Wednesday, August 15, 2012

DIY Protein Powder and Smoothie Recipe

I workout in the mornings and typically drink a vegan protein shake immediately after for breakfast. Consuming protein and natural sugar (fruit) after a workout is essential for your body to recover. Protein shakes are easy to make and take on the go. I've traditionally used Vega One but have been looking for some alternative and less expensive ways to make protein powder.

My friend (who is also vegan) gave me this great recipe that she uses for her daily meal-replacement smoothies. I reduced her recipe so that it could fit into my single-serve blender. I also did a quick calculation to see how much cheaper this DIY protein powder is than Vega One. Using Amazon prices, the protein powder mix below is $0.38/oz while Vega One is $1.53/oz. In other terms, a tub of Vega One costs $47.29 (on Amazon, retail price is actually $69.99), and tub of the same size of the homemade powder would cost only $11.74, so it is significantly less expensive. However, with Vega you get many more nutrients in the powder and is substantial enough to just mix with almond milk or water.

The basic idea with this DIY protein smoothie recipe is to pre-make the protein powder to last about two weeks. The mixture below makes about 12 1/2-cup servings, it must be refrigerated! Whole flax seeds can last in your pantry for months, but ground flax seeds can only be refrigerated for about 2 weeks. The flax has to be ground so that your body can absorb it (your intestine can't break down the outer seed shell). The blender won't grind them so its easy just to use a cheap coffee grinder. The Hemp protein powder also need to be refrigerated after opening.

Protein Powder (12 1/2-cup servings):
1 cup Carob Powder
1 cup  Cocoa Powder
2 cups Hemp Protein Powder
2 cups Flax Seeds (ground)
Remember to refrigerate!

Now, below is the actual smoothie recipe you can make daily and substitute for a meal, like breakfast!

Smoothie Recipe

1/4 of a large carrot
1/4 cup greens (frozen)
1 banana (chopped and frozen)
3-4 strawberries (frozen)
1/2 cup Protein Powder
1-1/2 cup Almond Milk (unsweetened chocolate)

Again, its easier to prepare these things in bulk and have them ready during the week. The carrot will blend better if it is cut into smaller pieces, but it made my smoothie quite gritty so I'm not sure that I'll use it in the future. Buy very ripe bananas and peel and chop before freezing. Strawberries can be bought frozen or not, and then frozen at home. The greens can be any dark leafy green like spinach. Go easy on these until you're used to the taste of greens in your drink. Freezing these items eliminates the need to add ice to your smoothie, so it's not as watered down.

All in all, this ultimate smoothies recipe is little bit more work than just using a pre-made protein powder. But, it is much less expensive and you can be sure you're getting good nutrients with actual fruits and vegetables in your smoothie.

How do you recover from a workout?

What protein powder do you use?


  1. Thank you! I've been looking for an uncomplicated DIY protein powder, and I think this one will really hit the spot. =D

    ~ Sheila

    1. Let me know how it is! I've been trying to think of a good vanilla or fruity recipe too.


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