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!
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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!
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.
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!
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.
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:
- Perfect pre-workout smoothie
- Recovery smoothie
- Citrus powerhouse smoothie
- Vanilla protein shake
- Almond butter smoothie
- Chocolate protein shake
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!
Caramel Protein Shake
- 1 cup dairy-free milk cashew, almond, oat milk
- ¼ cup chickpeas drained and rinsed
- 1 tbsp cashew butter
- 2-3 Medjool dates pitted
- 2 tsp coconut sugar
- 1 cup ice
- 1 serving homemade protein powder optional
- 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.
Live the addition of dates! I have never before put them in a smoothie. Delicious!
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.
I was a little skeptical of chickpeas in my smoothie but it totally works! Thanks for another great recipe!
The kids and I both loved this recipe!
It didn’t have as much flavor as I had anticipated, but it is definitely filling and nutritious.
Thank you very much for this recipe! The smoothie was delicious! 🙂
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!
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!
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.
The latte sounds super yummy! Def let us know how that goes! Thanks for blending. xoxo
Just made this with peanut butter instead of cashew butter, and it was richly delicious!
That’s a great swap to keep the protein high. Way to go Erin!
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.
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!