When you’re in a rush to make breakfast but still want something that’s balanced and tasty, this green apple cinnamon smoothie is a great choice! With several whole plant-based ingredients, it makes a creamy vegan shake without protein powder.
Nutritionally balanced and ready to take with you, it can be a big help on busy mornings. It’s easy to customize to your taste preferences and will keep you feeling full through to lunch!
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Are Apple Cinnamon Smoothies Vegan?
Smoothies are easy to make vegan with simple substitutions from their non-vegan versions. The first and most important swap to make is using a plant-based milk instead of a dairy milk. While you can use any plant-based milk, soy milk is a great option because it’s creamy and higher in protein.
Another common ingredient in smoothies is yogurt. Like milk, to make a vegan protein shake that tastes great, find a plant-based yogurt that you enjoy. I also prefer a soy-based yogurt, and these tend to have high protein content compared to those made with an almond base.
Finally, many smoothies, vegan or not, call for protein powder. If you enjoy protein powder, find it convenient, or enjoy the flavors, then continue using it to make a vegan protein smoothie. However, this recipe focuses on other sources of protein to give an option to those who don’t like protein powder. If you plan to use protein powder, just ensure that you find one that uses plant-based protein instead of whey or other animal-sourced proteins.
Vegan Green Apple Cinnamon Smoothie Ingredients
While high-protein vegan apple cinnamon smoothies can be relatively simple to create, there are several plant-based ingredients to include that can help boost protein and offer additional nutrition benefits. This recipe calls for:
- Soy milk: Soy milk has 6-8 grams of protein per cup and makes a creamy smoothie. Most other types of non-diary milk have less than 2 grams of protein per cup which is why I use soy milk for this vegan protein smoothie.
- Banana: Half of a medium-sized banana will go a long way to boost the carbohydrates and sweetness of this smoothie. It will give you more energy to start your day while making the shake taste better. If you like banana, using the whole banana is an option but I didn’t want it to overpower the apple and cinnamon flavors in this smoothie.
- Apple: Like banana, an apple will offer more sweetness and satisfying carbohydrates. It also packs in additional nutrients and flavors that you’d expect when drinking a green apple smoothie. Simply slice around the core and add into your blender.
- Avocado: Bringing healthy fats, ¼ of a medium-sized avocado per smoothie will help you feel full for longer while also adding some green color and creaminess to the shake.
- Spinach: Full of antioxidants, spinach (or another type of leafy green vegetable) will help round out the nutrition of the smoothie with vitamin C, iron and calcium.
- Hemp seed: Packing-in even more nutrition and protein, hemp seeds are one of my favorite ingredients to add into smoothies. They don’t gel or cause the smoothie liquid to thicken like chia or flax seeds would, making it the ideal addition.
- Cinnamon: One of the prominent flavors in this recipe is cinnamon. I prefer one teaspoon per serving but use as much or as little as you like for the perfect flavor!
- Vegan yogurt: Making for an even creamier smoothie, vegan yogurt brings a lot to the recipe. Choose a vegan yogurt that’s higher in protein if possible (soy-based yogurts are typically the best) to keep you feeling fuller for longer.
- Dates: If your plant-based milk and/ or yogurt is not sweetened to start with, you may want to add a dried date for extra sweetness. They also provide a boost of fiber and potassium.
- Vanilla extract: I’ve tried this vegan green apple cinnamon smoothie with and without vanilla extract, and believe me, you’ll want to add it! A splash of vanilla adds an incredible depth of flavor that truly enhances the flavor of any smoothie.
- Ice cubes: While these have no impact on nutrition or flavor, you’ll likely want to add a couple ice cubes to ensure your smoothie stays cold while it blends. This is more important for high-power blenders that heat liquids while blending.
Get Vegan Protein Without Powder
This recipe incorporates many whole, plant-based sources of protein rather than relying on protein powder. I don’t enjoy the texture or flavor of protein powder so I always look for tasty add-ins that help increase protein content without making the shake chalky or have a strange aftertaste.
Some of my favorite vegan protein sources that go well in smoothies include:
- Hemp seeds
- Chia seeds (these gel after soaking so only use if you plan to drink right away!)
- Tofu (soft/silken or firm work)
- Peanut butter
- Powdered peanut butter
- Any other type of nut or seed butter
- Soy milk (instead of almond, rice, cashew, etc. with oat generally being the next best choice)
- Non-dairy yogurt that is high in protein (likely a soy-based yogurt)
- Rolled oats
Rolled oats and quinoa aren’t super high in protein but can be a nice addition with other high-protein options. Rolled oats bring a nice flavor to a smoothie and make it taste more like a muffin or baked-good.
How to Make a High-Protein Apple Cinnamon Smoothie
Ready to see how this green apple cinnamon protein shake comes together?!
It’s so quick and simple, just toss all the ingredients into a blender and puree until smooth and creamy.
Step 1: Add Ingredients into Blender
Add the ingredients you want to use into a blender.
In preparing the ingredients, you need to peel a banana, chop an apple away from its seeds, and scoop avocado out of its peel. Everything else should be a direct add into the blender.
Go ahead and eat the second half of the banana if you’re only making a single portion. I always make a double portion so use the full banana. There is nothing wrong with a full banana per person; the reason for the half banana is to prevent the flavor taking over and diluting the delicious apple-cinnamon taste.
If you don’t like banana, use additional vegan yogurt instead. This will give you a similar creaminess.
Step 2: Blend and Pour
Once you’ve incorporated all desired ingredients, blend until smooth and no chunks remain. To serve, pour into as many cups as needed for you and your family to enjoy!
Vegan Green Apple Protein Smoothie Tips, Substitutions and Variations
There are endless options for how to add variety to your smoothie. Just remember that for this green apple cinnamon protein smoothie, you’ll want to include the apple, cinnamon, spinach, soy milk, and at least one other high-protein ingredient.
Using fresh or frozen berries may be delicious, but they can also have a big impact on the color of your smoothie. If having a green smoothie is important to you, then make sure the spinach and avocado remain the primary source of color! Use seeds, tofu or peanut butter to add more nutrition to your shake without changing the color too drastically.
How to Store Your Cinnamon Apple Smoothie
You may want to make a larger batch of this green protein smoothie to have for multiple days. If making lots, it should be refrigerated in an airtight container for up to three days. Since the recipe uses avocado, you may start to notice some browning on the top of your smoothie, but it will still be good to drink and maintain its green color throughout.
I do not recommend trying to freeze this recipe; it’s designed to be very quick to make, so make as much as you wish to consume within a few days. When you’re ready for more, just grab your fresh ingredients and blend together for more delicious, protein-rich goodness!
If you make this recipe, please rate and comment below to help others benefit from your experience!
Vegan Green Apple Cinnamon Protein Smoothie
- Add all ingredients into a blender.1 cup soy milk, 1 medium apple, ½ cup spinach, ½ medium banana, ¼ medium avocado, ⅓ cup vegan yogurt, 2 tablespoons hemp seeds, 1 teaspoon cinnamon, 1 teaspoon vanilla extract, 1-2 medium dry dates, 2-3 ice cubes
- Blend until smooth.
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About Nicole Stevens
Nicole is a vegan Registered Dietitian (RD) and founder of Lettuce Veg Out.
She helps people thrive on a vegan diet with balanced recipes and easy-to-understand nutrition science.