Adding protein to your green smoothie

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Most people are aware of the benefits of eating plenty of fresh fruits and vegetables… yet not everyone knows just how important protein is for your body. Protein is one of the four macronutrients that your body needs on a day-to-day basis (the other three are fats, carbs, and water). Protein is essential for our bodies to work properly.

Why is protein so important?

Because your body burns protein slower than carbs, protein is important to prevent blood sugar spikes that can not only make you feel weak and dizzy, but can also lead to serious health issues down the road.

Also, when your body has enough protein it doesn’t have to resort to burning muscle for the energy it needs, so your muscles stay strong and toned. That’s why drinking a protein-rich smoothie after a workout is an excellent way of replenishing your body!

Here’s our favorite forms of protein:

Nuts and Seeds: You may be surprised to know that tiny seeds—like chia seeds and flaxseed—pack an amazing protein punch. For instance, one ounce of chia seeds contains an impressive 4.4 grams of protein, and they boast a wonderfully nutty taste! Speaking of nutty, nuts are also a great source of protein. Just 1/4 cup of almonds or 2 tablespoons of almond butter will give you 8 grams of protein. Flaxseed is another great alternative, with 8 grams of protein per 1/4 cup. When you choose to add nuts to your green smoothie don’t forget that they’re also higher in fat, so don’t be overly generous!

Protein Powders: If you are looking for a plant-based protein that is free of animal products, your best option is hemp protein or raw vegan protein powder. Feel free to add 2-4 tablespoons to your morning green smoothies! You can buy hemp protein at Trader Joe’s, Whole Foods or even online at Sunwarrior.com.

Spirulina (blue-green algae): This plant-based ingredient is an excellent source of protein that can be added to your green smoothies. Be careful, though! The taste is strong, so start off light (by using about a teaspoon) to get used to the flavor, then add more as you can.

Additional protein options include chocolate and vanilla protein powders, whey protein powder, silken tofu, soymilk, non-fat Greek yogurt, cottage cheese, and natural, no- sugar added peanut butter. We prefer to avoid soy and animal products, but that’s just our personal preference; if you enjoy these foods, feel free to use them in your green smoothie creations.

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Drinking green smoothies as a meal replacement?

If you decide to drink a green smoothie as a meal replacement, it’s recommended that you add a protein source to your blender, or have a high-protein snack—such as a hardboiled egg or a handful of nuts on the side. If you work out regularly, your protein requirement will be higher, so we recommend that you adjust accordingly.

170 Responses to “Adding protein to your green smoothie”

  1. Baxter 11.15.2016 at 10:56 am #

    I had no idea that your body burns protein slower than carbs, it makes sense then that eating a lot of pasta and carbs can lead to blood sugar spikes! I’ll be sure to balance the carbs in my diet with a healthy amount of protein now. My mom used hemp protein in her green smoothies all the time, and she loved it! I wonder how hemp protein compares to soy protein? Thanks for the tips!

    • SGS Rawkstar 11.16.2016 at 11:39 am #

      Hi Baxter,

      We’re all about hemp protein! Personally, we try to avoid soy. Small amounts of organic, non-GMO soy are fine (like tamari and tempeh) but we recommend staying away from highly-processed unfermented soy products which can interfere with nutrient absorption and leach nutrients from your body. Soy milk, soy burgers, and soy ice cream are all in this category.

      Hope this helps!

  2. Helen 10.22.2016 at 5:34 am #

    I do a protein smoothie w Vega One chocolate protein and greens powder/ unsweetened almond milk and water combo/ spinach/ fresh mint and one frozen banana. Yummy! It’s totally vegan too!

    • SGS Rawkstar 10.24.2016 at 7:23 am #

      Rawesome, Helen!

  3. Sandra Simpson 6.4.2016 at 10:04 pm #

    I love love love this website!!! New to smoothies and need to use them as meal replacements for weight loss…thanks for making these delicious recipes easy peasy!!!
    #YouRock

  4. Lauren 4.6.2016 at 11:25 am #

    Hey!

    I just started green smoothies in order to aid weight loss and generally feel better. I’m replacing lunch with a smoothie so I want to add some protein but I’m on a budget and some protein rich ingredients are pretty expensive. Could you recommend some of the cheaper ways to add protein to a smoothie? I’m in the UK, incase that makes a difference. Thanks!

    • SGS Rawkstar 4.6.2016 at 11:43 am #

      Hi Lauren,

      Thank you so much for reaching out! Great question, as we’re all about making health living easy + affordable! Looking for a protein source that’s easy on the wallet, look no further than oats! These rawkstars will boost your green smoothie with protein, and they’re slow to digest + help keep your blood-sugar stable – meaning you’ll be full + satisfied in-between meals (great for weight loss)!

      We suggest adding 1/4 of a cup to any recipe!

      http://simplegreensmoothies.com/tips/green-smoothie-meal-replacement

  5. Anni 4.2.2016 at 5:55 pm #

    I love your website, it’s just so positive and upbeat! I didn’t think I’d be able to have green smoothies (couldn’t stand greens) but this has really spurred me on to do what’s right for my body,,,,,Thanks!
    Anyway I was wondering are the measurements used above for a smoothie recipe for two? I’m trying to put on weight so if I made a smoothie for 1 how much nut butter or nuts would would I add??

    Thanks again!
    Anni

    • SGS Rawkstar 4.3.2016 at 8:21 pm #

      Hi Anni,

      Thanks for reaching out! You’re right, the above suggestions are for two servings! Looking to help with weight gain? Adding coconut oil is a great option as well!

  6. kitty 3.12.2016 at 1:23 pm #

    hi again, just wanted to say how helpful your websight is. thank you so much. One more question. Last time we were in the store we switched from our powdered protein to a protein shake. Says it has 30g protein 160 cal. 1 g sugar 24 minerals. It’s vanilla flavored. It, like I said makes everything taste better but, I don’t really feel good about it. Seems more like a milk shake. what is your opinion of the liquid vs the powdered. Thank you so much. kitty

    • SGS Rawkstar 3.13.2016 at 6:24 pm #

      Hi Kitty,

      When it comes to our green smoothies we always think simple is better! After all, we’re Simple Green Smoothies! For that reason we try to stick with protein powders that have few to no additives. One of our favorites is hemp protein powder by Nutiva, it only has one ingredient!

      Hope this helps!

  7. kitty 3.12.2016 at 12:50 pm #

    Hi, you’ve said nuts are good for you, of course, but high in fat. What about seeds? My husband and I started making smoothies but have to be careful not to overdue the fruit smoothies. I’m looking for more veggie smoothies. I’m afraid of getting too attached to some protein powders that make you smoothies taste so good no matter what else is in it. Thinking there must be sugar in it.

    • SGS Rawkstar 3.13.2016 at 6:22 pm #

      Hi Kitty,

      We love seeds! Two of our favorites are sunflower + pumpkin and both offer a protein punch! Worried about the sugar content of our recipes? Check out our favorite low-sugar fruit options here…

      http://simplegreensmoothies.com/low-sugar-fruits

      • Rach 4.18.2016 at 1:15 pm #

        Do you actually put the sunflower or pumpkin seeds in the smoothie as a protein? Or do you just eat them on the side?

      • SGS Rawkstar 4.19.2016 at 7:10 am #

        Hi Rach,

        Great question! Feel free to do either! You can blend the seeds right into your green smoothie, or enjoy them on the side!

  8. Caroline 1.4.2016 at 8:24 am #

    Hi. I’m currently doing the 30 day green smoothie challenge and I’m struggling with the protein powders. I prefer to use a powder in my smoothie and I’ve become accustom to whey protein. I have recently learned the benefits of eliminating animal proteins from your diet. With that said, I have started using the Sun Warrior Raw Vegan Protein Powder and the taste in my opinion is bad. I have had both the Natural and Vanilla flavors and been disappointed both times. Will you recommend a Plant Based Protein that is more palatable?

    Thanks!

  9. Leslie 1.1.2016 at 10:27 am #

    I am using the green smoothie as a meal replacement for breakfast and lunch to help me lose weight. I did see in another comment from someone else doing the same as me, it was replied to use hemp/brown-rice type protein powders. If I substitute water with almond milk as well as using the protein powder, is that too much with trying to lose weight? or should I stick with water?

    • SGS Rawkstar 1.1.2016 at 4:19 pm #

      Hi Leslie,

      Thanks for reaching out + great question! When using your green smoothie as a meal replacement we suggest adding protein + healthy fats, no matter the liquid base. Adding protein + healthy fats will ensure you’re fueling your body with a complete meal. Check out our favorite meal replacement booster combos here…

      http://simplegreensmoothies.com/tips/green-smoothie-meal-replacement

  10. Sarah P 12.14.2015 at 6:21 am #

    Hullo

    I am so looking forward to the 30 day challenge. I loves me some green bevvies anyway but I had begun to skulk off and as a result gained 2 stones!! OMG pass me that blender quick!!
    I note in your response to another poster/postee that they should add coconut oil to gain weight – I love the taste of the stuff but I don’t want to gain another lb. Do you recommend I leave it out? I make one smoothie with the Big C and another with Flaxseed…I don’t want to overdo it, my trousers are just soooo tight!! 🙁

    Many thanks
    SP

    • SGS Rawkstar 12.14.2015 at 11:45 am #

      Hi Sarah,

      Adding healthy fats like coconut oil to your green smoothie is a great way to provide your body with a boost of nutrition. When used as a meal replacement adding healthy fats + protein is the way to go to ensure you’re providing your body with a complete meal. Using your green smoothie as a healthy snack when trying to lose weight, you can always skip the coconut oil then.

      Hope this helps!

      • Sarah P 12.15.2015 at 6:50 am #

        It does. Many thanks

      • SGS Rawkstar 12.15.2015 at 12:53 pm #

        Rawesome! 🙂

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