Real Food Protein Smoothie

February 18th, 2014 at 9:09 am
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Real Food Protein Smoothie from Daily Bites

I made you a new smoothie! It’s packed with protein, healthy fats, and loads of blood sugar-balancing fiber. It’s also low-glycemic and can be made nut-free and vegan. Oh, and there’s no crazy protein powder in sight. Believe it or not, it’s made with REAL food!

Hopefully that’s enough to convince you to make it, but if not, then let me also say that it tastes great, too. I love berries in my smoothies, but sometimes they’re not all that sweet, so I use pure liquid stevia to naturally bump up the sweetness without adding additional sugar.

This smoothie offers about 20 grams of real food protein (when made with the grass-fed gelatin). Hemp seeds, chia seeds, and almond butter deliver both protein and beautifying fats that will keep you satisfied for hours. Gelatin, which I mentioned in last week’s post, offers additional protein and is completely flavorless, but if you’re vegan you can leave it out and you’ll still have a powerhouse of a smoothie.

If you’ve missed the other posts in my protein powder series, catch up here:

Real Food Protein Smoothie from Daily Bites

For the creamiest, most luxurious of smoothies, I use my Vitamix. It’s the Rolls Royce of blenders. People ask me if it’s worth the money on almost a weekly basis and I am quick to reply with a resounding YES. I’ve had the same blender for almost 5 years, giving it a workout at least 4 times per week (usually more). It has never once failed to pulverize an ingredient, started sparking or smoking (believe me, this happens with some blenders!), or given me a fit of some other kind.

I’m a Vitamix lifer.

That said, just about any blender will work for most of my smoothie recipes, including this one. You just might want to use chia seed meal instead of whole chia seeds.

Thanks for all of your feedback over the last few weeks as we’ve talked about protein powder and making the best choices. I’ve had a blast digging into this topic. The more I learn, the more I love sharing it with my people. :)

Happy blending!

Real Food Protein Smoothie

Serves 1

This protein-packed smoothie made without protein powder is full of heart-healthy fats and phytonutrients that will have you glowing from the inside out!


3/4 cup mixed frozen berries

2 tablespoons hemp seeds

1 tablespoon chia seeds

1 tablespoon unsweetened almond or sunflower seed butter

1 tablespoon hydrolyzed gelatin (optional)

Pure liquid stevia, to taste (I use 3 drops)

1/2 - 1 cup unsweetened almond or hemp milk


Blend all of the ingredients in a blender (I use a Vitamix), starting with 1/2 cup almond milk and adding more if needed as you blend. Enjoy!


  1. Good call on the Vitamix. I’ve tried about 5 different sub $150 blenders, they were meh. I bought a Vitamix CIA Professional series and its pretty amazing the difference a good blender makes.

  2. Debbie Reynolds said on February 19, 2014 at 10:38 am

    Hi Hallie, I’m curious as to why you would consider the gelatine, which is a processed food, to be preferable to a product like Manitoba hemp pro50, which is just pure raw hemp protein. The Manitoba hemp protein is also processed but it is lower in the food chain. I understand that the soil that the hemp has been grown in may contain heavy metals, increasing the amount of heavy metals found in the hemp seed. But my understanding is that there is some concern about the safety of gelatin because it comes from animal sources. Some people are worried that unsafe manufacturing practices might lead to contamination of gelatin products with diseased animal tissues including those that might transmit mad cow disease (bovine spongiform encephalopathy). Although this risk seems to be low, many experts advise against using animal-derived supplements like gelatin. Being higher up in the food chain, my concern would also be that this product could also contain heavy metals that the cows consumed from the grass they are eating as well as antibiotics and hormones. Please let me know your thoughts on this matter. I value your opinion as I see you really do your research.

    • Debbie: Thanks for your insightful comments! According to the reports I have seen, hemp protein is the cleanest and lowest in toxins, so the brand you mention could very well be a safe choice. Personally I don’t care for the flavor of hemp protein. Hemp seeds I don’t mind, but I just am not a fan of the raw protein powder.

      With any animal-based food, there are of course concerns with the heavy metal levels of gelatin. So it’s important to get the highest quality possible and to use it once in a while, not all the time. The brand I linked to (Great Lakes) is from grass-fed cows and is the highest quality gelatin on the market that I’ve found yet.

      I’ve been using it about once per week in my smoothies. But, I’m continually researching alternative sources of “blend-able” protein that’s clean and as low in toxins as possible. :)

      There is no perfect food. And as you said, even gelatin has it’s drawbacks. Like anything else, I recommend moderation and variety. It’s a suitable addition once in a while, but lest we become too dependent on one food, I think changing things up and getting protein from a variety of sources is key.


  3. Hi- I was wondering if you display the nutritional facts for all your recipes. Calories, sugar, protein and sodium are vital in my diet. Thanks, and love your website!

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