Forget The Whey Protein! These 8 plant-based protein sources are all you need to turn your smoothie into a muscle-building, cell-repairing, immunity-boosting nutritional powerhouse.
Save yourself money on the fancy protein powders – you don’t need them! There are so many ways to add clean, plant-based protein to your smoothies that will not only help you build muscle, but will clean out your colon to ensure faster nutrient absorption, better recovery, and a clear brain.
Creating smoothies with whey protein isolate powders leaves your body confused, mainly due to the fact that whey protein passes through our GI tract far too quickly, and only a small amount of protein can be absorbed during normal transit time. That, combined with the fact that whey is a low-quality protein (especially compared to its clean plant-based counterparts), should be enough to have you ditching whey-fraud.
Here are 8 ways to add clean, plant-based protein to your smoothies without those crazy expensive powders!
These powerful little seeds are a wonderful source of amino acids, the building blocks of creating strong, healthy muscles. Just 2 tablespoons contain over 5 grams of protein. Create a chia seed gel out of 1/3 cup chia seeds, and 2 cups of water, let soak, and then use as you would in smoothie recipes, raw cereals, chia puddings, or whatever else you have in mind!
Technically this stuff comes in the form of a powder, but it isn’t actually a “protein powder.” Spirulina is a blue-green freshwater algae that is over 60% protein by weight, composed of beneficial amino acids. It is also high in B12 and iron, two essential compounds for healthy blood.
No where else can you find a more complete protein source than hemp seeds. Like chia, they contain 5 grams of protein per 2 tablespoons. This superfood also contains a perfect balance of omega-3 and omega-6 essential fatty acids which promote heart health, lower triglycerides, help reduce inflammation, nourish the brain and support the immune system.
This is one of my favourites! I stuff my smoothie containers with leafy greens, whether it is spinach one day or romaine the next. I like to switch up the greens I eat every day, because then I ensure that I am getting a wide variety of amino acids, minerals, vitamins and phytonutrients. I often put around 3-4 cups of greens in a smoothie when I make one.
Adding 1/2 cup of soaked almonds to your smoothie, or simply adding almond milk will provide you with over 15 grams of protein! In addition to protein, almonds are also rich in fibre, and heart-healthy unsaturated dat, which can prevent your risk for heart disease. They are also loaded with calcium, iron, magnesium, phosphorous, potassium and vitamin E!
Sprouts contain as much as 35% protein! They are a rich source of vitamins, minerals, trace minerals, enzymes, antioxidants and chlorophyll. Sprouting is a great way to consume your greens because it helps to enhance the nutritional value of the seed. For example, broccoli sprouts contain even more nutrition than the mature broccoli itself! I love to add broccoli, radish, and red clover sprouts to my smoothies. This website has a good guide on how to save money and grow your own sprouts!
Oats are a wonderful way to pack in beneficial plant-based protein in your smoothie. Not many people think to add oats to their smoothies, but it actually tastes pretty good. 1/2 cup of steel cut oats contain around 14 grams of protein, so you could technically make a seriously protein-packed smoothie with oats. If you want to make a smoothie that tastes like cookie dough, make the combination of oats, dates, bananas, vanilla and some raw almond milk or coconut milk – you won’t be disappointed!
If you are interested in making a really tasty, creamy smoothie (or if you are just obsessed with avocado like the rest of us), then adding avocado to your smoothie might not be such a bad idea. Avocados contain all 18 essential amino acids necessary for the body to form a complete protein. 1 avocado contains 4 grams of protein, and also contains carotenoids, anti-inflammatories, and oleic acid, which improves cardiovascular health.