Protein powder is expensive.

Sometimes I wince when shelling out the big bucks for a tub of powder. 

You too?

I guess the price per serving isn’t really outrageous when you really think about it. But there’s still a part of me that can’t stomach the priciness.

And my stomach definitely has a hard time stomaching store-bought protein powder, too. I’m not alone. A lot of people get some serious bloating from the stuff. (For real, there are whole forums dedicated to this topic. Go ahead and google.)

But…have you looked at what’s actually in protein powder? There’s tons of stuff that I’d actually prefer not to ingest, even in the “good” brands, and tons of stuff that I actually can’t ingest. (Why does it seem like every plant-based protein powder has chia seeds and coconut in it?)

Also, maybe can’t isn’t the right word. Because, yes, I can quite literally eat it, but it doesn’t go so well, if you know what I mean. Resisting the urge to insert a wink emoji here…

Like what, you might be asking? Stuff like xanthan gum or acacia gum and natural flavor. 

People lucky enough to have sensitive digestive systems, such as myself, can have trouble digesting gums, even if they’re natural. And you know how I feel about natural flavors.

And, to be honest, sometimes I feel like there’s so much “good” stuff packed into some of these powders that our bodies are on like nutrition overload. I think we have a hard time absorbing every last drop of nutrition from all the grasses and fruits and vegetables packed in there.

So what to do when you’re making your lunchtime smoothie and you want it to actually be filling and you’re pretty sure adding some protein powder is the way to go but you also don’t want to be feel bloated and craptastic afterward?

Why, make your own, of course!

Don’t run away! It’s not a scientific experiment with chemicals that require you to bust out your personal protective equipment (you know, your safety glasses, your gloves, your apron…) and your beakers. 

Seriously, friend. I wanted a protein smoothie after a long bike ride but definitely didn’t want the protein powder I’d been avoiding for a few months. (There was an…incident.) So I whipped this recipe up using stuff I already had in the pantry and fridge in all of five minutes.

Within ten minutes, I was happily sipping on my protein smoothie with nary a care in the world. Except cleaning up all the cocoa powder I accidentally spilled on the counter. 

Before we get to the recipe, how about a quick list of some places to get some plant protein? That you’ll actually want to put in your smoothie? I thought you’d never ask!

  • Almonds
  • Almond butter
  • Avocado
  • Broccoli
  • Cacao powder
  • Cashews
  • Cashew butter
  • Cocoa powder
  • Chia seeds
  • Coconut flakes
  • Flax seeds
  • Green peas
  • Hemp seeds
  • Kale
  • Maca
  • Oats
  • Peanuts
  • Peanut butter
  • Pecans
  • Plant-based milks (almond, coconut, hemp, soy, etc.)
  • Pumpkin seeds
  • Quinoa flakes
  • Spinach
  • Spirulina
  • Sunflower seeds
  • Sunflower seed butter
  • Tahini
  • Tofu 
  • Walnuts
  • Zucchini

Just so you know, most foods have some protein in them, so the next time someone asks where you get your protein when you’re sipping on a protein smoothie, you can very smartly reply, “Food.”

For my homemade protein powder, I raided the pantry and fridge, and found several of the items on the list above. Oh, the benefits of a well-stocked kitchen, am I right? I’m right. You can admit it. 

So I pulled out my cocoa powder, flax seeds, maca, oats, pumpkin seeds, and sunflower seeds and started tossing them in my trusty blender. (Sadly, I was fresh out of hemp seeds or else those bad boys would have featured prominently here. Feel free to add some in if you’ve got ‘em!)

The result? A perfectly mixable, perfectly plant-y, perfectly not gross protein powder that I feel good about eating and that I feel good from eating!


But we’re not done yet!

Imagine me saying that in my best infomercial salesperson voice. I don’t think I have one but just imagine it anyway.

You know I’d never leave you with something as awesome as a homemade protein powder and not give you an idea how to use it, right? So here’s how I used it. Super simple, no fuss, no muss (except all that mess I left on the kitchen counter)…


What are your thoughts on protein powder — yay or nay or…whey? And are you willing to try a homemade version? Let me know what you think!