Protein shakes can be a great, quick meal replacement when you need to eat on the go.
They can also potentially help you lose weight, or at least reduce fat, and gain muscle mass.
You can go to a place like Jamba Juice or Robeks Fresh Juices & Smoothies to get a store-bought shake with protein in it.
And usually, they will be pretty delicious.
However, the cost of these store-bought protein shakes can add up over time.
When you start paying five or six dollars per smoothie, you have to consider the perpetual costs of going to a smoothie shop regularly.
Also, many of these commercial smoothies have added sugar, sometimes a lot of it.
So why not make your protein shakes at home?
The Benefits of Making Home Protein Shakes
There are many benefits to making home protein shakes. Here are just a few:
1. It Costs Less in the Long Run
Premium protein powder can cost an arm and a leg sometimes. However, in the long run, you will still pay less when you make your own protein shakes at home.
2. You Control the Ingredients
You have precise control over the ingredients when you make protein shakes at home. The truth is, you simply will not get this much control when you get shakes at a juice shop.
3. You Can Manage the Amount of Sugar
Whether it is real sugar, artificial sweetener, or high fructose corn syrup, sweeteners added to protein shakes and juices at commercial smoothie shops can be too much of a bad thing. You may not know what exactly is sweetening your shake. And even if you do know what it is, it may be more than what you really want.
4. You Can Take It with You
You can make protein shakes at home that you can bring with you on your commute. All you need is a reusable smoothie container, and you are good to go.
5. It is More Environmentally Friendly
Let’s face it: Disposable cups, plastic lids, and straws used at commercial smoothie restaurants end up in the trash and then the landfill.
When you make your own protein smoothie, you can use a reusable container that you can wash once you’re done.
6. You Have More Types of Protein Powder to Choose From
When you are making your protein shakes at home, you can use whatever type of protein powder you want. If you go to Robeks, for example, your choices are limited to whey protein, soy protein, and pea protein.
7. You Are More Likely to Lose Weight Than Gain It
The problem with going to a smoothie place for your protein shake is that it is likely to be very, very high in calories. If you are trying to lose weight using protein powder, you will not get very far this way.
Basic Materials to Make Protein Shakes
Making protein shakes and smoothies at home is quite easy. In fact, some protein shake powders just need water, and you are good to go. Here is what you need:
1. A Basic Blender
You do not need a super expensive commercial blender to make smoothies that work. You just need an inexpensive blender that can handle fruit. Unless you want to crush ice cubes, you should at least get a step up from the super cheapo blender at Walmart.
2. A Knife and Cutting Board
This is to chop up your veggies or fruit to put into the blender. You could also use a food processor, but that might be overkill.
3. A Protein Shake Container with Mixing Ball / Whisk
For those times you want to just have a shake made with protein powder mix and milk or water, you can get a special container that has a mesh whisk ball that goes inside. Or, you can buy the wire mixers separately. The wire ball helps distribute the protein powder easily.
4. Your Favorite Protein Powder
You can find many different types of protein powder. Some just have the protein in it, and others mix in sweeteners, fiber, flavorings, pro-biotics, greens, and supplements. Here are some different sources of protein for protein powder:
- Whey (Milk)
- Hemp Seeds
- Pumpkin Seeds
- Gelatin / Collagen
5. Your Favorite Animal or Plant-Based Milk
This is optional, as you can use water as well. You can use cow’s milk, goat’s milk, soy milk, almond milk, rice milk, hemp milk, or any other milk you like in your smoothie.
6. Fruits and Vegetables
You can collect a variety of fruits and veggies for your homemade protein shakes. Frozen veggies can be helpful because they can go straight into the blender from the freezer and help give your smoothie a real frozen shake texture.
You can put chia seeds, acai, flax seeds, and other types of superfoods into your smoothie.
You can also add vitamins, probiotics, and other supplements into your protein shake.
Sweeteners are optional, but depending on your tolerance, you can go full-on traditional sugar, try a natural sweetener like honey. Use a semi-natural artificial sweeter such as stevia, or throw all caution to the wind and go for full artificial sweetening with Splenda.
10. Other Smoothie Ingredients
Certain smoothie recipes include other types of ingredients, such as rolled oats.
A Basic Template for Making a Protein Smoothie
If you are new to making protein shakes, you may feel reluctant to experiment with the blender. However, once you get the hang of it, you do not need to follow a strict recipe to make a decent protein shake.
Here are the basic ingredients of any protein shake:
You need some sort of liquid to make your shake an actual shake and not a dry heap of protein powder. Liquid can be anything from water to fruit juice.
You can use ice cubes for a more slushy type of texture. Use milk (whether cow or plant milk such as almond milk) for a creamier texture. Use fruit juice for flavor. You can even use tea such as green tea as the basis for your protein smoothie.
You will need to experiment, but depending on the size of your blender, you may need some liquid to fill up the bottom fourth or third of the pitcher.
2. Protein Powder
The exact amount of protein powder that will work depends on the type of protein powder you have. You may have to experiment to see what works best.
You almost always need fruits to make a decent protein smoothie. A staple for smoothies is the banana. It adds sweetness and a very nice texture. It goes with EVERYTHING.
When in doubt, throw one whole banana into your smoothie. Then add a handful of other fruits.
Vegetables are optional but can include leafy greens such as kale, spinach, or romaine lettuce. You don’t have to throw in all of it – only a handful will do.
You can just add a little sweetener until it tastes right.
4 Make-at-Home Protein Shake Recipes
Here some easy protein shake recipes you can make at home. Enjoy!
1. Banana Blackberry Protein Smoothie
This delicious banana blackberry protein shake has “vanilla protein” as an ingredient, which means vanilla-flavored protein. However, you can use unflavored protein and then just add some vanilla extract to taste.
2. Kale Protein Shake
Kale is the current health food of choice, and of course, you can put it in a smoothie with your favorite protein powder. This kale protein shake recipe uses coconut milk for flavor and includes flaxseed meal.
3. Kale Shake Recipe
Here is another variation on the kale protein shake. This kale shake recipe from Dr. Axe includes a banana, red grapes, and a dash of cayenne pepper (optional).
4. Vegan Pumpkin Pie Protein Shake
Here is a twist on the protein shake – make a pumpkin pie shake. This recipe includes pumpkin puree and dates, and of course, some pumpkin pie type spices.
Enjoy Your Daily Protein Shakes
Having a protein shake for breakfast or lunch can be a great way to get a quick nutritious meal in.
Some people swear by their daily protein shakes for their ongoing health and wellness.
You can enjoy the benefits of protein shakes and smoothies by making your own at home. You can save money and have a delicious meal that you can take with you on the go.