What's not to love about a smoothie? They take minutes to prepare, you can tailor the flavours depending on what you have in your kitchen and they pack a serious nutritional punch.


If you're looking to add more protein to your smoothie but you'd rather not use protein powder, there are plenty of natural ingredients you can try. From oats and avocado, to flaxseeds and milk, blitzing these into your smoothie will help to up your protein intake in a healthy way – something which is advised if you're increasing your activity levels with regular workouts.

Below, find the best foods to add to your high-protein smoothie – some of them may surprise you!

Then check out our high-protein breakfast recipes and best energy-boosting breakfasts. Plus, read how to get the right balance of protein and carbs, what to eat for a workout and how much protein do you need to build muscle?

How to add more protein to your smoothie

1. Greek yogurt

Blueberry smoothie in a tall glass

One tablespoon (45g) of plain Greek yogurt (whole) provides 2.6g protein.

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Add a few tablespoons of Greek yogurt before blitzing your smoothie and it will give a nice thick texture and slightly tangy flavour. Be wary of flavoured and low-fat options, these are likely to contain a lot more sugar. Greek yogurt contains considerably more protein than regular yogurt as it's more dense and it takes more milk to make it, due to the straining process.

Give it a go in our blueberry smoothie.

Read more about the health benefits of Greek yogurt.

2. Milk

Raspberry and apple smoothie in two glasses

100ml of cow's milk (full-fat) contains 3.4g protein.

While many people have made the switch to an alternative milk in an attempt to be healthier, it's regular cow's milk which stacks up the highest levels of protein. In fact, it has around three times more than oat milk and almond milk contains only 0.4g, so it doesn't even come close. The next highest protein milk is soya, so if you're lactose intolerant that could be a good option.

Try it in our raspberry & apple smoothie. As this smoothie has oats and milk in it as well, you'll get lots of protein.

Read our guide to find out which milk is the healthiest.

3. Peanut butter

Peanut butter smoothie in two glasses

A tablespoon of peanut butter (16g) provides 3.6g protein.

Not only is peanut butter packed with healthy fats, it also contains a good amount of plant based protein. The reason it's such a popular choice for eating before a workout or hard training session is it offers a balanced source of energy. This is because it contains protein and carbs with a slightly higher contribution of energy from fat. Always be sure to check the label when buying peanut butter – you want the all-natural kind, not one with added oils and sugar.

For a pre-workout energy boost, sip on our peanut butter smoothie.

Read up on the health benefits of peanut butter.

4. Oats

Coconut & banana smoothie in a glass

An average sized bowl (150g), made with whole cow’s milk, provides 7.3g protein.

Oats are a great budget-friendly addition to your smoothie. They contain an impressive amount of protein, as well as fibre which helps support a healthy gut. They are also a complex carbohydrate, so you'll benefit from a slow release of energy that doesn’t cause your blood sugar levels to spike.

Try our turmeric, ginger & banana smoothie – you could up the oats to a few tablespoons for more protein.

Read more about the health benefits of oats.

5. Almonds

Strawberry and banana almond smoothie in a glass

A 30g serving of almonds provides 6.3g protein.

As well as an impressive amount of protein, almonds have and the highest calcium content of a nut – we need this to ensure healthy bones, as well as for the correct function of our nerves and muscles. So if you're regularly hitting the gym or putting your body through hard workouts, almonds could be a good addition to your diet.

Other high protein nuts include pistachios (6.1g protein per 30g) and cashews (5.3g protein per 30g).

Kickstart your day with our strawberry & banana almond smoothie.

Check out the top 10 healthiest nuts.

6. Pumpkin seeds

Green spirulina smoothie in two glasses

A 30g serving of pumpkin seeds contains approximately 7.3g protein.

Pumpkin seeds are rich in antioxidants and packed with protein. These little seeds can be whizzed straight into your smoothie and they won't affect the taste. If you're someone who prefers to fuel for a workout with porridge or homemade granola, chuck a handful of these in too.

Add a tablespoon to our fresh green spirulina smoothie that's flavoured with mint, avocado, cucumber and spinach.

Find out more about the health benefits of pumpkin seeds.

7. Banana

Kale smoothie with avocado and cashews

An 80g serving (a small banana) provides 1g protein.

While a banana on its own isn't going to give you a huge protein hit, it can be combined with oats, peanut butter, milk and Greek yogurt to make a tasty, energising and protein-rich smoothie. Or whizz it into our super green kale smoothie with avocado and cashews.

Read more about the health benefits of bananas.

8. Silken tofu

Blueberry & banana power smoothie in two glasses

A 100g serving of steamed tofu provides 8.1g protein.

Silken tofu is a soft variety of tofu that isn't pressed, so it contains more water. For this reason, it can be blended into soups, sauces and yes... even smoothies. You'd never guess that it's the secret ingredient in our blueberry & banana power smoothie.

You can also use it to make vegan American-style pancakes.

9. Flaxseeds

Keto smoothie with berries in a glass

15g (1 tbsp) of ground flaxseeds contains 4g protein.

You can buy flaxseeds whole, milled or ground or you may see them called linseeds. They're high in fibre, so may support gut health and help with feelings of fullness, and contain a good amount of protein. Add them to this keto smoothie – it also has hemp seeds, another excellent source of plant protein.

Find out all about the health benefits of flaxseeds.

10. Kefir

Kefir breakfast smoothie in two glasses

One serving (250ml) of whole milk kefir contains approximately 8.3g protein.

Refreshing kefir rich in probiotics and is well-known for its gut health properties. As with other dairy products, it's also a great source of protein. We've blended it with mango, orange juice, turmeric and ginger to make this golden breakfast smoothie.

Read up on the health benefits of kefir.

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All health content on bbcgoodfood.com is provided for general information only, and should not be treated as a substitute for the medical advice of your own doctor or any other health care professional. If you have any concerns about your general health, you should contact your local health care provider. See our website terms and conditions for more information.

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