Every smoothie should include protein powder, however, where to begin. There’s dozens of different varieties: whey, soy, casein, pea, rice, hemp…the list goes on. Complicating matters, there are two-powder blends, those made with sugar and without, ones sourced from grass-fed dairy or non-GMO soy. This week, I’ll share insight to help sort out the confusion so you can make the best choice of protein based on your needs.
We’re here to tell you that while all powders claim to be awesome, they’re not all equal. Finding the right one for you depends on your health goals and dietary restrictions, and should also be based on a protein’s bioavailability, or how easily it’s absorbed by your body. “One of the more recent, accepted ways to assess the protein quality and bioavailability is the Protein Digestibility Corrected Amino Acid Score,” says Jennifer McDaniel, RD, spokesperson for the Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics. “PDCAAS ranks proteins on a quality scale of zero to one.” The closer to one, the better. The bottom line, protein powders may seem like a healthy way to add protein to smoothies, but many, are actually filled with highly processed ingredients, chemicals, antibiotics, and heavy metals.
Here’s some more protein-packed real food protein source alternatives to protein powders…
One of my faves is the Vega brand. 15 grams of high-quality plant-based protein fuel your active lifestyle and two servings of veggies, including Vega’s signature greens blend, to make sneaking in the goodness of kale, spinach and broccoli a piece of cake.
One serving of Vega Protein Smoothie powder features:
This family-friendly option is made from non-GMO ingredients, plus it’s free from dairy, gluten and soy, and contains no added sugar, artificial flavours, colours or sweeteners. Just add water, shake and go!
Peanut Butter Banana & Chocolate Smoothie (is there a better combo in the world?!!)
On a side note, as I love dark chocolate (!!), try adding 1 tbsp of Hershey’s Cocoa (100% Cacao, Natural Unsweetened) to one ripe mashed banana and one teaspoon of cinnamon. The sweetness of the banana cancels out the bitterness of the unsweetened cacao.
Mint Chocolate Seaweed Shake
*Since I used fresh fruit, I chose to use frozen Greek yogurt. However, if you are using frozen fruit, you can use Greek yogurt straight from the fridge. As long as one of your three ingredients is frozen, you can adjust.
Banana Cacao Recovery Smoothie
Remember (as with anything) moderation is the key, do not overdo it – take the serving size recommended for you!
The Kefir “Classic” Smoothie