The whole topic of “protein” can get pretty fierce. Everyone seems to have an opinion when it comes to how much protein to consume each day and what kind of protein—or, proteins—it should be. And when it comes to protein in powder form, that opens up a whole other can of worms.
So how about we just make a smoothie to fit [most] everyone’s needs? A smoothie with whole-food ingredients, chock full of healthy properties. Nothing processed, nothing added, just 8 simple ingredients.
While I don’t rely on soy in my diet as a main protein source, I probably eat 1-3 servings per week and sometimes not at all. I know soy isn’t right for everyone but it seems to agree with me just fine. I source non-GMO, organic soy products. Always. I don’t mind spending more on eggs, soy, + dairy I can trust and feel good about consuming. And since I don’t buy animal protein I look at it as my “meat money,” haha.
That said, my very favorite brand of soymilk is by Eden Organic because the ingredients are, water + soybeans. How much simpler could it get? [Not sponsored, just love it.]
I can find it for $3/qt which is on the pricey side, so this is definitely a once in awhile purchase for me. My go-to for milk is typically homemade almond or hemp milk.
If you’d rather use dairy over soy, feel free! You can also use any unsweetened nut or seed milk you like. My next choice would be almond or hemp. The protein count if using hemp milk is still at 24 grams!
I mentioned that I’ve been doing quite a bit more weight-lifting lately, and I have made a conscious effort to up my protein just a little bit at each meal. So I wanted to show you one of the ways I’ve done it without the use of egg whites, protein powder, meat, eating entire blocks of tofu, etc.
Enter, this smoothie. It’s fruity and nutty and not overly sweet, just the way I like my smoothies to be! It boasts 34 grams of protein and is a definite meal-in-a-glass. You could even portion this out between two days if you want to eat it as a hefty snack or enjoy it as part of your lunch or breakfast. And my favorite part? No protein powder chalkiness!!
Beyond the protein these ingredients pack a lot of other healthy goodness like, fiber, magnesium, iron, manganese, vitamin A/C/K, and more.
I tend not to focus on nitty gritty nutritional facts when I create my meals but with a protein specific smoothie I thought I’d calculate it out for you to see [follows the recipe below]. I have made this a few times but this was the first time I checked out the nutrition details and I was kind of shocked to see how it added up.
Whole-Food Protein Berry Smoothie
gluten-free, vegan // yields ~24oz - 1lg or 2sm smoothies
- 1 1/2 cups unsweetened soy milk
- 1 heaping cup frozen blueberries
- 4 large frozen strawberries, chopped
- 1/2 medium frozen banana
- 2 tablespoons shelled hemp seeds
- 1 1/2 tablespoons chia seeds
- large handful baby kale or spinach
- 1 teaspoon cinnamon
Place ingredients in your blender and blend until fully smooth. Add more milk if desired.
notes: If you’re not using frozen fruit make sure it’s at least chilled and add a cup of ice. If your fruit isn’t very ripe/sweet feel free to add 1-2 teaspoons of pure maple syrup or 1 pitted medjool date [soaked to soften]. Feel free to sub out soymilk for 2% or whole milk for about the same protein content. To keep it vegan but soy-free, use unsweetened almond milk or hemp milk. Note the protein will decrease [~3g for 1 1/2 cups almond and ~6g for 1 1/2 cups hemp].
nutrition info: calories: 547 fat: 24g fiber: 16g protein: 34g *with Eden Organic Unsweetened Gluten-free Soymilk
If you let the smoothie sit in your glass for just a few minutes it thickens up to a spoonable consistency that I love. Thank you chia seeds.