Protein shakes have never really been my thing—they taste funky, and have a gritty, thick feel. After taking a reformer Pilates class at Formu+LA in Manhattan Beach last year, I ordered their chocolate protein smoothie to give it a try after the class (I absolutely LOVE that they have a cold-pressed juice bar in the studio!), plus, I knew by the end of the class I’d be starving but wouldn’t want to eat anything heavy after working out. I’m glad I did for two reasons: 1. The class totally kicked by butt—I was sore for two days afterwards!—and 2. The protein shake was REALLY good and didn’t even taste like the protein shakes I knew and hated.
The shakes they made included Vega, a vegan plant-based whole food-derived protein powder. I didn’t even know that existed—I only knew of whey, soy and hemp. Vega’s Chocolate Protein Smoothie is all natural, created with whole foods with ingredients such as pea and hemp seed proteins, broccoli, spinach, kale and alfalfa powders, and more. Equivalent to two servings of veggies, each serving contains 15g protein, 90 calories, as well as vitamins. Vega offers something for everybody with different smoothie flavors (vanilla, tropical, berry, natural, and chocolate), sport performance powders and Vega One All-In-One Nutritional Shakes. You can even get them to-go in single serve packets.
These days, I take a weekly mat Pilates (no reformers any time soon, thankyouverymuch!) and afterwards I drink this shake as my meal replacement. It is SO good, I actually look forward to drinking it!
(FYI- This post is in no way sponsored by Vega, I just really like their powder and want to share my discovery.)
Vegan Chocolate Banana Protein Smoothie
1 Banana, peeled (frozen would be even better!)
¼ cup Raw Cashews* (or substitute raw almond butter or raw peanut butter for a nuttier flavor)
½ – 1 cup Almond Milk
1 scoop Vega Chocolate Protein Smoothie
1 TBSP Chia Seeds
1 TBSP Flax Seeds
3-5 Ice Cubes
Add all ingredients to blender and blend on high for about 30 seconds or until all ingredients are incorporated. Looking to pack even more health into this smoothie? Add a handful of spinach—because the protein powder is plant-based, the spinach will blend well with the flavors and you’ll still get the chocolate-y banana taste.
*Tip: I typically soak my cashews in water overnight or for a few hours to soften them up. Also, if you want to add in even MORE protein and make it smoother (and non-vegan), you can add a couple tablespoons of Greek yogurt.