Food

17 Ways To Add Protein To Your Smoothies Without Using Chemical Powders

Real food: safer, tastier, and way less creepy than those weird powders.

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Powders may seem like a healthy way to add protein to smoothies. But many, like Muscle Milk and Designer Whey, are actually filled with highly processed ingredients, chemicals, antibiotics, and heavy metals. Try these protein-packed real foods instead.

3. Flax Seeds

Flax seeds not only provide protein (2g/tbsp of ground seeds), they're also a super source of fiber and omega-3 fatty acids. Add to a smoothie for a nice nutty flavor. (Pro tip: Buy them whole for maximum shelf life and then use a coffee grinder to get their full nutritional value.) Get the Fruit and Oatmeal Flax Smoothie recipe here.

6. Chia Seeds

Chia has been a powerhouse food since about 3500 B.C. Full of fiber, omega-3 fatty acids (more than salmon!), calcium, and about 4 grams of protein per tablespoon, chia seeds are an easy way to add protein to your diet. And unlike flax seeds, you don't need to grind them to get to the nutrients. Get the Banana Raspberry Chia Smoothie recipe here.

8. Pumpkin Seeds

Pumpkin seeds are an easy way to add protein (3g/tbsp), magnesium, zinc, omega-3s, and lots of other nutrients to your diet. They're great in smoothies, but you might want to make it a dessert instead of a breakfast: Pumpkin seeds are also full of tryptophan, the sleep-inducing amino acid also found in turkey. Get the Frosty Pumpkin Seed Sweet Green Smoothie recipe here.

10. Quinoa

That's right. Everybody's favorite alterna-grain can add protein to your smoothies, too. One cup of cooked quinoa has a respectable 8 grams, containing all nine essential amino acids. The magnesium, fiber, and iron are nice too. Get the Strawberry, Chamomile, and Quinoa Smoothie recipe here.

11. Raw Egg

Just because Rocky and Gaston made it famous, does not mean eating raw eggs needs to be limited to just the bodybuilding set. Throw one in your smoothie for 6 grams of protein and a silky smooth texture. Choose organic, free-range eggs to up your nutrient levels and potentially lower salmonella risk. Get the Blueberry Banana Smoothie recipe here.

14. Sunflower Seeds

With 1.5g of protein/tbsp, sunflower seeds are another easy ingredient to add to your smoothie (even easier if you buy them shelled). They're also a good source of copper (for glowing skin and hair), Vitamin E (for good blood circulation), and folate (important for prenatal health). Get the Coconut Avocado Sunflower Seed Smoothie recipe here.

16. Hemp Seeds

One tablespoon of hemp seeds will add a whopping 5 grams of protein to your smoothie, making the wonder cannabis plant even more wonderful. Hemp seeds are also a good source of fiber, potassium, and iron. Get the Kale, Banana, Chia, Hemp Superfood Smoothie recipe here.