Monday, June 27, 2016

Vegan Stevia-Free Protein Powder!

You know, it's been a really long time since anyone's asked me "The Question." You know the one? The question that makes every vegan's blood boil — the dreaded "where do you get your protein?" Sometimes, it's genuine. But more often than not, that question comes from someone just trying to antagonize, someone who really doesn't give a crap where you get your protein (or any other nutrient for that matter).

But it's been so long since anyone has asked me, I almost long to hear it again. I feel like I have a much better (and totally sincere) answer. I used to just say, "tofu, beans, nuts, seeds, tempeh, seitan." And I do get protein from those sources every day, but I honestly get the bulk of my protein from protein powders. And while powders are certainly not necessary for sedentary folks, I think they're pretty important for vegan runners (and vegan athletes of all kinds). Protein helps rebuild muscle for faster recovery times. And over the years, as I've increased my mileage, I feel like I've become quite the protein powder connoisseur.

I've tried A LOT of powders. Some are okay. Some are just bad. And some are amazing. And Nutiva has come out with a new plant protein powder that falls into the latter category. Nutiva sent me a couple tubs of their Organic Plant Protein Superfood 30 Shake, and it's seriously delicious!

What sets this powder apart from others, taste-wise, is that it's not sweetened with stevia. Now I've actually grown to love stevia, especially in Vega powders. But stevia does have a certain aftertaste that turns a lot of people off. Those people would love this powder. And even for those of us who like stevia, this Nutiva powder provides a nice little change. It's lightly sweetened from fruit (cranberry, cherry, orange, blueberry, strawberry), and it's also loaded with veggies (kale, kelp, spinach, broccoli, carrot, beet, tomato).

Each scoop contains 20 grams of plant-based protein (from pea, pumpkin, sunflower, chia, hemp, and sacha inchi), digestive enzymes, superfoods (like baobab, moringa, and reishi mushrooms). But despite all those veggies and mushrooms, this powder tastes chocolate and vanilla. Plus, it has coconut milk powder, and when blended with plant milk and frozen fruit, this protein powder makes for a very creamy smoothie. 

You can shake it with water of course. But that's boring. I like my protein powder in my morning smoothies! So I developed a couple easy recipes using these new powders. The first one — a Chocolate Almond Banana Smoothie — is made with a simple homemade almond milk, and it's super-duper creamy. And the second — a Mango Lassi Smoothie — is perfect for cooling off from the summer heat.

Chocolate Banana Almond Smoothie
Serves one

1/4 cup raw almonds, soaked in water overnight, drained
1 cup water
1 medjool date, pitted, chopped
1 tsp. vanilla extract
1 frozen banana
1 scoop Nutiva Organic Plant Protein Superfood 30 Shake, Chocolate Flavor

Place the almonds, water, date, and vanilla in a blender, and blend until smooth and creamy. This is your homemade almond milk. There's no need to strain the pulp because it will incorporate into the smoothie.

Add a frozen banana, a scoop of chocolate protein powder, and a few ice cubes. Blend until creamy.


Mango Lassi Smoothie
Serves one

1 cup almond milk (or other plant milk)
1 container plain vegan yogurt (I used Kite Hill)
1 cup frozen mango chunks
1 tsp. cardamom
1 scoop Nutiva Organic Plant Protein Superfood 30 Shake, Vanilla Flavor

Place everything in the blender, and blend until smooth and creamy.


Jan Scholl said...

I have a 5 year old ask me that question. My grandson who is 3 asked me if I ate meat would I get sick (maybe after 40 years, I might!). So he says he will make me vegetarian sausage or meatloaf in his play kitchen. I need plain flavor...going to go see if they have that because I think I am the only female who hates chocolate anything.

Rachel R. said...

I am SO excited to see this - I'm one of those people who can't stand stevia, so I just use natural flavor protein powders. But sometimes you want some flavor, you know? So I'm totally going to look for these!

Sarah said...

Vegan protein powders have been upping their game so much lately! There are so many brands offering vegan protein powder, so many delicious flavors and a much better taste. it's great to see a new product out there and this brand is always great! I'll have to see if I can find this!

Jennifer said...

Good quality protein powder can make or break a vegan shake! I am pretty no fuss- just a tablespoon or two in my shake. But something as nice as vega is perfect for a smoothie bowl. I would love to see how much this blend is by nutiva. I like to have a fancy blend in addition to my no frills plain powders.