If you’ve heard of raw vegan diets, you’re probably imagining huge piles of whole fruits, leafy greens, and tons of nuts.
Raw foods are, by definition, not heated above 118F or 48C – proponents say this helps keep the enzymes, vitamins, and minerals of the food intact, as they aren’t destroyed during the cooking process.
While raw proteins follow many of the same principles as traditional raw diets, they’re not exactly comparable. One of the pinnacles of a raw food lifestyle is that it’s minimally processed.
As protein powders are processed, they may not work for strict raw vegans. However, these are certainly closer to raw food diets than traditional plant-based protein powders. Plus, they’re a healthy way to get clean, plant-based protein into your diet – even if you’re not a raw vegan.
Quick NavigationOur Top PickChoosing the Best Raw Vegan Protein Powder for You1 – Protein per Serving2 – Protein-to-Calorie Ratio3 – Organic4 – Digestive Enzymes5 – Protein Source6 – FlavorOur Favorite Brands: How Do They Compare?Garden of Life Protein & GreensSunwarrior – Warrior BlendNutribiotic Organic Raw Rice ProteinSun Pyramid Raw Vegan ProteinRaw Fusion Plant Protein PowderRaw Fuel for Vegan Athletes
Our Top Pick
In addition to a stellar list of clean ingredients and the addition of six greens and vegetables, Protein & Greens also includes a variety of digestive enzymes. This helps combat the uncomfortable gas and bloating that can come with raw protein powders, keeping your body healthy and comfortable.
Still searching for your favorite? Check out our guide below or skip to our favorite brands.
Choosing the Best Raw Vegan Protein Powder for You
With raw vegan diets and clean eating surging in popularity, there is a huge variety of protein powders to choose from. Sometimes, the choice can feel overwhelming.
When you’re investing in a raw vegan protein, you want to find the best quality you can. Since protein helps repair muscles, you want to consume a top-notch formula to keep you strong and healthy.
When you’re shopping for your raw vegan protein, there are a few things you’ll want to keep in mind to ensure you’re getting the best supplement for your body.
1 – Protein per Serving
The very first place you should look is the nutrition label.
How much protein does your powder pack in per serving?
If you’re using the product to boost protein intake or recover from your workout, I’d suggest looking for something with 15-25g of protein per serving.
Remember that more protein per serving does not necessarily mean “better” – before shopping for your powder, you’ll want to think about your protein needs. Someone who’s doing intense workouts every day may benefit from a higher protein supplement, but a person who’s more sedentary and is just looking for a clean protein source may be okay with less protein per scoop.
Plus, it’s not just the protein grams themselves – the protein content in context of the whole formula is important too!
2 – Protein-to-Calorie Ratio
A high amount of protein per serving can be great, but to get the full picture, you’ll want to compare the amount of protein in a serving to the calories. A low protein-to-calorie ratio, say 1g protein per 4 calories, is better than a ratio of 1g of protein to 6 calories.
When the ratio is higher, that means there are calories in the powder coming from things other than the protein – this could be sugar, fat, etc.
If you’re not looking for extra carbs or other macronutrients in your raw vegan protein powder (I.e., this won’t be a complete meal replacement by itself), your money is best spent on the purest, cleanest protein. You don’t want to spend your money on a powder that has unnecessary ingredients and additives if all you need is a protein supplement.
3 – Organic
Raw vegans know that when it comes to buying fruits and veggies, organic is the way to go. The same holds true for your protein powder! After all, why avoid pesticides and chemicals in one part of your diet, only to consume them through your protein?
To ensure you’re consuming the cleanest, healthiest protein, it’s best if you can purchase a certified organic product.
Of course, organic proteins also tend to be more expensive. If your wallet doesn’t allow it, a non-organic protein powder will do. You’ll just want to be mindful of how many servings you’re consuming per day.
4 – Digestive Enzymes
While not necessarily a requirement, buying a raw protein that includes digestive enzymes can be a big plus. If you’ve ever eaten a raw, whole-foods diet for any length of time, you know that it can cause some discomfort and be a little hard to digest – especially if you aren’t used to large quantities of raw food.
Some raw vegan protein powders contain digestive enzymes right in the ingredient list, which makes them simple to digest and a little easier on your stomach. You’ll still get the benefits from the protein if your blend doesn’t include the enzymes, but choosing a formula that includes them will help cut down on uncomfortable gas and bloating.
5 – Protein Source
Like regular plant-based protein powders, raw proteins get their protein content from all different types of foods. Depending on your needs and food preferences or intolerances, the protein source can be an important part of your choice.
Most raw protein powders are made from brown rice protein, legumes, or a blend of several types of foods. While most vegan proteins are simply a matter of preference, it may be a good idea to avoid soy proteins, especially if you’re planning on taking more than one serving per day.
If choosing a protein powder from legumes like chickpeas or kidney beans, make sure they are listed as “sprouted.” Sprouting legumes increases the bioavailability of their nutrients – meaning more of those nutrients are absorbed by your body. This is not only better for your health, but it gets the most out of the money you spend, too.
6 – Flavor
This may seem like a no-brainer, but the flavor of your protein will greatly affect how much you use or don’t use it!
Flavored powders usually come in sweet flavors like vanilla and chocolate, but you can find creative flavors out there like mocha, chai, and banana nut. These tend to lend themselves well to sweet applications like smoothies and oatmeals, and vanilla tends to be the most flexible flavor.
If you’re not a big fan of sweets, consider a lightly sweetened blend. For complete flexibility, invest in a plain/natural/unflavored powder – this allows you to use the protein in savory applications, or doctor it up completely with your favorite flavors at home.
Our Favorite Brands: How Do They Compare?
Our #1 Top Pick!
Garden of Life is basically a household name when it comes to healthy, raw products – and their Protein & Greens powder is simply amazing. Each serving contains 20 grams of raw, healthy protein from peas, sprouted grains, legumes, and seeds. The formula has the added benefit of six organic greens and vegetables, including spinach, broccoli, and alfalfa.
This raw vegan powder is sweetened with natural stevia, so you don’t have to worry about added sugar or artificial sweeteners in this blend. In fact, each serving contains less than one gram of sugar. The vanilla flavor is extremely flexible and easy to customize in your meals.
The thing that makes Garden of Life’s Protein & Greens stand out is the addition of digestive enzymes. Right in the ingredient list are several enzymes which make this protein easily digestible, so you don’t have to suffer through uncomfortable bloating or gas to boost your consumption of healthy plant-based protein.
Each serving of Garden of Life Protein & Greens contains 20 grams of plant-based raw protein and 100 calories for an optimal protein-to-calorie ratio. This drives home the fact that this powder is a clean, pure source of protein.
Each 19-ounce tub contains 20 1-scoop servings.
What We Liked
In addition to love for the digestive enzymes, this powder gets great reviews on texture and taste. With a light vanilla flavor, the protein isn’t too sweet, and it has minimal chalkiness. Many reviewers noted they could drink this protein on its own with almond milk or water.
What We Didn’t Like
There isn’t a whole lot of downsides to this one. The only thing we could find is that a small number of people felt the blend was a bit gritty/grainy for their pallette.
Sunwarrior is a self-described “superfood” company who create only plant-based, vegan-friendly products. Their Warrior Blend protein is an easily digestible, nutrient-filled superfood made from pea, hemp, coconut, and goji berry protein.
Each serving of Warrior Blend contains 18g of protein and 100 calories. It’s sweetened with stevia, so there’s no added sugar or artificial sweeteners, and the light vanilla flavor goes well in smoothies and oatmeal.
The ingredients are certified USDA organic, and the formula is free from soy, sugar, dairy, gluten, and GMOs. This is a great option for athletes who want to fuel their workouts with clean, whole-food protein, or for raw vegans looking to up their protein consumption.
The Warrior Blend comes in 3 sizes – 13.2 oz (15 servings), 1.65 lbs (30 servings), and a 2.2 lbs (40 servings).
What We Liked
With overwhelmingly positive reviews, buyers find that this protein strikes a great balance between “clean ingredients” and “great taste.” Many reviewers noted that they appreciate the whole food ingredients and lack of sugar and artificial sweeteners, but that they also genuinely look forward to consuming this protein. It blends well with sweet fruits like bananas, oranges, and mangoes.
What We Didn’t Like
Those who are very sensitive to texture may have trouble getting this one down. Some reviewers noted that the texture of this protein could be gritty and reminiscent of sand. If you’re sensitive to this, you may try mixing the protein into oatmeal instead of trying to shake it with plain water or almond milk.
The organic raw rice protein from Nutribiotic is a great option that’s as good for your wallet as it is for your body. Made from organic brown rice protein, this raw vegan protein powder provides a full profile of amino acids, the building blocks of protein.
Unlike many proteins that can be cloyingly sweet or only work well in sweet applications, the Nutribiotic rice protein is unflavored. This means you’re not only able to use it in smoothies, shakes, and oatmeal, but you can put it in savory recipes, too.
Your homemade bread, soup, and stew recipes can also get a protein boost, as the natural protein won’t clash with the savory flavors. Of course, you can still add it to smoothies and oatmeal with some vanilla, cocoa powder, and sweetener of your choice.
Each serving of this protein contains 12 grams of protein and 60 calories. Because of the low-calorie count, it’s an ideal option for people who are looking to boost their protein while watching their weight. If you need a bigger protein boost, you could get 24g protein for 120 calories with this supplement. It’s as flexible nutritionally as it is in terms of flavor!
Each 3-pound tub of protein contains 90 1-tablespoon servings.
What We Liked
This is a real no-nonsense protein – it’s minimally processed, doesn’t contain additives or flavorings, and is certified organic. If you’re looking to build your best possible body on a tight budget, this is a solid option.
What We Didn’t Like
This is not a protein to consume in a shaker cup with plain water or almond milk. While flexible, the taste and texture on its own leaves something to be desired – you’ll get your best results from adding it to or blending it with other foods.
A “superfood protein powder”, Sun Pyramid’s raw vegan protein is made from a combination of brown rice protein with B12 and spirulina – all extremely important nutrients for people on a plant-based diet. This protein has a light vanilla flavor, and can also function as a meal replacement.
In addition to being certified organic, this protein powder is completely free of gluten, soy, dairy, and GMOs. The blend is sweetened with stevia and dextrose, which is a corn-based sweetener.
This formula is high in BCAAs, which makes it a good option for vegan athletes looking to nourish their bodies for maximum performance and recovery. It’s a great option for pre-and post-workout meals.
Each serving of Sun Pyramid protein contains 15 grams of protein for 74 calories, which also makes it low-calorie and a good choice for those who are cutting or looking to drop a few pounds. The calories are low enough to double the serving size, getting you 30 grams of raw plant protein for just about 150 calories.
Each 2.5-pound tub contains 54 1-scoop servings.
What We Liked
Reviewers love that this protein includes B12 – it frees you up from having to take a separate B12 supplement, which saves you money. Purchasers also said the powder mixes well with plain water or almond milk, which makes it convenient and efficient.
What We Didn’t Like
The flavor of this protein gets mixed reviews. Many people who didn’t care for it found that it had a strange, almost metallic, aftertaste, or simply didn’t enjoy the flavor of the powder on its own.
*Note* This is the only one on the list that isn’t entirely organic, but we chose to include it because the ingredients and quality look good. If you want 100% organic, look at one of the other four on the list!
At 21 grams of protein per serving, the Plant Protein from Raw Fusion packs the biggest protein punch of any products on this list. The product uses a blend of pea, rice, and artichoke protein to deliver plant-based nutrition to consumers.
This raw powder comes in traditional vanilla and chocolate, but this company offers additional, “fun” flavors like mocha and banana nut. This can be a fun change from your regular protein flavors, and the best part is that each option is made without the addition of artificial flavors and sweeteners.
Each serving of Raw Fusion contains 21 grams of protein and 116 calories. The formula is completely free of any dairy, soy, or animal proteins, making it a good option for people with food intolerances or allergies. It also boasts a full amino acid profile and low sodium content (for a protein powder).
Each 2-pound tub contains 30 1-scoop servings.
What We Liked
This protein is a clear winner on taste. If you’ve been disappointed with protein powders in the past, give Raw Fusion a shot – it’s delicious and smooth, without tasting artificial or incredibly sweet. It’s great in smoothies, oatmeal, and pancakes.
What We Didn’t Like
While delicious, the ingredients in Raw Fusion’s plant protein are not certified organic. If you’re looking for a product completely free of pesticides, this probably isn’t the product for you.
Raw Fuel for Vegan Athletes
With the help of raw proteins, you don’t have to choose between a clean, raw-food diet and getting enough protein to help build and repair your muscles. Raw food protein powders are some of the best supplements the health- and environmentally-conscious athlete can purchase.
By looking at each product’s organic certification, nutrition label, and ingredient list, you can make an investment in your health. Choosing the highest quality raw protein will help keep your body in top condition, help you recover from tough workouts, and assist you in reaching your health and fitness goals.
Raw protein powders bring together clean ingredients, ethical values, and excellent nutrition, helping you become a great example of vegan health and fitness.