Next-Level Ways To Sneak More Plant-Based Protein Into Your Diet
By now, we're all aware of just how important protein is to feeling and performing our best. We also know that protein doesn't have to come from animals. Plant-based protein sources are all around us—from simple foods like beans and nuts to fully balanced meal replacements like Naturade's VeganSmart All-In-One Nutritional Shake.
Over the last few years, there's been a surge in the number of people choosing to eat plant-based. For example, 1 in 4 Americans report eating more protein from plant sources today than they were just two years ago. However, there are still some who aren't quite sold on the trend—perhaps because figuring out how to get enough protein from plants can be challenging at first. And finding protein that's plant-based, easy, and delicious? That's enough to throw people off course. But we're here to show you why it shouldn't…
The quick 411 on plant-based protein.
There's a common misconception that a plant-based diet is inferior because no single plant contains all nine of the essential amino acids (i.e., the amino acids our body can't make on its own) that animal proteins do. But it turns out we don't actually need to take in all of the essential amino acids in one sitting. Eating a variety of plant sources throughout the day that collectively contain all nine essential fatty acids gives the body what it needs to function optimally.
Not only is plant protein more sustainable, kinder to animals, and more budget-friendly than a carnivorous diet, but plant-based eating has also been shown to support good health1. On the other hand, a diet high in animal protein has been associated with an increased risk of health problems like heart disease and diabetes2. This could be why plant-based eating has become a growing trend in the U.S., with plant-based food sales up 27% in 2020.
Plant-based protein made easy.
To ensure you're getting all of the nutrients you need from a plant-based diet, the rule of thumb is the more variety the better. But for those of us who are constantly on the go, preparing a diverse and delicious meal may not be easy. For this reason, we love Naturade's VeganSmart All-In-One Nutritional Shake. It acts as an all-in-one meal that satisfies so much more than just your protein needs—plus it’s only $1.50 per shake, which is way more affordable than a smoothie from the local juice bar.
Aside from a non-GMO plant-based protein blend, Naturade's Nutritional Shake contains 22 vitamins and minerals, digestive enzymes, a fiber and omega blend, and a whole food complex—a combo that contributes to helping you to feel great in your body! With four delicious flavor options, it's bound to be your new favorite busy-day meal. Just add two scoops to 9 to 11 ounces of ice-cold water, juice, or alt milk; shake well; and enjoy! Alternatively, add it to your favorite smoothie recipe, like the one below, for an extra kick of nutrition:
- 1 scoop of VeganSmart All-In-One Nutritional Shake in Chai
- 1½ cups of water or alt milk
- 1 frozen banana
- ½ cup of rolled oats
How to sneak plant-based protein in throughout the day.
Finding little ways to integrate protein into your eating routine is key to helping you reach your daily protein goals. Keeping nuts and seeds on hand for snacking, adding a scoop of almond butter to your apple, or throwing some high-protein edamame on your lunch plate are all great ways to get there. But to take things to the next level, consider getting creative with your food.
We love hiding Naturade's VeganSmart All-In-One Nutritional Shake in desserts and snacks to turn low-protein treats into high-protein staples. Here are some of our favorite ways to satisfy a craving while also getting in important nutrients:
Peanut Butter Chocolate Chip Blondies
- ½ cup GF flour
- 6 scoops VeganSmart All-In-One Nutritional Shake in Vanilla
- 2 Tbsp brown sugar
- Dash of salt
- 1 tsp baking soda
- 2 Tbsp coconut oil
- ¼ cup unsweetened applesauce
- ¾ cup peanut butter
- ½ cup unsweetened almond milk
- ¼ cup mini chocolate chips
- 1 tsp vanilla extract
- Preheat the oven to 350°F. Spray an 8-by-9-inch pan with oil and set aside.
- Combine the coconut oil, applesauce, peanut butter, almond milk, and vanilla extract in a large bowl.
- Gradually add the flour, VeganSmart Vanilla, brown sugar, salt, and baking soda to the wet mixture. Stir until combined.
- Add in the chocolate chips and mix.
- Pour dough into the pan and spread evenly.
- Bake for 20 to 24 minutes.
- Once fully cool, cut into even squares.
- Serve and enjoy!
Chocolate Avocado Mousse
- 1 ripe avocado
- 1 banana
- 1 scoop VeganSmart All-In-One Nutritional Shake in Chocolate
- 2 Tbsp 100% cocoa powder
- 1 tsp vanilla extract
- ½ tsp cinnamon
- ⅓ cup unsweetened almond milk
- ⅓ cup agave syrup
- Dash of sea salt
- Optional: berries for topping
- Combine all ingredients in a blender or food processor, top with berries, and enjoy!
High-Protein Banana Bread
- 1⅓ cup mashed ripe bananas (3 to 4 bananas)
- 2 tbsp ground flaxseed
- ½ cup almond milk
- ⅓ cup melted coconut oil
- 2 tbsp pure maple syrup
- 2 tbsp vanilla extract
- ¼ cup and 2 tbsp coconut sugar
- ½ cup rolled oats
- 1 tsp baking soda
- 1 scoop VeganSmart All-In-One Nutritional Shake in Vanilla
- ½ tsp fine sea salt
- 1½ cups whole grain flour (or GF flour)
- Sliced bananas and chopped walnuts for topping
- Preheat the oven to 350°F. Spray a pan with oil and set aside.
- In a mixing bowl, mash the bananas until smooth.
- Add the ground flaxseed, almond milk, melted coconut oil, and vanilla extract into the banana mixture. Stir until combined.
- One by one stir the sugar, VeganSmart Vanilla, oats, baking soda, salt, and flour into the wet mixture. Stir until there are no more flour patches at the bottom of the bowl.
- Pour the dough into the pan and spread evenly. Add toppings as desired, pressing them into the dough.
- Bake for 45 to 55 minutes. Once the bread is lightly golden and firm on top, remove.
- Let the loaf cool for 30 minutes. Remove the loaf from the pan and place on a cooling rack to finish cooling.
- Slice and serve!
Because protein plays several critical roles in the body, it's important to make sure you're getting enough of it—and plant-based sources are a sufficient way to do so. There are plenty of ways to meet your protein needs with plants that are creative, quick, and delicious. Naturade just happens to be one of our favorite, go-to sources for plant-based protein because it's affordable, it's ready within seconds, and it tastes great!
Ryan Brady is a Content Freelancer at mindbodygreen. She received her B.A. in Visual Arts from Yale University and is currently finishing her M.A. degree in Clinical Psychology, with concentration in Spirituality and Mind-Body Practice, at Columbia University.
Ryan is passionate about holistic health, fitness, and spiritually-centered living. She loves using her knowledge and personal experience to help others improve their well-being. When she’s not working or studying, Ryan can be found traveling to new places, snuggling her dog, or experimenting with gluten free, vegan baking.