The Cleanest Protein Powders + A Summer Smoothie Recipe

Jun 29, 2021
If you’ve ever been on the hunt for a “clean” protein powder, you likely know the struggle of sifting through aisles of options containing natural and artificial flavors, gums, and added sugars. Luckily, there are a few great options available that contain only a few simple ingredients, so we’ve rounded them up for you to make things easy.
As always, these options are not sponsored, they’re just products we love that rate well in the Trash Panda app!
Premium List
The Best Protein Powders
Top picks to for a protein boost!
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Trash Panda Favorite: Be Well by Kelly

Kelly Leveque is a holistic nutritionist who recently came out with her own protein powder. We love her obsession with quality ingredients and processing, so this is definitely a #trashpandaapproved option. Her protein is free of:
Harmful chemicals, including pesticides, herbicides, and fungicides
Heavy metals
Unnecessary ingredients, including emulsifiers, dyes, or artificial flavors
Plus, it tastes delicious (we’ve tried it!) and has a great consistency. Available in chocolate, vanilla, and unflavored options on either her website or Amazon.

Best Vegan Option: Truvani

Made from organic pea protein and only 5 simple ingredients, Truvani has one of the best plant-based proteins on the market. We’ve also tried this one out and love the flavor and texture for both the chocolate and vanilla options. It’s also now available in Chocolate Peanut Butter and Banana Cinnamon! Available on the Truvani website or Amazon.

Best Collagen Options

Vital Proteins Unflavored Collagen

We buy this Vital Proteins protein powder at Costco and put it in just about everything for an extra protein boost: coffee, oatmeal, pancakes, and even blended veggie soups! It’s a great option to mix in your smoothie too - we usually do a mix of this with a flavored protein to minimize use of the more expensive flavored powders.

Primal Kitchen Collagen Fuel

Primal Kitchen also has some awesome flavored collagen peptides, available in unflavored, chocolate, vanilla, and peanut butter options. They also have Chai and Matcha latte powders made with collagen. Available on the Primal Kitchen website, or in many stores.

Best Budget Option: Garden of Life Organic Plant-Based Protein

Although Garden of Life Organic Plant-Based Protein does have some Organic Natural Vanilla Flavor, in terms of natural flavors, organic, ingredient-specific flavorings are best. The rest of the ingredients are organic and from whole foods, and it’s sweetened with stevia. Available on Amazon.

PB&J Smoothie Recipe

This smoothie is packed with protein, fiber, fruits & veggies to fuel your morning breakfast (or any meal!) Makes 2 servings:
1.5 cups milk of choice (we like mixes)
1 cup frozen organic blueberries
2 cups frozen organic spinach
1/2 cup chopped frozen organic cucumber
2 tbsp chia seeds
2 scoops protein of choice
2-3 tbsp peanut butter (or sub almond butter, sunflower seed butter, etc)
Blend until smooth and creamy. Add more or less milk as needed for preferred thickness. Enjoy!
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