Smoothies are an awesome way to get all the nutrition you need. They are also an awesome way to have breakfast on the go. However, balancing your ingredients is so important, if you end up just making a sugar-heavy beverage, it won’t do you much good.
Adding fruit and veg is awesome, but protein is just as important and is a more vital part of our diets than most of us know! Protein helps in balancing out your blood sugar levels, minimizes your cravings, and keeps you feeling full and fueled for hours!
Protein powder is probably the easiest way to get the protein you need in a smoothie, but it is not for everyone, and since there are plenty of veggies and whole foods to choose from out there, why not give some other options a try?
Let’s talk you through a variety of ways that you can add some additional protein into your smoothies and therefore, your diet!
How To Add Protein To Your Smoothies:
Curious? Let’s get right down to it!
#1. Plain Yogurt
Yogurt, normal plain yogurt is an awesome option. It is the ideal way for you to add protein to a smoothie while also giving it a rich and creamy texture. Greek yogurt is our favorite but you can use Balkan or Icelandic if you want.
Yogurt will add an extra 10 to 15 grams of protein per cup, helping to increase how much protein you are intaking. No matter what type you choose, it does have to be real yogurt, made with bacterial cultures and whole milk. Stay away from full-fat varieties and flavored options, keeping your sugar content low!
#2. Hemp Seeds
Hemp seeds or hemp hearts are soft seeds from the hemp plant, they are nutty but mild tasting, and in comparison to flax and chia seeds, they contain more protein gram for gram. They have 10 grams of protein in a single 3-tablespoon-sized serving!
They are also plant-based proteins and also are a source of omega-3 fatty acids. Thanks to having a soft texture, they are also easily blendable and you can add them to any smoothie without even being aware they are there!
#3. Almond Butter
Peanut butter is okay, most people love it, but almond butter gives the same amount of protein, with 4 grams per tablespoon. So only a couple of tablespoons give you plenty of protein, but they also provide a unique flavor and some healthy fats that help to give you a nicely balanced smoothie.
That being said, if you do not enjoy almond butter, you can try walnut butter, cashew butter, or even pecan butter. Sure, it is not as much protein from these, but every bit counts and it is still better than some alternatives.
#4. Chia Seeds
Much like hemp seeds, only a few spoonfuls of chia seeds will add some more protein, with each tablespoon of chia seeds containing 2 grams of protein, as well as some omega-3 fatty acids and 4 grams of beneficial fibers.
Chia seeds do not have oodles of protein on their own, but they can be paired with another source very easily and will give your smoothie a nice little boost.
For those who can tolerate dairy, or who are not on plant-based diets, smoothies are a super easy way to increase your general, overall protein content. A single cup of whole milk contains 9 grams of protein, which is much more than almond milk which only has 1 gram per cup.
You will need to tolerate dairy well for this, and try to opt for unsweetened unflavored versions. But it can help increase your protein intake.
#6. Pumpkin Seeds
Have a high-powered blender? Awesome! Pumpkin seeds are a great choice to add a bit more protein to a smoothie. They are not far off hemp seeds, as pumpkin seeds lead the seed family when it comes to protein as they have a whopping 9 grams of protein per 3 tablespoons. They also have a lot of minerals from zinc, iron, and manganese.
Yet, you do need a strong blender for these, pumpkin seeds take a lot to blend, if your blender is not capable though, pumpkin seed butter can work too!
#7. Peanut Butter
Peanut butter is a great go-to ingredient for smoothies, and it also contains 4 grams of protein in every single tablespoon serving! When you buy peanut butter, however, always opt for natural peanut butter, with nuts and salt.
Conventional versions are more like peanut-flavored icing with all the oils and sugars in there too.
#8. Silken Tofu
If you’re on a veggie or vegan diet, or if dairy is simply a no-go for you, then tofu is an awesome way to get some more protein into your smoothies. Silken tofu also creates a nice and velvety texture for your smoothies.
Tofu is an epic source of plant-based protein and the varieties which are soft blend up so easily. Of course, the amount of protein you get will depend on the firmness and brand you buy. However, it can be around 8 grams per 100-gram serving.
If you have some leftovers from dinner, why not try them?
#9. Flax Seeds
Chia seeds and flax seeds are in the same ballpark, they do not give you insane amounts of fiber per serving, but a little goes a long way. A single tablespoon will give you 2 grams of protein and omega-3 too!
Much like any nut or seed, flax seeds can boost your protein and provide you with some additional healthy fats to give you a nicely balanced meal. However, you will probably need to pair them with another source of protein to get enough protein in your smoothie.
#10. Sesame Seeds
As well as pumpkin, flax, chia, and hemp seeds, sesame seeds are another way to give your smoothie a boost of protein. While they only have 2 grams of protein per tablespoon. They still have protein, and sure, they are one of the lowest in the protein of all the seeds, but they have calcium, and if you choose sesame butter you can add a thick, creamy texture to your smoothies too!
#11. Coconut Milk
Coconut milk can offer you 5 grams of protein per cup, which is one of the best plant-based milk. It also has a very unique taste as well which is beneficial. Coconut milk is a great way to get a little more protein into your smoothies.
Most people would not consider seaweed, but if you like eating nori around a negi hamachi roll, why not choose to add some seaweed to your smoothies as well? Seaweed has a solid dose of protein. However, the exact amount of protein in seaweed will vary depending on the type of seaweed.
Some seaweed does also have the ability to block fat absorption by a wild 75% as well! It is very tasty and good for your food!
#13. Protein Powder
An obvious answer to how to get more protein in your smoothies is obviously to use protein powder. Some dairy-based ones can have an insane amount of protein in them, so make sure that you watch which you choose. Too much protein isn’t good either. Some can also have fats or sugars in them as well, which is best avoided.
However, we love the vegan options or plant-based ones, these tend to have a more reasonable helping of protein, and they are usually delicious as well. Adding some protein powder into a smoothie can turn a smoothie into a meal, and can also add around 15 to 30 grams of protein into your smoothie via a single serving!
We do recommend this, as much as some people may not fancy it, it is still a good way to get protein, but do not shy away from adding a whole-food option into your smoothie as well as a protein powder!
Try this whey protein smoothie.
Oats are an awesome and versatile food, and who knew, they also provide protein as well! They are not only super good for you but they add 11 grams of protein per cup, and you can easily blend them into your smoothies (it’s probably better than having them for breakfast!).
Oats also have plenty of fiber in them as well, making them a great option to help out your digestive system as well!
Quinoa is the world’s favorite alternative grain! This can add some extra protein to your smoothies as well. A single cooked cup of quinoa can add 8 grams of protein to your smoothie, but even better, these 8 grams will contain all of the 9 essential amino acids as well!
Quinoa also contains fiber, iron, and magnesium too! We can’t hate this, it is just so delicious!
#16. Raw Egg
Okay, we admit, this option is for an acquired taste, we probably wouldn’t go for it, but we are not massive fans of eggs. However, just because Gaston and Rocky made eating raw eggs a famous thing to do doesn’t mean it should only be limited to those in the bodybuilding scene.
If you add a raw egg to your smoothie you can expect an additional 6 grams of protein and a unique and silky texture.
It is always best to choose organic free-range eggs of course, as this is not only better for the chicken but these eggs will also have better nutrient levels and a much lower salmonella risk as well.
We would suggest this in a very flavorful smoothie, perhaps something such as banana and blueberry, so the taste of the raw egg is not too potent, unless, of course, you like that kind of thing?
#17. Soy Milk
Plant-based milk will not have as much protein in them as cow’s milk does, no matter how much you love them. However, soy milk is a bit better than coconut milk, and we probably offended some soy milk producers by putting coconut milk higher up our list (sorry!).
But, soy milk has 2 more grams of protein than coconut milk does, with 7 grams. It is also very popular and has a bit more flavor than coconut milk does, but it depends if you are looking for flavor or not with the protein source in your smoothies!
Walnuts are pretty hardcore when it comes to nutrition. A single 1/4 cup of walnuts can give you 4.5 grams of protein, so you can get a whopping 18 grams in a single cup! Walnuts also have a lot of other good stuff such as magnesium for an energy boost, and potassium to help your heart.
These nuts are probably some of the best nuts for you out there, so we recommend including them in your diet, if not your smoothie!
#19. Cacao Nibs
Cacao nibs are small bits of crushed cacao bean, they have a chocolatey, bitter flavor, as they are part of the cacao plant which is the delicious plant that gifted the world chocolate. They taste very similar to dark chocolate, however, they are not as sweet and contain no sugar.
Cacao nibs taste sharper, but they smell good and they also contain 4 grams of protein in a single ounce! With this much, this means that if you decided to include 100 grams of cacao nibs per day you could get 14 grams of protein!
They might not be as sweet as chocolate, but they taste just like it and will offer your smoothie some protein in the process. This is a solid win-win!
How Much Protein Should You Put In A Smoothie?
Typically, you should probably aim to get around 15 to 30 grams of protein if you are making a breakfast smoothie. 15 grams should be the minimum you aim more.
Is It OK To Drink Protein Smoothies Every day?
It is safe to drink protein smoothies every day, however, try to get the majority of your protein from whole foods. These contain other valuable nutrients that are key for overall health and help you energize throughout the day.
How Many Bananas Should I Put In My Protein Shake?
A single frozen banana in a protein shake can help thicken it and add 100 calories. A small banana will give you 1.1 grams of protein or a single cup of mashed banana can offer you 2.5 grams of protein