10 ways to add protein to your smoothie (without protein powder!) - Emily Skye

10 ways to add protein to your smoothie (without protein powder!)

10 ways to add protein to your smoothie (without protein powder!)

Protein is an important nutrient in everyone's diet, it provides us with the amino acids we need to build and repair our body. Protein is even more important in your diet if you are regularly participating in sports and exercise, because you are more likely to be stressing (actually, strengthening!) your muscles fibres.

For this reason finding delicious, healthy and easy ways in which we can incorporate protein into our diet is always a plus. Smoothies are a quick and refreshing way to get a meal in, especially when you don’t feel like sitting down and eating. Many people opt for protein powders as a way of bulking up their smoothie with protein, however I prefer to use slightly more natural and unprocessed options.

Here are 10 (powder free) ways in which you can give your smoothie an extra protein kick!

  1. Nuts/ Nut butter - Nuts, such as walnuts, and nut butters, such as almond butter, provide a delicious and creamy protein punch to any smoothie. Not to mention all those other healthy nutrients they will add!
     
  2. Greek yogurt - Greek yogurt is packed full of protein and will give your smoothie both texture and a creamy flavour. Don’t eat dairy? Not to worry, most dairy free yogurt options are also high in protein.
     
  3. Pumpkin seeds - Containing about 3 grams of protein to each tablespoon, pumpkin seeds are a fantastic way to give your smoothie texture and a delicious nutty flavour. Don’t like pumpkin seeds? Well sesame seeds might provide a little less protein (1.5 gm p/Tbsp) however they are also a delicious addition to most heart smoothie.
     
  4. Quinoa - Most people think of quinoa as being a salad or side dish, however adding some quinoa to your smoothie will not only help bulk up your liquid meal, it will also give you a fantastic protein kick!
     
  5. Hemp seeds - These seeds may have been considered taboo for some time, however their nutritional value is now pushing them as one of the healthiest and most delicious ways of boosting your meal (or smoothie!) with not only protein (a whopping 5 grams p/Tbsp), but also fibre, potassium and iron.
     
  6. Soy milk/ Dairy milk - If you don’t already use some milk in your smoothie, yet you want to up your protein intake, then milk (both dairy and soy) are a fantastic way of adding a little more protein to your drink.
     
  7. Cacao nibs - Need an excuse to give your smoothies a delicious chocolatey twist? Protein, that’s what! They work wonders combined with nut butter and hemp seeds!
     
  8. Oats - Combine your morning porridge oats into your smoothie to make a simple and convenient breakfast drink that will give you that nice protein kick you need to start your day off with.
     
  9. Raw egg - You may have seen raw eggs been guzzled by the dozen in movies such as Rocky, and with good reason. An egg will provide you with around 6 gm of protein, and even though it might seem a bit gross, it actually adds a silky creamy flavour!
     
  10. Seaweed - I have left this one until last, because I know many of you are thinking… “Seaweed… In a smoothie!? Gross!” But I am telling you, this is one of those things you just have to try! The right kind of seaweed, coupled with the right ingredients will give you a fantastic tasting protein rich liquid meal!

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