Protein. Ahhh. The illusive macronutrient non-vegans and vegans alike freak about not getting enough of. Now I’m not a huge proponent of protein powders as I think we are more than capable of getting all of our protein needs met by real, whole foods. However, in a pinch, they are a great meal replacement in a smoothie. Also if you’re a dude and wanna bulk up, or as a post gym recovery drink, I’m all for it.
When I first went vegan I used to be a soy fanatic. I had soy milk, processed soy meats like tofurkey, light life, gardein etc, and of course soy protein powder. When I started researching nutrition I found out about the dangers of high levels of soy, and have made an effort to cut back dramatically. Soy protein isolates found in these highly processed foods, made with caustic chemicals, are bad news bears. That being said, I think soy products are a great transition food to the vegan diet, and when consumed in moderation are no big deal. I have soy when I go out to eat, but try to stay away from it at home as much as possible.
So what vegan non-soy protein powder options are there?? Let’s get started:
Hemp is nature’s super protein super star. Hemp seed contains all the essential amino acids and essential fatty acids our bodies need. Not to mention hemp protein is super similar to proteins found in the human body, which makes them easy to digest and assimilate quickly. Best of all (and unlike other protein sources), hemp protein is also rich in fiber, boasting eight natural grams per serving. My favorite brand is Manitoba Harvest, which comes in several flavors and varieties to support all your taste preferences and nutritional needs! I use the HEMP PRO 70 variety – which is 70% protein by weight.
To order this and other Manitoba products click here.
This easily digestible and easily assimilated alternative is another great option. I personally don’t use it but I def know people who do. Pea protein is one of the bases for the amazing Brenden Brazier’s Vega line of protein powders. A lot of Whole Foods stores have them in single serving packets if you want to try.
Brown Rice Protein:
This is my favorite option ever since discovering the super delicious, super low cal Sun Warrior Protein Powder. At 85% protein, Sunwarrior has the highest raw whole grain sprouted vegan protein on the market. It’s a complete and hypoallergenic protein which is made up of all 9 essential amino acids and other non-essential amino acids in a perfectly balanced amino acid profile. It has a 98% correlation rate to Mother’s Milk and a 98.2% digestion efficiency making it one of the highest digestibility and efficiency ratings of any other protein sources (compared to whey and soy). That plus only 80 calories and no sugar for 16 grams of protein, are you freaking kidding me!!! Can I get a hallelujah! For more info and to buy click here. (Trust me you want to)
I’ve also tried the Vanilla which I liked a lot but the Chocolate is on a whole, notha, level. Seriously the best I have ever tasted vegan or otherwise.
So now that you have some options with your protein powder needs, I’m gonna share my super quick and easy protein shake with you. Hope you love it as much as I do!!
Arielle’s Chocolate Protein Shake:
1 scoop Sun Warrior Chocolate Protein powder
2 tablespoons Mantitoba Harvest Hemp Protein 70
1 frozen banana
1 – 2 cups almond milk (I use Whole Food’s unsweetened brand)
4 ice cubes
Stevia to taste (I use Kal stevia that comes in a dropper)
Blend in your Vitamix or other high-speed blender, sprinkle with cacao nibs, goji berries, and/or cinnamon, and enjoy!!
Hope everyone is having a great Monday! Let me know if you have any requests on what you would like to see me blog about next. Would love to hear your feedback!
x’s and o’s
Your Vegan Girlfriend