Caramel Protein Shake

Who says dessert can’t be healthy? This caramel protein shake a perfect sweet treat + protein boost.

Healthy caramel protein shake

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!

ingredients for a caramel protein shake

The power of plant protein

When we think about protein, we often think about meat. Yet plants offer incredible protein 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.

fresh medjool dates in caramel shake

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 Protein Smoothie Boost 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. According to the hundreds of rave reviews its gotten, Smoothie Boost is virtually tasteless, not gritty, and blends in seamlessly with all kinds of smoothie recipes. #plantpowered

If you want to take this caramel protein shake to the next level, then use Protein Smoothie Boost to turn this smoothie into 18.2 grams per serving!

plant powered ingredients

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 caramel protein 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.

caramel protein shake

Smoothies for work outs

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

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. 
5 from 7 votes
PRINT RATE IT Print Recipe
Course: Smoothie
Cuisine: Plant-Based, Vegan
Prep Time: 4 minutes
Blending Time: 1 minute
Total Time: 5 minutes
Servings: 1
Author: Jen Hansard


  • 1 cup plant milk - cashew, almond, oat milk
  • 1/4 cup chickpeas - drained and rinsed
  • 1 tbsp cashew butter
  • 2-3 Medjool dates - pitted
  • 2 tsp coconut sugar
  • 1 cup ice
  • 1 serving Protein Smoothie Boost - 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.


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?Mention @simplegreensmoothies or tag #simplegreensmoothies!

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Ratings & Comments

  1. Olivia says:

    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.

  2. Kim says:

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

  3. Amanda says:

    5 stars
    The kids and I both loved this recipe!

  4. Janice says:

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

  5. Diarra says:

    5 stars
    Thank you very much for this recipe! The smoothie was delicious! 🙂

  6. Kathleen says:

    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!

  7. Jennifer A says:

    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!

    • Simple Green Smoothies says:

      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.

    • Simple Green Smoothies says:

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

  8. Erin says:

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

    • Simple Green Smoothies says:

      That’s a great swap to keep the protein high. Way to go Erin!

  9. Dani Mitchel says:

    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.

    • Simple Green Smoothies says:

      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!

#1 Green Smoothie Of all Time— no joke!
About Jen Hansard

Mom of 2, ran across the Grand Canyon and lover of smoothies, coffee & tacos. I transformed my family's health with a realistic plant-based diet. I also found myself again along the way.

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