I have never been a very big fan of powder supplements despite having used them in the past. A good protein shake recipe is definitely handy to have, especially when you’re running short on time. which I do a lot. You may be asking how I get a shake with lots a protein and none of the extra artificial ingredients normally found in protein powders. The solution is actually quite simple, and the ingredient is something that your grandmother would recognize (which would make Michael Pollan happy).
Before I let you in on my secret, let me talk a little bit about why I’m not a fan of protein powders. The biggest problem is the ingredient list. It’s usually as long as my arm and includes chemicals and artificial flavors to hide those chemicals, and looks a little something like this:
Optimum Nutrition 100% Whey Gold Standard™ Double Rich Chocolate
Ingredients: Protein Blend (Whey Protein Isolate, Whey Protein Concentrate, Whey Peptides), Protein Blend (Whey Protein Isolate, Whey Protein Concentrate, Whey Peptides), Cocoa (Processed with Alkali), Cocoa (Processed with Alkali), Artificial Flavor, Artificial Flavor, Lecithin, Lecithin, Acesulfame Potassium, Acesulfame Potassium
GNC SuperFoods Spiru-Meal™ – Vanilla
Ingredients: Non-GMO Protein Blend (Soy Protein Isolate, Brown Rice Protein, Pea Protein), Non-GMO Protein Blend (Soy Protein Isolate, Brown Rice Protein, Pea Protein), Crystalline Fructose, Crystalline Fructose, SuperFoods Vitamin and Mineral Blend (Tricalcium Phosphate, Dimagnesium Phosphate, Calcium Lactate, Ascorbic Acid, Zinc Sulfate, Vitamin E, Niacinamide, Ferric Pyrophosphate, Manganese Sulfate, Calcium D-Pantothenate, Pyridoxine HCl, Riboflavin, Thiamin Mononitrate, Vitamin A, Folic Acid, D-Biotin, Potassium Iodide, Chromium Chloride, Sodium Molybdate, Sodium Selenite, Vitamin D-3, Vitamin B-12), SuperFoods Vitamin and Mineral Blend (Tricalcium Phosphate, Dimagnesium Phosphate, Calcium Lactate, Ascorbic Acid, Zinc Sulfate, Vitamin E, Niacinamide, Ferric Pyrophosphate, Manganese Sulfate, Calcium D-Pantothenate, Pyridoxine HCl, Riboflavin, Thiamin Mononitrate, Vitamin A, Folic Acid, D-Biotin, Potassium Iodide, Chromium Chloride, Sodium Molybdate, Sodium Selenite, Vitamin D-3, Vitamin B-12), Natural Flavors, Natural Flavors, Cellulose Powder, Cellulose Powder, Xanthan Gum, Xanthan Gum, Lecithin, Lecithin, Salt, Salt, Apple Pectin, Apple Pectin, Natural Vanillin, Natural Vanillin, Reb A (Natural Stevia Leaf Sweetener), Reb A (Natural Stevia Leaf Sweetener), Choline (as Choline Bitartrate), Choline (as Choline Bitartrate), Inositol, Inositol, Oat Bran, Oat Bran, Bee Pollen, Bee Pollen, Enzyme Blend (Lipase, Cellulase, Papain, Bromelain), Enzyme Blend (Lipase, Cellulase, Papain, Bromelain), Spirulina, Spirulina, Chlorophyllin, Chlorophyllin
There are of course cleaner protein powders like Sunwarrior Classic Protein Powder whose ingredient list looks like this:
Ingredients: Raw Whole Grain Brown Rice Protein, Rice Oligodextrin, Vanilla Extract, Stevia, Xanthan Gum, Ancient Sea Salt, Pectin
But, That’s still not an option that I personally would choose. It has added starch (the Oligodextrin) and stevia which causes my stomach serious upset.
Ok, so now that we’ve gone through what I don’t like about traditional protein powders, let me tell you what I use instead. The ingredient I use in my protein shakes has one simple ingredient… gelatin (otherwise known as collagen). It’s the same gelatin your mom and grandmother used to make jello with, the same gelatin people used to drink to make her hair and nails strong, and the same gelatin found in joint care supplements. That gelatin. Crazy right? It’s been in front of your face this whole time and you didn’t even know it!
But, there’s a trick to using gelatin in a protein shake. You have to make sure to get one that is cold water soluble. It’s called collagen hydrolysate and can mix into both hot and cold drinks without turning clumpy and it is absolutely tasteless, so there’s no need for any artificial flavorings (yay!). To make sure you’re getting the highest quality gelatin, you should also look for a brand that gets it’s gelatin from grass fed cows. The one I use is Great Lakes Collagen Hydrolysate.
Just 4 tablespoons of gelatin gives you 26 grams of protein which is the same amount as most protein powders. Also, those 4 tablespoons are only 100 calories which is also about the same or less as most protein powders. Here’s a recipe to get you started. Really, the ingredients you use are only limited by your imagination since gelatin has no flavor. As a matter of fact, you don’t even need to limit yourself to protein shakes, I make protein coffee, tea, and even water to make sure I’m getting in my protein throughout the day!
Protein Shake Recipe
- 1 cup blueberries
- 1 banana
- 1 cup coconut water
- 4 tablespoons Great Lakes Gelatin
- 7 ice cubes
Blend all ingredients in a blender until smooth and frosty. If you want to know how I get a nice smooth protein shake, here’s my secret:
- I put my ice cubes in first and get them all chopped up
- Then I add my fruit and blend until smooth
- Next, I add my coconut water and gelatin and blend until everything is combined and frothy
This particular protein shake has the following:
- Calories 328
- Carbs 57
- Fat 1
- Protein 26
Photo by Nomadic Lass is licensed under CC BY-SA 2.0