Naturally Protein Rich Smoothies – Protein Powder Alternative 

Recently, I have been working out more using weights like a steel rod for strengthening my hands and wrists, weights strapped to my ankles while walking and two different kettlebells. Even my toddler has her own 1lbs dumbbell so she can work out with me and her dad when he’s home. It’s adorable! Before this my main form of exercising was walking 5-10 miles a day, yoga (with a toddler thinking it’s fun to climb on me and fluff up my hair) and some arm movements my husband uses that he was taught in boot camp over 10 years ago and still uses today. A friend is helping me with plus size and pregnancy friendly/safe kettlebell routines and was talking to me about protein shakes. My husband offered to share his but the smell of his boat that permeated the shakes was too much for me with my recently heightened senses. To make sure I’m getting what I need until our recently ordered powders come in the mail I have upped our protein intake in our food.  

We already eat a really good amount of protein rich foods. Mostly, just because we like these foods but also because we rarely eat meat. There is more protein in many plant based foods than meat but we watch what we consume just to make sure we’re getting what we need anyway. I have been craving fruit smoothies since the weather warned up. So I decided to see what protein rich ingredients we had that I could use in a post workout naturally protein rich smoothie. What I am sharing is just some suggestions on making a protein shake alternative. There are actual charts to show you what amount of ingredients you should (or could) use as well as lists of food that one could use as well. I’m working with what I have. Protein powders tend to have much more protein than what this may have but it’s great for those with food sensitivities, those who eat more naturally, those who need to work with what they already have, etc. I also share with my toddler because it’s just plain tasty and she loves it. I have even made homemade Popsicles with the mixture. 

Fruit: I have a container of frozen fruit I used in water kefir fermentation. They are slightly more tangy and have underwent a bit of fermentation while the liquid ate through some of the sugars in the fruit. While they may not be super fermented I’m hopeful some of the benefits of fermented goodness are in them. I also had fresh bananas that I precut and froze so I don’t need to use ice in my smoothie. The fruits in my smoothie include bananas, dark cherries, blackberries, strawberries, peaches, raspberries and blackberries. Most of which are on the leaderboard for protein rich fruits. 

Nuts and seeds: Nuts are a great source of protein in many cases. We have a ton of different nuts/seeds for baking and cooking so I have a lot to choose from. I ended up soaking raw cashews overnight (makes them easier to blend) then added freshly ground flaxseed, chia seeds and raw pine nuts. Adding nut butters is an easy way to add in certain ingredients. I am out of all our homemade butters except commercial peanut butter so I went with plain seeds and nuts instead. Be aware of salt in nut butters as they can effect the flavor of the smoothie. I sometimes put my nuts in liquid to blend before adding the fruit. Then I blend them again with the added ingredients. 

Liquid: I plan on using fruit infused water kefir in some smoothies and homemade nut milks in others. Other options include: dairy based kefir (yogurt drink), coconut water and REAL juice. Adding juice may be a bit much for sugar but working with what you have is an option I know all too well. 

Other ingredients: Some other ingredients you can use are Greek yogurt, honey, silken tofu, oats and more. Some more for texture and flavoring than anything else. Many people won’t eat or drink something that doesn’t taste at least decent so experiment with flavors! I didn’t add any of these this time around. 

Here is my smoothie: blueberries, blackberries, raspberries, peaches, banana, dark cherries, the last of our chia seeds, raw cashews, pine nuts, ground flaxseed, dark cherry water kefir and homemade almond milk. 

I have nothing against protein shakes but for now this not only has protein but also fiber, vitamins, probiotic goodness and is generally healthy. 

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