cooking, DIY

Protein smoothie without protein powder

When I crush a workout first thing in the morning, I feel awesome. And sweaty. And famished. When I don’t have time to break out the eggs and make an omelette, I break out my blender.

I love my morning post-workout smoothies. My favorite smoothie involves chocolate protein powder, cocoa powder, and peanut butter. YUM! But protein powder is expensive. So, to save money and still get my peanut butter-y, chocolate-y fix, I experimented with my blender.

Another quick breakfast I love is Greek yogurt with frozen berries and granola. I thought about adding Greek yogurt to my smoothie, but I thought it might be too thick. I tried it. It tastes okay, but the entire mixture requires too much almond milk to make it drinkable, and it takes forever to drink two glasses of smoothie.

Then I thought, What about kefir? Kefir is loaded with protein and good bacteria, which is awesome for a healthy gut. Plus, it’s somewhat thick, but still drinkable. It tastes tangy, so I like to add a full banana to my smoothie, which I usually only use half of, but in this recipe, it’s necessary.

Lactose intolerant? That shouldn’t be a problem. Lifeway Kefir says their kefir is 99% lactose-free.

Please note this smoothie won’t be as thick as most protein smoothies because there is very little powder in it. Also, make sure you buy unsweetened almond milk, kefir, and peanut butter. Let nature’s sugar in the banana be enough sweetness for you. Plus, it’s way healthier that way! Look at how much sugar is in this smoothie naturally down below. Can you imagine adding 20g or more in sugar by using the already sweetened stuff? Ew!

But I digress… Here’s my latest go-to smoothie recipe that doesn’t require protein powder:


  • 1 cup plain kefir 
  • Handful raw spinach 
  • 1 frozen banana, sliced before frozen
  • Heaping tablespoon cocoa powder
  • Heaping tablespoon peanut butter (I personally love Crazy Richard’s, but now Meijer has its own peanuts-only version that’s a bit cheaper)
  • Unsweetened almond milk, as needed


Blend in a blender until smooth. Add almond milk if mixture is too thick.

Enjoy your tangy, peanut butter-y, chocolate-y liquid recovery.


If you liked this recipe, buy me a cup of coffee. Thank you!

Let's chat! Leave your comment below and I'll get back you as quick as I can.

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.