The Best Plant-Based {Vegan} Protein Powders + Apple Pie Protein Shake

Even if I wasn’t a veggie obsessed eater, I would still be opting for a plant-based protein over traditional whey.

Dan tells me regularly that the change in proteins is the best part of my being vegan.

When we first started using a supplement (like 8 years ago), we always used whey. It was the protein we had been lead to believe was the best for our bodies and goals (and to be honest, the only thing I knew).

Whey –> Quick absorption and easy to digest. That was what we were after.

But what we weren’t after was feelings of bloat and gas. Yet, these awesome side effects always followed our post-workout shake regiment.

I began to do some research on whey and here’s what I discovered:

Why I Don’t Whey

– Whey is derived from milk, and being lactose-intolerant I felt it affected my system. Though some reports say it’s void of lactose, others say it does have it. With the “he said – she said” debates, I find it better to avoid it.

– Common side affects include bloating, diahhrea, and cramps. This isn’t for all whey products, I’ve discovered over the years that like electronics, you get what you pay for. The better quality proteins are far easier to digest by the body, but who wants to keep testing them to see what works and what doesn’t?

– Too high of protein. Have you ever looked at how much protein is in a single scoop of your whey? Some have over 30 grams, which is simply a waste of cash. The body is only able to absorb so much at a time. What can’t be taken in to the muscles has to be excreted, which can put stress on the liver and kidneys.

The Best Vegan Proteins (In My Opinion)

Going vegan forced me to do some more research.

Protein supplements are really important in our home as they help Dan and I both ensure we’re getting our protein and that we’re getting enough calories. Something that has been harder for Dan since moving towards a more plant based diet.

After researching I had a few…

Protein Ground Rules: 

-Soy Free

-GMO Free

-Hormone Free

-Must contain between 20 – 25 grams of protein. The optimal amount for both Dan and I for protein supplementation.

-Had to taste good (protein isn’t cheap, and I want something that taste great).

After trying several (several chalky and gross ones), here’s what we’ve discovered meets all the criteria:

SunWarrior (I’ve written a previous review here)

Vega Blend


I truly support both companies and recommend both to my clients.

What I love about Vega is that it was founded by athlete Brendan Frazier.

A vegan athletic line created by a vegan athlete. He understands what is needed to recover, build, and improve which I love.

So much so that I’ve actually joined the Vega Team as an ambassador and I couldn’t be more excited!


While, I receive products to review from time to time (I LOVE the protein bars, especially the Coconut Chocolate), I still have to purchase products on my own… so clearly, I love the company!

The downside of Vega is that they are a bit on the pricier side of the protein line. It’s tastier than the Sunwarrior and has a few more grams of protein per serving, however if saving money is your thing then there is absolutely nothing wrong with the SunWarrior option!

We go between the two for that reason.

The Apple Pie Shake


I know what you’re thinking… another apple recipe?

Yes, because I LOVE apples in the fall!

I made this yesterday and I was seriously upset when I sipped the final sip. More please??

Blend Together: 

1 Apple, sliced (Honey crisp was my choice)

1 Tsp Apple Pie Spice

1 Tsp Honey

1 Cup Ice

1 Cup Almond Milk

Scoop Vega Vanilla Protein

What’s your favorite protein? Have you tried either of these?


  • My favorite Vegan plant-based protein powder is Plant Fusion! It tastes amazing and is also non-gmo, gluten and soy-free (as well as vegan). Plus it is the most affordable!

    • I’ve had Plant Fusion, perhaps I just didn’t make a good shake with it, but mine tasted chalky. I’ll have to try again!

  • Haven’t tried Vega as of yet. I am on Optimum’s Whey protein after testing numerous ones as I too am a bit Lactose Intolerant. Optimum’s Whey protein don’t make me feel bloated, gassy or uncomfortable.

    • We used OW in the past, it tasted great!

  • Great info. I use a high quality whey and haven’t felt the bloat, but I could definitely see that happening with lower quality whey proteins. I want to try vega. I’ve tried sun warrior and felt that it tasted like dirt….but maybe thats me? You look adorable in that shirt!

    • Vega taste like cake batter, it’s delicious! Sunwarrior taste great when blended together just right, I normally add a splash of stevia with it, but not with the Vega.

  • congrats girl! vega is a great company

  • Kristin

    Taylor, I’ve used Sunwarrior’s chocolate protein powder in the past and loved it! I wanted to try the vanilla but noticed this on iherb site when I was going to buy it:
    As with any nutritional supplement, you should consult your physician before beginning a dietary regimen containing this product. Keep out of the reach of children. If you are nursing, pregnant, or considering pregnancy, you should consult your healthcare professional prior to using this product. This product contains a chemical known to the State of California to cause cancer, birth defects, or other reproductive harm.

    This verbiage is not on the chocolate, only the vanilla.
    This scared me as someone is who actively trying to become pregnant.
    Do you have any thoughts? Is protein powder safe for women trying to coneive or women who are pregnant?
    Thanks so much!!

    • Kristin, Thanks for sharing this! I’ll definitely do some research!!

      • Kristin

        I appreciate it!!

        • Kristin I just got off the phone with Sunwarrior to get to the bottom of this! They were extremely nice.

          The warning goes for their classic rice blend (chocolate and vanilla) because of Proposition 65 passed in California last year that says anything that contains rice (and SW is brown rice) as to have the warning due to trace amounts of arsenic naturally occurring in soil.

          This warning isn’t on the Warrior Blend as it doesn’t contain rice protein.

          They confirmed that they do test their rice that is used to ensure qualities are lower than what is allowed.

          The also were nice enough to send me info through email which I am happy to share with you (or anyone)!

          Interesting! Thanks for bringing it to my attention.

  • I’m definitely making this. I have fuji apples, but I think those will work too :). In fact, I’m kinda sad I already ate breakfast and can’t make this for breakfast! But it will make for a great breakfast tomorrow, I’m sure :)>

  • Thanks for the review. My husband and I have held off buying protein because we weren’t sure what was best for us. We knew we didn’t want whey, but that seems to be the most popular one. I will definitely check this one out.

    • No problem! One way to get a feel for it is to go to Whole Foods, where they sell individual packages. That’s what we did to experiment to see what we liked the best.

  • My husband and I went plant based and gluten free gradually over the past 6 months to a year and we are feeling so great. We still eat eggs and a small amount of butter for cooking but that’s it. The last thing to go was the whey protein and boy howdy have we both noticed a difference. We use a blend of organic, raw, unflavored pea isolate and raw silk sprouted rice proteins from The price difference was one of the main reasons to make that choice. We get 5 pounds of each (10 pounds of protein total!) of organic, high-quality, raw protein for about $90 bucks (free shipping too!).

    You definitely have to play around with your smoothies to get them more tolerable to drink, but I have a plain one every morning with sweetened almond milk, half scoop of each kind of protein, and a big scoop of cocoa powder. It’s delicious, is quickly absorbed, keeps me satisfied and is perfect for pre and post workout, never leaving me feeling gassy or bloated. The whey protein was AWFUL for my running days especially. Didn’t even really realize how awful until I stopped using it!

    • That’s really cool, I’ll have to look into the combo! Thanks Sarah!

  • P.S. Can’t WAIT to try this delicious smoothie recipe! Think I’ll throw in some spinach too.

  • Hi Taylorr,

    I am also a vegan, mostly raw (around 90%). I don’t take supplements, except for the occasional vegan B12. Though I don’t take supplements I was curious as to what sources of protein this product uses. ( I am always looking to learn). I wasn’t able to find the ingredients at first. It looks like it contains pea protein and saviseed protein. I know pea protein is good but it is deficient in certain amino acids. I guess saviseed provides those amino acids? I don’t know anything about saviseed and need to research it. Thanks for the info.

    • Wow, I tried raw a while back it was tough!

      The proteins are as you said Pea and Saviseed, the Vega also has alfalfa protein and rice protein. TOgether the make it complete. It also have glutamine (recovery and joint health)

  • apple pie protein shake OH YES!

  • Karen

    Hi Taylor,

    Have you tried the brand Garden of Life Raw Protein Powder? Any thoughts?
    I would also truly appreciate to know your opinion about plant/rice protein for people with gut problems.

    • Karen, Yes I have tried it. I think it’s a great product! It worked well with my stomach wise (I also have a sensitive stomach) However I really hated the taste. It was very chalky for me which is why I personally choose sunwarrior or vega. However, if you give it a go and you like then awesome! I personally think ingredient wise it’s great!

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