9 High-Protein Smoothies That Taste Like a Milkshake

Every week, the Greatist Team scours the Web for tasty, trendy, and (mostly) healthy recipes to help open both minds and palates to the wonders of food. Tune in next Wednesday to see what else we have in store!

When given the choice between a decadent milkshake or healthy smoothie, what would you choose? If personally faced with this dilemma, one of two things would happen. In the first scenario, I’d pick the smoothie without hesitation, convincing myself that yes, kale doestaste great in smoothies. (Kale is the new chocolate, right?) In the second scenario, I’d order a double-chocolate milkshake with the works: whipped cream, rainbow sprinkles, and a side of sweet potato fries while I’m at it. #TreatYoself.

But why choose? We’ve discovered a happy middle ground here. One where you can have your cake and your Kale, too.

With the rich flavors of our favorite milkshakes, a touch of protein, and a whole lot of nutrients, these protein shakes will satisfy your sweet tooth and nourish your body—making the healthy choice also the easy (and delicious!) one. Bottoms up!

Photo: Kelli Dunn

1. Almond Joy Smoothie Candy bar or smoothie? Vegan or filled with ice cream? These are questions you wouldn’t be able to answer by simply sipping this shake. Made with coconut water, almond milk, cocoa powder, and almond butter, this smoothie is great as a post-workout snack, breakfast, or dessert.

2. Dark Chocolate Peppermint Protein Shake Frozen bananas are a great way to mimic the taste of ice cream without overloading on sugar. And they give smoothies the same creamy texture. (We dare you to find someone who can taste the difference.) With chocolate protein powder, peppermint extract, cocoa powder, and non-dairy milk, this recipe is everything you love about the holiday season—minus the stomachache.

3. Butterfinger Protein Shake As a child, I would trade almost all of my Halloween candy for Butterfingers. Fortunately this habit didn’t lead to excessive cavities, but it did make me crave this crunchy chocolate bar every fall. This shake uses chocolate protein powder, peanut butter, and sugar-free Butterscotch pudding mix to create the classic candy bar flavor while providing plenty of protein and healthy fats. Now trick-or-treating feels less tempting.

Photo: Honey and Figs

4. High-Protein Oreo Shake Whether you like Oreos à la carte, dipped in milk, or smothered with peanut butter, this recipe will make you ditch the cookie binge and head to the blender instead. Made with real cookies (repeat: realcookies), fat-free cottage cheese, skim milk, and a few natural sweeteners, it’ll be tough to stop at just one serving. But that’s a-OK, because this smoothie is actually pretty healthy! (Don’t let the taste fool you… Or do.)

5. Chocolate Cake Batter Protein Shake No, you aren’t in a deep slumber dreaming of the best shake ever—this is the real deal. While healthy and cake batter are two terms that don’t seem to belong in the same sentence, they’re joined together here with one secret ingredient: butter extract. Mixed with almond butter, cocoa powder, cottage cheese, and chocolate protein powder, this smoothie is a piece of cake to make. Bonus: It tastes just like one, too.

6. Cookie Dough Protein Shake When you’re feeling in the dumps (or even when you’re not), few things sound better than sitting on the couch with your best friend: a tub of cookie dough. And while certain occasions warrant just that (boo for break-ups), it’s also easy to get your cookie fix in a healthier way. Made with vanilla protein powder, maple extract, raw oats, and chocolate chips, this smoothie is almostas good as a tube of Toll House.

Photo: Dashing Dish

7. Caramel Apple Pie Protein Shake Sadly this shake doesn’t fill the room with a seductive scent of fresh-baked apple pie, but it does have all the same flavors—with caramel to boot. Sweetened with stevia, pumpkin spice, applesauce, and butterscotch pudding mix, you won’t even miss the pie’s doughy exterior. And hey, if you really miss that smell, treat yourself to a scented candle.

8. Chocolate Peanut Butter Protein Smoothie Chocolate and peanut butter is a strong argument for soul mates. It’s clear the flavors are made for each other. So it’s no surprise this smoothie made our list. With banana, Greek yogurt, honey, and peanut butter, this shake isn’t far off from the common protein shake combo, but it doesbreak away from the pack with vegan whipped cream and chocolate syrup. You can even sneak in a handful of spinach!

9. Pumpkin Pie Protein Shake Pumpkin pie lovers, rejoice! There’s a way to enjoy your favorite pie year-round without feeling like a stuffed Thanksgiving turkey. This shake blends vanilla almond milk, banana, pumpkin purée, yogurt, and a variety of spices and natural sweeteners to create the pie filling flavor you love without excessive sugar. Even those who claim they’re “not pie people” will enjoy it. (We don’t believe you anyway.)