While green smoothies are my first love, I definitely need a protein boost after a long run. This caramel protein shake recipe combines the power of plants, including chickpeas, and translates nicely from a post workout recovery drink to a fun date-night dessert. I’m not kidding when it comes to the rich flavor of this caramel shake either!

Healthy caramel protein shake in a festive etched glass next to a bowl of cashews and some pitted medjool dates.
Table of Contents
  1. The Power of Plant-Based Protein
  2. Caramel Shake Recipe
  3. How to Chill Your Shake
  4. Smoothies for Workouts
  5. Caramel Protein Shake Recipe

The Power of Plant-Based Protein

When we think about protein, we often think about meat. Yet plant-based protein offers benefits as well. 1 serving of chickpeas contains 3 grams of protein, 12% of the RDI of folate, 2 grams of fiber and 14% of the RDI of manganese. This caramel protein shake has 1/4 cup of chickpeas, so that’s 6 grams of protein in 1 ingredient!

ingredients for a caramel protein shake including coconut oil, chickpeas, medjool dates, dairy-free milk, cashew butter and coconut sugar.

Here are some more of my fav plant protein sources:

  • Lentils (8.84g per 1/2 cup)
  • Almonds (16.5g per 1/2 cup)
  • Cooked quinoa (8g per 1/2 cup)
  • Chia seeds (2g per 1/2 cup)
  • Hemp hearts (5g per 1/2 cup)
  • Broccoli (2g per 1/2 cup)

I love to run, so I need good sources of protein to fuel my body + my workouts. With so many great options from plants, I’m sure to find exactly what I need to feel great and maximize my exercise efforts.

green container of Natural Delights pitted Fresh Medjool Dates on a white countertop.

Plant powered protein boost for your caramel shake

In my search for clean protein options for my smoothie, I kept coming up short on clean protein powders. I didn’t want gums, chemicals, and additives to take away from the plant power I was already blending.

I created my own homemade protein powder to add an extra 10 grams of protein to any smoothie you make. It is made with only organic ingredients, all from plants, and no extras. #plantpowered

If you want to take this caramel protein shake to the next level, then use my protein powder recipe to turn this smoothie into 18.2 grams per serving!

plant-powered ingredients for a caramel shake including dairy-free milk, chickpeas, coconut sugar and Medjool dates.

Caramel Shake Recipe

When I think of the perfect shake, I want it smooth, creamy, and sweet. I use homemade cashew milk for my caramel protein shake recipe, since it is super creamy. Natural Delights Medjool dates are basically nature’s candy, they are so perfectly sweet + caramelly. Organic chickpeas provide protein, as well as extra creaminess. Coconut sugar adds a touch of extra sweetness, yet isn’t needed if the dates make it sweet enough already for you.

How to Chill Your Shake

When I can’t wait for this caramel protein shake to chill out in the fridge before drinking, I add ice cubes to cool it down into a refreshing beverage. I don’t like to add ice when blending this shake, because I don’t want a watery drink.

2 festive glasses of caramel protein shake, one with a metal straw.

Smoothies for Workouts

Not only are smoothies + shakes a great way to start the day, they are also great for workouts. Whether you need a light meal before a workout, or a refreshing recovery beverage, smoothies are a great source of fuel! Add a few of these to your meal planner for some truly awesome plant power:

You can find even more workout smoothie recipes on my Daily Blends App, I have a whole section dedicated to my go-to recipes.

How do you feel about blending chickpeas? Let me know in the comments how your caramel protein shake turned out; I’d love to know what you think!

Healthy caramel protein shake
5 from 9 votes

Caramel Protein Shake

Plant powered protein for the win in this decadent caramel protein shake. Completely satisfying and healthy, take your next snack or dessert up a notch with this chickpea + Medjool date combo. 
Prep: 5 minutes
Total: 5 minutes
Author: Jen Hansard
Course: Smoothie
Cuisine: Plant-Based, Vegan
Serves: 1



  • Blend chickpeas, dates, and milk until smooth. Scrape down sides and blend again if needed.
  • Add cashew butter and coconut sugar and blend again until smooth. 
  • Pour over a glass of ice and enjoy!



  • You can replace cashew butter with any kind of nut/seed butter of your choosing.
  • Omit the coconut sugar for less overall sugar content. 
  • Don’t add ice to the blender, add it to the cup then pour the smoothie over it to cool off. Alternatively, if you have time, chill the finished smoothie for 30 minutes before enjoying.


Calories: 358kcal, Carbohydrates: 60g, Protein: 9g, Fat: 12g, Saturated Fat: 2g, Polyunsaturated Fat: 3g, Monounsaturated Fat: 7g, Sodium: 358mg, Potassium: 543mg, Fiber: 7g, Sugar: 39g, Vitamin A: 83IU, Vitamin C: 1mg, Calcium: 365mg, Iron: 2mg
Tried this recipe? Show me!Mention @SimpleGreenSmoothies or tag #SimpleGreenSmoothies!

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  1. 5 stars
    This was delicious! I used unsweetened vanilla almond milk, 3 dates, no coconut sugar, and peanut butter instead of cashew butter. I look forward to trying this with 2 dates to see if it is just as delicious.

    1. Hi Jessica! This one is a fave of mine as well, so glad you enjoyed it!! Check out our other smoothie recipes on the blog, you may find some more you like as well!

  2. 5 stars
    I’ve been trying to add in more energy smoothies during outside workouts in this Florida summer heat, and this was a great addition! I didn’t get the sugar rush I might have if sipping this without the workout, which was a bonus.

  3. 5 stars
    I was a little skeptical of chickpeas in my smoothie but it totally works! Thanks for another great recipe!

  4. It didn’t have as much flavor as I had anticipated, but it is definitely filling and nutritious.

  5. Oh my gosh I just made this and it was sinfully delicious! I like the idea of a shot of espresso to make it a latte!

  6. 5 stars
    Chickpeas in a smoothie? Don’t knock it until you try it! Absolutely delicious and family approved!! I may add a shot of espresso next time to make it a caramel latte!

    1. Oh my gosh! The shot of espresso will take this to the NEXT level!!!! Let mw know how it goes and I will prob join you after that.

    2. The latte sounds super yummy! Def let us know how that goes! Thanks for blending. xoxo

  7. 5 stars
    Just made this with peanut butter instead of cashew butter, and it was richly delicious!

  8. 5 stars
    I wasn’t sure about the chickpeas, but they were okay. I added an extra date to sweeten it more and it was really good.

    1. Glad you adjusted it to work best for you. Between this and our cinnamon date smoothie, you’ve got a few protein packed good ones here!