocolate chip, good to have that confirmed.

Have fun this weekend at the game! Looks like I’ve decided to spend my friends bday with her, I really hope I’ve made the right call.

Happy Thursday :)

15 Sarah October 9, 2008 at 1:26 pm

oh man, reading this post when I’m in the midst of a 24-hr fast was ROUGH. there was definitely some drool involved.

I was so spoiled with OJ last year that I am VERY picky about it now. When I was living in Israel and then in Spain they weren’t kidding when they said ‘freshly squeezed’ practically every cafe had an OJ machine where you could literally see the oranges being squeezed for your juice. it was awesome.

oatmeal looks divine. as does everything else in this post. Can, you tell that I am SUPER hungry right now! haha

I can’t wait for this weekend! i’m going to my best friends aunt’s house to break the fast and then I’m heading up to New Hampshire to spend the rest of the long weekend with her and her family. YAY HOME-COOKING!!!!!!!

16 Alex October 9, 2008 at 1:46 pm

I totally agree about the S’mores ZBar! I was so excited when I FINALLY got to try it (can’t find it anywhere around me and had to have my mom send me some from her area), and then I thought, geez this tastes just like the chocolate chip. At least I’m not as bummed about their scarcity now.

17 Nick October 9, 2008 at 2:33 pm

I’m addicted to greek yogurt, especially in smoothies. If you use little to no milk and replace the ice with, say, a frozen banana, you’ll have what I call “fresh ice cream”. It’s the consistency of soft serve ice cream, even thicker than a milkshake. I eat it with a spoon and top it with GoLean cereal and almonds on each bite, delicious!

18 gina (fitnessista) October 9, 2008 at 2:34 pm

i remember the happy meal and strawberry shake days!! i think vanilla frozen yogurt would make it more shake-y, but it was probably perfect after a tough workout! i love that you always include the nutritional info πŸ˜€
i also usually get oatmeal and fruit on the rare occasions i go out for breakfast (which is rare because we don’t have ANY b-fast places here in valdosta! pathetic.. so it’s usually in orlando or tucson). that bowl of fruit looks awesome!
i can definitely taste a difference in the spooky s’mores but maybe it’s because i never eat marshmallows?? i don’t know, but i’m a huge fan of all z-bars
this weekend, i’m going to orlando with some friends for shopping, food and wine festival (!), and WHOLE FOODS. a home football game sounds like a blasty πŸ˜€
happy thursday, jenn!

19 rhodeygirltests October 9, 2008 at 2:51 pm

can’t wait to see what you come up with!

even though that shake wasn’t as good as a mickey d’s one, the nutritional info is wayyy better! and it LOOKS awesome too!!!!! you make me miss my old gym where they made me a mini chocolate pb protein shake every day.

20 Meghann October 9, 2008 at 3:01 pm

haha I like your McDonalds disclaimer

I was also that excited when I picked up the Spooky Smores bar. It does essentially taste like the chocolate chip z-bar, but I think the Halloween wrappers makes it better as I am a big fan for seasonal packaging I wonder if they will do anything for christmas?!?!

This weekend I am going to Halloween Horror Nights at Universal Studios thanks to my sister’s big fat bonus check, oh how I love my sister and her bonus checks!

21 Mel October 9, 2008 at 4:10 pm

I still can’t find any of the Halloween Z-Bars by me! :( Heck I can’t even find the fruity Z-bars. But now I don’t feel so bad coz of your review.

22 Christie October 9, 2008 at 4:15 pm

Looks like a delish meal… I love going out to get breakfast I think it is the most enjoyable meal out!

I dont feel so bad now that I have not found the “spooky smores” z-bar!

23 Grounded Fitness October 9, 2008 at 6:05 pm

is that one of the cups with the straw attached? I used to have a cereal bowl like that. CLASSIC. I love it!

Kelly Turner

24 Rika October 9, 2008 at 6:10 pm

i agree! i couldnt tell the difference between the choco chip and smore Zbars at all!! i was so disappointed being a smores lover~ :(

25 caitlin October 9, 2008 at 7:36 pm

oooo spooky smores!!! i love those!

26 Melissa S. October 9, 2008 at 8:53 pm

yay for spooky zbars! when i was at whole foods and found them, i couldn’t just buy one; i bought SIX!!! hahahaha…so funny i am…

anyhow…that bfast looks amazing!

27 Caroline October 9, 2008 at 11:41 pm

So much good stuff in this post!
Sorry to hear that your shake didn’t quite work out like you wanted it to–I definitely had my fair share of McD’s shakes back in the day!
I am the same way about ordering oatmeal in restaurants–I am especially fond of institutionally prepared oats (at school, hotels, etc). They have such great texture for some reason!
So jealous of the Z Bar!

28 Sharon October 10, 2008 at 12:20 am

Awesome post! Everyone looks delicious!

Halloween is almost coming!!

29 Kristie October 10, 2008 at 7:29 am

I honestly don’t think I’ve ever had oatmeal at a restaurant but I’d be curious to see how they prepare it at different places too. And that one you got looks quite tasty. And I love the spread it came with. Schmancy!

That’s hilarious about the bar reaction. I find myself getting pretty darn excited about finding certain foods when I’ve heard about them in the blogging world too. I try to contain myself though and then do the real celebrating once I get home and won’t embarass myself as much haha

30 Joanna October 10, 2008 at 7:57 am

I’ve never met one person who hasn’t eaten at McDonald’s before… let alone scarfed down a McDonald’s milkshake haha I would always get the Shamrock shake (It’s been a while), and never thought of recreating it. You just inspired me to give it a try haha

31 runningwithfood October 10, 2008 at 8:52 am

I ALWAYS expect my protein shakes to take like a loaded milkshake … it rarely does! Ha!

Your breakfast looks wonderful! Can’t wait to look for the Spooky S’mores bar!!

32 CHO Girls October 10, 2008 at 12:23 pm

Hi! Chobani Girl here, I noticed you are a fan of Greek Yogurt and was curious if you ever tried Chobani? I would love to send you some. Please email me and let me know where I can send samples to Thanks!!!

33 Erica October 10, 2008 at 4:12 pm

The shake recipe looks awesome!! What up with the cheesy picture on the protein mix haha. I am still looking for the halloween z bar! Thats sort of a bummer that its no great shakes! This weekend, I plan to get more settled in the area and help my husband with a HUGE paper he has due on Sunday

34 cookeatrun October 10, 2008 at 6:15 pm

Haha thanks..Yeah I’ll check those out, :]
I know its just frustratingg ughh!
Oh well its the weekend so I’ve got a lot of time

thanks for your advice! :]

35 Juliet October 13, 2008 at 9:33 pm

You can try a tablespoon (or even a teaspoon) of maple syrup to sweeten it up. I make a delicious banana smoothie with frozen bananas, unsweetened almond milk, ice, and maple syrup. The recipe is available on my site if you are curious.

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