Picture: Nutiva Organic Hemp Shake Chocolate Protein Powder
I like to add Protein Powders to get some protein boost to foods like homemade power bars and drinks like juice and smoothies. The challenge with me though is that most protein powders are commonly made with whey or soy based protein sources which don't jive well with my body.
So, I went in search of protein powders made with anything but soy and whey and was pleasantly surprised to find seven different kinds. I'm sure there are others that I didn't find, but to know that I have seven other choices is pretty awesome.
I have vegan friends who are also on the look out for soy free vegan or vegetarian friendly protein powders. Apparently, soy is very prevalent in vegan/vegetarian powders, so finding soy-free is a *yay.*
Some tips in looking at protein powders:
- Use powders that use non-GMO food sources.
- Almost all brands come in single size packets. I would try those first because it's cheaper and only one use. Buying a big tub of protein pwoder that you end up not liking is pricey.
- Buy organic when possible because this will eliminate the addition of anything artificial or lab coat made in the powder like artificial sweeteners, preservatives, or dyes.
- Be conscious of the sugar content. Just because something is loaded with protein doesn't mean that it also isn't loaded with sugar which won't help up your healthiness.
Here are the 7 soy and whey free protein powder options I found:
- Rice Protein:
Commonly made with Brown Rice. I typically use Rice protein probably because I usually drink rice milk, and hey the Asian in me, likes rice. Here are some folks who make Rice protein: Jarrow Formulas, Nutribiotic, MLO Products.
- Hemp Protein:
Hemp protein powders can be really grassy tasting but not all brands make their powders the same. I tried two different brands before I found one I like made by Living Harvest. A couple others who make hemp protein powders: Manitoba Harvest, Nutiva.
Note: Vega makes a Whole Food Health Optimizer powder which uses a protein combo of: hemp, pea, brown rice, flax, and chlorella. I've tried their powders and like them.
- Pea Protein:
Commonly derived from yellow peas. I didn't even realize that you could get a good amount of protein from peas so this was a pleasant surprise. Here are some companies that make Pea Protein based powders: Olympian Labs, Kirkman, Now Foods.
- Flax Protein:
I would use Flax seeds in smoothies and bread. It's cool to see that there is now Flax protein powder form like from Nature's Way so your smoothie doesn't have so much of a seedy texture. I've noticed other companies will mix in flax protein with other proteins like hemp or pea for a protein mix.
- Egg White Protein:
This is a nice option for those who don't want to cook up egg whites. You can just drop a couple scoops of Egg Protein Powder into a drink. Brands that make egg protein powder: Now Foods, Optimum Nutrition.
- Brazil Nut Protein:
Nut protein powder seems like an interesting way to not only add-in protein but MUFAs. RawGuru sells an Organic Raw Brazil Nut Protein Powder. Raw Power makes a Protein Superfood Blend Powder that combines hemp + brazil nut protein.
- Goat Milk Protein:
There's goat milk cheese, ice creams, and yogurt so why not a protein powder? Makes sense to me for those of us like me who can't do cow milk because of allergies but are okay with the goat. Check out Goat Milk Protein Powder from Jarrow Formulas, and Goatein from Garden of Life.
Important note, I have not personally tried all of these brands so me stating a specific brand name is not necessarily me giving them a thumbs up to any of them nor can I attest to the quality of experience you get with each product. Most of these brands I found at Whole Foods or on sites/forums that I deemed with some credibility. Also, there are no affiliate codes attached with any of the links, so I'm not making a cent by linking. I'm just sharing stuff I found.
Common complaints about veggie or non-cow protein powders are things like grassy taste, saw dust like, or too gritty. Each person has their own palate, so what may taste good to me may not agree with you. I say have fun and be adventurous. I'm just giving you a starting ground for other options that you probably never knew existed. I for one never knew that pea, brazil nut, and goat milk protein powder existed.
Please feel free to share your experience with any of the products above, and to share any other options not included. We always like to hear about new stuff!