When it comes to the world of plant-based foods, a lot of people wonder how they will get enough protein. People typically ask: “How will I be energized without meat or dairy?” There are lots of plant-based foods that are rich in protein, and the cool thing is that your body can use those proteins more efficiently than animal based proteins.
People who enjoy smoothies often like to add a scoop of protein powder to add more sustenance and satisfy protein intake. A lot of protein powders can actually be filled with processed ingredients and added chemicals, and the reality is that most Americans consume way more protein than their bodies need. While there are some plant-based protein powders out there that use quality ingredients, there are better natural foods that you can add to your smoothies to give them a protein boost.
Another thing to consider is that high-quality protein powders aren’t exactly easy on the wallet. Invest in your health by getting plant-based foods that are budget-friendly and don’t alter the taste of your smoothies. Skip the chalky chocolate powder and use the protein combinations below to increase the protein content in your smoothies.
Kale & Hemp Seeds
Kale is a powerful superfood that is known for its protein content. In fact, one cup of kale has five grams of protein, and it is also rich in vitamins A, E, and K. Hemp seeds are little protein powerhouses. Three tablespoons of hemp seeds have 13 grams of protein, and they’ll also give you healthy doses of magnesium and iron. Add 3 tablespoons of hemp seeds and one cup of kale to your morning smoothie for 18 grams of protein.
Quinoa & Spinach
You might not think to add quinoa to your smoothies, but it actually gives your smoothie a slight nutty flavor. Try to add quinoa to a smoothie that consists of blackberries, apple, blueberries, and spinach, of course. A half-cup of uncooked quinoa has 12 grams of protein and 2 cups of spinach has 10 grams of protein. Spinach also has a lot of magnesium! Add the half-cup of quinoa and 2 cups of spinach to get 22 grams of protein in your smoothie.
Chia Seeds & Almond Butter
Both chia seeds and almond butter are loaded with healthy fats and protein. For a healthier option free of seasonings and preservatives, get raw chia seeds and raw almond butter. When it comes to your smoothie, you’ll need two tablespoons of each of these nutritious foods. Two tablespoons of almond butter contain about 7 grams of protein, while two tablespoons of chia seeds have 5 grams of protein. Blend away!
Oats & Pumpkin Seeds
One of the coolest things about pumpkin seeds is that they are incredibly alkaline! Containing 5 grams of protein per quarter-cup, pumpkin seeds help nourish your heart and brain. When it comes to flavor, steel cut oats go great with pumpkin seeds. Both of these foods are rich in potassium, zinc, magnesium, and iron. Combine quarter-cup of pumpkin seeds with a half-cup of oats in your smoothie for 13 grams of protein.