Nut butters are so delicious, we could honestly eat most of them straight from the jar. But you know what makes them taste better—and pack even more of a nutritional punch? Blending them into protein-filled shakes for healthy post workout snacks.
Adding 1 to 2 tablespoons of your favorite nut butter to your post-workout smoothie gives you an added plant-based protein boost of about 10 percent of your daily value of protein. Not to mention, nut and seed butters are high in healthy, polyunsaturated fats as well as omega-3s, which make them anti-inflammatory foods and healthier alternatives to dairy butter, according to research. Studies also show that eating nuts is associated with a potentially decreased risk of four different types of cancer.
Plus, the fiber content in nut butter keeps you full for the rest of your morning (or evening) after you exercise—enough so that you could even sneak in another workout if you wanted. Get creative with the ingredients! You can essentially add your nut or seed butter of choice to any of these recipes, but after a long run or an intense heavy-lifting session, these are our favorite healthy post workout snacks.
Almond Butter Blueberry Bliss Smoothie
There’s a triple whammy of protein in this shake: first of all, 20 grams from the protein powder, and then an additional 3.5 grams from the almond butter and almond milk. You’ll also absorb a solid amount of Omega-3’s (and surpass your daily value) with the handful of flaxseed and hemp seeds in the recipe.
Ingredients: 1/4 frozen banana 1/2 cup frozen blueberries 1 scoop vanilla protein powder 1 tablespoon flaxseed 1 tablespoon almond butter 1 cup almond milk 1 Large handful spinach 1 Pinch cinnamon, plus more for garnishing 5-7 ice cubes Small handful hemp seeds, for garnishing
Directions: In a blender, add fruit, protein powder, flaxseed, almond butter, almond milk, spinach, cinnamon, and ice cubes and blend until smooth. Pour into a mason jar or glass and garnish with a sprinkle of cinnamon and hemp seeds.
Pineapple Sunflower Seed Butter Smoothie
This is a great option for those who have a nut allergy or intolerance but still crave healthy post workout snacks. The recipe contains equally as much protein as peanut butter: Sunflower seed butter has 7 grams of protein per 2 tablespoon serving. If you're not a sunflower seed fan, you can sub in your favorite nut butter instead.
Ingredients: 3/4 cup frozen pineapple chunks 2/3 cup frozen mixed berries 1 cup spinach 2 tablespoons sunflower seed butter 2 tablespoons hemp seeds 1 tablespoon ground flax seed meal 1 teaspoon green spirulina 1 cup coconut water
Directions: In a blender, add fruit, spinach, sunflower butter, hemp seeds, ground flaxseed meal, spirulina, and coconut water and blend until smooth. Pour into a glass and enjoy.
Berry Cashew Butter Smoothie
Heart-healthy cashew butter and cashew milk give this recipe a solid dose of protein, and that's before you even consider the 5 grams from the Greek yogurt. You also can up the protein ante by about 20 grams by adding in your choice of plant-based or whey protein powders.
Ingredients: ¾ cup unsweetened vanilla cashew milk ¼ cup 2% plain Greek yogurt or dairy-free yogurt 2 tablespoons cashew butter ¾ cup frozen blueberries and raspberries ½ frozen banana Optional: 1 scoop vanilla protein powder; sprinkle cinnamon; handful chia seeds
Directions: Add all ingredients in a blender, starting with the liquids first and frozen fruit last. Blend until completely smooth. Pour into glass and top with an optional sprinkle of cinnamon or chia seeds.