jaffa smoothie recipePeople ask me all the time what my favorite vegan protein powder is, and up until last year when I joined a gym and stopped eating like a raccoon that lives in an all-vegan dumpster, I honestly had no idea because I’d never tried one. Fast forward to now when I down a nutrition shake every morning for breakfast and I’ve definitely separated the studs from the duds.

Everyone’s tastes and dietary preferences are different, of course, so don’t take these picks for gospel. They’re just some suggestions from someone who has tried a LOT of vegan protein powders in 12 short months. It’s my personal preference to blend my smoothies with a low-sugar blend of frozen berries and unsweetened cashew milk. I only ever drink them mixed with water in an emergency. So if you’re a simply water or ice-blender, these will all be slightly less sweet than what I describe. Also, most of these are considered a nutrition shake, or meal replacer, but always double check the nutrition panel to make sure your protein powder has everything you’re looking for.

1. Aloha Organic Protein Powder

This is my current favorite, as it has a really good chocolate flavor without being too sweet, and it blends really smooth and not chalky. The ingredients list is simple (only 12 ingredients in this flavor, which includes a variety of real-food proteins like hemp and pumpkin seed) so I don’t feel like I’m drinking a concoction as much as I feel like this is a whole foods smoothie. It’s also available in Vanilla, Mixed Berry and Banana, which I haven’t tried yet, and you can get it in single-serve pouches for travel. Buy it on Amazon 

Protein: 18g

Sweetener: Monk Fruit

2. Vegan Smart All-In-One Nutrition Shake

A couple years ago I met John “Bad Ass Vegan” Lewis at Green Fest in San Francisco. He was at the VeganSmart booth and persuaded me to try the Chocolate flavor, even though at that point I hated this sort of thing. But out of Midwestern politeness, I tried it, and was surprised that it was actually pretty good. Now this one is sweetened with Stevia, but it also contains several fruit powders as part of its whole food complex, and I believe those natural sugars cut the bitter aftertaste that makes most people have Stevia. These shakes come in lots of flavors ranging from the standard Chocolate and Vanilla to more adventures ones like Chai and Peaches and Cream. Available in tubs and in travel pouches. Buy it on Amazon

Protein: 20g

Sweetener: Stevia, with other fruit powders

3. Orgain Organic Protein Powder

Ingredients-wise, this one isn’t my favorite, but I did pick up a jar of the Peanut Butter flavor when I found myself scooping peanut butter powder into all my smoothies for flavor. It tastes pretty good, and the ingredients are organic – but there are quite a few thickeners and preservatives in there that don’t show up in some of my other top picks. This one is available unflavored and unsweetened, or in a lot of flavors like Pumpkin Spice and Iced Matcha Latte. Sometimes you can grab it really cheap at Costco, or on Amazon, though, it even though it’s made with Stevia I haven’t found it bitter when I blend it with frozen fruit. Buy it on Amazon

Protein: 21g

Sweetener: Stevia, or unsweetened

4. Sprout Living Epic Protein 

This is a good option for an ingredient purist – no gums, no “natural flavors” and there’s even an option with no Stevia. With up to 26g of protein, depending on the flavor you choose, this is the highest protein option of all the ones I’ve tried. I like the blends they put together, too, it takes the guesswork out of adding superfoods to your smoothie. One other bonus to this brand, the multi-serving option comes in a resealable pouch instead of a big plastic tub. It takes up less room in your kitchen and it less to recycle or throw away when it’s empty. Four flavors are available right now. Buy it on SproutLiving.com

Protein: 19-29g

Sweetener: Stevia, or unsweetened

5. Carrington Farms

This is another one for clean label freaks – between only three and five ingredients! Obviously with such a short list of ingredients you aren’t going to get all the prebiotic, whole foods complex bells and whistles of some of these other options but the beauty is you can add whatever you want and not worry about drinking a bunch of weird thickeners and additives. This one only comes in two options – unsweetened and unflavored or in Chocolate. Buy it on Amazon

Protein: 19g

Sweetener: Stevia, or unsweetened

Just Protein

If you’re just looking for a vegan protein powder with no flavor or sweetener – either to make your own custom blend, or to add to baked goods and other recipes, try some of the options listed as “unsweetened” above.

Add Ins

Here are some ideas for healthy additions to your daily protein shake:

vegan green smoothie recipeD’Vash Organic Date Nectar – I used to throw a whole, soaked date in my smoothie to sweeten it without spiking my blood sugar, but it never quite blended all the way and pieces always got stuck in my straw. So now I use this organic date nectar that contains 25% less sugar than honey.

Turmeric Liquid Drops – Turmeric is a great anti-inflammatory to add to your smoothie. I like it in liquid form like this because it’s concentrated, and your body absorbs it faster and better than in powder form.

Gelatinized Maca Powder – Don’t let the name scare you, this is a vegan ingredient. Gelatinized just means that the maca was heat-treated to remove some of the starch, which makes it easier to digest. This is a great additive if you’re experiencing hormonal imbalance.

Peanut Butter Powder – Peanut butter flavor and protein, minus the fat. I use this for flavor, mostly – it’s especially good with chocolate, duh. Sometmes for a late night snack, though, I rehydrate it with water and eat it with apple slices.

Vanilla and/or cinnamon – I never thought about these two ingredients, Amy Dumas is the one who first suggested them. Just like in baking, each of these adds a really nice flavor to your smoothie without contributing a significant amount of calories, fat, or really anything else.

What are your favorite vegan protein powders and smoothie ingredients? Tell me in the comments!

Disclaimer: Some of the links in this post are affiliate links, which means if you click and make a purchase I could earn a comission. Additionally, some of the items in this post were sent to me for free by the companies, but my opinions and recommendations are my own, and I was not compensated for any of the opinions expressed here.