Protein shakes are a convenient way to replenish your body after exercise, helping it to repair and strengthen.
Too bad most of them taste like liquid chalk.
Why? Because it’s hard to find a high-quality protein powder (minus junk, dairy and fillers), without sacrificing flavor and consistency. The market is flooded with options, but I think the folks behind Vega One Protein & Greens nailed it. Available in three flavors (chocolate, vanilla and tropical), it can be had for as low $1.27 per serving when purchased through Amazon’s Subscribe & Save program.
So far I’ve only tried the vanilla. It was fabulous. See my mess of a kitchen counter below.
No one, by the way, is suggesting that you displace fresh greens in your diet with a powdered version. Recipes like those found in my 10-Day Green Smoothie Cleanse post are still an excellent option.
But sometimes you run out. Or discover the greens in your fridge have turned to mush. Or are on the road for long stretches, without access to fresh produce.
Plus, there’s a smoothie for every purpose. I like to think of it as party smoothies (“Woo-hoo! I’m in the mood for a luscious frozen treat!”) vs. business smoothies (“I need a post-workout-recovery protein shake”).
This is a business smoothie…with a party in the back. And right now it’s my go-to, portable meal for that critical one-hour period following vigorous exercise. Each scoop has 20 grams of multi-source plant-based protein, and 2 servings of greens (alfalfa, spinach, broccoli, kale). After adding unsweetened almond milk and frozen fruit, I give it an additional boost by adding chia seeds, flax seeds and cacao powder.
(Is the cacao powder necessary? No. But I don’t want to live in a world without chocolate. So…that’s all I have to say about that. You can do what you want.)
The Vega One, chia seeds and almond milk combined provide me with almost 75% of my RDA of calcium. Which, as I get older, is becoming increasingly important for bone health. For those of you still concerned about carbs, know that each Vega One scoop, or serving, has 6 grams of carbs.
The most important thing is that it is delicious. And I don’t mean delicious-for-a-protein-shake delicious, where you try to psyche yourself out that it tastes good because it’s oh-so-good FOR you. No. It is chocolate-shake-from-the-malt-shop delicious.
I split my batch between two covered drink containers, have one in the car after my AM workout and shower (there’s just enough time between my house and the commuter lot to slurp it down), and have the other around 2 or 3pm when the chocolate munchies show up. In between I choose a healthy lunch option, and light dinner (usually).
It’s important to note that your consistency results may vary, depending on what type of blender you use. If you’re not using a commercial-grade model like the Blendtec above, or VitaMix, you may need to experiment and run several blend cycles to reach an acceptable level of smoothness.
Recipe below. Enjoy!
CHIA is the highest plant-based source of Omega-3, fiber and protein. It’s also loaded with vitamins, minerals and anti-oxidants.
FLAXSEED is high in Omega-3, lignin and fiber.
CACAO, in addition to its natural chocolate goodness, is known to be one of the highest sources of magnesium, flavanols and polyphenols.