This vegan protein smoothie recipe packs a powerful punch with 23g protein and NO POWDER in sight!
I’m sure a lot of vegans out there will recall being somewhat hesitant to go fully plant-based at first. Will I become too skinny? What about vitamin deficiencies? And how in the world am I going to get enough protein? Those questions definitely entered my mind anyway. But I’m glad to report that, with the exception of b12 (which I supplement), I’m easily able to get everything my body needs through plants.
The biggest shock to me was how easy it was to get protein on a vegan diet. Without even consciously trying to eat protein rich foods, I always manage to hit at least 50g+ a day. But lately, I’ve been trying to gain some muscle/weight which means I’m aiming to eat somewhere between 80g and 100g of protein a day. And that, I have to admit, isn’t quite as easy.
Why I choose to go without protein powder
Seriously… have you tried vegan protein powder?! Maybe it’s just me, but no matter what brand I try, I always end up with overly sweet, fake tasting, gritty smoothies. I even tried an unflavoured one but it smelled like fish food and tasted even worse. Ugh, I have shivers just thinking about it. Maybe I’ll find the right vegan protein powder for me some day but for now I’d rather go without.
So just how do you create a vegan protein smoothie with no protein powder?
Yes, you read that right. The secret ingredient to this vegan protein smoothie recipe is kidney beans.
I know what you’re thinking…. gross. But TRUST ME when I say you cannot taste them! Promise. I was extremely sceptical of this when I first heard about it. But the sweet flavours from the banana and strawberries totally drown out the beany taste.
I actually let my mum try this smoothie without telling her what was in it and she guessed “banana and strawberries”. She had no idea until she saw the leftover kidney beans in my fridge, then got mad at me for “tricking her”. Haha.
Pair the kidney beans and fruit with some protein rich soy milk and you’ve got yourself a well balanced meal, albeit in liquid form. But if you’re not a fan of soy, don’t worry. This smoothie will still have a decent amount of protein (around 12g) if you use another kind of plant milk. You can up it even more by adding a tablespoon or two of nut butter.
Why I added kidney beans to this vegan protein smoothie recipe
Like most beans, kidney beans are SO good for you! They have so many health benefits including:
- High in protein (of course)
- Rich in complex carbs
- High in fibre which helps to balance blood sugar
- Rich in vitamin K, folate, potassium and iron
Plus, they are the least detectable in smoothies, in my opinion. I tried the same recipe with butter beans (that’s all I had at the time) but I could definitely taste them. So stick with kidney beans for best results!
- 1/2 Can kidney beans 120g
- 400 ml Soy milk organic is best
- 1 banana
- Large handful of strawberries
Drain kidney beans and rinse thoroughly.
Pop them into a powerful blender along with the other ingredients. Blend until completely smooth.
Serve immediately or store, covered, in the fridge for up to 12 hours.
If substituting soy milk for another plant milk, the protein content won't be as high. Try adding 1-2 tablespoons nut butter to boost it back up.