It is no secret that I love starting my day with a smoothie. Whether I’m headed to work or traveling, it is one of the easiest breakfasts that ensures I’m getting in my essential nutrients first thing. However, if you’re like me, just fruits + veggies don’t keep us full for very long… The secret to creating a smoothie that is truly satiating + filling is adding protein powder!
My personal favorite protein powder varieties are the vegan options; however there are a lot to choose from, and it can get confusing. SO today I’m doing a quick Vegan Protein Powder 101, so you can choose the variety that’s best for you!
Pea protein is made from yellow split peas and is naturally free of soy, gluten and lactose – making it easier to tolerate and digest. It also has a high amount of branch chain amino acids, which will help with muscle repair and recovery. A perfect choice for post-workout!
Hemp protein is derived from the hemp plant and is a great source of easily digestible fiber. In addition to fiber and protein, it also provides magnesium, omega-3 and omega-6 fatty acids. It has a mild, nutty flavor and can taste a little earthy. If you’re a fan of our blueberry hemp granola, then you’ve met your match!
Quinoa is one of the few plant-based foods to be considered a complete protein. It’s oftentimes sold in conjunction with other vegetable protein powder blends instead of as a pure isolate. It’s also a good source of iron, zinc, magnesium and folate. Since quinoa protein has a rather neutral taste, it makes a great addition to baking as well!
Brown rice protein, unlike quinoa, is not a complete protein – which means you may need to pair it with amino acids, tofu, quinoa or beans to round out a meal. However it is high in fiber, gluten-free, lactose-free and full of B Vitamins to help out muscle metabolism. Another very versatile and neutral tasting protein!
Each vegetable protein is beneficial on it’s own, but the best sources may be those that mix multiple for a variety of nutrients. A protein like Vega Sport combines pea protein, pumpkin seed protein, sunflower seed protein and alfalfa protein, which provide a nice profile of vitamins, fatty acids and fiber to help diversify your diet.
1/2 cup blueberries
1/2 cup blackberries
1 tbsp chia seeds
1 cup almond milk
1 scoop vegan protein powder (I like using a Vanilla one for this recipe)
Blend all ingredients together in blender, leaving out granola. Pour into glass and sprinkle granola on top.
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