Assorted protein powders for our plant-based flavored protein powder review

Vegan Flavored Protein Powder Review

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Assorted protein powders for our plant-based flavored protein powder review

Since you’ve enjoyed our Vanilla & Chocolate protein powder reviews so much, we decided to round out the collection with a review of flavored plant-based protein powders!

Similar to our prior reviews, we did a formal, side-by-side review of some of the most popular plant-based protein powders on the market. We chose flavors that we thought sounded delicious! Our goal was to see which protein powders delivered on taste and nutrition, and which ones weren’t worth the hype (to save you the time and money of doing your own research).

THE GROUND RULES //

  • We tested 11 protein powders, and only ordered protein powders we could find on Amazon because they are most accessible and usually have the best prices.
  • This review is not sponsored in any way and we were not given free product or compensated for any of our reviews. We had no contact with any of these brands.
  • We excluded any products containing artificial colors or flavors and did our best to include products with high-quality ingredients.
  • We tried to be as unbiased and objective as possible when reviewing.
  • When testing powders with non-dairy milk, we mixed 1/3 cup (80 ml) Forager Unsweetened Plain Coconut Cashewmilk with 1 Tbsp (15 g) protein powder in a mason jar with 2 ice cubes then shook vigorously for 30 seconds.
  • When testing protein powders in smoothies, we blended 1/4 large frozen banana, 1/3 cup (80 ml) Forager Unsweetened Plain Coconut Cashewmilk, 2 ice cubes, and 1 Tbsp (15 g) protein powder. We blended for 45 seconds in a small blender.
  • We graded the protein powders on a scale of 1-5 (1 being poor, 5 being excellent) on:
    • Texture
    • Sweetness
    • Overall flavor
    • How well it mixes with non-dairy milk
    • How well it tastes/blends with smoothies
  • For consumer awareness, we also examined:
    • Type of protein base (i.e. brown rice, pea, hemp)
    • Grams protein / serving
    • Cost per serving (US $) – subject to variability
    • Type of sweetener(s)
    • Additives – potentially undesirable ingredients added to improve flavor, texture, etc.
    • Quality of ingredients (i.e. organic, non-GMO, etc.)
    • Additional perks (i.e. probiotics, greens, superfoods, quality salt)
    • If we would repurchase

Results //

First place: Vega Protein & Greens Salted Caramel Protein
Second place: Amazing Grass Peanut Butter Superfood Protein Powder
Third place: Nuzest Chai Turmeric Maca Clean Lean Protein
Fourth place: Nuzest Wild Strawberry Clean Lean Protein
Fifth place: Nuzest Vanilla Matcha Clean Lean Protein
Sixth place: Nuzest Coffee Coconut & MCTs Clean Lean Protein
Seventh place: Amazing Grass Chocolate Peanut Butter Superfood Protein Powder
Eighth place: GoldenSource Organic Blueberry-Açaí Plant-Based Protein Mix
Ninth place: Bob’s Red Mill Chai Protein Powder
Tenth place: Lean Hemp Peanut Butter Maca Protein Powder
Eleventh place: Amazing Grass Wild Berry Hibiscus Protein Powder

Protein 101 //

Why is protein important?

Protein is a component of all of the cells in our bodies. It supports the production of enzymes, hormones, and so much more to keep us feeling good!

How much protein do we need?

The Institute of Medicine has recommended that adults consume 0.80 grams of protein daily per kg of body weight. For example, it’s recommended that an adult weighing 150 pounds (68 kg) consume ~54 grams of protein per day.

The protein powders tested in this review contain between 17 and 20 grams of protein per serving.

Why protein powders?

Chances are, if you are eating a nutritionally balanced diet, you are probably consuming enough protein.

However, for some (such as those following a vegan or vegetarian diet), it may require a little extra attention to ensure adequate protein intake is achieved. Not to mention, sometimes you’re just too busy for cooking — that’s when protein powders come in extra handy.

Though we prefer to have most of our meals closer to their “from the farm” roots, we find protein powders to be a great option when traveling, on-the-go, needing something simple, or when the fridge is low!

What about heavy metals?

There has been increased concern about potential for heavy metal contamination in protein powders. Unfortunately, not all of the brands on the market have been tested so it is hard to know whether this is a problem with protein powders in general or specific brands. Our understanding is that manufacturers are “prohibited [by the FDA] from marketing products that are adulterated or misbranded.” We did our best to select brands with integrity and high-quality ingredients.

The Review //

Tub and scoop of the delicious Vega Salted Caramel protein powder for our review

#1: Vega Protein & Greens Salted Caramel Protein

Sweetness: 5 – really good
Overall flavor: 4.5 – seriously good and very apparent caramel flavor although noticeably artificial tasting. A slight hint of coffee, which is pleasant.
How well it blended with non-dairy milk: 5 – very smooth and creamy
How well it tastes/blends with smoothies: 4.5 – Smells too sweet. Salted caramel flavor is really apparent, even over the banana. Slightly too sweet, but overall really good (a little too good, like…“How’d they do it?”).
Protein base: Pea protein, Brown rice protein, Sacha inchi protein
Protein / serving: 20 g
Approximate cost per serving: $1.18
Type of sweetener(s): Stevia leaf extract
Additives:
 Pea starch, Natural flavors, Xanthan gum
Quality of ingredients: Non-GMO
Other perks: Spinach powder, Organic kale powder, Sea salt, Papain powder, Organic alfalfa grass, Broccoli powder

Overall score: 19/20
Overall impressions: The caramel flavor is apparent. And although slightly manufactured, it’s surprisingly tasty. The coffee flavor is very slight and pleasant. Although not the most “natural” option, overall really impressive. If you’re trying to replace your caramel frappuccino habit with something healthier, this is it.
Would we repurchase? Yes

Pouch of Amazing Grass Peanut Butter Protein for our flavored plant-based protein powder review

#2: Amazing Grass Peanut Butter Superfood Protein Powder

Sweetness: 5 – perfect sweetness with minimal Stevia aftertaste
Overall flavor: 5 – really delicious peanut butter flavor; exactly what you’d hope for
How well it blended with non-dairy milk: 4.5 – you can see slight graininess, but very smooth on the palate
How well it tastes/blends with smoothies: 4.5 slightly too sweet with banana, but the peanut butter flavor is nice. Creamy. No bitterness.
Protein base: 
Organic peanut flour, Organic pea protein, Organic hemp protein, Organic chia, Organic quinoa
Protein / serving: 20 g
Approximate cost per serving: $2.50
Type of sweetener(s): Organic Stevia
Additives:
 Natural flavor, Xanthan gum
Quality of ingredients: Organic
Other perks: Green food blend, Fruit & vegetable blend

Overall score: 19/20
Overall impressions: Really nice flavor and smooth texture with a very slight Stevia aftertaste. Really good!
Would we repurchase? Yes

Tub and scoop of Nuzest Clean Lean Chai Turmeric Maca protein powder

#3: Nuzest Chai Turmeric Maca Clean Lean Protein

Sweetness: 4 – not too sweet, but a slight artificial sweetness aftertaste
Overall flavor: 4.5 – really good (noticeable chai flavor), but a bit intense
How well it blended with non-dairy milk: 4.5 – really smooth with small spice granules
How well it tastes/blends with smoothies: 4.5 really creamy; chai flavor is present over the banana. On the sweeter end, but not overwhelming. Really good overall.
Protein base: 
Pea protein isolate
Protein / serving: 19 g
Approximate cost per serving: $2.78
Type of sweetener(s): Thaumatin
Additives:
Chai flavor (natural)
Quality of ingredients: Non-GMO
Other perks: Turmeric powder, Organic maca powder, Cinnamon powder, Black pepper powder

Overall score: 17.5/20
Overall impressions: Has a pleasant coconut flavor, nice chai flavor, and good level of sweetness. However, it is slightly artificial tasting.
Would we repurchase? Yes

Pouch of plant-based strawberry protein powder for our review

#4: Nuzest Wild Strawberry Clean Lean Protein

Sweetness: 4.5 – about perfect
Overall flavor: 3 – slight strawberry flavor, unpleasant (and lingering) aftertaste, a little bitterness, and a slightly medicinal taste
How well it blended with non-dairy milk: 5 – mixes perfectly
How well it tastes/blends with smoothies: 4 Really good overall. Has an artificial strawberry flavor. Slightly too sweet. Very creamy. No bitter aftertaste.
Protein base: 
Pea protein isolate
Protein / serving: 20 g
Approximate cost per serving: $2.67
Type of sweetener(s): Thaumatin
Additives:
 Natural strawberry flavor, Natural vanilla flavor
Quality of ingredients: Non-GMO
Other perks: Beet powder

Overall score: 16.5/20
Overall impressions: Smells really good. Looks like strawberry milk when mixed, but quite pale as a powder. It has a slightly bitter aftertaste and the strawberry flavor is off and tastes artificial.
Would we repurchase? No

Tub and scoop of Nuzest Vanilla Matcha protein powder for our review

#5: Nuzest Vanilla Matcha Clean Lean Protein

Sweetness: 3.5 – simply too sweet. The aftertaste isn’t unpleasant per-say, but it is over-sweetened.
Overall flavor: 4 – if you like matcha, you’ll enjoy this. But the sweetness and artificial vanilla flavor overpower the matcha flavor. If you don’t enjoy matcha, this may taste a bit earthy for you.
How well it blended with non-dairy milk: 5 – really smooth
How well it tastes/blends with smoothies: 3.5 the matcha / vanilla flavor is present over the banana. Creamy, but definitely too sweet. Slight bitterness / artificial sweetness at the end. Overall good, we just wish it wasn’t so sweet.
Protein base: 
Pea protein isolate
Protein / serving: 19 g
Approximate cost per serving: $2.78
Type of sweetener(s): Thaumatin
Additives:
Vanilla flavor (natural)
Quality of ingredients: Non-GMO
Other perks: Matcha green tea powder

Overall score: 16/20
Overall impressions: You’ll either like it or not, depending on whether you’re a fan of matcha tea. One taste tester enjoyed it for this reason, the other did not. It’s definitely too sweet, but has no bad aftertaste and boasts a great texture. Unfortunately, the vanilla flavor was overly pronounced and noticeably artificial.
Would we repurchase? Maybe (see above)

Tub of Nuzest Coffee Coconut Protein Powder for our review

#6: Nuzest Coffee Coconut & MCTs Clean Lean Protein

Sweetness: 3 – way too sweet with a noticeably artificial aftertaste
Overall flavor: 3.5 – fake vanilla flavor apparent, noticeable coffee and coconut flavors, overpowered by sweetness
How well it blended with non-dairy milk: 4.5 – pretty smooth but a little powdery
How well it tastes/blends with smoothies: 4 Smells like a coconut candle. Creamy. You can taste the coconut and it’s pleasant. But overall too sweet.
Protein base: 
Pea protein isolate
Protein / serving: 19 g
Approximate cost per serving: $2.78
Type of sweetener(s): Thaumatin
Additives:
Coconut flavor (natural), Vanilla flavor (natural), Coffee flavor (natural)
Quality of ingredients: Non-GMO
Other perks: MCT powder, Coffee powder

Overall score: 15/20
Overall impressions: Coffee and coconut flavors are pleasant but sweetness and vanilla are overpowering and noticeably artificial. Could be really great for those who love blended and/or sweeter coffee drinks.
Would we repurchase? No

Pouch and spoonful of Amazing Grass Chocolate Peanut Butter Protein Powder for our review

#7: Amazing Grass Chocolate Peanut Butter Superfood Protein Powder

Sweetness: 3 – too mild of a sweetness
Overall flavor: 3 – almost undetectable chocolate, underwhelming peanut butter flavor with a cardboard aftertaste
How well it blended with non-dairy milk: 4 – pretty smooth, a little chalky
How well it tastes/blends with smoothies: 4.5 – Better blended with a smoothie. Peanut butter flavor is more detectable. The chocolate flavor isn’t very present. Slight greens aftertaste, but not too sweet and very creamy.
Protein base: 
Organic pea protein, Organic hemp protein, Organic quinoa protein, Organic chia protein
Protein / serving: 20 g
Approximate cost per serving: $2.20
Type of sweetener(s): Organic Stevia
Additives:
 Natural flavors, Xanthan gum
Quality of ingredients: Organic
Other perks: Green food blend, Fruit & vegetable blend

Overall score: 14.5/20
Overall impressions: Underwhelming considering the peanut butter flavor from Amazing Grass was so good. This lacked strong chocolate and peanut butter flavors and left us wanting more.
Would we repurchase? No

Tub and scoop of Goldensource Blueberry Acai Protein Powder for our review

#8: GoldenSource Organic Blueberry-Açaí Plant-Based Protein Mix

Sweetness: 4 – not overly sweet and no artificial sweetness aftertaste
Overall flavor: 3 – weak fruit flavor but not unpleasant. Fruit flavors fail to cover up the protein taste.
How well it blended with non-dairy milk: 3.5 – chalky, but not chunky
How well it tastes/blends with smoothies: 3 Better in a smoothie, but still chalky with a slightly medicinal taste. Smells like a Flintstones vitamin. Fruit flavor is pleasant and detectable, however a bitter aftertaste quickly overpowers it.
Protein base: 
Raw pea protein, Sprouted & fermented brown rice protein, Golden flaxseed
Protein / serving: 14 g
Approximate cost per serving: $1.16
Type of sweetener(s): Stevia extract
Additives:
Tapioca fiber, Pectin, Rice milk powder, Sunflower lecithin, Natural flavors
Quality of ingredients: Organic, Raw
Other perks: Fruit & vegetable powder blend, Blueberries, Himalayan pink salt

Overall score: 13.5/20
Overall impressions: Not bad, but not great. We love that it’s a natural blueberry taste (unlike most other fruit-flavored offerings).
Would we repurchase? No

Scoop and pouch of Bob's Red Mill Chai Protein Powder for our review

#9: Bob’s Red Mill Chai Protein Powder

Sweetness: 4 – not too sweet, but a slight artificial sweetness aftertaste
Overall flavor: 2.5 not offensive, but has an artificial chai flavor and strong lingering aftertaste
How well it blended with non-dairy milk: 4 – very good despite chia seeds
How well it tastes/blends with smoothies: 2.5 Smells like a vanilla Christmas candle. Too sweet. Texture is okay but it tastes artificial and off-putting to the point of being unpleasant.
Protein base: 
Pea protein powder, Chia seed
Protein / serving: 20 g
Approximate cost per serving: $1.78
Type of sweetener(s): Monk fruit extract
Additives: 
Inulin (chicory root fiber), Natural vanilla chai flavor, Organic inulin
Quality of ingredients: Non-organic
Other perks: Probiotic added (Bacillus coagulans)

Overall score: 13/20
Overall impressions: Underwhelming. Chai flavor is off and tastes rather artificial, but the texture is good.
Would we repurchase? No

Pouch of Lean Hemp Peanut Butter Maca Protein Powder for our review

#10 Lean Hemp Peanut Butter Maca Protein Powder

Sweetness: 3.5 – not sweet enough, which accentuates the other unpleasant flavors
Overall flavor: 2.5 – maca flavor is too strong, peanut butter flavor is not very apparent 
How well it blended with non-dairy milk: 3.5 – pretty smooth initially, but grainy toward the bottom of glass
How well it tastes/blends with smoothies: 3.5 Smells really good and peanutty. Slightly gritty. Maca flavor is overpowering. Not too sweet.
Protein base: 
Hemp seed powder, Peanut powder
Protein / serving: 20 g
Approximate cost per serving: $2.50
Type of sweetener(s): Coconut sugar
Additives:
None
Quality of ingredients: Organic, Non-GMO
Other perks: Maca root powder

Overall score: 13/20
Overall impressions: Not offensive, but not very pleasant to drink. Wish the peanut butter flavor was more present. Has more potential added to a smoothie than mixed with dairy-free milk. Kind of underwhelming.
Would we repurchase? No

Tub and scoop of Amazing Grass Wild Berry Hibiscus Protein Powder for our review

#11: Amazing Grass Wild Berry Hibiscus Protein Powder

Sweetness: 2 – sickeningly sweet with artificial aftertaste
Overall flavor: 1.5 – very overwhelming fruit / berry flavor. Manages to be tart, a bit bitter, and a little reminiscent of Pepto-Bismol.
How well it blended with non-dairy milk: 2.5 – smooth with noticeably grainy bits
How well it tastes/blends with smoothies: Way better as a smoothie; more palatable. But the fruit / tartness is still overwhelming, as is the sweetness. Not pleasant.
Protein base: 
Pea protein, Brown rice protein
Protein / serving: 15 g
Approximate cost per serving: $2.16
Type of sweetener(s): Organic Stevia extract, Organic monk fruit extract
Additives:
Natural flavor, Acacia gum, Xanthan gum
Quality of ingredients: Organic
Other perks: Organic beet root, Pitaya fruit, Organic acerola cherry, Guava, Holy basil, Lemon peel extract, Organic hibiscus flower, Organic greens blend

Overall score: 10/20
Overall impressions: Smells amazing but quickly disappoints when you taste it. It’s just all around overwhelmingly sweet and fake tasting. And it has a very strong aftertaste.
Would we repurchase? No

Parallel image of plant-based flavored protein powders reviewed for taste and nutrition

Results //

First place: Vega Protein & Greens Salted Caramel Protein
Second place: Amazing Grass Peanut Butter Superfood Protein Powder
Third place: Nuzest Chai Turmeric Maca Clean Lean Protein
Fourth place: Nuzest Wild Strawberry Clean Lean Protein
Fifth place: Nuzest Vanilla Matcha Clean Lean Protein
Sixth place: Nuzest Coffee Coconut & MCTs Clean Lean Protein
Seventh place: Amazing Grass Chocolate Peanut Butter Superfood Protein Powder
Eighth place: GoldenSource Organic Blueberry-Açaí Plant-Based Protein Mix
Ninth place: Bob’s Red Mill Chai Protein Powder
Tenth place: Lean Hemp Peanut Butter Maca Protein Powder
Eleventh place: Amazing Grass Wild Berry Hibiscus Protein Powder

Conclusion //

We tried to be extremely honest in this review, which is why it seems like a lot of the feedback was critical or negative. That’s because we honestly didn’t like many of the protein powders we tried. But the standouts are definitely the top 3!

*Despite Minimalist Baker having had a working relationship with Bob’s Red Mill in the past (which has since been discontinued), our relationship with them had nothing to do with this review. We had no communication with them about it. This post is entirely unsponsored.

*This post contains affiliate links. In the case that you would purchase something using our link, we receive a small commission from Amazon which helps support our work here.

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