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I’m not one to count nutrients, calories, fat grams etc. I’ve talked about this on here before. I cook and eat based on the season, the colours, the market and where my body/mood is at. It’s a very simple and totally gratifying way to live. Having said that, I just finished a juice fast/feast and I’m starting to look at things a bit differently. Rather, I’m feeling things differently.

I did the juice feast because a) I am adventurous and love challenging myself and b)  I totally needed a little recharge/refocus kind of thing in terms of eating. I wouldn’t call it a cleanse but more of a body and mind reset. It makes you look at your eating habits differently and helps you get in tune with your bodily needs a bit. I’m only speaking from personal experience here. I’m sure this kind of thing is so incredibly varied from person to person.

Anyway, I feel good. Like crazy good. I have tons of energy right from the moment I wake up in the morning, amazing stuff. I’ve been slowly working the solid (mostly raw) food back into my routine. A huge role in that whole transition period? Smoothies. Protein shakes. Energy shakes. Whatever you wanna call them, they’re awesome in this kind of situation.  There’s a lot of high quality, plant-based protein mixes out there and I have my own personal favourites (Vega, Amazing Meal and Manitoba Harvest are all great). After a run or in the middle of a busy service when you can’t actually stop and eat, it’s a pretty satisfying substitute.

Taking a look at some of the ingredients, I knew I could make a homespun version on the cheap that might just taste a little better. Sometimes the plant-based protein mixes are decidedly… green tasting. So just for the fun of it, I give you a whole food-based, vegan, homemade protein mix that tastes pretty awesome. It’s got hemp, ground almonds, sesame seeds, chia, raw cacao, cinnamon, vanilla powder; all kinds of good things. And! According to my not exactly scientific, but still totally decent calculations, there’s 2.8 grams of protein in one measly tablespoon of the stuff. Not shabby at all if you end up using 3-4 spoonfuls per smoothie like me (up to 10 grams of protein!). Or if you use a dab of natural peanut butter and some almond milk in your little drink concoction, that number’s going even higher. Shall we get pumped? I think so.

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tasty, whole & vegan protein mix
note: Just use the cinnamon and vanilla powder in appropriate amounts. Like if you do 1/4 cup measurements of everything, use a tbsp of each or so.

1 part raw sesame seeds
1 part raw, hulled hemp seeds
1 part chlorella powder (or spirulina if it’s easier to find)
1 part ground chia seeds
1 part raw, ground almonds
1 part raw cacao powder (or regular cocoa, although the nutritional/mineral content will be quite different)
an appropriate amount of ground cinnamon  (optional)
ditto for vanilla powder (optional)

Mix all of the ingredients together in a bowl and place into a container. Store in the fridge.

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  • Kate23/01/2012 - 1:40 pm

    This mix sounds great and I’m looking forward to trying it in my morning smoothies. I was just wondering what juice fast/feast regimen you used that made you feel so incredible. I’ve been thinking of doing the same, but I’m really unsure about where to start. Any helpful hints will be much appreciated!! Thanks!ReplyCancel

    • Laura23/01/2012 - 1:57 pm

      Hi Kate, I just literally feasted on fresh juice, water and herbal tea all day for 4 days. My morning juices were more fruit-based and then I progressed to veggie-based ones throughout the day to mirror my normal eating habits. Leading in and out of the fast, I ate primarily raw fruit and veggies. This blog post from My New Roots is really informative on the subject:

      Hope that helps!ReplyCancel

  • Kate23/01/2012 - 3:30 pm

    Great! Thank you so much, Laura. I will definitely check out the website. What wonderful colors veggies have, whole and juiced :)ReplyCancel

  • Christina Lockwood29/01/2012 - 12:19 pm

    Thank you for your inspiration! I was so excited to try this mix and beyond delighted by the results! The taste is superb mixed with almond milk, the green color once mixed is a fun escape from the muted browns and grey of other drinkable proteins and I love that the ingredients were all whole without preservatives found in commercial drinks. Thank you again!ReplyCancel

    • Laura29/01/2012 - 2:25 pm

      So glad you liked it Christina! You rock :)ReplyCancel

  • Keelin29/01/2013 - 9:38 pm

    I just made this and I’m super happy with how it turned out. I used spirulina, and used flax meal instead of hemp seeds because it’s what I had on hand. I just tried it mixed with unsweetened vanilla almond milk and a dash of agave…. it was so good! Thanks for the empowerment!ReplyCancel

  • Brittany25/02/2013 - 10:35 am

    This is such a great idea. Thank you for sharing the recipe.ReplyCancel

  • gluttonforlife25/02/2013 - 10:40 am

    Thanks for this excellent idea. I would be interested to know what the protein content is in a mix like this – any thoughts on how it might compare to whey-based powders?ReplyCancel

    • Laura Wright25/02/2013 - 10:47 am

      I think I mentioned in the post that I did a really rough calculation of the protein content and it hit around 3 grams per tablespoon. So it definitely cannot compare to whey based mixes (I know they have really high protein counts in general). I mostly made this up as a little protein boost of sorts for my smoothies. Again though, my calculation is probably rather crude compared to the more scientific conclusions of actual for-purchase mixes.

  • FRANCES25/02/2013 - 1:43 pm

    I work for a company that routinely randomly drug test the employees. I cannot injest HEMP. Do you have a suggestion for a subsitute and still use the protein mixture.ReplyCancel

    • Laura Wright26/02/2013 - 4:11 pm

      Hi Frances,
      I would replace the hemp seed portion with either ground flax seeds or more chia (or both if you like). Nutritionally and taste wise, hemp is rather unique, so the mix will be quite different. Hope that helps you!

  • Erik28/02/2013 - 9:15 pm

    Would adding brewers yeast to this mix be good or bad?ReplyCancel

    • Laura Wright03/03/2013 - 9:52 am

      Hi Erik,
      I assume if you enjoy the taste of brewer’s yeast, it would be fine. Although I do think it will alter the taste significantly. This mix has a bit of a nutty/spicy/chocolate-y vibe going on, so I can’t imagine the brewer’s yeast contributing much to that. Hope that helps.

  • Anna22/09/2013 - 4:43 pm

    My little brother is in Afghanistan and has sent me this link on FB wanting me to make this for him to take back with him next time he’s home. I’m familiar with everything except for the vanilla powder… What is this?ReplyCancel

    • Laura Wright23/09/2013 - 8:42 pm

      Hi Anna,
      Vanilla powder is a dried version of vanilla extract/beans that’s been ground into a powder, without the use of alcohol as a preservative. I’ve only ever seen in it in health food stores, but you can buy it on Amazon pretty easily. It isn’t completely necessary–you could certainly go without it and still have plenty of flavour in the mix. Hope this helps!

  • Paula24/11/2013 - 11:51 am

    I’ve been looking for a way to make my own protein powder. It seems there are always ingredients in the commercial products that I’m sensitive to eating. I did find one, but it’s incredibly expensive. I’ll be making my own now. Thanks!ReplyCancel

  • […] Make your own vegan protein mix  […]ReplyCancel

  • michelle20/02/2014 - 4:56 pm

    hello! i just saw your blog post as i was doing a search online to make my own protein powder. after all is said and done, how much powder mix do you put with a liquid (almond milk, milk, water, etc?)? 2 tbsp? thanks so much!ReplyCancel

  • Sophie Beraud03/04/2014 - 1:35 pm

    Thanks for this recipe Laura!

    It inspired me to make my own, slightly different version using organic hemp protein powder rather than seeds (to “up” the protein content) and adding home-grown stevia leaves “powder” to satisfy my sweet tooth.

    PS: for those wondering where to get vanilla powder — just make it!! Dry out vanilla pods (air-dry, oven, or dehydrator), grind up using a spice/coffee grinder, and store in an air-tight container in the fridge. Awesomesauce!

    – SReplyCancel

  • Yanneke Josephus Jitta12/05/2014 - 12:51 am

    Any idea how long one could keep the ground mixture? ThanxReplyCancel

    • Laura Wright12/05/2014 - 7:25 am

      Hi Yanneke, As long as you store this in a closed container in the fridge, you could have it for a few months.

  • […] Yummy, vegan + totally empowering DIY protein mix by The First Mess […]ReplyCancel

  • […] them a bit. One came from a dietician who suggested dry milk, oats, and almonds. Another was decidedly fancier with chlorella, hemp seeds, chia seeds, cocoa, vanilla powder, and sesame seeds. Option 1 is a […]ReplyCancel

  • Allie20/08/2016 - 4:41 pm

    Did you grind the seeds & nuts yourself or buy them already ground?ReplyCancel

    • Laura22/08/2016 - 8:56 am

      Hey Allie,
      I can go either way on this. The only two ground components (almonds and chia seeds) are widely available pre-ground. If I only have whole almonds and chia seeds on hand, I’ll grind them up in the dry container of my Vitamix. Really, the same amount of chia seeds could be left whole so that you only require ground almonds.

  • Yael Tamar28/09/2017 - 5:29 am

    The recipe looked so yummy! And it made me so excited to give a try and was really amazed with the taste. I also feel happy that all ingredients are natural, vegan. thanks for the wonderful recipe..ReplyCancel

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