You’ve all probably heard of protein drinks, energy drinks, soy protein shakes or whey protein. Many people swear by them. They say it gives them more energy, that it’s an easy, fast breakfast, and a good way to lose weight or just get more protein – bodybuilders love it for that reason, too.
Here’s why I don’t like them:
- Many are made with soy protein, and by now you’ve probably heard that soy isn’t good for you unless it’s in fermented form and from organic soybeans so you know they’re not genetically modified.
- There is a much healthier option, and one that is almost as easy to mix up in the morning…
- If you're saying to yourself right now, “But this brand protein shake is good”, then read this post: Soy protein shakes, almond milk, and other fake foods people think are good for them.
Go here for a real food protein shake, otherwise known as a superfood smoothie!
Find more healthy breakfast options, and be sure to check out the comments, as always, for more great tips and ideas!
Do you drink protein shakes? How do you make yours? I'd love to hear your ideas!
- Here's a link to more info on oxidized cholesterol in dairy powders.
- Also, a newer post: Soy protein shakes, almond milk, and other fake foods people think are good for them.
how much whey do you put in the smoothie?
Erin, it’s all just to your taste and it depends on how many are feeding, maybe just start with 1/8-1/4 cup or so for a blender full?
I just got a blender and couldn’t wait to make a smoothie! I used my imagination here’s my recipe I just winged it. Chopped up pineapple cubed, raw milk, raw yogurt, about a cup of orange juice, one banana (a really old one) black in color was gonna toss it! One egg from local farm everything is organic btw, and a bunch of cinnamon probably two tablespoons ( I like cinnamon ) 3or 4 ounces of real maple syrup. I didn’t measure anything. I turned on blender to liquefy, made sure everything was thouroghly mixed. It made 2 large glasses of the yummiest stuff ever. I knew I was missing something, next time I’ll add about 1/2 cup whey! I make whey from raw milk. Sally Fallon showed me how in nourishing traditions. 😉
Suze that sounds super tasty and loaded with nutrients, too! Thanks for sharing. 🙂
Great article on protein, I love all the info and cant wait to try some of the ideas.
Now that I’ve got a baby and will be working less, I’m trying to be less wasteful (making stock from bones, blending veggie scraps, freezing leftover tomato paste, scouring the pantry for forgotten items, etc.). I’ve recently made simple goat cheese and saved the whey. My question is this: In the process of making cheese, I had to add vinegar (some use lemon juice) to make it curdle and separate. Is whey still whey when you know there’s vinegar in there? Can you still use it the same way for preserving veggies?
I just decided to freeze some cubes of it to add to smoothies. Here’s hoping my hubby can’t detect it!
why isn’t it OK to put raw milk in a blender?
Kelly the Kitchen Kop says
I’ve never heard that & can’t imagine why that wouldn’t be ok, where did you hear that?
I am new to the concept of blogging and to this particular blog. I love it. I hear so many great ideas and so much grace in each person. Thanks everyone and especially Kelly who started this blog.
Does anyone use gelatin or nutritional yeast in smoothies for extra protein?
Is nutritional yeast okay for someone who may have candida?
Melody Joy says
Love this recipe, Kelly (or formula? Since it is so versatile). My husband and I just tried it for the first time & it was a big hit!!
I know this is an oder post, and not sure if the person who posted about the kale cubes is still reading, but I thought that idea was AWESOME! I eat smoothies every morning and that would be a great way to get some extra nutrients/greens, since I know I probably don’t eat enough of them!
So, I went and bought a bunch of organic kale yesterday, steamed it, threw it in the food processor and packed it into ice cube trays. But it was kind of hard to work with. I couldn’t really pour it in, I had to kind of scoop it in and the little chopped up pieces got all over the place. It just wasn’t quite as smooth and liquidy as I was imagining it would be.
It still got the job done as far as a convenient way to add greens to a smoothie. I quite enjoyed it with my smoothie this morning! But, is there a way to make the processed kale more… pourable and easier to work with? Like, should I add a little bit of water to the food processor, or even a little milk or something?
I really enjoy your blog, and am looking forward to making this smoothie base to simplify my mornings. I am wondering one thing though: how do you know how much protein is in your whey? I did a quick google search and found that whey is actually not all that high in protein. Do you know of a way to get a good protein boost into a shake? I need about 30 g protein in my morning smoothie.
Yes, just add more egg yolks! 🙂
So it’s the eggs that add the protein, not the whey? So, you just add whey in for probiotics?
Yes, but it still has some protein too, as far as I know.
I am wondering. Do you put the liquid whey you make into smoothies? If so how much would you use and what would be the protein amount in whey?
Yes, liquid whey is an awesome addition to smoothies, put in as much as you want. Start with a little, taste-test, and go from there. No idea how much protein, but it doesn’t matter, add raw eggs for more protein, etc. and you’ve got REAL food and nutrients. 🙂
Have you thought of using real maple syrup instead of Agave? (Sally Fallon calls Agave, “High Fructose Agave Syrup”.)
Also, have you seen this post? https://kellythekitchenkop.com/low-carb-broccoli-cheese-soup
I use stevia and some agave nectar in my fruit smootjhies , LOVE it , BUT I only found one brand that I do like STEVITA , I get it from AZURESTANDARD.COM
I also have a request , for a cream of broccoli soup without it turning out flourescent green ,I heard your supposed to ise chicken stock or broth
Oops, I realize I just clicked on this in a sidebar and this wasn’t part of today’s Monday Mania — but maybe it should be now, since this is a relevant and timely topic!
I’d love to know more about Karen’s comment that putting raw milk in a blender is not recommended. Is that someone’s hunch that it resembles homogenization and can distort the proteins and nutrients? Is there a source you could share where someone has looked at this? I use raw goat milk kefir in my smoothies, and sometimes add some raw goat milk as well (which is naturally homogenized), and I use one of those inexpensive Black & Decker blenders that isn’t as powerful as some top-of-the-line blenders. If blenders are thought to be detrimental to raw milk, does it matter what kind of blender? I wonder if Sally et al have looked into this.
I also wonder if adding organic store-bought peanut butter (rather than homemade from soaked/sprouted peanuts) would potentially block mineral absorption of the other ingredients because of the phytate content.
Anyway, this is an intriguing post and I’m glad it’s being revisited via the Monday Mania carnival via The Healthy Home Economist, etc.
I often add a splash of homemade kombucha to our smoothies, and it’s a great way to use the little scobies that form in the individual bottles. And for those concerned about using raw egg yolks because of the salmonella egg scare, if you buy eggs from a small scale farm that raises the hens out on pasture sans antibiotics and hormones, you can be assured that it’s safe, and FAR safer than those commodity eggs. Raw egg yolks are a great addition to smoothies!
Wow, what a great nourishing drink for your son and growing baby!
Thanks for spreading the word about my site. 🙂
Your website has been very helpful to me. My 20-month-old son and I eat a protein smoothie nearly every day. It’s the only way I can get him to drink milk. I add a ripe banana, raw egg yolk (fresh from the farm), vanilla, yogurt if I have it, peanut butter, cocoa powder and ground flax seeds. I blend it together then afterwards add my raw milk, as I read that you shouldn’t put raw milk in the blender. It’s like a peanut buttery chocolatey milkshake, but good for you. My son loves them and asks for one almost every day. And now that I’m pregnant again it’s a great source of protein and calcium for me too. Thanks for your blog! I’ve shared it with several friends too!
Gena & Ellie,
Minimal heat & processing is still more than none, so I’ll stick with the fresh whey, but just do the best you can!
I saved a step with my last batch of whey. My jar of raw milk sat in the fridge until it seperated on its own. (Read, I forgot about it!) I just carefully pour out the whey when I use it, and if bits of cream cheese threaten to follow, I just use a small sieve as I pour it into whatever I am using it for.
Dr. Mercola’s whey powder is made with raw milk and minimal heat and processing. Read more here: https://products.mercola.com/pro-optimal-whey/ I hope this helps. I must say making your own whey is not hard, just set some raw milk out in a jar until it curds (about 24 hours), then dump it through a cheese cloth lined sieve set over a large bowl or pot, and let it drain for a few hours, and you’ll have whey and raw milk cream cheese to boot! Though it is nice to have the powder when you just haven’t got around to making your own whey!
Eleanor K. Sommer says
So is dried whey (whey powder) OK? I know dried milk products are not thought to be healthy by Sally Fallon (because of the oxidized cholesterol, I think.) If I could use dried whey, it would certainly make my life a lot easier! Any thoughts or comments?
Eleanor K. Sommer
I purchased some whey powder from Dr. Mercola, it is from grazing herds and is rBGH and rBST free. The vanilla is great! To this I add raw milk or homemade kefir, cod liver oil, coconut oil, and a little ice, it taste great without sweetener. Sometimes I add fruit, but usually I just want the extra protein, so I try to avoid adding carbs. I am going to try adding egg yolk next time, super nourishing! Since Mercola’s is kind of expensive, when I run out, I’ll have this recipe to fall back on, thanks! I often have whey from making yogurt cheese, and raw milk cream cheese, I usually put it into pancake mix that I let sit all night, but this is a great way to use it raw, do you not taste the bitterness?
Ellie, you didn’t sound like a whiner, you sounded normal! We all get overwhelmed at times!
Annette, your very own mint patch?!! Can you say, “Mohitoes”?
Fatima, thanks for the scoop on the whites! No, I don’t taste a bit of egg in our smoothies, or anything else, either. 🙂
Laura, isn’t that amazing that with kids it’s all in what we call it?!
My kids asked me to make an avocado smoothie this morning. So I threw in 4 avocadoes, a few strawberries, cinnamon, egg yolks, and water (we are on GAPS intro and can’t have dairy or coconut milk). Well, this thing turned out to be wayyyy too thick to drink, even when I added some more water, so I decided to call it pudding. The kids loved it and want me to make it again!!
Another idea for those who have our current food restrictions is to make an “egg nog” smoothie using rooibos tea (yum!), nutmeg, ice, and some pastured egg yolks. I also add a bit of cinnamon. Though it’s not as thick as traditional egg nog, it has a surprisingly milky taste. And rooibos (redbush) tea is super as a liquid base for smoothies when you can’t use anything else. Sure beats plain water, anyway. 🙂
I long for the day when we can have real milk again!
Love the post and everyone’s comments. I read some of them yesterday and was able to use the rest of our kale in smoothies this morning. Thank you! I didn’t know what to do with it. I had used the bulk of it in soup and then added some to my eggs the other day. My oldest wanted to know if I had added green stevia powder since the shakes were definately green. I’ll try steaming the kale first next time.
The deal with consuming raw egg whites: egg whites contain a protein called avidin (this is destroyed during cooking) that binds to biotin (a B vitamin, and egg yolks are a good source) and prevents our bodies from absorbing it. So consuming a bunch of raw egg whites isn’t a good idea because you’re not going to be absorbing any biotin you eat.
I’ve never tried raw egg yolks in smoothies, not necessarily because of health qualms (i just snacked on some cookie dough today), but I’m not a fan of the taste of raw egginess. I’m curious – do your smoothies taste eggy or is the taste pretty well hidden?
Sustainable Eats says
The kale and kelp are brilliant – I can’t wait for morning now! I would make one right now but I know with that many late night veggies I’d be up all night…
We used to make an orange julius smoothie: OJ, vanilla, yogurt, egg yolk and we had an Aztec special: cocoa powder, honey, cinnamon, almond butter, yogurt and we had our candy cane special: cocoa powder, vanilla, yogurt, honey and mint simple syrup cubes we had frozen from our mint patch but you could use a tiny bit of mint extract if you were smart enough to pot your mint like I wasn’t. I’m dreaming of a lavender/dandy lion smoothie once the blossoms hit next month. Not sure how it will taste yet but it’s been on my mind for some reason. I have cherries in the freezer from the neighbor’s tree still so I can’t wait to try some kale and cherry in the morning. Thanks for the ideas!
Margaret Merkel says
We have found that tart fruits work very well at blending with yogurt smoothies. We use 1/2 quart plain raw milk yogurt, 2-3 bananas, 1/2 cup tart frozen cherries – and a few cranberries. By using sour tasting fruits – it’s kind of strange but there seems to be no need for additional sweeters.
Yum! I make green smoothies for breakfast several times a week – just yogurt, frozen berries, four or five kale cubes and enough OJ (or sometimes extra whey) to get the blender going.
What are kale cubes? I just steam four or five bunches of kale at a time (for six minutes) and then blend it and pour it in ice cube trays and freeze. Originally, I made them for baby food, and then developed my green smoothie by trying to use up said baby food cubes – and now I just make them for me! Steaming and freezing it reduces the oxalic acid (since I’m having them several times a week) – plus it reduces the “green” flavor. With the addition of the berries, it doesn’t even come out green tinged at all . . . I can sneak it to those unsuspecting people who question things like greens in smoothies! 🙂
I can’t wait to start adding back in egg yolks once I’m not pregnant anymore (for now, my egg source isn’t that fantastic so I’ve been eating them cooked rather than raw) – and I’ve been contemplating adding in coconut milk too! Yum!
I use whey powder,flax seeds,chia seeds and kelp granules, sometimes organic rice milk,sometimes organic coconut milk ,agave when it’s a fruit smoothie and whatever fruit I have usually always a banana, frozen organic strawberries or blackberries. for green smoothies I use V-8 juice and raw greens ,leaf lettuce,celery,carrot &/or beet tops, kelp granulesand always a thumb of garlic and a plug of ginger root.ALWAYS the garlic ,oh so delicious .
Sustainable Eats says
Eleanor, you didn’t sound like you were whining at all! I have more time at home then most people do because my kids are so small and not in school yet. It’s not very productive time mind you but at least I am here. Now, if they were both in school full time I suspect I would not be doing quite as much stuff. Only time will tell…and we’ll see how much longer until there is a full blown mutiny over here.
Hugs to you,
Eleanor K. Sommer says
Wow! I am so encouraged by those who responded to what now looks to me like whining–but some days I am really tired and want some magical person with nutrition savvy to come into my house and cook for us (this person could also clean up, build the addition and wash the dog too!). Kelly, you have attracted a wonderful group of compassionate, intelligent, and creative people. What a wonderful online social network.
Seriously, thanks everyone. I look forward to reading about easy tips and short cuts for cooking the Nourishing Traditions way. We have a long way to go. I still can’t wean my husband off the “designer whey” although I did convince him to give up the soy sludge.
I like the idea of letting the raw milk sit out. That I can get at the farmer’s market. I do use the whey from the yogurt, but there’s not a lot of it, and we only go through about a quart of yogurt a week.
Eleanor K. Sommer
Raw Cacao powder is the bomb in raw milk. I haven’t found raw cream yet but will look for some. Sweeten with maple syrup.
Wow – so much great information and comments here, once again. Food Renegade – while I get my protein powder from one of my favorite (and trusted) supplements companies (Designs for Health), you have given me pause since I already add a fair amount of protein through natural sources like nut butters and flax, etc. (see my Green Smoothie post – https://cook4seasons.com/archives/green-smoothie/)
Annette and Eleanor – I am so with you and often wonder the same thing: Kelly, the super woman, who writes such in-depth food articles and has a totally crazy life like the rest of us. Quite impressive, everyone!
Michelle, yes, try gently warming these so they’re like a steamer, you’ll love it!
Beth, how fun that your daughter is getting the word out about Real Food! Tell her I think she’s awesome! Egg whites: I heard somewhere that you shouldn’t eat raw egg whites, can’t remember where, I just know I’ve never used them uncooked…maybe someone else can jump in on that…?
Eleanor, you’re the 2nd person this week to ask that very question and I have just the thing planned to help you – next week for Real Food Wednesday, I’m putting that question out there. I’ll share about my daily routine, and then I’m hoping others (who are much more organized than I am in the kitchen) will jump in. I especially hope that some who work outside the home will share, too.
The main thing, though, is to remember my favorite motto, “I can only do what I can do.” When I’m running 50 miles an hour through my whole day, I try not to get mad at myself for not being able to fit more in. It sounds like you’re already doing a LOT! Just do what you can, and work the rest in as you’re able.
I have tried and tried to make a wholesome protein shake, and have drank about a billion of them. My problem: I like HOT food, rather than cold. Plus I hate peanut butter and/or bananas. So, I tend to do soup for breakfast rather than shakes. I have been really busy lately and have been looking for a quick shake so I will try your tips to see if it helps 😉
Sustainable Eats says
It is tough! It is my sleep time but I’ve found as I become more familiar with this cooking it takes less time and brain power. Take baby steps, add one thing per week every week. If that’s overwhelming add one thing per month every month. Cook big when you cook and freeze leftovers. https://sustainableeats.wordpress.com/2009/03/16/tired-of-food-recalls/
Whey takes no time at all to make – either drain what separates off your yogurt which is usually 2 tablspoons (enough for just about any recipe) or just leave out 1/2 gallon of raw milk on the counter in a larger container for 24-48 hours until it separates. Then you can drain the curds to use in baking and bottle your whey to put in the fridge. https://sustainableeats.wordpress.com/2009/03/09/making-whey/
Some of these things don’t take longer, they just require planning ahead (the brain power part) that is the hardest part for everyone.
Cheesemaking, however, is a whole different realm. It is the most time-intensive thing that I do. But we spend more money per pound for local dairy cheeses then anything else so I’ve made it my challenge for this year.
Your blog is lovely – I wish we had similar native plants in the Pacific NW.
Eleanor K. Sommer says
I have read Nourishing Traditions and attended several lectures by Sally Fallon. I do what I can (i.e., have time for), but I am mystified at how so many people are able to, for instance, make cheese so they have fresh whey! I have a full-time job and I am trying to write a book and keep up with neophyte blog, have a 100 lb dog with enormous exercise needs, a Vietnam Vet husband with PTSD, two vegetable gardens, and 10 acres of land to keep up with.
How in the world do you keep up with all this good food preparation you write abour, take care of your children and house, and post regularly to a blog as well? Who has time to make cheese? I barely have time to soak the grains for breakfast and the flours for pancakes and soak and dry the nuts. Some of the other recipes and food prep options are out of my league due to time constraints.
How about a column for people with jobs and other constraints? Or who live in areas where locating fresh whey and other such ingredients might mean an hour drive somewhere? I would like to hear from others who are trying to live the Nourishing Traditions ways within such limitations.
Eleanor K. Sommer
DD wanted to enter a smoothie in the county food show so she had to write up a ‘recipe’ to go with it. Here’s her ‘recipe’:
1 Cup whole plain yogurt (store-bought or homemade)
David, my kids would LOVE this, too! As a matter of fact, I’m going to make us some for lunch today, except I’ll probably throw in a couple egg yolks…
Kristen, I guess it depends on your body. If you’ve improved quicker in the past when avoiding protein, stick with that, and just drink this for good nutrition when you’re not sick.
Gee, wonder why I can’t get anything done today, I’d better stop checking comments for a while, eh?!
Here is my recipe for a banana/peanut butter smoothie – I have one almost every morning
1/2 C raw milk
1/2 C organic yogurt
1 T organic peanut butter
1 C ice
Blend everything together – very good!!!!!
Wait a minute…you said you might do this when you are trying to heal the immune system. I thought dairy and protein are harder to digest, which directs your body’s energy toward digestion and not healing. The last time I got sick, I didn’t eat much protein and I recovered much quicker (though I did take a lot of alfalfa and garlic!) So, just curious if that is the best thing to do when getting ill.
Once again I need to go edit my post to make sure people see these comments with such great ideas!
Annette, on top of things I am not, the kids are on spring break so we’re doing something fun every other day and I’m working on the opposite days – today is work day and I’ll never get through my to-do list!
Sustainable Eats says
OK now I need to get some coconut milk. I didn’t know you could do that! Thanks for the tip Alyss.
I make kefir smoothies a couple times a week and love them! I usually have frozen fruit from the previous summer (black berries, raspberries, strawberries and peaches are most common) and sweeten it with a little maple syrup. I like to add an egg yolk whenever I have good eggs and have even enjoyed a little nut butter in the mix. My all time favorite though is coconut milk kefir with fruit – whoa! So good! I just drop my kefir grains in coconut milk for a day, rinse them off and put them back in milk. The resulting liquid is sweet and frothy and coconutty and fatty… yum yum yum!
Sustainable Eats says
Thanks for giving me more ideas. We did Juice Plus shakes and love them but they do have some soy protein in them (although they also have garbanzo protein) so I’m trying to phase them out. Why I’m not saving my whey from cheesmaking I have no idea. What a no brainer!
Thanks again – you are so on top of things. I don’t know how you come up with all your post ideas given what must be a chaotic household with all the kids running around all day.
We also get more protein in by adding nut butters or soaked nuts into the mix. Soooo yummy. We also add fat (coconut oil) so that it can truly be a meal replacement and keep you full longer.
We eat smoothies almost everyday. And, we usually make them “green” by blending in spinach or kale (minus the stems). You can’t taste the greens when they’re matched with the fruit, and they make the shake that much more nourishing.
thanks so much, I’ve been raised on organic grass fed mineralized raw milk for some time, and I have actually never thought to put the WHEY protein in my smoothies!!!! I just wanted to make sure I was on the right track…. so thanks for being literally the only place on the internet that talks about putting WHEY in smoothies, not whey protein!
Im interested in this documentary as well, we’ve been certified for 22 years and recently I’ve developed a business to ensure the marketing plan is in place to move the product that my family raises, so using my business degree and my farming roots – we for SURE do believe in family farming, I’d love to get ahold of the people who are doing this documentary, I’m not sure if your in the states (likely are), Im in Canada, but I’ve got plenty of people from both sides of the story that would make for some interesting viewing!
Thanks so much again for your help – Its kinda crazy I already use the whey for preserving after I make cheese, just didnt think to put it in smoothies, I LOVE the idea of ice cubes!!! they are already in my freezer – Cant WAIT!!!