How To Make The Best Vegan Protein Shakes
Who doesn’t love a good smoothie? It’s the perfect way to get nutrients into your body, vitamins, minerals, and especially proteins, all in one single glass. Whether you are vegan, vegetarian or simply want to follow a healthy lifestyle and healthy eating habits, a smoothie can be a very simple and easy solution to get into your body everything you need. Kids will love it, people practicing sports will need it, and truthfully, a smoothie enriched with proteins is something everyone can drink and feel the benefits of it. Today I would like to offer you some tips on how to make the best vegan protein shakes so that you can share it with your family and loved ones.
Everyone of us has different tastes, and needs, so when you prepare a smoothie you can add different types of nutrients in order to satisfy those specific needs.
Depending on your particular tastes, here are some different ingredients you might find useful to add to your smoothie in order to get into your system exactly what your body is asking for:
- Fiber: If your body is in need of fibers, just adding some cereal flakes or soaked nuts to your smoothie will do the trick
- Enzymes: For those of you that might want to take some extra enzymes, you can add some sprouts or pro-biotics, the vital foods for excellence
- Healthy fats: If what you are trying to do is control your fat intake and make sure you are getting enough of the “good fats” just add a bit of coconut oil or different seeds or nuts, avocado …
- Phyto-chemicals: Adding a bit of color to our smoothie makes it look better and makes it fun to give to the kids. You can make a different color smoothie every day. So, on a Monday you can get a high dose of the carotene with oranges, and on a Tuesday some anthocyanidin dyes from the blueberries, and maybe on a Wednesday you could go for some red betaine from the beetroots … Each phyto-chemicals has different qualities and I am sure you can ask your doctor or nutritionist and they should be able to tell what are the benefits of each one.
- Spices: Spices are also rich in phyto-chemicals and usually their effects are more intense than in fresh vegetables, so you can add to your smoothies some turmeric, cinnamon, ginger, paprika, rosemary, cardamom, to name a few. The world of spices is truly infinite.
- Other foods that usually you do not easily include in every day dishes, such as algae or pro-biotics and, of course, super foods which are true concentrated nutrient.
How to prepare a vegan protein smoothie?
- With nuts and seeds
Of all the nuts, those that stand out the most for their protein content are: almonds, pistachios, cashews and walnuts. Peanuts have one of the highest protein content. With a handful (approximately 30 g), you will increase the amount of protein in your shakes. Add it to the smoothie, blend it well with a powerful blender if you don’t want to feel the pieces of nuts or want to reduce it to a minimum, add the remaining ingredients and drink it.
As for the seeds, those of hemp stand out, followed closely by the sunflower and pumpkin seeds, and of course Chia seeds, flax seeds or poppy seeds. With 1 or 2 tablespoons, depending on the needs of each one, it will be enough to have a rich protein drink.
In addition to protein, nuts, chia and flax seeds, increase the nutritional value of the shake with omega 3 fatty acids. Therefore, this mixture is ideal if muscle pain post workout occurs, thanks to its anti-inflammatory action.
Remember that it is recommended to activate seeds and nuts, thus improving their digestion and, therefore, their assimilation.
For those of you that don’t know how to do it, to activate seeds or nuts all you have to do is:
- Dissolve salt in enough water to cover the amount of nuts/seeds you are activating.
- In a large bowl place your nut or seed of choice.
- Cover with the salt water solution.
- Soak for the required number of hours.
- Strain and rinse the nuts.
- Spread over baking tray.
- Dry for around 12-24 hours.
- If drying in the oven, set the oven at the lowest temperature
possible, preferably no more than 65C. Stir or turn them occasionally,
for the required drying time.
- With milk and vegetable yogurts
The base of a smoothie is usually water and you can also use juice. And when you want to make a protein shake, it is best to use milk or yogurt, and if you are Vegan you can easily use almond milk or coconut milk or soy milk, even oat milk depending on your taste.
Ideally if you can use milk and vegetable yogurts that are homemade would be the best option, since the commercial versions offered tend to include sugars and other unnecessary ingredients, the amount of soy, cereal or dried fruit is quite scarce, its protein content is also low when compared to the homemade one; but I do understand we live in a society where everything is ready-made and I, myself, find it much easier and quicker to buy the milk in the grocery store; just make sure there is no added sugar to it.
On the other hand if you decide to do it, making homemade vegetable milks is not that difficult and the same goes for homemade vegan yogurts and pro-biotics; nothing more than having the vegetable milk prepared, the chosen ferment and some way to control the temperature.
- With legumes
We used to know legumes as a type of nutrients that we would normally use in a soup and eat with a spoon; you can find them in many sweet and salty recipes, where the legume enriches the dish with protein and fiber.
it is interesting to know that you can actually add them to your smoothie. If you cook them first taking away the saltiness they might have, you can then blend them with the rest of the ingredients of the smoothie and the result is a very creamy protein shake.
- With vegetable protein powder
Probably the quickest way to get a protein smoothie ready in less than five minutes is by adding protein powder.
They are very common supplements among athletes, since they cover protein requirements in an easy, healthy and fast way.
Of course, they can be used by everyone in general to complete protein needs, if they are not reached through diet or are in special situations (pregnancy, recovering from an illness , … etc).
Before purchasing them, be sure to check the list of ingredients and avoid those containing flavors, refined sugars and other additives. From protein supplements for vegans, I would recommend for you to check out:
Organic rice protein – 80% protein: obtained from sprouted brown rice. It is well-known since the amino acid profile is very similar to that of breast milk. You can mix it with smoothie, juices and a multitude of dishes for its mild flavor and, in addition, you can cook with it since it is not altered by the heat.
Powdered pea protein – rich in amino acids, including essential ones. In water, smoothie, juice, yogurt or whatever you prefer.
Organic spirulina algae – contains all the essential amino acids in addition to vitamins B12, vitamin A and, Iron… etc. Very energizing supplement. Add a tablespoon to your smoothie and you’re done.
Organic chlorella algae – Definitely an acquired taste, do not overdose because you only need a little spoon and if you put too much of it in your smoothie the taste is really strong. Yet, this algae is considered the food with the highest chlorophyll content in the world. One teaspoon per day (5 g) is recommended and can be mixed both in smoothies and juices, as well as to garnish dishes.
So, this is me for today, I hope you find some information useful and do not forget, whether you are vegan or not, giving your body the right amount of food is essential for a healthy living; we only get one body, we must take care of it.