A flavourful sprouted brown rice protein smoothie naturally sweetened with cherries. Coconut milk produces a creamy texture and a sweet refreshing aroma. Water kefir is optional for some added probiotic benefits for a delicious nutrient-dense plant-based protein shake.
This post is sponsored by Naked Nutrition. Read below for full disclosure.
Whole foods undoubtedly provide a much preferred balance of nutrients than meal replacements, although a carefully selected protein shake may often present an agreeable healthy choice.
I try to get my macro and micro nutrients mostly from freshly cooked whole foods. And when it comes to sometimes adding in a meal replacement, I am quite selective. The cost of convenience can be rather high with sometimes a negative impact on health. And what we are really buying is time — to do something else. Whether we use this ‘bought’ time in a mindful way or we’ve actually sacrificed an opportunity to mindfully prepare a nutritious homemade meal is a conversation for another day.
With that said, my protein smoothies are still like a meal that I prepare with fresh ingredients. The recipes vary depending on what I need for the day or what I have on hand. Sometimes I go for high-calorie shakes naturally sweetened with fresh or frozen fruits and at other times, I go for a high-fat low-carb option by skipping the fruits and using stevia with coconut oil or coconut milk and cocoa powder with cinnamon for flavour.
Kevin introduced me to protein powders quite a number of years ago when he was weight lifting. I soon joined him at the gym with a workout schedule that was aimed mostly at strength training at that time. Protein shakes have since been part of our diet whether we were training or not.
Our workouts nowadays are less strenuous and currently involves more stretching, yoga postures and light cardiovascular exercises rather than heavy weight lifting. But protein powders are still woven into our diet and they sometimes replace a whole meal with a freshly blended nutrient-dense protein smoothie.
When it comes to protein powders, not all of them are made equal. Some may contain dozens of different ingredients, many of which are processed foods that are difficult to break down and not to mention added sugar in the form of dextrose, maltodextrin and the likes. The kind of protein powders that we go for are free of synthetic ingredients or fillers.
We’ve tried many different brands of vegan protein powders, some were better than others. Being allergic to nuts and a lot of seeds makes it quite a challenge to find the ideal protein powder in our case. Hemp and flax seeds for example, which we can only consume a small amount of at a time, are often added to a lot of vegan protein powders. Hence, easy-to-absorb plant-based protein powders such as pea protein or sprouted brown rice protein are our preference.
Recently, we came across a selection of vegan protein powders from a relatively new brand — Naked Nutrition. There were two in particular that we found interesting — the Organic Sprouted Brown Rice Protein and the Pea Protein. They contain just one ingredient each.
We decided to try the Sprouted Brown Rice Protein. Sprouted foods are acclaimed as nutritionally superior. When a grain is sprouted, this reduces the amount of starch stored within and produces enzymes that make it easier for the body to digest and metabolise the protein they contain.
Not only is it a huge nutritional benefit, but we also found the taste to be much better and the texture smoother compared to other unsprouted brown rice protein powders that we have tried before.
Naturally, because the sprouted brown rice protein powder contains just one ingredient, blending it with only water or some plant-based milk, although drinkable, does not quite produce a palatable beverage. But the sky is the limit as to how you can flavour and make brown rice protein taste delicious while also adding to the nutrient profile.
My current favourite combination is this seasonal cherry protein smoothie which I’m sharing the recipe for. Fresh sweet cherries being abundant at the moment, it would be a shame not to make the most of them. Plus, apart from their delicious flavour, they add some healthy natural sweetness as well as dietary fibre to this smoothie.
Although I’ve used fresh cherries in this recipe, I like to keep frozen fruits in the refrigerator so that I always have something at hand to make a delicious smoothie at any time. I often freeze my own fruits from fresh — mangoes, bananas, strawberries are the common ones.
The recipe calls for water kefir which you can easily make your own at home. I have also seen coconut milk kefir at some regular grocery stores. But I usually make my own kefir from water kefir grains. I’ll be sharing some tips and a tutorial on this soon, so stay tuned. Water kefir is rich in probiotics and it adds a nice balance of sweet tangy flavour alongside the cherries in this smoothie. You can very well make this smoothie without water kefir though; it’s just as delicious without.
Where to Buy
Both the Sprouted Brown Rice Protein and the Pea Protein can be purchased directly from the Naked Nutrition website — US store and Canadian store. You can also buy them on Amazon US and Amazon Canada.
Coconut Cherry Brown Rice Protein Shake with Water Kefir
Ingredients (serve 2)
1 cup [180 g, about 30] pitted sweet cherries, fresh or frozen
2 dates, Medjool or other variety, pitted and soaked for 20 minutes
1/2 cup [120 ml] canned coconut milk
1/2 cup [120 ml] plain water kefir (homemade), optional – substitute with water
1/2 – 3/4 cup [120 – 180 ml] water, adjust amount to desired smoothie consistency
1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract
2 scoops Naked Nutrition Organic Brown Rice Protein Powder
Few mint leaves
5 – 6 ice cubes, if using fresh cherries
Place all the ingredients into a blender. For best results and smooth blending place the ingredients in the order listed.
Turn the blender on and slowly increase the speed to high. Blend at high speed until the smoothie is completely smooth.
Nutrition facts per serving (recipe makes 2 servings)
Calories 302 | Carb 35 g | Fat 12 g | Protein 14 g | Sodium 19 mg | Sugars 28 g | Dietary Fibre 4 g
Vitamin A 2 % | Vitamin C 10 % | Calcium 7 % | Iron 14 %
* The Percent Daily Values are based on a 2,000 calorie diet, so your values may change depending on your calorie needs. The values here may not be 100% accurate because the recipes have not been professionally evaluated nor have they been evaluated by Health Canada or the U.S. FDA.
Coconut Kefir Cherry Brown Rice Protein Shake
- 180 g pitted sweet cherries, fresh or frozen [1 cup, about 30]
- 2 dates, Medjool or other variety, pitted and soaked for 20 minutes
- 120 ml canned coconut milk, [1/2 cup]
- 120 ml plain water kefir, [1/2 cup] homemade water kefir tutorial - **see notes (optional - substitute with water)
- 120 - 180 ml water, [1/2 - 3/4 cup] adjust amount to desired smoothie consistency
- 1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract
- 2 scoops Naked Nutrition Organic Brown Rice Protein Powder
- Few mint leaves
- 5 - 6 ice cubes, if using fresh cherries
- Place all the ingredients into a blender. For best results and smooth blending place the ingredients in the order listed.
- Turn the blender on and slowly increase the speed to high. Blend at high speed until the smoothie is completely smooth.
- Serve immediately.
Vitamin A 2 % | Vitamin C 10 % | Calcium 7 % | Iron 14 % * The Percent Daily Values are based on a 2,000 calorie diet, so your values may change depending on your calorie needs. The values here may not be 100% accurate because the recipes have not been professionally evaluated nor have they been evaluated by Health Canada or the U.S. FDA. WHERE TO BUY
Naked Nutrition Organic Brown Rice Protein Powder - https://amzn.to/2KZbUXj **Homemade Water Kefir - https://veganlovlie.com/water-kefir-soda/ Link to original recipe post - Coconut Kefir Cherry Brown Rice Protein Shake - https://veganlovlie.com/coconut-cherry-brown-rice-protein-shake/
Full Disclosure: This post is sponsored by Naked Nutrition. We only endorse products and services that we like, enjoy, use and that we believe, based on our experience, are worthy of such endorsement. We value the trust of our readers and subscribers. We believe in honesty of relationship and opinion. The views and opinions expressed on this blog are 100% ours.