Shakes and smoothies are great ways to bulk up breakfast or support your body’s calorific and nutritional needs. Especially if you’re lazy, busy, or just enjoy being efficient with meal prep time! A pea protein smoothie is a great base for a nutritional shake that is super easy, quick, and convenient to make at home. In this post we’re going to take a general look at the pea protein smoothie and look at a few recipes.
Whereas now, I think of smoothies as a dietary necessity that I rely upon daily. A pea protein smoothie is my go-to base! This is mainly because of the simpleness and convenience of making one. Give me 1 minute in my kitchen and I’ll have a fresh, tasty, nutritious, refreshing snack or meal replacement/enhancer (depending on what you’re trying to achieve personally)!
Why pea protein?
Pea protein ticks the box as a sustainable, ethical, and healthy protein choice for many different lifestyle choices. If you’re vegan or vegetarian, it’s a non-dairy protein product. If you’re intolerant to soy, it’s soy-free. If you’re a frequent exerciser, it’s a well-regarded protein source. Pea protein also has a fairly low carbon footprint relative to some other similar protein sources.
Pea protein is not animal protein. I eat a mainly vegan diet for ethical and environmental reasons. Factory farming is appalling. Even the best animal welfare standards are generally low and supported by only a minority of people due to lower price alternatives. And eating more plant-based foods is generally more efficient and sustainable in terms of food production.
Pea protein is a ‘complete’ protein. This means that it provides all 9 of the amino acids that the human body cannot produce for itself and needs to obtain from food/drink. That said, for 1 of the 9 amino acids, methionine, is a bit low. But this can be obtained from other foods (beans, rice). So as long as you’re eating other things too as part of a balanced and varied diet, you’ll do fine! Read more about ‘is pea protein complete’ here. Pea protein’s amino acid profile is actually very similar to the standard whey protein.
If you’re interested in alternatives to whey protein or meat, you may consider soy protein isolate and soy protein products. However, soy contains exceptionally high relative amounts of substances called phytoestrogens, compared to a split-pea. Phytoestrogens can effect the normal hormonal balance in the body. There is evidence that this can be protective against some illnesses, and there isn’t conclusive evidence that it is always a problem. But high levels of these substances can sometimes result in undesirable consequences, such as the development of female characteristics in males. I’ve personally experienced a sudden onset of gyncomastia (developing breast tissue as a male), which subsided once I removed the large quantities of soy from my diet that I was eating. If you want to know numbers, search some journals, see this Nordic review and an investigation into the content of phytoestrogens of foods in Canada. If you regularly eat large amounts of a certain protein, pea protein may be a better choice than soy, if you’re looking to avoid phytoestrogens.
Pea protein smoothie – base and recipe
The perfect base for my pea protein smoothie consists of a non-dairy ‘milk’. I tend to use almond due to its availability at my local store. Though I’m aware that oat based ‘milks’ are more sustainable and am seeking a source out. Add to your blender:
- 250-300 ml ‘milk’
- 1 scoop (30g) of pea protein
- 2 heaped tablespoons of peanut butter
- 1 handful of mixed fruit (frozen, fresh, whatever)
You can also add in some nutmeg gratings (particularly with banana). If you want some more substance and chew, throw in some oats too! Then grind your mix to the consistency of your choosing. And consume heartily.
Check out the resources page for Pea Protein Smoothie supplies!