12 Plant-Based Protein Sources For Your Next Smoothie



To say I love smoothies would be an understatement.


Quite frankly, I'm obsessed.


I make smoothies for my family almost every day of the year. Hot, cold, snowy, rainy... there's a smoothie for that!


I become engrossed in the process of building balanced smoothies because the outcome is rewarding, refreshing & incredibly impactful. My kids get a wide array of fruits & veggies and my husband and I have extra nourishment to fuel our busy days.


I talk about building smoothies because I believe it's about more than haphazardly combining fruits into a sweet-tasting juice. It takes some planning & strategizing to make it truly beneficial.


The real benefit of a smoothie comes from adding nutrient-dense veggies as well as fibre & a protein source. Why? Because these are the nutrients that are often overlooked; they make a snack functional, keep blood sugar balanced and keep you feeling full for longer.


For optimal health, fibre & protein should be considered for every snack and meal throughout the day.


Before I studied nutrition, I used to opt for the delicious bottled smoothies from the convenience or grocery store, but soon after drinking them, I'd start to crash. I learned that these store-bought drinks had too much unbalanced sugar (even if natural) for my body to rely on at snack time, so I began to experiment at home.


Now I make sure to include the following in every smoothie:


1) vegetables (great source of vitamins, minerals and fibre)

2) an additional fibre source (psyllium, ground flax, chia seeds)

3) a protein source


For me, it's #2 + #3 that make all the difference. When you pair protein (and fibre) with sugar, the body processes this fuel more slowly, keeping energy stable for longer. This was my missing piece!!


At first, I wasn't sure what foods to add to boost the protein content of my smoothies. All I could think of was dairy (yoghurt, milk), and that didn't always agree with me.


So, I took it upon myself to get creative and start a list that went beyond the obvious.



Here are my favourite plant-based protein sources for balanced smoothies:


  1. soy beverage, non-GMO, unsweetened (8g/cup = same as dairy milk)

  2. soft/silken tofu (5g/3oz)

  3. oats, uncooked (6g/0.5 cup)

  4. quinoa, cooked (4g/0.5 cup)

  5. peanut butter (4g/1 tbsp)

  6. almond butter (3g/1 tbsp)

  7. walnuts (9g/0.5 cup chopped)

  8. pumpkin seeds (6g/0.5 cup)

  9. hemp seeds (4g/1 tbsp)

  10. chia seeds (4g/1oz) *be sure to soak them so they're easier to digest!

  11. spirulina, blue-green algae powder (4g/1 tbsp)

  12. cocoa powder, dark (5g/1oz)


The food sources I listed above are all unique. Each food works well in a variety of recipes but not in every recipe. It takes a bit of experimentation to figure out the best combinations for optimal taste & function, so I encourage you to do just that! Find what works for you.


If you've read this far, thanks for coming along!


I truly hope that this article inspires your next balanced smoothie creation :)


Stay tuned for more smoothie tips in the very near future.







Ciara Morin, R.H.N.



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