Smoothies can also be a great way to sneak some extra protein into your daily routine.
With so many smoothie recipes and conflicting advice out there, it can be tough to know exactly what to add to a smoothie in order to make it rich in protein. Read on to learn much more about protein, and get low-down on three protein smoothies.
What Exactly Is Protein And Why Do We Need it?
Protein is an essential component of a healthy diet, and it makes up roughly 15% of an individual’s body weight. It is a micro-nutrient which is composed of amino acids, which are the building blocks of muscle.
Not only does protein help to build muscle mass, but it can also help you to feel fuller for longer. The exact amount of protein that you need to consume will depend on a variety of factors including your age, body weight and sex.
The Institute of Medicine actually recommends that between 10% and 35% of your daily calories should come from protein.
Smoothies will provide you with a host of vitamins and minerals in a form that is really easy to digest by the body.
They are super quick and easy to make plus they taste delicious, so what is not to love about the humble smoothie? Within a matter of minutes, you can transform a few simple ingredients into a tasty blended drink which you can enjoy at home or on the go.
Protein Building Ingredients
It’s a bit of a myth that you can only get high levels of protein by digesting meat or dairy products. Green leafy vegetables actually contain more protein pound for pound than red meat.
Things like peanut butter are also good protein builders, while hemp and chia seeds are tiny miracle workers when it comes to their protein count. Here are some high protein ingredients that you can use in your smoothies:
- Chia Seeds
- Hemp seeds
- Soy Milk
- Pumpkin seeds
- Greek Yoghurt
Protein Powders and Superfoods
There is also a huge selection of protein powders on the market. Which provide a really great way to pack a little extra punch into your smoothie. When choosing your powder, make sure that it is free from sugar or other added artificial ingredients, and that it is made from natural ingredients.
What Type of Blender Will I Need?
Luckily, there is a huge selection of blenders available to cater for all tastes and budgets. One of the most loved models on the market is the Nutri Bullet. This easy to use machine will enable you to mix up smoothies in under a minute.
You can also attach a lid onto the blender cup after you have made your smoothie so that you can take it with you to the gym or work. Nutribullets are great because they also allow you to make blended dips, sauces, and even some nut butter.
If you are looking for a very high-quality blender then you may want to think about buying a Vitamix. These machines are actually used by many restaurants and juice bars around the globe. They will blend your ingredients into a silky-smooth consistency – just be aware that they do come with a pretty hefty price tag.
How Long Will My Smoothie Last?
When you make a smoothie, it is best to enjoy it within the first couple of hours. You can place your smoothie into a fridge in order to extend its shelf life.
A nice way to speed up your smoothie making process is to store fruits and vegetables in the freezer and then just pop then into your blender as and when you need them.
Three Amazing Protein Building Recipes
#1. Banana Blast
Place one banana, 10 grams of soy yogurt, 100ml of nut milk, 1 tsp of peanut (or other nut) butter and 1 tsp of chia seeds into your blender and whizz it up. You can add a touch of cinnamon if you would like to give it a quick. Freeze Your banana before hand and you will end up with a creative ice cream style smoothie.
#2. Green Dream
Blend one cup of soy or nut milk, a handful of spinach, 1 cup of pineapple, 1tsp of hemp seeds and 1 tsp of flax seeds into your blends and whizz until smooth. You can add some ice if you want to to be a little cooler and more refreshing (just make sure that your blender can handle it).
#3. Fun Additions
You can really get creative in the kitchen and use these recipes as a base to create other recipes. You can play around with the consistency of the smoothie by adding water, milk, nut milk or coconut milk.
If you would like it to be a little thicker, then you can always add more banana. For a touch of sweetness, throw in some dates or use a natural sweetener or a drizzle of honey. Raw cacao powder will turn your smoothie chocolatey, plus it is filled full of antioxidants.
Superfood powders such as spirulina, chlorella, and even medicinal mushroom will also add something extra special to your protein drink.
So there you have it, everything you need to know in order to whizz up delicious protein smoothies. Time to raid your cupboards and get blending. Enjoy!
About The Author: Roy Jones is the lead editor of Blend It Nutrition, a website focused on smoothies, juicing and shakes. Visit Blend It Nutrition for the latest information on the best ingredients and recipes for smoothies.