This healthy Vanilla Protein Shake recipe is made with clean, nourishing ingredients like natural protein powder, pure vanilla extract, banana, milk, and honey. It makes an ideal post-workout shake or healthy breakfast smoothie, because it is refined sugar-free and is so easy to make. Learn how to make a homemade protein shake with this fast and effortless recipe!
You are going to love this vanilla protein smoothie recipe, because it is packed with nutritious ingredients and is so simple to make. It makes a protein-rich breakfast that will jump-start your day and will keep you feeling satiated all morning. It is also an ideal post-workout shake that will refuel your energy and help your muscles to heal after exercising.
Should You Drink a Protein Shake Before or After a Workout?
A number of studies show that protein helps your muscles to repair and rebuild after exercise. For that reason, many people drink protein shakes after their workouts to aid this process. However, recent research suggests the amount of protein you consume per day is more important than when you consume it for gaining muscle mass (source). Therefore, you can choose which time you prefer or is most convenient for you. Personally, I always opt to have a protein shake after hitting the gym, but that’s just what works best for me.
Are Protein Shakes Good for Weight Loss?
Absolutely! As long as protein shakes are made with clean, junk-free ingredients, they are superb for weight loss. Protein shakes are a rich source of protein (hence the name), which is an important nutrient for weight loss. Getting enough protein in your diet boosts your metabolism, reduces your appetite, and helps you lose body fat without losing muscle.
Vanilla Protein Shake Ingredients
Before we get to the recipe, let’s discuss ingredients. To make this vanilla protein smoothie, you will need:
- Protein Powder: This majorly boosts the protein content of your smoothie. If you can, use a natural and organic protein powder that contains no additives, fillers, artificial colors, flavors, sweeteners, or preservatives. I love and use this one from Thrive Market.
- Milk: This serves as the liquid base for the smoothie. I usually use low-fat dairy milk.
- Vanilla extract: This infuses the smoothie with warm, sweet vanilla flavor. Make sure you use the real, natural stuff (preferably organic) and not anything artificial.
- Banana: This gives your smoothie a rich and creamy consistency. It is also a great source of potassium and dietary fiber.
- Honey: This adds natural and unrefined sweetness. Not all packaged honey is created equal, so I recommend using one that is 100% pure, raw, and unfiltered for optimal health benefits. I use this one from Thrive Market.
- Ice: This helps thicken the shake. Although, if I don’t have any ice in the freezer, I just make my protein shake without it.
The ingredients I’ve linked to above can be ordered from Thrive Market, which is an impressive online store that sells healthy, organic food and natural products at 25-50% below retail prices. I like to think of it like Amazon (online retailer) meets Costco (low, wholesale prices) meets Whole Foods (all nutritious, junk-free foods).
If you want to purchase anything from them, you will need to sign up for a Thrive Market membership. However, if you’re a reader of my website, you will get an exclusive bonus when you join:
How to Make a Vanilla Protein Shake
This recipe could not be easier. To make this homemade vanilla protein shake recipe, simply:
- Add all of the ingredients – milk, banana, ice, honey, vanilla extract, and protein powder – to a blender.
- Blend until smooth and serve immediately.
(Exact ingredient amounts are included in the full recipe below, as always.)
Pro Tip: When adding your ingredients to your blender to make a shake, always add the liquid (in this case, the milk) first near the blades. Doing this will help your blender to run a bit more smoothly.
How to Make This Recipe with Vanilla Protein Powder
If you want to use vanilla protein powder instead of plain protein powder in this recipe, you definitely can. I recommend using a high-quality vanilla protein powder that is naturally flavored and sweetened, like this one from Thrive Market.
To make your shake, simply make the recipe as written below (using a scoop of vanilla protein powder instead of unflavored protein powder), but omit the honey and vanilla extract. If your protein shake is not sweet enough after you’ve blended it, then feel free to sweeten it to taste with honey or another natural sweetener.
Possible Recipe Variations
This homemade protein shake recipe is very flexible with regards to variations. For example, feel free to…
- Swap in non-dairy milk: I generally use dairy milk when making shakes, but you can use any kind of milk you like. Unsweetened almond, coconut, soy, hemp, oat, or any other type of plant-based milk are all fabulous options.
- Add some spice: A dash of cinnamon or nutmeg taste delicious in smoothies.
- Use a different sweetener: Instead of honey, you can substitute another natural and unrefined sweetener, such as maple syrup or agave nectar. Alternatively, you can throw in one or two pitted dates instead of a liquid sweetener.
- Stir in some collagen: Adding collagen peptides to shakes and smoothies boosts their protein content even further. Collagen is also known to improve the condition of skin, hair, nails, joints, ligaments, and is great for gut health. I recommend using one that is all-natural, unflavored, and unsweetened. I use this one from Thrive Market.
Those are just a few suggestions, so feel free to experiment with whatever ingredient swaps or additions that sound good to you. 🙂
More Protein Shake Recipes to Try
Looking for more protein shake inspiration? Here are some of my favorite recipes on the blog:
- Strawberry Protein Shake
- Chocolate Protein Shake
- How to Make a Homemade Protein Shake
- Peanut Butter Banana Protein Shake
- Homemade Whey Protein Shake
My Favorite Hack for Making Protein Shakes
If drinking a protein shake is a part of your daily routine, I highly recommend checking out SmoothieBox. SmoothieBox is a protein shake kit delivery service that uses only the best, organic produce with no added sugar or artificial ingredients.
Each box comes with either 20 or 25 pre-portioned smoothie pouches that contain a blend of flash-frozen fruits, vegetables, and seeds. You also have a choice of either grass-fed collagen, vanilla whey, chocolate whey, vanilla vegan, or chocolate vegan protein powder to add to your box. SmoothieBox’s shake mixes are available in four flavors – Green, Berry, Clementine and Cacao.
To make a protein shake, simply empty the contents of a smoothie pouch into your blender. Then add a scoop of protein powder, any liquid you like, and blend until smooth. Depending on how much blending liquid you use, each smoothie pouch will yield one 16-20 ounce smoothie, or two 8-12 ounce smoothies.
The price ranges between $5.56 to $7.44 per smoothie and shipping is always free. You can choose to have a one-time order or a monthly subscription. If you choose to have a subscription, it can be paused, delayed or cancelled at any time. SmoothieBox also offers a 100% money-back guarantee if you’re not satisfied. In addition, my readers get a discount on their order using the link and code below:
If you want to learn more about all of my favorite smoothie and protein shake delivery services (including SmoothieBox), check out these useful posts on blog:
- The 7 Best Protein Shake Delivery Companies Online
- The Top 3 Organic Smoothie Delivery Companies
- The 7 Best Healthy Smoothie Delivery Services Online
Okay, now you know the benefits of drinking protein shakes and have also learnt my favorite hack for making them at home. Without further delay, here is the recipe! If you make this Vanilla Protein Shake recipe, let me know! Leave a comment with a star rating ★ below, because I love hearing from you! ♡
Vanilla Protein Shake
- Add all ingredients to a blender in the order listed.
- Blend until smooth and serve immediately.
- For easy blending, add the milk first near the blades when adding the ingredients to your blender.
- Vanilla protein powder can be substituted for the plain protein powder. If you’re going to do that though, I recommend omitting the honey and vanilla extract from the recipe.
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