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Need Substitute for Whey Bodybuilding Powder, Yogurt? Hemp or Almonds or what??

Huge issue here. My boyfriend makes shakes twice a day, and pours in a big scoop of whey protein each time. I just looked up whey protein - it's nastier than I first imagined. It's a byproduct of milk production.

Now I need your help. What substitutes could I recommend?? His smoothie is always peanut butter, yogurt, and almond milk. What raw protein would taste good with those other things? He doesn't like strong flavors, and he's picky about food.

Nuts or Seeds? Or what else could I recommend to substitute for the whey bodybuilding powder crap?

I'd also like to recommend an alternative to the yogurt. He's really wanting to have all his protein in one smoothie. He's NOT willing to drink green smoothies, so don't recommend that. I drink green smoothies like crazy, so that would have been my first choice too. He won't drink coconut meat either.



  • If he can handle the taste of cashews, they're a complete protein (have all the amino acids we need) & blend up creamy in drinks. They're pretty mild in flavor, especially when you mix other stuff in. Add some berries & an extra banana or two (& maybe a tiny squeeze of lemon?) to mimic a berry yogurt flavor. If the taste of the cashews is too much for him, try adding a little raw cacao powder to cover the taste - it's like a banana split shake - really yummy! I made those kinds of shakes almost every day for several months when I was constantly busy & physically active a couple of years ago. :)

    Hempseed would also work for protein but doesn't taste as good in sweet things as cashews do. Almonds stay slightly gritty, even in a Vita-mix, so I don't like to use them in drinks - just personal preference.

  • Hemp Protein powder or Bee Pollen Gel or pellets (if pellets grind finely before using in a smoothie) chia, flaxseed, brazil nuts, almonds, and macadamia nuts are what I use. They do wonders!

  • I like Brazil nuts, too. I also just remembered that www.sunfood.com now offers a raw protein powder, but I have no idea of the price. Bee pollen has a VERY strong taste - I can't stand more than a tiny amount in anything. I can't imagine using it as a regular protein source, but everyone's tastes are different, so who knows?

  • Angie - GREAT idea to use cashews to mimic yogurt! He actually likes cashews, so that's perfect. Bee pollen is strong, so I don't want to try that just yet - I'm trying to make 'safe foods', things he's used to eating, before offering anything unusual.

    I didn't think of brazil nuts - they have a different taste, but they might work well in a smoothie. Can't hurt to offer him a taste and see.

    I can see the price of cashews being a limiting factor - sadly, they're now $8/lb for conventional cashews. Price keeps rising. However, the whey powder and yogurt must cost money too, so I can check into it.

  • Bummer! I can get them here for $6 per pound, and that's higher than they used to be when I ate them a lot.

  • I think cashews are great in smoothies too. I also use brazil nut powder in mine. It can be a little gritty, but I like it. It has all of the benefits of brazil nuts without all the fat. Just today I was looking for other protein powders and read a little about Sun Warrior activated barley. It's nutritional profile looks great. It's not cheap, but comes in a large container. Those whey supplements can be high too.

  • A smoothie that I love is: cacao, sunflower seeds, brazil nut powder, soaked raisins, spinach, carob and a pinch of salt, a little ice. It is rich and fudgy tasting. Adding some cashews would make it delicious. The cacao, raisins and carob hide the green color of the spinach, and you can't taste it at all. You could also leave it out if he's squeamish.

  • daniefon - what a great way to hide your greens! Maybe I'll have to make my son some spinach fudge. :D

  • daniefon - I'm glad you mentioned that brazil nuts can be gritty. Textures are very important, so i'll stick with cashews because it's a smooth texture. Angie mentioned that cashews would be about 4 cups/lb, so for me that's $2 per cup. If I used $2 worth of cashews in a smoothie, that's not bad! The little yogurt containers can be at LEAST $1+ each, so that's a great substitute!

    The price shouldn't be as big a deal, as he doesn't spend $ on much other than the smoothies. So lets just find the best solution, regardless of price.

    Daniefon - I LOVE your idea!! hiding spinach in the chocolate. YES!! I'd make this version of the smoothie, so he'd find it palatable:

    cacao, sunflower seeds, cashews, agave, spinach and a pinch of salt, a little ice. PERFECT!

    Whey powder is about $5 per pound. Sun warrior activated barley is $30 per pound. Ouch! I'd rather find a solution other than that. So how about a real food, instead of a powder? Cashews are one good idea. Any others?

  • Winona, I don't know about whole brazil nuts being gritty, I use the protein powder which has been defatted. I do know that brazil nuts have great nutritional properties though. I believe someone here suggested putting one inside a pitted date. I love them like that. A little off topic, but it's like eating candy.

  • Good to know, daniefon. I might test out the brazil nuts, to check the texture. They might be okay, after all i'm using the vitamix. I could use fewer brazils and more cashews for a smoother shake.

  • Brazil nuts do leave a slight grit, but not as much as almonds.

  • PamPam

    Maybe check out Brandon Brazier's Vega products at http://www.myvega.com. Kinda expensive, though. There is also Raw Power, but, again, expensive.

    Chia seeds? They have about 4 grams of protein in an ounce. Also, they thicken things... so you could make him a yogurt like snack.

  • My personal favorite is Hemp protein, here's the one I use http://www.vitacost.com/Nutiva-Organic-Hemp-Protein-Fiber-16-oz

    I LOVE Brendan Braziers book and I've tried a lot of his recipes -- most of which can be made raw! But the shake...aside from being very expensive, had way too much stevia aftertaste IMHO. I just couldn't drink it and at those prices, I was forced to return it for a refund.

  • I wonder if i could blend the chia seeds into a smooth texture in the smoothie. Great thinking, Pam!

    Zemphira - I wonder if i could MAKE that hemp protein powder myself by coffee-grinding hemp seeds. Thanks for the review of brendan brazier's shake - i am steering clear of raw protein powders, they're clearly too expensive. i'd love to try making one!!

    It would be great to get lots of nutrition into a protein powder i make for him, because the only other nutrition he gets is from the almond milk, bananas, and the fresh juices i make him (Oj, tangerine, grapefruit). There are many nutrients missing from that equation. Perhaps hemp, golden flax, ... what else should i put in a protein powder? Nothing too flavorful.

    So far, he's okay on magnesium because i'm giving him chocolate and cashews (in Matthew Kenny's torte recipe) and I didn't tell him there's coconut oil in the recipe cause he wouldn't eat it. but without knowing, he tasted and loves the dessert! He has vitamin A, C, and potassium from the bananas and citrus. Now, I just need to somehow fill in the rest of the vitamins ?!?

  • For more nutrients? Greens! Of course, other things will be helpful/necessary, too, but if you can add in some greens, you'll be making a big jump in the right direction. Go make that chocolate-mint thingy Joyce mentioned on the other thread, and use fresh green juice to color it...better yet, make a mint chocolate chip shake! You can use cacao nibs for the "chocolate chips". Even though they blend up pretty small, it somehow reminds me of melted chocolate chip ice cream when I mix hemp seeds, agave & cacao nibs. Add some spinach juice for the liquid, and a couple of drops of peppermint oil for the mint flavor...

  • oh man, can't believe i didn't think of green juice! i love the idea of using green juice in a chocolate smoothie. If i get the ratios right, he won't notice the green flavor. GREAT ideas Angie, thanks for posting here!

  • I told a very SAD friend at work about the chocolate/spinach thing, She just came and told me that she loved it. So much that she was having it for dinner tonight.

    I am going to try the green juice, cacao nib trick, I bet it's great.

  • Ruth's makes a Raw Hemp Protein Powder and Hemp milk is delicious & more nutritious then Almond Milk - though not raw.

  • Great idea pinkcleo - I bet I could make hemp milk in my vitamix. Excellent suggestion.

    Raw hemp protein powder? I will try making one. That sounds like an excellent substitute for whey powder.

  • Hello Winona,

    I have used juvo powders. They mix well in shakes


  • Interesting suggestion, chiffon. Those juvo powders are $40/lb, also rather pricey. Freeze dried then powdered veggies is what is in juvo.

    I wonder if i could make that myself. Dehydrate greens until bone dry, then convert them into a powder. Wouldn't that be like the mineral green powder?

  • That is a great idea! A few times i have made a powder of dehydrated mung bean sprouts and some other green veggies that would go bad before I was able to use them. I simply added a scoop to whatever smoothie i made.

    I should have mentioned you can find the juvo for less if you look around


  • Dehydrating extra mung bean sprouts is a GREAT idea! I never thought of it. Thanks for the idea, chiffon. :)

    Winona - Since veggies - especially greens - are so full of water, dehydrating your own veggies may turn out to be even more expensive than buying the green powder...let me know if you try it, though!

  • I didn't think of that - Angie, you might be right. Besides it's a lot of time and effort to do tray after tray of greens. Mung bean sprouts might be more cost effective when dehydrating.

  • I use the Sun Warrior rice protein powders sometimes - those are good for low-cal, low-fat protein. I don't use it every day, see no need.

    I also got the Ruth's sprouted flax & hemp protein one - it's one of the most disgusting things I've ever tasted, but try it mixed in with some sweet fruits.

  • Uff, I've got some vegan, brown rice protein powder I'll send to anyone who wants it. Yuck, yuck, yuck.

    sorry off subject :)

  • gratefultobe - I remember eating those nasty 'protein bars' that people bought for me when i was veggie as a teenager, worried about my protein intake. I tried one and spewed across the kitchen. They stopped buying em : )

    Superfood - good, i was wondering which kind tasted okay. Good to know that Sunfood rice powder tastes alright.

  • Oh yes, me too. So awful! So dry you could barely choke them down and not a bit of real food in them, lol. Shame on them! I think it's great youre looking for healthy subs for your guys shakes. Let us know if the cacao hid the greens well enough for him. You mentioned the pb flavor was one of his usuals and that would go great w/ the cacao but that might be a bit much w/ the greens. IDK, fingers crossed mad scientist. :D

  • I sometimes add Alive Powder to my smoothies. I have no idea if its raw or not but I really like it. It has a plethora of goodies in it like kelp, dandilion, spirulina, spinach, etc. They have a soy version and rice pea version.


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