How to make a Natural Protein Shake without Protein Powder (Paleo, Dairy Free, Vegan, Raw, Gluten Free, Grain Free)

Finally – a natural protein shake that is high in protein and HAS NO PROTEIN POWDER! This vegan smoothie gets most of the protein from one natural ingredient.

Natural Protein Shake Recipe Card (Updated Blog Post Image)

I think we all agree that protein is an essential macronutrient in the diet.

But what everyone argues about is how much protein do we need?

We all have different bodies and different needs – but I believe if you eat a sensible whole foods diet then you should get enough protein.

** Please note that this post may contain affiliate links which means that I can receive a small payment if you make a purchase through my links.

When it comes to smoothies – however we like to chuck everything under the sun in them and use them as an excuse to stock up on everything we think we’re lacking.

I think there is a danger in just throwing all sorts of powders into your smoothie as we sometimes forget what we have in there and might not make a link between how we are feeling and the ‘healthy’ smoothie we are drinking.

If you’ve been following my blog for a while you’ll know that I believe in trying to do things as naturally as possible using food which is as close to it’s natural state as possible.

For me that definitely means that protein powder is out.  There are several reasons why I don’t use protein powder:

  • It is a refined food.  The protein has been taken out of the food source which means it’s harder for the body to utilize
  • Proteins should be balanced with the fat and the carbs that they came from.  On it’s own it’s easy to throw the body out of balance
  • When we become dependent on powders and pills to sort out our nutrition it’s easy to forget that we should be getting most of our nutrients from our diets
  • If you take the fat out of the protein source – it won’t satisfy you and fill you up for as long

How To Make Your Own Natural Protein Powder

2 Minute Smoothie Powder Mix Recipe: Homemade Hunger BusterIf you are determined to use protein powder in your smoothie, I suggest you make the most natural version of a protein powder that you can.  I actually created a 2 ingredient whole foods homemade protein powder that is both vegan, gluten free and free from harmful chemicals.  Click here to get my natural protein powder recipe. 

If you are a vegan you do have to be more careful about getting your protein – but before you reach for the protein powder, I want to tell you the secret high protein ingredient that makes up the majority of the protein in this natural protein shake. 

Pumpkin Seeds!

Do you know how good the simple pumpkin seed is for you?

Here’s a great video that delves deeper into the benefits of pumpkin seeds if you’re interested.

They are full of all kinds of nutritional goodies!  

This natural protein shake contains 1/4 cup of pumpkin seeds which is a fantastic source of protein.How to make a natural protein shake without protein powder So what are we to do if we don’t eat dairy (or eggs for that matter).  How do we make sure we still get enough protein in our smoothie to make it a complete meal and fill us up?

That’s why I created this natural protein shake for you.  It has got a whopping 25 grams of protein per shake.  This is more than your average scoop of protein powder!

Benefits Of This Homemade Natural Protein Shake

The great things about this natural high protein shake are:

  • It’s full of real food that is GREAT for your health
  • It doesn’t contain any nasty chemicals, preservatives or toxins
  • It can be made organic if you use organic ingredients
  • It is dairy free, egg free, vegan, gluten free, grain free, Paleo and free from lots of allergens with a nut free option
  • It tastes gorgeous
  • It is a full meal and will keep you going until lunch time
  • It makes a great post workout meal
  • You can substitute your favourite milk and favourite fruit

How to make a natural protein shake without protein powder If you are concerned that you aren’t getting enough protein you could always get your amino acids tested to see if you are low on anything.  But it’s very rare to live in the Western world and be protein deficient. 

How to make a Natural Homemade Protein Shake without Protein Powder

How to make a natural protein shake without protein powder

Usually my recipes serve 2 but this one SERVES 1.  For it to be a meal replacement you will probably need to drink most or all of this shake.

It is high in calories but it’s about a third of your calories for an average woman which is the amount I’d recommend having for breakfast.

If you scrimp on energy at breakfast time you’ll end up reaching for junk mid morning.  This smoothie will keep you going until lunch time. I believe the best way to lose weight/fat it to make sure you’re completely satisfied from healthy foods to stop yourself reaching for unhealthy foods.

Once you balance your sugar levels and eat a healthy diet you’ll start to notice the fat shifting.

How Much Protein Is In This DIY Natural Protein Shake?

Here is a break down of the nutrition in this natural protein shake: Natural Protein Smoothie Nutrition The 25 grams of protein in this smoothie is based on all the recommended ingredients including the spinach.  If you make substitutions your protein will be adjusted accordingly.

If you don’t want to use the spinach just take 2 grams of protein off the smoothie – so it would contain a total of 23 grams of protein. Popeye wasn’t strong for no reason! Eat your Spinach - it is a good source of protein in this natural protein smoothie

How To Make A High Protein Meal Replacement Shake Without Protein Powder

Although the recipe that I’m sharing today is high in protein, it is also fairly high in calories which is fine if you want to gain weight. But if you want to lose weight, you might be better off making my other high protein smoothie.  You can click the link below or watch the video for more details about that here. 

{READ: Low Calorie High Protein Meal Replacement Smoothie Recipe}


How to make a Natural High Protein Shake without Protein Powder (Dairy Free, Paleo, Vegan, Raw)

How to make a natural protein shake without protein powder

Natural high protein meal replacement shake.

  • Author: Katherine Kyle
  • Prep Time: 2 minutes
  • Total Time: 2 minutes
  • Yield: 1 serving 1x
  • Category: Smoothie


  • 2 Cups Milk. Use your favourite milk. I use either Homemade Almond Milk or Homemade Coconut Milk
  • 1 Banana or mango or peach
  • 1 Peach or pear or mango
  • ¼ Cup Dates or raisins or use your own healthy sweetener to taste
  • ¼ cup of Pumpkin Seeds
  • ¼ cup of Almonds or ¼ cup of pumpkin seeds or other seeds

To make into a Green Smoothie add:

  • 1 Cup Spinach, tightly packed or 2 cups loosely packed (or any other mild greens)
  • OR if you run out of fresh greens, add 2 scoops of Amazing Green Powder for an extra healthy green boost.

Optional Extras:

  • ½ teaspoon Vanilla Extract or half a vanilla pod (adds amazing taste and contains no nasties – but only suitable for high speed blenders)
  • ¼ teaspoon Cinnamon


Blend the ingredients in the following order:

  1. Blend the dry ingredients and liquid first for a short time
  2. Blend the greens next for a short time (if using)
  3. Blend the fruit and the rest of the ingredients until smooth (or as smooth as your blender will allow. High speed blenders may need 2 minutes for a Green Thickie, less powerful blenders may need a lot more, sometimes 5-10 minutes)

More tips:

  • Blending this way allows the dry ingredients to be blended for longest, it means the greens will fit in your blender and your fruit gets less blending so it doesn’t become too hot.
  • Add more water if required to thin it out.
  • Substitute any of the ingredients for whatever you already have.
  • If your smoothie is too warm, you can cool it down in the fridge or freeze some of your ingredients before blending.
  • You can also replace half of the liquids with ice. Add the ice at the end. It is better to add frozen ingredients at the end to cool the smoothie down.


How much should I drink to replace a meal?

– This smoothie serves 1 so if you have higher calorie requirements you might need to make more.

Suitable for Special Diets:

Gluten free


Vegetarian, vegan, dairy free, egg free, refined sugar free, wheat free, soya free

Salt free (don’t add salt)

Nut free

More information about making the perfect Green Thickie

If you are new to Green Thickies and have more questions about making the perfect green thickie, please read this guide on How to make a Green Thickie

I know you may not have time to digest all this right now, so I wanted to give you a handy print out of this DIY protein shake so you can stick it on your fridge to help you on your journey to optimal health.

Click here to download your FREE PDF of this blog post now.

If you would like more high protein natural smoothies, you are going to love my book, 80 Green Thickies Recipes.  Check it out.


If you would like to know how to make your own meal replacement shakes, you’ll love this article where I walk you through it step by step and give you 20 different ingredients you can use to make your shakes more filling, 20 Ways to Make Homemade Meal Replacement Shakes for Weight Loss.

And if you’re ready to dive deeper into the world of homemade protein shakes, I’ve got you covered.  I have created the Ultimate Guide To Natural Protein Shakes which contains all of my resources, tutorials and over 50 natural protein recipes.  Click here to get my complete guide to protein shakes. 

3 Must-Have High-Protein Natural Smoothie Products

1. A Blender That Will Last A Lifetime

I recommend this blender to make your smoothies in.  This is the best quality blender at the lowest price you’ll ever see.  You will need a good quality blender to blend hard ingredients like pumpkin seeds and make the smoothie completely smooth without any bits. 

If you want more blender recommendations, here are my top 10 blenders for smoothies.

2. A Smoothie Cup For Healthy Meals On The Go

The best thing about smoothies is they are portable which saves you time. 

So you’ll be needing a container to transport them from A to B.

This is my favorite smoothie container as it doesn’t leak and there are no hidden areas which makes it easy to clean in the dishwasher.  Plus it’s pretty cheap, and good quality. 

Click here to see my favorite smoothie bottle. 

And if you want ALL of my smoothie bottle recommendations, you’ll want to read this post. 

3. Digital Scales

As you are trying to make sure you keep your nutrients on track, you’ll be needing to get exact with your measurements.  The best way to do that is to weigh everything.  Sometimes ingredients can get stuck in measuring cups making the measurements a lot lower.  Or when you just guess, you’ll always end up doubling your calorie count without a doubt. 

I especially like to weigh my frozen spinach as that never fits neatly into a measuring cup anyway. 

These are the scales I use and love because of the handy extra bowl. 

How To Guarantee Your Weight Loss With Green Smoothies

And if you’re looking for even more delicious, natural protein, gluten free, dairy free, low calories recipes, including an abundance of filling green smoothie recipes, I am giving you a month’s worth of meal plans from The Leaf Systemcompletely FREE this month.

Pin this for later.

How to make a natural protein shake without protein powder


  1. Good stuff as always. Chia is another good source of protein that I like.

  2. This smoothie sounds delicious, but for me the calories equal more than I usually eat for a meal and a snack combined. It’s also way high in carbs for the amount of protein (like more than two meals worth). I do usually use protein powder in my smoothies, but I like the idea of finding a way to do a smoothie with good protein amounts without the powder. You have inspired me to look for a way to do that while staying within the calorie/carb/protein/fat guidelines I follow.

    • Hi Susan, I’m guessing you would be eating animal products if you wanted to reduce your carbs and increase your protein without protein powder. Vegans do naturally end up eating a higher carb diet as most of their protein sources are also quite high in carbs. I’m glad I inspired you. If you drink raw cow’s milk I’ve heard that’s a good source of protein? I’m not sure if that would fit within your guidelines.

      • Katherine, cow’s milk is a definite source of protein, but finding raw milk where I live is probably impossible. I do eat animal products, and a lot of the reason I do is that I was a vegetarian for years, and then vegan for about a year, but my body needs more protein than one can readily get on a vegan diet, and as a result I was literally starving myself. To the point where I had a very vivid dream about steak, which I didn’t end up eating, but the dream told me that I needed more protein. I wish I could survive as a vegan, I sort of envy people who can, but I have learned the truth that everyone’s metabolism is unique, and mine does better with plenty of protein.

  3. I saw your post on Healthy 2day Wednesday. Yes, the calories are high, though I find if I eat a filling meal especially for breakfast, I don’t need a snack in the morning. I love finding a natural alternative to protein shakes.

    If you have time, I’d love for you to share your recipe at my Motivation Monday linky. We sadly do not have a lot of healthy recipes being shared despite asking for them.

  4. Great recipe! So much natural protein… and even though I get high quality protein powders I bet I’m throwing money away… ;<

    ps. thanks for sharing it at the Potluck Party…

  5. This is great! I don’t like using protein powders yet really want high protein drinks so this is a perfect recipe for me to try!
    Thanks for sharing on Natural Living Monday.

  6. Thank you for sharing this at the HomeAcre Hop; I hope you’ll join us again this Thursday.

  7. What do you mean by a “sensible” whole foods diet?

  8. Amanda smith says

    Hi looks great. I wouldn’t use mangos they are GMO. I will have to try this. I did at one time use protein powders now reading up on them I don’t. My breakfast usually consists of whole milk plain stoneyfield yogurt with my homemade coconut oil granola and a banana with peanut butter on it. I stay full for a good 3 hours.

  9. Can a low carb version of this shake recipe be made using stevia or other sugar substitute and lower carb ingredients?

  10. Ninety grams of carbs and 60 of those sugars! No thanks!

  11. I’ll leave out the Banana and Peach – way too much fructose for me. Mango and dates are enough. I’d also pre-soak those pumpkin seeds overnight to remove the phytates and enzyme inhibitors. Love green smoothies!

  12. I’d buy lots of good gourmet paleo foods on amazon plus a new food processor, glass storage containers and LOTS of ingredients! Can’t wait!

  13. I would use the money to buy pots and pans. I don’t have any. :(

  14. Just want to point out that unless using dairy milk, or some type of protein-fortified dairy-free alternatives, the protein content of this recipe will be WAY less than the 25 g promised, even with the spinach. Perhaps some gelatin would be a good addition to get that value up if not using dairy.

    • Hi Melissa

      I checked the Protein levels using and that’s what it said.

      • using what type of non-dairy milk?
        According to the website you provided (and’s MyPlate which is the site I used to check in the first place), standard unsweetened almond milk only has 1 g protein per cup so 2 cups yields only 2 g protein.
        I do have to apologize, once I calculated the whole smoothie (including all the fruit), it did get much closer to the 25g protein promised (23.9g). But for some reason shows the protein value of pumpin seeds as 9.7g for the 1/4 c indicated in your recipe. MyPlate only rates them as 8g protein for the same serving size. Weird. Either way it turns out to be far too low of a protein:carb ratio for me, but I hope others will enjoy this recipe. It sounds delicious.

  15. I’m sensitive to pumpkin seeds, can I use a combination of sunflower and chia seeds and still have enough protein?

  16. How are you suppose to balence blood sugar levels with a drink that has 95 carbs.. thats just another form of sugar right? I think something low carb no sugar is the way to go.

    • We are all different. I’ve been able to balance my blood sugar levels fine by just eating this kind of food. I feel good with fruit and don’t get blood sugar level swings when I avoid refined sugar. I feel totally different eating fruit compared to eating refined sugar.

  17. If I had that many carbs, on my low carb diet, I would have major sugar issues. I am limited to 30 carbs a day. I am limited to berries for fruit. My sugar would spike like crazy. I wish there was a shake for us low carbers. I kept from diabetes for 35 years, by my carb limitations, but my sugar levels have been sneaking up and I love my shakes. Any suggestions?

  18. Thank you soooo much for posting this! I am thrilled to see a high protein smoothie recipe without the icky powder!!! :)

  19. 25 grams of protein in a 750 calorie smoothie or meal of any kind is not HIGH protein. A minimum of 14, and more accurately 21grams of protein, in a 300 calorie smoothie is high protein. This can be considered a drink that CONTAINS protein but not one that is HIGH in protein. To translate, a 750 calorie high protein smoothie would contain 35 to 52 grams of protein.

  20. WOW! That is a lot of calories for very little protein. I use gelatin to get extra protein in, though I guess if you’re vegan that won’t work. But if you’re just trying to avoid protein powders and all their extra ingredients, gelatin is the way to go.

  21. Just wondering if the recipe calls for raw or roasted pumpkin seeds.

  22. Hi, just wondering if anyone has heard about this one:

    would it be a good replacement for protein powder?

  23. Thank you for the wonderful Smoothie! I agree the carb count to protein ratio is way too high for me. I would substitute Great Lakes Gelatin (Beef) in the Green Container, Pure Kosher Protein, Cold water soluble that I get on Amazon. It has no carbs, no taste, and 11 grams protein per 2 rounded tablespoons and I would cut back on the carbs in there and go with some kind of berries. This stuff is great for joint health also and skin. =)
    ps..would probably add my chia seeds too.

  24. This is what I’m referring to: “great lakes gelatin collagen…”
    Product Details
    Great Lakes Gelatin, Collagen Hydrolysate, Beef, Kosher, 16 oz, 3-Pack
    $58.47 ($1.22/Ounce)
    ( I buy it in the 3 pack as it makes it cheaper)

  25. Even though this is healthy there is even healther alter to this as this has way to many carbs in it the carbs alone would have me in a carb coma alone let alone all the sugars even though there natural sugars still not good to have that many sugars and carbs all in one time even whey protein would be better then this

  26. This is a great vegetarian protein smoothie and wonderful way to break up the usual protein powder smoothies.

    Agreed that most of your nutrients should be coming from your regular diet through clean eating, but this is an awesome way to change up breakfast every once in a while (you do get bored of eggs eggs eggs :)

  27. This natural protein shake is so sweet and delicious and filled me up for hours.

  28. VR

  29. OW

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