High Protein Vegetables for Your Morning Smoothie
By Sara Butler
Meat doesn’t hold the corner on the protein market because there are many vegetables that pack a punch of protein, too! When it comes to morning smoothies, you probably know the tried and true tricks to add protein in the form of beans, nut butter, or protein powders, but you may be leaving one healthy option out – the vegetables! Here are some great vegetables high in protein that go great in a smoothie.
It might surprise you to learn that peas have 8 grams of protein per cup! That’s more than an egg. Throwing a handful into the blender in the morning adds a natural sweetness that may surprise you. You can also use peas to make a protein pesto for your whole grain pasta. All you need is some peas, garlic, walnuts, lemon juice, and olive oil!
These spuds may sit firmly in your carbohydrate category but one medium sweet potato actually has 2 grams of protein. Steam or bake them, then throw them in the smoothie for a bit of natural sweetness and flavor. You can also make your own sweet potato hummus with garlic, tahini, and a little unsweetened almond milk.
Kale has gotten a lot of press over the last few years but it’s deserved. Kale is really good for you for a variety of reasons, including the 3 grams of protein that 1 cup contains. It makes a mean green smoothie!
Speaking of green smoothies, you can’t go wrong with spinach. With 1 gram of protein per cup of raw spinach leaves, you’ll get plenty of vitamins and minerals, too. Plus, it has such a mild flavor that you can add it to just about anything without altering the overall flavor too much. Popeye really knew what he was doing.
If you’re looking for some ways to expand your spinach portfolio, try to puree whole leaves with scallions, parsley, garlic, olive oil, and lemon juice to make a yummy green salsa for tacos or salads.
One cup of chopped broccoli will bring you 3 grams of protein. Steam it and add it to your smoothie in place of any other usual leafy greens. You can also add it to pasta sauce or casseroles – it goes with just about everything!
Add these foods to your diet to boost your protein!
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