I want to drink smoothies as a filling and nourishing meal, but I don’t want to add protein powder; I’d rather have real protein.  I mean, why add over-processed ingredients when you can have the real thing? I want to stick with natural, unrefined protein.

So I went looking for natural protein substitutes for the protein powders which appear in so many recipes.  (And there’s a high protein smoothie recipe at the end.)

Stephane Eckelkamp writing at Prevention.com says …

Protein can elevate any smoothie from a mere snack to a complete meal—as long as it has some essential protein. But that doesn’t mean you have to pour on the whey, soy, hemp, or whatever protein powder is currently trending. “Protein powder can be a convenient way to boost your smoothie’s protein content, but it’s not necessary,” says Jennifer McDaniel, RD, spokesperson for the Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics. “Many whole foods offer protein, and they’re perfectly packaged by nature with nutrients that work as a team to support health.” 

Here is the list of foods containing protein that Stephanie gives:

  • 1/2 cup Avocado = 2.3 g protein; 192 calories
  • 1 cup Kale = 2.9 g protein; 33 cals
  • 1/2 cup Oats (cooked) = 3 g protein; 166 cals
  • 2 T Chia Seeds = 4.7 g protein; 138 cals
  • 2 T Pumpkin Seeds = 5 g 126 cals
  • 2 oz Silken Tofu = 5 g protein 47 cals
  • 2 T Tahini = 5.2 g 188 cals
  • 1 oz Almonds / 2 T Almond Butter = 6/7 g protein;160 / 190 cals
  • 2 T Hemp Seeds = 9 g protein; 164 cals
  • 1/2 cup Low-Fat Cottage Cheese = 14 g protein; 81 cals

That’s not an exclusive list; there are more foods that are rich in protein, so take a look and see how many you can find, then let us know.

Try this meal replacement smoothie recipe on the Next Page