Of all plant protein sources that you’ll find in protein powders, pea protein tastes the best. It has a minor aftertaste compared to brown rice, hemp protein, and a decent texture.
So, it’s no wonder it is getting much attention now. And if you’re planning to make a homemade pea protein powder, let me show you the process.
But first, let’s find out why you would consider peas with all the commercial protein powders, including whey, rice, casein, and hemp.
Pea Protein vs. Other Protein Powder Options
For starters, pea protein is dairy-free. They contain no milk or milk products, which is essential for people with lactose sensitivity or intolerance and for vegans.
Pea protein can likewise deliver the quality of protein one needs to help recover muscles after a workout. With its low-fat content, it makes a healthier choice for a pre-or post-workout drink. Plus, it’s a good choice if you’re on a budget.
Related: Best Vegan Pre Workout
Does pea protein contain all essential amino acids?
Yes, it is a complete protein. This means it contains all nine essential amino acids, including BCAAs, that your body needs to build muscles.
Although whey is the gold standard for protein powder, both are excellent protein sources. Neither has a remarkable texture or taste, but both are easy to mix and versatile with other food and drinks.
Based on their nutrition profiles, one ounce contains 22.5 grams, while whey protein contains 27 grams in an equivalent amount of protein powder. Both are also relatively low in sugar, fiber, fat, and carbs.
Who should take pea protein?
Pea protein has the greatest appeal among vegans and vegetarians. These people want to boost their protein intake to promote strength and muscle gains and support their active lifestyle.
However, it is a good option even for the meat-eater, especially those wanting to avoid casein or whey because they’re allergic to dairy or have lactose intolerance.
8 Easy Steps on How to Make Pea Protein Powder
Making your own pea protein powder is easy. Below, I’ll explain everything you need to know about making it.
Step 1. Buy Green or Yellow Split Peas
First, buy green or yellow split peas. Yellow peas are higher in protein and have a milder taste than green peas. Still, they are a high-quality protein source and offer many health benefits, like heart health, feelings of fullness, and improved muscle growth.
You can also use frozen or dried peas. But if you use frozen peas, thaw them under cool water first because this will produce a more vibrant green color.
Step 2. Clean the Peas and Soak Them in Cool Water
Clean the peas to remove bacteria and dirt. After cleaning, put them into a colander under running water. Weed out any clumps of dirt or rocks.
Remember that rinsing peas is still essential, even if they are flash frozen or bagged. It’s because peas can still pick up bacteria when sitting in storage.
After cleaning, use a jar or bowl to soak the peas in cool water. Put the dried peas into a glass container and cover them with water. The goal is to let the peas expand as they soak. So, don’t mind if they change size. Cover the container with plastic wrap.
Step 3. Let the Pease Rest For 24 to 48 Hours
To make the peas easier to digest and fight the effect of antinutrients, allow them to sprout for the next 24 to 48 hours. Drain and pour them into a paper towel or mesh. Cover them again with plastic wrap and leave them until they start to sprout. Just keep them at room temperature.
Step 4. Dehydrate the Pease
Whether or not you have sprouted the peas, the fourth step is to dehydrate them. You can do this in a dehydrator or an oven, which is pretty simple.
Place the peas in the tray in a single layer and put it in the oven at 140ºF/60ºC for the next four to five hours. If your oven doesn’t go that low, just set it to the lowest temperature and leave the door a crack open, so the peas don’t burn.
If you dehydrate the peas, make sure not to leave the room unattended. Another method is to use a food dehydrator. The peas easily crumble once they’re dry. They’re ready for the next step when they’re completely hard and crunchy.
Step 5. Turn the Pease Into a Powder
The next step is to grind the dried peas with a high-speed blender or food processor. Pour your peas into the kitchen appliance of your choice and put the lid on. Set your blender at the highest speed for 30 seconds to achieve a powder-like consistency.
Sometimes, it helps to stir the peas a bit with a spoon in case there are chunks of outer shell left. Alternatively, you can use a spice or coffee grinder, although the process may take longer. Making your own protein powder is easy this way. The resulting powder should look like pea flour.
Step 6. Reprocess the Larger Pieces
If still larger pieces of peas are left, reprocess them in your blender again. Repeat step five and blend them for another three minutes to enjoy your own vegan protein powder.
Some DIY protein powder simply instructs readers to blend the dried peas and sift the biggest chunks. However, if you do that, you won’t end up with a pea protein isolate because the carbohydrates are still left in it.
Step 7. Sweeten the Powder (Optional)
The good thing about pea protein powder is that it’s easy to change or mask its taste by combining it with other ingredients, like nut butter, fruits, or coconut milk, instead of water.
You may also do this if you want to add a sweetener. Many prefer adding cocoa powder or sugar to improve the flavor of their protein shake. Alternatively, you can add cane sugar to combat the slightly bitter taste of peas.
Step 8. Add the Pea Protein to Baked Goods or Smoothies
You can already decide how to use the raw pea flour you’ve made at this stage. You can add it to baked goods or smoothies to add some extra protein to your snacks. Make sure to blend it well into your liquid to avoid lumps.
Some of my favorites are a vegan vanilla shake (which uses unsweetened almond milk and pure vanilla extract), a Moroccan-style pea protein shake, and a mint chocolate chip shake.
If you track the nutritional value of all ingredients you put into your protein shake, you can create the perfect blend that fits your fitness needs and tastes.
How much pea protein powder should I use?
For every protein shake you make, use two tablespoons. That amounts to 20 grams of protein per serving.
If you need to take extra protein after working out at the gym or you’re in your recovery phase, you may consider adding another 20 grams. But for high-performance athletes, it’s wise to speak with your dietician so they’ll find out the amount you need on a typical training day.
How to Store Your Homemade Pea Protein Powder Safely
To store it safely, put it in a BPA-free airtight container in the fridge. The good news is that such a protein powder is good for up to one year but will taste the freshest within one week.
I say you use an airtight container, so no moisture gets at the pea powder. If it happens, it will spoil the pea flour pretty quickly or make it clumpy once used. Another option is to use an old tub from your used protein powder because the storage is already airtight.
They’re also good storage if you don’t mind using plastic baggies. Get creative and try a new one every time you make a new one.
By using the steps above as a basic blueprint, you can already make a protein powder that is non-GMO, vegan-friendly, soy-free, gluten-free, and cholesterol-free. Most of all, it’s healthier than a commercial pea protein powder because you know exactly the ingredients you put in.
You can use it for smoothies, shakes, baking, or whatever you usually take.
For access to more exercise and fitness articles, lifestyle tips, celebrity workouts, nutrition and health info, visit ExpertFitness.org.
Nathan Lloyd, MSc
LICENSED PERSONAL TRAINER
I’m a personal trainer, based in Boulder, Colorado.
I service clients physically in the Boulder area, mainly in the ONE Boulder Fitness Gym, but am also available for online consulting and coaching.
If you’re interested in my personal coaching programs, please contact me via the contact page.