For most people, commercial protein powders are going to be the most convenient way to get a daily or post-exercise boost of amino acids.
But to get the highest quality and organic plant-based protein powder, you’ll likely need to spend a lot more than the average supplements cost.
My dietitian introduced me to the concept of making my own vegan protein powder with green peas, and it’s surprisingly easy to do.
Most of the materials I had at home already, and all I now need to do is head to my organic farmers’ market for fresh green peas.
Let me show you what to do.
How To Make Your Own Pea Protein Powder?
Let’s start with the basics.
Here are the things you’ll need to follow along with my instructions.
- High-speed blender or food processor or spice grinder
- Large glass mixing bowl
- Organic green peas (yellow peas will work as well)
- Large baking tray
- Sealable container
- Paper towels
Step 1: Rinsing The Green Peas
Now, you can use frozen peas, but I would generally suggest buying fresh organic green peas .
Grab a handful of them and then rinse them off under cold running water.
Carefully check for dirt or even discolored peas that you want to take out before you go further.
It’s actually very common to find these in fresh green peas.
Step 2: Soaking The Green Peas
Place the whole peas into the glass mixing bowl and fill the bowl with water to fully cover the peas. Keep in mind that the peas will expand, so allow for a few inches of water above them.
Soak the peas overnight for at least 8 hours.
The next morning, you can drain the peas and rinse them one more time, as in step 1; more dirt may come loose during the soaking process, so it’s best to remove that.
Step 3: Sprouting Peas
Place a few sheets of wet paper towels in your glass bowl. I find it’s easier to place them into the bowl dry and then spray them with water.
Now place the green peas in the bowl and cover with plastic wrap or aluminum foil.
It’s important to keep the bowl at room temperature and not in the refrigerator. And you also want to keep it out of direct sunlight.
I generally leave them in the bowl for 48 hours to ensure the raw split peas fully sprout.
Step 4: Drying The Green Peas
Get your baking tray from the oven that you might use for all other baked goods, and set your oven to about 115°F.
Place the split peas onto the baking tray and spread them out evenly before placing the tray in the oven for 12 hours.
To check if they are fully dried, bite into one. If you’ve tried eating peas that haven’t been cooked, you’ll know that they have a relatively soft texture.
But dried peas should be quite crunchy.
Step 5: Blending The Dried Peas
Put all the peas into the blender or food processor. Alternatively, you could use a coffee or spice grinder, but I find this often takes longer.
Set your blender to the highest speed for 30 seconds and check your progress.
I find it sometimes helps to stir things up a bit with a spoon just in case there are still a few chunks of outer shell left.
The resulting powder should be very fine and look like pea flour.
Step 6: Preparing For Use
At this stage, you need to decide whether you want to use raw pea flour or if you’d prefer to mix in a few other ingredients.
If you want to go ahead with the most basic whole pea powder, skip over the next section and go straight to the storage options.
Otherwise, let me show you what you could add to the pea flour.
Don't have the time to make it by yourself? Check out our list of the best pea protein powders on the market.
Do You Need To Blend The Powder With Other Ingredients?
The great thing about making your pea protein powder is that you can add further ingredients to tailor it to your taste and dietary needs.
Here are a few ideas, and nothing should stop you from adding them all to your pea powder.
Option 1: Add Seeds
To further boost the protein content and amino acid profile, you could blend some mixed seeds (flax, hemp, sunflower, and chia) into a fine powder and then mix it in with the pea flour.
Option 2: Add Almond Or Coconut Flower
This is a great way to add some natural flavors to your pea powder. Start with about a quarter cup of almond flour, and then add more once you’ve tasted it .
Option 3: Add Cocoa Powder Or Vanilla Essence
If you have some cacao powder at home, you use for baking or hot chocolate, add a tablespoon to the mix. Or you could add a small amount of vanilla essence.
Option 4: Add Vitamin Powder
Another good idea is to mix some powdered vitamin supplements into your pea powder. I have a vitamin C powder, and I mix in one dose per scoop of pea powder to get a daily serving with each scoop.
Storing Pea Powder Safely
One thing to plan ahead for when making pea protein powder at home is how you’re going to store it.
You’ll need an airtight container to make sure that no moisture gets at the pea flour, making it clumpy and spoil pretty quickly as well.
You could use a sealable Tupperware box which will work perfectly fine.
Another clever idea is to keep an old tub from a store-bought protein powder, as they are purpose-made to be airtight.
Are There Benefits Of Using Homemade Pea Protein Powders?
Yes, there are some huge benefits, especially once you can go through the prep work in a few minutes.
Making your own pea protein isolate makes it a lot cheaper to have an organic pea powder that is a complete protein. This means it contains all nine essential amino acids you have to take through your diet.
It’s also the best way to be certain that your supplement isn’t made with frozen peas.
And finally, it’s the perfect naturally vegan and gluten-free solution made from whole foods.
Mixing Your Homemade Pea Powder
My experience has shown that when you prepare your DIY protein powder, the powder form is slightly different with each batch. And that means that sometimes I need a blender, and other times a shaker is enough.
The main reason is that I experiment with different types of split peas and even whole grains to make a more superfood protein shake.
I would also suggest mixing the powder with dairy-free plant milk or water to avoid blood glucose spikes that you might get from cow’s milk.
“Peas are loaded with fiber and protein, which help to regulate the way you digest starches. The protein and fiber in peas slow the breakdown of carbohydrates and helps to control your blood sugar.” - WebMD.com.
How Much Protein Powder Should You Use?
For each shake that I make, I add two tablespoons (heaped ones) on a normal day in the morning. That would be about 20 grams of protein in each serving.
I then sometimes take extra protein after training at the gym, where I might need another 20 grams of protein for the recovery phase.
I personally mix things up a bit for my post-workout protein needs, and many people prefer a whey protein because it tends to be absorbed faster.
And if you’re a high-performance athlete, then it might be best to speak with your dietitian to figure out what would be enough protein for a typical training day.
Is Pea Protein Powder Good for You?
Yes, pea powder is good for you. It has a great essential amino acid profile, and even a small serving brings health benefits for weight loss and muscle recovery.
Is Pea Protein Inflammatory?
Yes, large volumes of protein from peas may be inflammatory. This mainly affects people with gout, but you would likely need to consume more protein than recommended for your daily intake for it to cause more joint swelling .
Are You Ready To Prepare Your Own Protein Powder?
Peas are great protein sources and a great way to get high-quality organic protein for a reasonable price.
Many protein powders on the market have added sugars, and it’s expensive to buy organic ones.
The great thing is that the effort involved above will be just a few minutes of preparation, and once you’ve done the process a few times, it’ll be very easy to make a weekly or monthly batch.