This green protein smoothie is packed with spinach, banana and vanilla protein powder and makes for the perfect healthy breakfast or post-workout snack! Added bonus: it’s vegan and dairy-free!
Do you feel like you get in “smoothie modes”?! I get hooked on smoothies for a period of time and then forget about them for some reason. It’s an endless cycle! I’m so excited about this green protein smoothie which has become my go-to for breakfasts and snacks.
Why You Need to Make This Smoothie
It’s made with just five ingredients! I’m willing to bet you have most (if not all!) of these ingredients in your kitchen right now.
It’s comes together in no time at all… just add everything to a blender and blend away!
It’s a great staple smoothie recipe. Once you’ve mastered this recipe, feel free to get creative and add extra flavors and ingredients in.
banana – make sure you’re using a frozen banana for a refreshing smoothie! If you’re not a fan of bananas, I have some tips for you below.
vanilla protein powder – my favorite protein powder is Nuzest. Use code eatingbirdfood for 15% off your order!
milk – I used unsweetened vanilla almond milk but any milk works! Here’s how to make homemade almond milk.
baby spinach – spinach is a really mild leafy green so you’ll get the benefit of the greens without the strong taste!
chia seeds – adds healthy fat and fiber to the smoothie.
How to Make Green Protein Smoothie
It doesn’t get much easier than this! Place all ingredients into a high-powered blender and blend until smooth. If you just have a regular blender, I recommend blending the milk and spinach first to make sure there aren’t any spinach flakes left! You could also try making it in a food processor.
How to Make a Smoothie Without Banana
I know some of you aren’t banana lovers out there so I wanted to share how to make this smoothie without the use of a banana! The banana in this recipe gives the smoothie a thick and creamy texture and it also adds a bit of sweetness, without being too overpowering. If you’re looking for a low-sugar option, are allergic to bananas or simply don’t like them, here are some ideas for replacements:
ice – replace the frozen banana with ice (about 1 cup). It will give the shake volume and add a nice, frozen slushy texture.
frozen milk ice cubes – this is the same concept, but instead of using regular ice cubes, make frozen cubes using your favorite non-dairy milk (like almond or coconut) and use about 1 cup of these cubes instead of the frozen banana.
frozen cauliflower rice – I use frozen cauliflower rice in my shakes all the time and it works as a low-sugar replacement for frozen banana. I do find that it adds a different texture to shakes, especially if you use a large amount. I’d start with 1/4 cup, give the shake a taste and then add more if needed.
frozen zucchini – like frozen cauliflower, frozen zucchini works great as a low-sugar replacement for frozen banana. It also doesn’t add a ton of flavor! You can blanch or steam your zucchini before freezing if you want to make it easier to digest, but I don’t find this necessary.
frozen fruit – other frozen fruit options like frozen berries, frozen mangos or frozen peaches work great as a substitute for frozen banana, but they usually have more flavor and can change the taste of your smoothie more than banana does. Just keep that in mind if you’re planning to use them as a sub.
The banana does add sweetness to this recipe, so if you're not replacing it with another frozen fruit you might want to add a touch of sweetness in the form of maple syrup, honey or stevia.
What is the best protein powder?
My favorite protein powder is Nuzest. It has a short ingredient list, clean ingredients, is allergen friendly and has no chalky taste! Use code eatingbirdfood for 15% off your order!
How can I add protein without using protein powder?
If you don’t have protein powder on hand, you can add protein in a variety of ways. You can mix in Greek yogurt, nuts, nut butter or seeds. I tried this smoothie with Greek yogurt and felt it was very spinachy, so if you go that route I recommend reducing the spinach to just 1 cup. If you add nuts or seeds, I recommend adding about 2 Tablespoons total.
How often can I eat a protein smoothie?
If you’re a smoothie fan, feel free to eat one once a day! I love getting extra nutrients in from fruits and veggies in smoothies. Since they are a lighter option, I recommend enjoying them as a snack or for breakfast and not as a full meal replacement.
Are smoothies good for weight loss?
Yes! Protein smoothies are amazing for weight loss and weight management. My recipes are made with whole food ingredients and packed with nutrients and protein.
Why would you want to add more protein to your diet?
So many reasons! It’s great for balancing out your snacks and meals so you feel fuller and more satisfied. It can help you build muscle, increase energy and can help with weight management.
Can I meal prep this smoothie?
Yes! There are a couple of ways to meal prep a smoothie. If you’ll be enjoying it within 24 hours, you can make the smoothie as directed and store it in an airtight container in your refrigerator until you’re ready to enjoy it. Simply give it a shake or an additional blend before enjoying! You can also portion out the banana, spinach and chia seeds in containers so you’re ready to just dump and blend! When you’re ready to make your smoothie, you’ll just add the frozen ingredients, add the protein powder, pour in the liquid and you’ve got a smoothie in seconds!
Place all ingredients into a high-powered blender and blend until smooth.
What to use instead of protein powder: If you don’t have protein powder on hand, you can add protein in a variety of ways. You can mix in Greek yogurt, nuts, nut butter or seeds. I tried this smoothie with Greek yogurt instead of protein powder and it was very spinachy so I’d recommend using only 1 cup spinach if using yogurt as the protein. If you add nuts or seeds, I recommend adding about 2 Tablespoons total.
What to swap the banana with: You can replace the frozen banana with ice or frozen milk ice cubes (about 1 cup), frozen cauliflower rice (start with 1/4 cup), frozen zucchini or other frozen fruit like mangos or peaches.