Smoothie photos by Emily Caruso
It took me a long time to warm up to protein powders. The first few I tried were terrible — they tasted off at best, and bitter at worst. I figured that protein powders were for people who were into weight training and not people who like their food to taste good. (Guess which of those categories I fall into?) But then a year later, I gave them another try and realized that there were plant-based protein powders that actually tasted good. Imagine that!
Thus began Operation Stealthily Healthy Smoothie — because I knew that smoothies would be the best way for me to work a large amount of protein into my diet in a small package (or glass). Back in the carefree days of yore, I used to throw lots of greens and fruits and seeds and whatnot into my smoothies, but those pesky food aversions meant that the very thought of spinach in a smoothie made my stomach turn and fruity smoothies didn't appeal to me either. So my objective was to create smoothies that tasted like milkshakes.
One of my favorites was a frozen banana blended with almond milk, a scoop of Chocolate Vega One, a tablespoon each of chia and hemp seeds, then swirled with a ribbon of peanut butter. And then there's this Banana Caramel Smoothie, my other favorite — dates, almond butter and French Vanilla Vega One combine to give this smoothie a caramel flavor. Yes, really! If you like bananas, use one that's nice and ripe; otherwise, a less ripe banana will lend creaminess to the smoothie without adding a pronounced banana flavor (a trick I picked up from Kare). And the awesome thing about Vega One is that it's not just a protein powder, it's an all-in-one nutritional shake with 6 servings of greens in each scoop — so I'm still getting my greens in these smoothies without feeling like I'm sipping a salad through a straw.
- 1 ½ cups almond coconut or cashew milk (use less for a thicker smoothie)
- 3 Medjool dates pitted
- 1 large banana frozen
- 1 scoop French Vanilla Vega One
- 1 tablespoon almond butter
- Cacao nibs for garnish optional
- Combine milk, dates, banana, Vega One and almond butter in a blender and blend until smooth.
Thank you for posting! I will try it out as I have been looking for a way to get more veggies and protein into my kids' (and my) diet. Hopefully the "disguised as a chocolate milkshake" thing will work.
this smoothie looks delicious!
Alexis @ Hummusapien says
Dates in smoothies = dream come true. This is great for all those January detoxes 🙂
Anna @ Sunny Side Ups says
Mmmm...this smoothie looks fabulously delicious! I'm all about protein smoothies, and this is a definitely must-try! Yum! 🙂 Pinned!
I bet this is tasty! I'm trying to get on a smoothie kick. Yum! Thanks for sharing!
Tara | Treble in the Kitchen says
This sounds delicious! I love Vega and I love smoothies 🙂 Gotta try this recipe when a sweet tooth craving hits 🙂
Liz @ The Lemon Bowl says
I have a fresh pack of dates - I want to try this!!!
Oh my, this looks heavenly! Love the new Vega too! Going to have to make this this weekend.
Another great brand that I've used for years is Garden Greens. The chocolate and vanilla protein shakes are both awesome. They also have an amazing smoothie powder called AcaiSplash that is loaded with antioxidants and tastes amazing with a banana or avocado and a little vanilla protein powder. Yummers! Thanks so much for sharing your recipes.
Kiersten Frase says
I've never heard of that one before!
Nicole @ Foodie Loves Fitness says
YUM! I'm a big fan of smoothies, especially ones with nut butter! I also add vegan protein powder in for an extra protein boost. Not sure if you do this at all, but I throw 1/2 scoop of protein powder into my pancake batters and mix it in with my cereal sometimes. It definitely helps me get that extra protein that i can easily forget about (give me all of the complex carbs!).
Kiersten Frase says
I've been meaning to make a big batch of protein pancakes for a few weeks now! I was thinking I'd make them on the weekend and then freeze them for breakfast during the week. 🙂
70 GRAMS!!! Oy. That is a lot. I feel like you'd have to be eating a block of tofu at every meal! Or lots of Greek yogurt. Or both.
Good to know that Vega is a tasty source of protein. I'll have to keep an eye out for it, because this smoothie is awesome.
Kiersten Frase says
I know, right? I used to pat myself on the back for getting 50 in. And it's especially hard when you don't have an appetite, so smoothies are essential right now!
Robyn Petrik says
Banana Caramel sounds so good! I love Vega One, but so far I've only really had their natural flavour. I need to branch out and try some of the others!
Smoothies are my favourite for breakfast. Plus I love dates. It sounds it is one of the best smoothie recipe ever!