This is my favourite high protein smoothie, made without protein powder. It is an excellent high energy snack for fueling pre-workout or replenishing afterward. The cashews or hemp hearts provide a good dose of healthy fats as well as protein, which is extra important in times when blood sugar is low. Soaked raw nuts and seeds are one of the most digestible vegan protein sources.

Why soak, you ask? It neutralizes the phytic acid which can inhibit mineral absorption, and it also improves their digestibility.

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Ingredients

1/4 cup raw cashews* (can be soaked) or 3 Tbsp hemp hearts**
1-2 Medjool dates (pitted) or 1/2 a frozen banana
1 cup water
1 cup strawberries
1/2 tsp cardamom
1/2 tsp pure vanilla extract
1-2 Tbsp chia seeds

*For a quicker version, or if you don’t have nuts or seeds on hand, you can use any milk – almond, hemp, rice, coconut, etc. – as a substitute.

**Hemp hearts do not have phytic acid, so they do not need to be soaked ahead.

Instructions

1. Drain nuts and rinse in a colander
2. Place the nuts or seeds into a high-powered blender
3. Add water and blend until very smooth, about 30 to 60 seconds***
4. Then add the berries, vanilla, dates or banana, and chia and blend again until smooth

Yield: about 1.5 cups

***If you are making nut or hemp milk, you would normally strain the pulp through cheesecloth; but for this smoothie, I like to leave all of the good ber in the blender, add the rest of the ingredients and just blend again.

Tips for soaking nuts

  • »  Raw nuts should be soaked for about 8 to 10 hours (overnight is good).
  • »  Cover them with 1 inch of water. Store in the fridge.
  • »  In the morning, drain off the soaking water and rinse well in a colander.
  • »  They are now ready for being whipped into creamy smoothies, nut milks, sauces, desserts and spreads!
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