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Mint Chip Protein Shake

dairy-free gluten-free mint chip protein shake smoothie recipe

Mint Chip Protein Shake, full of hemp seeds and kale to power you through the day.

I love a good protein shake. I don’t love eating a lot of protein sans vegetables or fruit. This shake solves that issue with a healthy handful of kale. Yes, you heard me, kale.

I’ve had this gluten free, dairy free protein shake for breakfast the last three days in a row. I used kale that I picked from my garden. Starting the day off with a heaping dose of protein keeps my energy level up and helps me get in a better morning workout.

Mint Chip Protein Shake

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  1. Place kale, hemp seeds, protein powder and water in a vitamix
  2. Blend on high speed for 60-90 seconds, until smooth
  3. If your shake doesn’t blend up nicely in 90 seconds add just a bit more water
  4. Blend in peppermint, stevia and coconut oil, then ice
  5. When shake is thick and smooth, blend in chocolate chips
  6. Serve

Update: I apologize as I made this shake with protein powder and did not write it in the recipe above; I have fixed this error.

The boys are back in school, if you can believe that. They started last week. We are getting into a good groove and I welcome the routine, though I miss the houseful of boys that we had here all summer. It’s so quiet until my two arrive home with a gaggle of friends looking for food, which of course I’m more than happy to provide.

I haven’t offered them this Mint Chip Protein Shake yet, however, I will this week. And take note, this shake is not about hiding foods from your children (or adults), it’s about being able to eat something rich and smooth for breakfast that has a nice dose of fiber in it. I don’t think this tastes super kale-ish, however, it does have a good earthy flavor to it. I’m curious to see if you like it too.

Here are some other protein shakes for you:


posted on August 21, 2012

  1. Yum! What a refreshing idea and a good use for all of the hemp seeds in my freezer. We love adding kale to everything too as you know. Happy end of summer, Ali ;-)

  2. Vita @ Juicer Depot @ juicerdepot.com

    Chocolate chips and peppermint extract must give this shake a good flavor. I will put it on the list of things to try.

  3. Love mint but I use carob instead and don’t need added sweetener(though sometimes I will add a banana). Great healthy recipe! Cool that you can still grow greens in late summer there.

  4. Linda

    How much protein would you say is in one serving?

    • Jen

      Well, 1 tbsp hemp seeds contains 3 grams of protein, so that’s 6 grams protein there. I’d imagine you’re getting roughly the same amount of protein from this shake as you would from an egg.

    • Sherry

      They seem to be very popular and are out of stock a lot. They should be available soon and when they are buy several bags. They also sell a bar that is 73% cocoa, and that is in-stock; just chop it up for cookies or this shake.

  5. Pat

    Sounds great but I’m a little confused about where the protein is.

  6. Amy

    Both of your sources for the dark chocolate chips are not in stock! Any other ideas? I need them to be dairy free as well. Thanks!

    • Linda C

      Amy, Enjoy Life has dairy-free chocolate chips. They are also gluten-free and soy-free as well. You can buy online, or possibly locally, depending on where you live. There are mini chocolate chips as well as chocolate chunk. Enjoy!

    • VA

      I like to use a tablespoon of Raw Unsweetened Organic cocoa powder sold at Whole Foods. The powder has no sweeteners and adds a robust chocolate flavor to my healthy shakes.

  7. This looks so yummy and sounds super-healthy! Next summer I’m definitely going to grow my own kale, it’s somehow so difficult to find it otherwise (well, I’m located in Finland…). I quickly calculated that one serving contains roughly 7 grams protein, 25 grams fat and 5 grams net carbs. That sounds very nice to me, since I prefer everything LCHF (Low-Carb-High-Fat). The shake is not awfully high in protein, but enough to get a great start for the day. Also kale and coconut oil both keep you going :) And I love that you have used stevia as sweetener!

    Thanks Elana from your other kale recipes as well! Especially the Salt and Vinegar Kale Chips are beyond compare!

  8. Olivia@ OmNom Love @ omnomlove.blogspot.com

    I’m a little wary about putting spinach or kale in my smoothies, but I guess it’s worth a shot. I love anything mint. It just amazes me how brilliantly green that shake is! It’s gorgeous!

    • Lady Miss Jme

      I make a very different recipe of a “mint chocolate chip shake” Using , spinach + a touch almond milk and blend till liquid,then add frozen banana blend till smooth, then add mint & choc chips blend just a touch to chop chips a bit.

      When a friend gave me this recipe- and she said spinach- my eyes crossed! I **love** green juice – but couldn’t fathom this being awesome as a “Mint Chocolate Chip shake”. I was happily proven wrong! The mint totally knocks out the spinach…so Id bet it could do it for kale – provided its fresh- the older it gets – the stronger and more pungent.

      Good luck! <3

  9. Brenda D. Gaines

    My husband bought me a nutri-bullet to make smoothies after I complained of no energy. I’ve been doing it for a month- it works. I usually put a handful of spinach, a banana, some frozen berries, whatever other fruit I have like apple, peach, etc., a spoon of hemp seed, a spoon of flax seed, and fill to the mark with water or organic juice. After reading your post today I added some kale and mint leaves from the garden and will continue to use them. Thanks for sharing your ideas.

  10. MAIRBUNNY

    SOUNDS INTERESTING. I HAVE JUST PUT SOME KALE PLANTS IN MY GARDEN FOR THE FIRST TIME. I WILL HAVE TO TRY THIS WHEN THEY MATURE. ALSO PLAN TO MAKE KALE CHIPS.

  11. Julia {The Roasted Root} @ roastedrootfood.com

    I love the idea of a mint chip smoothie and the fact that you’re getting tons of vitamins out of the kale. I’d probably substitute the coconut oil for some coconut milk though…unless there’s a specific reason for it to be there? Looks good!

    • DamselflyDiary

      Coconut oil is proving to be a very healthy fat. There is even some research going on that it is beneficial for brain health – like alzheimers. Goodle “benefits of coconut oil” and you will find a world of information, including something from Dr. Oz about he uses coconut oil to reduce blood sugar.

  12. Carolina

    Delicious! I love new ideas for green smoothies-this looks great.

  13. DamselflyDiary

    Thanks for the great shake idea! My hubby and I have been making daily “green” drinks in the afternoon for a couple of months. We bought a Ninja blender and toss in whatever organic fruit and veggies we have on hand plus coconut oil, liquid minerals, probiotics and larch. I almost always use kale because it is such a super food. I can’t wait to try your version for a tasty variation.

    Based on some other comments here I thought I would mention that our Costco in Colorado sells organic hemp seeds as well as organic coconut oil. It is cost effective and in bulk.

    We do not have a garden but can buy organic baby kale at both Costco and our local King Soopers. Baby kale isn’t as bitter and tough as “adult” kale. In fact, I rarely notice the kale in our drinks.

    I found vanilla creme stevia at Whole Foods but haven’t used it yet so this recipe is a good excuse to try it.

    • DamselflyDiary

      We made this last night before bed as our dessert for the night. I used fresh mint leaves as we have plenty growing. I used too many though – I think I added 10 to 12 so next time I will try 5 or 6.

      I also think next time I might try using chocolate syrup as I didn’t really enjoy the little bits of chocolate that clumped at the bottom of my glass. And I think I will experiment with a little less stevia too as it seemed sweet to me (maybe it was the excess mint) – I don’t like things too sweet.

      My hubby loved this variation on our daily green drink. Thanks Elana!

  14. Erin D.

    I make a version of this shake, but have gotten really yummy results with mint leaves, raw cocoa and dates (plus all the other ingredients). Maybe a little healthier version than chocolate chips?

  15. Pink Peppercorn and Paprika @ pinkpeppercornandpaprika.blogspot.com

    Any idea if chia seeds could be used instead of hemp seeds? (don’t have hemp seeds in my cupboard at the moment)

    • DamselflyDiary

      Chia seeds would likely thicken the whole thing up as they absorb a lot of moisture and get “fat and sticky.” You could try it but be prepared to drink it immediately before the seeds start getting fat.

      For this reason, I often add ground chia seeds to gluten free baking to help hold it all together. This is especially true if I am using more traditional gluten free flour mixes that contain rice flour.

      I hope that helps.

  16. Alaynia Kislig

    What about subbing mint leaves for the peppermint extract and raw cacao nibs for the chocolate chips. This sounds lovely and I will try it tomorrow! Thank you for posting!

  17. Kate @eatrecyclerepeat @ eatrecyclerepeat.com

    This looks like a great way to start your morning! I might add some avocado too for extra healthy fats and creaminess. Yum – can’t wait to try it!

  18. thyme (sarah) @ rileymadel.blogspot.com

    I’m trying to tear my eyes off of your protein shake above. I came over to let you know that I made your “Chicken with Cherries and Kale” recipe. It’s being featured on my blog right now. Thank you for the inspiration and recipe. O.K., now back to this protein shake. I would need to introduce myself to quite a few new ingredients but there is another way to slip in that kale!!

  19. mary edwards

    hi, elana,
    just a note to let you know that i hope you are in best of health. you are in my thoughts and prayers frequently. thank you for being so generous with your knowlege and recipes. mary

  20. Lynnette Foster-Horwith

    Doesn’t blending the kale in a smoothy process the fiber out of the kale?

    • DamselflyDiary

      No, you only remove the fiber from vegetables if you juice them which strains out the fiber. Breaking down the fiber in a blender does not remove the fiber and in some ways may make the nutrients in the vegetables easier for your body to absorb. Give it a whirl – pardon the pun! :-)

  21. Ashley @ bodhi-life.com

    Fantastic! I need to plump mine up more though. So, I used blueberries instead of the ice and I omitted the protein powder- I also used concentrated coconut milk vs coconut oil and mint leaves vs peppermint (ok so I changed a lot lol) but mine didn’t make very much as far as quantity… It was fulfilling though so that may not be a bad thing.

    More experimenting tomorrow ;)

  22. Caralyn @ glutenfreehappytummy @ glutenfreehappytummy.com

    ok wow! this seriously looks so delicious! i could go for a glass right now!

  23. A Bit of Brooklyn @ abitofbrooklyn.blogspot.com

    Well, mint chocolate chip is my favorite ice cream flavor… and I do love kale… and I’m always looking for good breakfast ideas… hmmm, I might try this :) I am quite apprehensive though!

  24. Amanda O.

    I just made this and it was delicious! I used unsweetened, raw cacao nibs instead of chocolate. This probably made it slightly less sweet than Elana’s version, however, they did mostly clump and sink to the bottom. Tomorrow I’ll try blending them in sooner, with the ice, and see if grinding them up more helps distribute them more evenly in the drink.

    I was also curious what the benefits, both taste and nutrition-wise were to using the hemp seeds. I’ve been using flaxmeal or flax seeds for over a year now, but this is my first venture into hemp seeds.

    Thanks!

  25. rachel

    There’s a lot lot of sodium in that egg white powder…not sure bout that.

  26. Kale in a protein shake! This would give me my veggies when I’m too lazy to use my juicer. Great idea Elana!

    Hmmm, you just gave me an idea. Could I sneak kale into homemade icea cream if it was pureed enough? Maybe not. Some things are just meant to be treats.

  27. Saundra

    I’ve been looking for a good protein powder which is dairy and grain free. I am not familiar with this one. Has anyone had experience with this one? Taste, etc.

  28. As we move toward holiday season – chocolate and mint will be back on my menu! The green from the kale will fit in great with my ‘green’ decorations! Vegans can substitute 20g vanilla vegan protein – or chocolate for us chocolate lovers!

  29. Sarah

    Saundra, Arbonne makes a great vegan protein in vanilla & chocolate. Dairy/gluten/soy free. 20g protein from peas, brown rice, cranberries. Complete amino acid – rivals animal protein. 160 kcals, 13g carbs, 2g fiber, 20+ vitamins/minerals. Super yum!

  30. Lee Schwall

    Delicious! I added a tbs of honey, and 1/3 cup coconut milk, and psyllium husk flakes instead of egg protein powder. My son, husband and I all enjoyed it! Next time will use my fresh chocolate mint leaves as mentioned above. Thank you!

  31. The Healthy Apple @ TheHealthyApple.com

    I LOVE hemp seeds; this is a great recipe. I’m getting more and more into shakes for snacks and love adding kale and hemp seeds to my homemade shakes!
    Thanks for sharing; enjoy your weekend!

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