Five High Protein Vegetables Perfect for Vegetable Smoothies
When making a high protein vegetable smoothie, you don’t have to rely on protein powder or on protein-rich foods like tuna, cheese and chicken breast. Some high protein vegetables may also not be great in a smoothie. So before you experiment with your smoothies, here’s a heads up on five high protein vegetables prefect for vegetable smoothies:
1. Kale - With 2.2 grams of protein per cup, kale is one of the most protein-rich vegetables that are perfect for smoothies. Kale may be a tad too tough for low-end blenders so you’re better off doing some chopping beforehand. A little labor of love is necessary if you intend to enjoy a refreshingly healthy smoothie spiked with protein-rich kale.
2. Parsley – Remember the fancy garnish on the pasta dish you ate at the restaurant? That’s called parsley and it’s not just a garnish but a protein-packed vegetable. For every cup of parsley, which is around 30 grams, you are getting 1.8 grams of protein. Not only that, parsley also contains lots of vitamins and antioxidants. Not bad for a garnish, right?
What makes parsley a great smoothie ingredient is its taste. Unlike most vegetables, parsley isn’t bitter especially when blended. In fact, it complements other ingredients such as banana and fruits. It also goes well with kale and other leafy vegetables. So the next time you encounter parsley, you better be eating it or even better, add it to your smoothie.
3. Dandelion Greens – When we hear of dandelions, we automatically picture a bunch of bright yellow or orange flowers. A few may be aware that dandelion greens are one of the most effective vegetables around in terms of cleansing the body. In fact, vegetable smoothies made with dandelion greens are great for detoxification. Aside from that, dandelion greens are high in protein (1.5 grams per cup) and other nutrients which make it even better in smoothies.
4. Spinach – One cup of spinach is equivalent to around 0.9 grams of protein. This much protein is enough to keep you going for hours. Some smoothie recipes require a cup or two of spinach. Imagine what a smoothie filled with that much spinach can do for your health. Some of you may be thinking about how bitter blended spinach is. Don’t worry. The best thing about smoothies is they mask the not-so-pleasing tastes and flavors with lots of tasty fruits.
5. Collard Greens – Another rather bitter leafy vegetable, collards are also a good source of protein in smoothies. Mixing it with fruits can easily mask its bitterness. A cup of raw collard green is about 0.9 grams of protein. Aside from protein, collards are high in vitamins A, C and K. Before putting them in your blender, it is best to chop the leaves first as collards are a little tough.
Another way you can get your recommended daily requirement of protein through smoothies is by using a protein-rich liquid base. Cow’s milk, fortified soy milk and Greek yogurt are three of the best ones. But if you happen to be lactose-intolerant but still want to enjoy a smoothie, high protein vegetables, fruits and seeds are still the best way to go.