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Whether you’re drinking smoothies to lose weight or kicking up your healthy eating a notch, don’t forget the satisfying protein! Protein keeps you full and energized, while also helping to repair and build muscles. It can elevate a smoothie and make it a complete meal or a filling snack.
There are easy ways to pump up the protein in your diet, and we’ve laid out several options for you to enhance your smoothies!
Create a velvety smoothie, while adding a healthy dose of high-quality protein. Tofu is like a blank canvas – it takes on the flavors of the other ingredients instead of competing with them. Try pairing tofu with fruits, such as blueberries and banana, for a delightful, decadent, and healthy shake. Opt for silken tofu for a truly silky texture – you’ll be pleasantly surprised!
Up your smoothie game with a unique, nutritious ingredient – beans! Beans are nutritional powerhouses packed with protein and filling fiber. They are virtually flavorless, so you won’t realize they’re in your smoothie. Instead, you’ll get a wonderfully smooth texture and burst of nutrients. Cannellini or garbanzo beans have a neutral flavor, but any cooked beans will work. Simply add strawberries and seeds for a creamy, dreamy smoothie.
Power packed with 17 grams of high-quality protein to satiate hunger, Greek yogurt adds a rich, silky consistency and a tangy kick. It creates a meal replacement smoothie that keeps you full and helps avoid high-calorie meals later in the day. Just add fresh fruits and leafy greens for a sippable breakfast that will keep you powered through the day.
Nutritious, delicious, and satisfying! Peanut butter, almond butter, cashew butter, and walnut butter lend a creamy, thick consistency and that nutty flavor you’d expect. They serve up satiating protein and heart-healthy fats to keep you satisfied and feeling full for longer. Try pairing nut butters with banana, cinnamon, cacao, and vanilla for delectable smoothies.
This may not sound like a common smoothie ingredient, but rest assured that whipping it up creates a creamy, thick smoothie that packs in the nutrients. With a whopping 13 grams of protein, it’s the perfect ingredient to keep your hunger pangs at bay. Try blending it with peaches and a hint of nutmeg for a healthy treat.
These little gems offer nutritional goodness to your smoothie. With so many options – hemp, sunflower, pumpkin, chia, and flax – you can’t go wrong with your choice. Seeds make your smoothie thick and velvety while offering stellar satiety with protein, fiber, and healthy fats. The nutty flavor of seeds blends well with apples and oatmeal to create a wonderfully delicious smoothie.
Cow’s or soy milk is an excellent replacement for the common liquid ingredient in smoothies – water. It’s a delicious and easy way to add a generous dose of protein to your smoothie. Milk serves as the perfect base for a variety of healthy produce – mango, raspberries, spinach, and kale – creating a satiating richness that will please any palate.
Boost protein and keep cravings at bay by adding almonds, walnuts, cashews, pecans, or pistachios. Nuts are a rich and tasty way to ramp up the protein into your smoothies while enhancing the texture and the nutritional profile. Add bananas, dates, and cinnamon for a healthy banana nut breakfast!
Adding protein powder is a quick and easy option to boost the protein in your smoothie. Be sure to look for powders with clean ingredient labels – free of sugar and artificial ingredients – like our NutriBullet Plant-Based Protein Blend.
Try some of our protein-rich smoothies to find out just how delicious and convenient these protein ingredients can be!
Very Berry Milkshake – You’ll never guess that this creamy shake contains beans when it tastes so berry-licious.
Cinnamon Toast – The nutty almonds in this sweet, yet nutritious, smoothie will satisfy your craving for syrupy French toast.
Adding a healthy source of protein to your smoothies can really amp up the flavor, texture, and nutritional profile. Try any of the smoothie recipes or ingredients above to give your health a mighty boost!
Laura Hershey, MBA, RD has been a registered dietitian for over 16 years. Laura specializes in nutrition communications, marketing and education. She enjoys translating scientific information into easily digestible nutrition messages. She is passionate about improving the health of the population through consumer outreach programs.
Laura is active in the Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics, and currently is a Legislative Ambassador for the Los Angeles District. She received her bachelor’s and master’s degrees from Pepperdine University and completed her dietetic internship at Loma Linda University.