Breakfast smoothies are an excellent way to start the day. They’re quick and easy to make, the flavor combinations are endless, and these protein-packed meal replacements can be part of a healthy weight loss plan. At Nancy Be Well we’re always talking about eating whole, clean, natural foods. As Michael Pollan says, “If it’s a plant, eat it. If it was made in a plant, don’t,” yet I’ve been recommending factory-made protein powders for smoothies. The irony is not lost to me.
While I love the convenience of protein powders, they can be expensive. Also a lot of the flavored powders are sweetened with stevia, which some people don’t like or can’t tolerate. Here are some healthy alternatives to protein powders:
· Hemp seed Hearts: 3 tablespoons contains 10 grams of protein and 3 grams of fiber
· Flax Seed: 3 tablespoons contains 6 grams protein and 7 grams of fiber
· Chia Seeds: 3 tablespoons contains 9 grams of protein and 15 grams fiber
· Greek Yogurt: ½ cup contains 10 grams protein and 6 grams fat
· Peanut Butter: 2 tablespoons contains 8 grams protein and 2 grams fiber
· Almond Butter: 2 tablespoons contains 7 grams protein and 3 grams fiber
Use just one type of protein (3 tablespoons of hemp seed hearts) or get creative and combine a few different ones (1 tablespoon each of hemp, flax and chia seeds)
You can enhance the flavor of your smoothie by using vanilla extract or vanilla flavored unsweetened almond milk, cacao powder for a chocolate flavor, a sprinkle some cinnamon or ginger.
While I’ll continue to use high-quality protein powders (organic, non-GMO, no added sugar, plant-based or whey) for their convenience and taste, I’m going to start experimenting with some alternative protein sources. I’ll let you know what I come up with.
Let me know what you think. What kind of protein do you use in your smoothies?