Whether you’re making breakfast, a post workout snack or a chilly beverage for a day by the pool, smoothies are a great option. That’s because they do more than just taste good; when packed with whole, healthy ingredients, they provide your body with a flood of vitamins, minerals and antioxidants. It’s easy to make body-friendly smoothies, but you can always take it up a notch. If you’re looking for your next smoothie addition, look no further than the following five protein-packed options.
Protein is important because it helps you feel fuller and more energized for a longer period of time. It also aids in rebuilding muscles, which is why it’s so vital to eat protein after a hard workout. You can even speed up your metabolism and ward off cravings when there’s enough of it in your system. What are you waiting for? Try one of our top picks for protein – all of which are protein powder-free – and see just how tasty and healthy your beverage can be.
1. Greek Yogurt
Greek yogurt is a great place to start if you’re weary of changing your smoothie too much at the beginning. It has a great consistency for mixing and drinking, especially if you add a little bit of almond or regular milk to thin it out. It also packs a protein punch, with an average of 12 grams per half-cup. Spoon it in and sip it down!
2. Hemp Seeds
When you pick up a bag of hemp seeds, you might be a little perplexed: How can such little things be so good for our bodies? Three tablespoons of hemp seeds contain a whopping 13 grams of protein. As if that weren’t enough, they also have body-bettering iron, magnesium and omega 3s. They have a pretty neutral taste to boot, so sprinkle them into any smoothie that’s on your menu and sip without even noticing how much protein you’re really having.
3. Silken Tofu
More traditional smoothie drinkers might gasp at the idea of creating one with silken tofu, but don’t say no just yet. The soft, smooth consistency of this particular type of tofu will make your concoction smooth and creamy. As if that’s not enough, it contains soy, which is a near-perfect protein: A2-ounce serving contains five grams of protein and all nine amino acids.
4. Pumpkin Seeds
These guys are much larger than hemp seeds, which mean they lend a bit more flavor to your morning beverage, especially if they’re roasted. Take advantage of their nuttiness when fall rolls around by mixing up a smoothie that features warm flavors like pumpkin, cinnamon, nutmeg and maple syrup. Two tablespoons will add 5 grams of protein to your creation.
It’s hard to believe, but a carb-based ingredient can also boost your smoothie’s protein count. There are plenty of benefits of adding oats apart from the 3 grams of protein that a half-cup scoop boasts. They’re great for your heart and they have been shown to lessen your appetite. If you’re already an oatmeal fan, you’ll look forward to sipping on this drinkable version. Bon appétit!