It can be hard to get enough protein on a vegan diet, which is why protein powder can be a great help, especially for muscle building or weight loss.
But it can be expensive to buy vegan protein powder regularly, and it can contain ingredients that you don’t like (or wasteful packaging).
That’s why I recommend making your own if you’re looking to save some money or gain some control.
I developed the vegan protein powder recipe below on this page over time, and I’ll walk you through how you can modify it to fit your needs.
Ingredients Needed for DIY Vegan Protein Powder
All the best vegan protein powders include a few different types of ingredients:
- Protein isolate(s) – A protein isolate is a powder where as much of the protein is extracted from the source as possible. Sometimes just pea protein is used, but blends of other plant proteins are often used as well.
- Sweetener – By itself, protein isolate doesn’t taste great. The most common sweetener by far is Stevia, since it doesn’t affect macros. However, if you don’t like the taste of Stevia, try another sugar alcohol like erythritol, or just use sugar.
- Flavoring – While optional, the most basic flavoring you can add to a protein powder is cocoa powder or vanilla bean powder.
- Thickener (optional) – If you find your protein shakes are too watery, add a thickener like guar gum or xanthan gum to your protein powder.
How To Pick Your Plant Protein Sources
The most popular plant based proteins that you’ll find in commercial protein powders are:
- Pea protein – Tastes the “best”, it’s pretty plain, but has a decent texture and minor aftertaste.
- Hemp protein – Doesn’t taste great, usually included in small amounts.
- Brown rice protein – Doesn’t taste great, but can round out a blend.
Many commercial vegan powders combine pea protein with other protein sources in order to form a complete vegan protein.
However, that’s not particularly important if you’re getting protein from other sources during the day, so if you just want to stick to pea protein, that’s fine.
Can You Make Pea Protein Isolate At Home?
You can make pea protein isolate at home, but it’s really difficult and not really worth it.
Other recipes for homemade pea protein powder simply tell you to blend up dried peas and sift out the biggest chunks. But if you do that, you still have all the carbohydrates left in it, those recipes don’t make pea protein isolate.
Instead, buy pea protein isolate from bulk stores or brands like Now Sports. It’s much cheaper than buying other plant based protein powders, and you get more control over the final result.
How To Make Your Own Vegan Protein Powder
Start by getting all your ingredients out.
Making your own protein powder is easy, you simply need to mix all the ingredients together in a large mixing bowl.
Start with a small amount of sweetener at first. You can always add more, but it can ruin the taste if you add too much.
Spend at least a minute mixing the ingredients together to ensure that the flavoring ingredients are evenly distributed.
Homemade Vegan Protein Powder Blend Recipe
DIY Vegan Protein Powder Blend Recipe
- 1 cup pea protein powder isolate 100 grams
- 1/3 cup hemp protein powder 40 grams
- 1 tbsp Stevia or erythritol 10 grams
- 2 tbsp cocoa powder or vanilla bean powder 12 grams
- Add all ingredients to a mixing bowl
- Use a whisk to mix them together completely
- Give your powder a quick taste and add more sweetener if needed
- Transfer to an air-tight container
Questions About DIY Vegan Protein Powder
What can I use instead of vegan protein powder?
If you want to get a lot of protein on a vegan diet without protein powder, the best alternatives are vital wheat gluten and tofu if you want to hit particular macros. Aside from those, you can eat a lot of legumes, but they have a significant amount of carbohydrates.
Are vegan protein shakes bad for you?
There is some concern over heavy metals in vegan protein powder, but unless you’re drinking several protein shakes per day, there doesn’t appear to be a significant risk of negative health effects.
How do you make pea protein isolate?
In commercial settings, pea protein isolate is usually made by grinding peas into a powder, and then mixing it with an alkaline (basic) solution. Protein dissolves readily in the right solution, so anything that doesn’t dissolve is removed. Then the protein isolate is separated out through an acidification process.