I’m normally not one for protein drinks, but this cinnamon chocolate protein smoothie tastes more like dessert than anything else. While it’s perfect for enjoying after a long run, I’ll occasionally make it for an afternoon snack when I know I’ll be having an especially late dinner. Because the ingredients are so healthy, I feel that I’m really feeding my body as opposed to simply consuming something that will keep hunger at bay.
Garden of Life’s Raw Protein: Beyond Organic Protein Formula is hands-down my favorite of its kind. Made from the raw, organic sprouts of brown rice, amaranth, quinoa, millet, buckwheat, lentil, flax, sunflowers, pumpkin, and chia seeds, it also packs in probiotics, enzymes, and vitamins A, D, E, and K. And it’s gluten free! Although filling, it seems to play nice with the ol’ digestive system. Ever wary of added sugar, I especially like that there’s less than 1 gram of sugar per serving and no artificial sweeteners.
With that in mind—indulge guilt-free! The banana gives the smoothie its creaminess and reduces the “chalkiness” often associated with protein drinks. Cinnamon helps regulate blood sugar levels while chia seeds add extra protein and omega-3 fatty acids.
Chocolate Cinnamon Vegan Protein Smoothie
2 cups almond or coconut milk (or a mix of both)
½-1 scoop protein powder (1 scoop is about 3 tbs.)
1 tbs. chia seeds
1 banana (fresh or frozen for icecreamyness)
1 tsp. raw cacao powder
¼ tsp. vanilla extract
¼ tsp. cinnamon
stevia to sweeten (I used 1 packet)
Thoroughly blend all ingredients except chia seeds. Pour smoothie into a glass and stir in seeds (after while chia seeds “glue” themselves to things—they’re not fun to clean off the blender!)
Also in Healthy Snacks: Watermelon Detox Juice
Photos: Mary Hood