“Paleo” Coffee Shake

Tuesday February 28, 2012

UPDATE 5/31/12: My esteemed coach, David “Chef” Wallach, shared his magic formula for a recovery shake in today’s Crossfit Journal.  Click through and downlaod the PDF to read more about the science behind this drink as a recovery shake.  Be sure and read the comments where he adds additional details.

This recipe comes from my Crossfit coach, a super knowledgeable food guy who goes by “Chef“.  I tailored it slightly to reflect my preferences.  Chef recommends it as a great post-workout recovery drink  — if you keep the fat content low (some of my modifications nullify that).


Paleo / Performance Nutrition Coffee Shake



  • ~3 cups worth of  iced coffee cubes*
  • ~1 cup coconut water, regular water, or coconut milk*
  • 2 eggs whites, pasteurized
  • half of a medium sweet potato, cooked
  • 1 tsp vanilla
  • “large pinch” Saigon cinnamon
    Chef says Saigon cinnamon is superior to “regular” cinnamon, but feel free to use what you have on hand
  • “pinch” dried valencia orange peel OR 1 tsp fresh orange zest

Optional Addition:

  • 1/3 c. raw almonds OR 1/4 c. almond butter*

*Post-Workout Recovery Drink Notes:

If you are interested in drinking this as a post-workout recovery drink — you will want to minimize the fat content.  I can’t explain all the science of it, bu according to Chef (and I’m sure many others) — post-workout is the ideal time to minimize fat but increase protein and sugar to take advantage of what your body is doing — feel free to offer your opinion in the comments if you have knowledge to share.

So… if you want to drink this post workout, it is recommended that you do NOT use coconut milk, which has a high fat content, but rather increase the coffee cubes and use something lighter, like coconut water or plain water to get the desired consistency.   In a related vein, almonds or almond butter would also be out.


First off, plan ahead.   Brew an extra 2-3 cups of coffee a day before you want to make this.  Pour the extra coffee into ice cube trays and put in the freezer to … well… freeze.   As long as you are planning ahead, go ahead and cook up some sweet potato in the oven — you can mush it into ice cube trays for distant future use, or just stick it in the fridge.  And while you’re at it,  take a few minutes to pasteurize your eggs.

Store bought eggs typically are not pasteurized — unless specifically marked, but it is quite simple to do at home and doesn’t take long.   I recommend doing it in advance so they you aren’t using warm eggs in your shake, but it’s no real harm done if they are warm (mine were).  There’s a helpful tutorial on How-to Baker.

You can also live dangerously and skip the pasteurization process..  I guess I shouldn’t condone this method, but I will tell you I didn’t bother with it the first time I made this and I survived to tell the tale.

Anywho, once you have your coffee cubes frozen and your sweet potato cooked and your eggs ready… you are ready to make shake.

Fill your blender with ~3 cups of cubes  (this will be less than 3 cups of liquid volume), and then add the rest of the ingredients.   Blend away until it is nice and smooth.   Add more coconut milk or water if you need to thicken or thin to get to your desired consistency.

Yield:  2 ~16oz servings — two full glasses like this one:


After I made this, I thought…. “this shake is good, but you know what would be even better?  Almonds!”   The next time I make this shake, I plan to add either 1/3 cup raw almonds or 1/4th cup almond butter.  Yum!

You could also add protein powder if that’s your thing.

What’s your favorite way to make a healthy shake?


3 Responses to “Paleo” Coffee Shake

  1. 1
    Gloria says:

    It’s looks delish! But as far as post-workout, a caffeine drink is not a good choice. Caffeine raises cortisol levels which increases fat absorption , and since exercise lowers cortisol, by taking in caffeine post workout you are essentially negating the workout itself. However, pre workout, it works well because it enhances mental focus and energy levels but is metabolized fast enough to avoid cortisol spikes. Happy blogging!

  2. 2

    […] found this great recipe from The Meanest Momma. It gets hard sometimes to find a quick and easy Paleo breakfast recipe but this one does the […]

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