By April Dupee
It’s no secret that we love smoothies here at Nutritious Life. They’re a quick and easy way to pack in tons of nutrients, are perfect for making ahead or taking on-the-go, and come in an endless variety of delicious flavor combos.
But without a balance of carbs, healthy fats, and protein, smoothies can easily become sugar bombs that spike your blood sugar and make you feel sluggish. This also means that the hunger pangs will usually creep back in fast – not long after you’ve finished your last sip.
Adding protein is the way to avoid the dreaded smoothie fail. It will slow the absorption of sugar and increase satiety so you’ll stay satisfied and fueled long after you’ve drunk up that smoothie.
If you need some protein smoothie inspiration, check out these protein-packed and crave-worthy recipes below.
20 Healthy Protein Smoothie Recipes
Our friend and founder of Weelicious knows a thing or two about making nourishing and super delicious smoothies. Her Chocolate Banana Almond Butter Smoothie is loaded with healthy ingredients like chlorella, a green alga rich in vitamins, minerals, antioxidants and omega 3 fatty acids. Chocolate protein powder, almond butter, and collagen peptides deliver tons of protein to fuel you all morning long.
If you aren’t already adding veggies to your smoothies, then now is the time to start. Mild veggies like cauliflower and zucchini add lots of nutrients without adding many calories or a too-veggie flavor. Nut butter and vanilla protein powder add protein for long-lasting fuel.
When you combine hemp seeds, chia seeds, and peanut butter, you get 23 grams of plant-based protein. Add some banana, cacao powder, and dates for a smoothie that’s healthy enough for breakfast but tasty enough to be dessert.
Treat yourself after a sweat sesh to a chocolate smoothie. Thanks to the chocolate milk, chocolate protein powder, and peanut butter, this delicious smoothie is not short of muscle-building protein. Antioxidant-rich blueberries provide an extra nutritious boost.
Enjoy the flavor of chocolate-covered raspberries with the nutrition of a healthy smoothie. Oats and gut-friendly kefir combine to create a protein-packed smoothie that will keep you full all the way to lunchtime.
Switch up your greens and try adding lesser-known broccoli rabe to your smoothies. This nutrient dense green is loaded with vitamins A, C, and K and important minerals like calcium, folate, and iron. Blend broccoli rabe with dates and banana for sweet flavor and hemp seeds, almond butter and oats for serious plant-based protein.
With just a few simple ingredients you probably already have in your kitchen, you can whip up this delicious sweet potato pie-inspired smoothie from Ambitious Kitchen. But unlike the dessert, this smoothie delivers 18 grams of protein thanks to Greek yogurt and almond butter. Banana and sweet potato add sweet flavor, which is perfectly complemented by warming spices like cinnamon, nutmeg, and cloves.
Give your body the long-lasting fuel it needs with this nourishing plant-based smoothie from The Foodie Dietitian. You’ll find an energizing balance of protein, carbs, and fat thanks to protein-rich tofu, walnuts, and hemp seeds, creamy avocado, and antioxidant-packed fresh fruit.
Don’t reserve your favorite cold-weather veggie just for soups and side dishes. Add butternut squash to your smoothies for a healthy dose of nutrients like vitamins A, C, and K and combine with cozy spices like cinnamon. Vanilla protein powder turns this smoothie into a balanced, filling meal.
Pretend you’re sitting poolside with this tropical-inspired smoothie. Peach, strawberries, and pomegranate juice bring antioxidants and fiber, avocado provides creamy satisfying fats, and Greek yogurt and vanilla protein powder deliver tons of protein.
What do you get when you combine avocado, banana, and peanut butter in a smoothie? An ultra-creamy and crave-worthy breakfast or snack that you’ll be making on repeat. Spinach adds an extra dose of nutrients, while vanilla protein powder and nut butter provide satiating protein.
With just four simple ingredients, this PopSugar smoothie manages to deliver 20 grams of protein, 14 grams of fiber, and 6 grams of healthy fats. The secret to such a nourishing smoothie? Cannellini beans. This mild white bean is loaded with protein and fiber and creates thick creamy texture. Soymilk provides even more protein, banana adds sweetness, and ground flax seed brings heart-healthy omega 3 fatty acids.
No need to sneak a slice of apple pie for breakfast when you can have this smoothie instead. Greek yogurt and vanilla protein powder provide tons of satiating protein while apple and antioxidant-rich spices like cinnamon, cardamom and nutmeg deliver all the cozy flavors of your favorite apple dessert.
With a balance of fiber, healthy fats, and protein, this smoothie will keep you energized all morning long. Antioxidant-rich blueberries and strawberries add subtle sweetness, creamy avocado and almond butter provide healthy fats, and vanilla protein powder keeps you fueled for the day.
If you like Greek yogurt in your smoothies, then you would probably enjoy swapping in cottage cheese for more protein and milder flavor like this Pinch of Yum Green Monster smoothie. Blend cottage cheese with spinach, banana, milk, and ground flaxseed for a simple protein-packed smoothie.
This Self Magazine smoothie might be dessert-inspired, but it’s loaded with nourishing healthy ingredients. Greek yogurt, almond butter, and oats combine to provide an impressive 23 grams of whole-food protein. Fresh digestion-soothing ginger adds delicious flavor and powerful anti-inflammatory and antioxidant effects.
Enjoy the flavor of hot chocolate but without the sugar crash. Thanks to chocolate protein powder and peanut butter, this smoothie is packed with protein to give you the post-workout energy you need.
We’re calling it now—chickpeas are the new cauliflower. This nutritious legume is popping up in everything from snacks to desserts thanks to its mild flavor, creamy texture, and satisfying fiber and protein content. It’s also a great whole-food alternative to protein powder in smoothies. If you’re ready to give it a try, we suggest starting with Minimalist Baker’s drool-worthy smoothie made with chickpeas, banana, dates, peanut butter, cacao and plant-based milk.
What’s the best whey to refuel after workout? With a delicious nutrient-packed smoothie made with kefir. In addition to providing beneficial bacteria that boosts your gut, kefir contains whey protein, which includes branched chain amino acids that help repair and build muscle. This smoothie also comes with vanilla protein powder, creamy avocado, and sweet orange and pomegranate juice for a protein-packed delicious way to recharge.
This plant-based protein adds creamy texture and tons of protein to smoothies without influencing flavor. Tofu is blended with antioxidant-rich beet, raspberry, rhubarb and spinach for a filling, fresh and Instagram-worthy smoothie from Food52.