Wednesday, 6 February 2013

The Power of Plant Protein


It's been more than a week since I last wrote, and a busy week it's been as always!

These days, my days are starting around 7am - I get my self ready, see James off, and setup the juice bar. Between 8.30am and 6pm I am on juice and smoothie duty, then I head over to the gym. Before I know it, it's 8pm and I have just enough energy to whip up something for dinner (usually frozen from the freezer from a slow cooker batch), watch a little telly or read and bed between 10-11pm.

It doesn't leave much room for inspiration or motivation to write, but I really want to keep up with this!

Today I wanted to share with a recent experiment - some raw energy protein 'bites' that I've been munching on an hour or two before working out.

When I ran out of a chocolate flavoured plant-based protein powder blend from Myprotein. I wasn't sure what to do. I've been trying to keep my dairy intake to a minimum of late. The chemicals and cruelty involved in manufacturing dairy is putting me right off, so whey protein is not something I feel comfortable consuming, yet the flavoured plant-based blends are expensive and difficult to find. Unflavoured single-source plant protein powders like hemp, pea and brown rice are easier to find and less expensive - this seemed to me to be an opportunity to experiment with my own blends!

I went with brown rice and pea protein powders (the cheapest 2 options) and I've been using half a scoop of each in post workout shakes. I need to work on more palatable things to mix them with, but that's a work in progress.

Why not just pick one single-source plant protein and have done? Well, the amino acid profile varies between sources, so to get an ideal balance a blend becomes a powerful alternative to the profile in animal proteins.

To be clear, soy protein powder is not an option for me. I've tried it before and all that happened was a degree of stomach upset and skin breakouts. Plus, I have read how it can effect hormones and the development of cancers. I know there is research to support both sides of the debate, but I'm not going to take my chances!

Back to today's recipe - energy protein 'bites'. I liken them to chocolate fudge *yum*. The texture of plant protein powders can be a challenge, though the gooey texture of puréed dates did a good job of disguising it. And a rich cocoa flavour that tastes bad for you whilst not doing any harm at all made them a greatly indulgent snack!

Tomorrow, I will be seeing how well my new powders blend into porridge - the Myprotein blend did a great job of this, better than any of the times I tried to mix whey into oats, so I have high hopes.

Tomorrow is also my 2 year 'veg-iversary'! That's 2 years of meatless eating, no cravings or slip ups whatsoever.

In the meantime, here's the promised recipe and as always let me know if you give it a go or have any other tips for plant-based protein powder!

'Til then!

Hannah xx

P.s. I'm sorry for the lack of links on this post. I'm writing from the blogger app on the iPad which doesn't let me link up!

Chocolate fudge-like protein energy bites (vegan and GF option)

1/2 cup of dates - soak in hot water to soften and reserve the water
1/4 cup oats - use GF if you need to
1/4 cup of plant protein powders - I used unflavoured pea and brown rice powders.
2 Tbsp cocoa powder - unsweetened, raw if you have it
1/2 Tsp vanilla essence
1/4 Tsp salt

Pulse the dates in a food processor to get a paste.

Add all the remaining ingredients until they form a kind of sticky crumb.

To get it into a 'dough' or fudge, add some of the date water, a tablespoon at a time until the mixture gathers in the processor, though you don't want it too watery.

Form the mixture as you please and freeze to firm them up. I made 9 'bites' with this recipe, and enjoyed 3 bites per serving, packing about 17g of protein each serving!

1 comment:

  1. Happy Veggieversary! I would have guessed you'd been vegetarian a lot longer with all your great recipes and know-how! These definitely look like a tasty & satisfying snack.