For those of us on the Autoimmune Protocol, breakfasts can be a little tricky. If you’re used to starting your morning with a smoothie, you might be a bit overwhelmed when you learn that whey protein, pea protein and even egg white protein powders are out on the AIP. In fact, even though I’m asked this question nearly every week, there are almost no easy AIP-friendly protein powders—with one exception!
Vital Proteins Collagen Peptides is an amazing protein supplement that not only complies with the Autoimmune Protocol, it can even help those of us with chronic illness heal! I personally I use Collagen Peptides ever single day!
Collagen peptides contain the same amino acids as gelatin, and we all know how I feel about the fabulous healing properties of that food (hello, #bonebrothheals! See Why Broth is Awesome for more information). However, collagen peptides are even more versatile because they’re hydrolized, or broken down into very short chain amino acids, meaning they dissolve easily in water. Since the amino acid content of collagen peptides matches that of our own skin, they’re fabulous for building stronger hair and nails and for developing glowing skin. And, the high glycine content is very helpful for the immune system (discussed in The Paleo Approach on pages 196-198). Collagen Peptides are also nearly flavorless, making them a superb addition to a morning smoothie!
I love Vital Proteins Collagen Peptides so much that I wanted to share my AIP breakfast smoothie recipe that really lets this product shine. It combines the wonderful nutrition of dark leafy greens and vegetable juice with a dose of healthy fat from avocado and the healing power of collagen peptides. While most smoothies are just glorified bowls of fruit sugar, this one is relatively low in fruit, with just half a banana to balance out the strong flavor of the greens. Bananas are primarily made up of glucose, meaning they’re a perfect fruit to eat around workout times. The addition of avocado, the fiber from the leafy greens, and collagen peptides will help balance out any potential blood sugar spikes, and keep you full much longer than a typical fruit drink.
You can use any greens you like in this smoothie. Darker greens like kale and collards will have a stronger flavor, but “baby” varieties of these greens tend to be much milder (while containing much of the same desirable nutrition). If you’re making this smoothie for kids, you might try starting with spinach or even lettuce and working in larger amounts of dark leafy greens over time.
Prep time: 5 min
Cook time: None
Makes: 1 (12 oz serving)
- 1⁄2 banana
- 1⁄4 avocado
- 1 cup vegetable juice (homemade or store-bought) or water, chilled
- 2 to 3 cups fresh leafy greens (spinach, kale, lettuce, baby collards, etc.)
- 1 -2 scoops Vital Proteins Collagen Peptides
- Place all the ingredients except the protein powder in a blender and blend on high for 1 to 2 minutes, until smooth.
- Add the protein powder and pulse to incorporate.
Leftover sweet potato can be added to increase the starchy carbohydrate content.
A high-powered blender will create a smoother consistency and is definitely a worthwhile investment if you’ll be making smoothies often.
Look for vegetable juice that doesn’t contain any fruit ingredients (except maybe lemon or lime). If making homemade vegetable juice, celery, cucumber, and leafy greens are great options.
*It’s important to note that collagen peptides don’t contain the complete amino acid profile you would get from meat. That means I wouldn’t recommend you use them as your only source of protein. However, when you’re looking for a boost of protein in the morning, I think they’re absolutely perfect!