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I get a lot of questions about my vegan protein powders. There are SO MANY options available, and many regular store-bought brands are filled with an array of extra chemicals, fillers, and compounds your body doesn’t need and doesn’t recognize. I’m picky about my protein powders, so I’ve been testing and sampling and researching for you. Since my go-to flavor is chocolate, this will be a review of all the best chocolate vegan protein powders on the market. I will go in-depth on each brand’s pros and cons in taste, texture, and quality of ingredients so you know which brands make the best vegan protein powders.
Why Vegan Protein Powder?
Many nutritionists recommend skipping the processed protein powder supplements in favor of nutrition from whole foods, and I absolutely agree with them. There are so many studies about whey proteins and how they can cause more harm than good in your body. When possible, choosing whole foods is absolutely the best option. Some people either require more protein (due to pregnancy, an exercise regimen, etc), or simply prefer to give their diet a boost with a quick and easy plant-based beverage.
My general mantra regarding a healthy diet is “as many plants as possible,” and these vegan protein powders definitely fit that mantra well.
*Note: I do not mix my protein powders with water, I tested all of these mixed with my Silk cashew milk (not sponsored, just my favorite!).
Orgain is one of the most readily available vegan protein powder options, because it’s carried in just about every grocery store. As the name indicates, the ingredients are organic. The “founding story” is actually pretty awesome, because Orgain was developed by a doctor who had overcome cancer at a young age and used wholesome foods to nourish his body to help it heal. As a nurse, I just love when doctors understand the role of fruits and vegetables in your health!
Taste: Orgain has a rich and full taste. I’m admittedly very picky about chocolate protein powders because most of them taste fake or have a metallic aftertaste, but Orgain protein shakes taste like a chocolate milkshake.
Texture: Orgain is very creamy, but a little on the thin side. This protein powder is available in ready-made shakes or containers of dry powder. The powder mixes well with water or plant milk, without leaving any excess clumps stuck to the bottom of the cup.
Quality of Ingredients: Orgain protein powders are gluten-free, soy-free,USDA organic, nonGMO, kosher, no sugar added, and more. Sweetened with stevia and erythritol, this shake won’t spike your blood sugar.
Each serving size has 12 grams of plant-based protein, with 20 servings per container.
OWYN is an acronym for “Only What You Need,” and I first heard about it last year from Genevieve Padalecki on her blog’s instagram, Now and Gen. She featured this new brand’s ready-made shakes, and what intrigued me was not only that it was an organic and vegan protein shake, but also it is free of the Top 8 Allergens. The protein is primarily from pumpkin (who knew?).
I love that this brand advertises that there are Omega 3s in the shakes as well. My typical downfall when I eat strictly plant-based is that I tend to accidentally go on a fat-free diet, so I am very intentional about making sure I’m eating plenty high-fat foods, like avocados and coconut.
Taste: Rich, creamy, and smooth. Definitely didn’t taste the kale and pumpkin hidden in my shakes.
Texture: Super creamy. I don’t see how anyone would think it was vegan, honestly.
Quality of Ingredients: OWYN is absolutely wonderful if you have allergies and have to be extra careful about cross-contamination. After all ingredients are closely monitored during the growing, harvesting, and storing processes, they undergo serious testing to ensure nothing “snuck in” that they might have missed. OWYN is also nonGMO, so you can rest assured the ingredients are clean. Each serving contains a healthy dose of probiotics as well, and is stevia-free (for those of you who react to stevia).
Each serving contains 20g of protein, with 14 servings per container.
Garden in the Raw
I first started looking into Garden in the Raw when I was pregnant with my oldest son, because I was looking for ways to maximize my nutrition on the days I only wanted brownies. I had done a lot of reading into the Weston A. Price diet, so I was impressed that a company actually took the time to sprout their proteins and keep everything they could in a raw form, for maximum enzyme protection.
Taste: This protein powder is not one that you would want to mix up with some water and head out the door. The amount of ingredients and their format are so great for your body, but it definitely has that “healthy” taste. This is best blended with a frozen banana and some plant milk, and then it tastes like a treat!
Texture: By itself, it’s more chalky than I would prefer. To enjoy this powder fully, I blend it in with smoothies rather than drink it plain. I’ve never been one to actually be full and content with just a protein shake mix and some water as my breakfast anyway, so this doesn’t really bother me.
Quality of Ingredients: Amazing. It’s certified by USDA Organic as well as NonGMO. Gluten-free, and I already gushed about how they sprout their proteins to make them easy to digest. Sweetened with both erythritol and stevia, but again, you probably don’t want to drink this one plain.
Each serving contains 22g of protein, with 20 servings per container.
IdealRaw is an online-only brand, and you can sign up for a no-contract subscription service for regular deliveries, or order as you need. They typically have decent sales and (shhh….) also typically qualify for eBates rebates.
IdealRaw is honestly my favorite protein powder of all of these brands, and you will see exactly why throughout the review.
Taste: Rich, creamy, no metallic-y aftertaste. Tastes just like a chocolate bar has been melted and mixed into my cashew milk. You know how some chocolate protein powders taste like a light or fake chocolate that sticks to the roof of your mouth? This one does not. Not at all. It’s seriously just a rich chocolate taste.
Texture: Again with the creamy. It all mixes very well with my cashew milk, without clumping or leaving residue on my shaker cup. No one would know you mixed in a powder!
Quality of Ingredients: IdealRaw is USDA organic, soy-free, and gluten-free. It’s sweetened with stevia, and you can actually pronounce all the ingredients (and buy them all in the grocery store if you wanted to!). The protein mix comes from a combination of many different plants, which gives you a better variety of enzymes and nutrition than just a chocolate flavored pea protein or soy protein.
They have many other vegan and organic foods available for purchase as well, to boost your morning (or post-workout) routines.
Each serving contains 15g of protein, with 30 servings per container.
Juice Plus is typically known for their rainbow capsules and free product for children program, but they also carry a protein powder that has definitely earned a spot on this list.
Juice Plus comes in two flavors, Dutch Chocolate and Vanilla, and the chocolate is definitely my favorite out of the two. The Juice Plus “claim to fame” is their incredibly timely processing of fresh fruits and vegetables. Picked at the height of their individual freshness and processed immediately at a very low temperature, the more delicate enzymes are protected and nutrition is maximized. Complete protein is sweetened with organic cane sugar and organic stevia.
Taste: The best way I can describe the chocolate is like a light brownie batter. You know the brownies that are made with cocoa powder instead of bittersweet chocolate blocks? It tastes like that. Definitely chocolate, definitely sweet, but a light taste.
Texture: Juice Plus is one that I would actually mix with water. They have added natural gums as thickening agents, which makes it about the consistency of a nonfat milk chocolate milk when mixed with plain water. When mixed with cashew milk, it is thick and creamy. My favorite way to drink this is actually as a hot chocolate with some heated cashew milk.
Quality of Ingredients: Juice Plus uses water-washed soy, which is a much more natural and less-processed way to ingest soy. I know there are many schools of thought around soy products and whether or not it’s good for you. I am personally comfortable with ingesting soy from a quality source in small doses. and so I do feel comfortable recommending Juice Plus to all of you soy-consumers.
Juice Plus Complete powder offers 13g of protein per serving, and comes in 60 servings.
Do you drink protein shakes? What is your favorite brand, and why? Leave me a comment!
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