If you have a tub of whey protein powder or some peptide fusion in your house - preferably vanilla or cinnamon flavored - you're going to love this recipe. It's easy, quick, and all you need to do is round up a few basic ingredients. I made this recipe for the Reflex Nutrition folk whose factory I went to visit today (SEE STORY HERE), woop woop! they seemed to have really liked it :-D
There are few things that I simply cannot resist. One of them is cherry tomatoes. If I were to buy a kilo of cherry tomatoes, I'd eat them. Two kilos? I'd eat them. Three kilos? I'd eat them. I never buy more than that for this reason though, because they make me turn into an Argentinian Wide Mouth Frog (an amphibian glutton that will eat until it explodes *sniff*) and Zeus know that's not how I want to give up the ghost. Anyways, few things make it into my list of The Dangerously Irresistible. That's because I like to practice the art of moderation (e.g. I can house a jar of nut butter for weeks, eat just a square or two of dark chocolate, enjoy only one or two servings of cake, pudding, brownies, ice cream, etc. while saving the rest for later). Ah!!! though, moderation gets forcefully drop-kicked out the window it comes to Chocolate Covered Nuts. There, you lose me. Or, rather, I lose myself ;-)
Because, the thing is, I LOVE dark chocolate covered nuts. LOVE them. I can honestly sit there and munch dozens of them, going up the ladder of elation as I do without a care in the world. It is for this very reasy (because they're irresistible to me), that I only make them using ultra dark chocolate and I always add some protein powder to them. I add the powder to add in some sweetness POW! and the ultra dark chocolate for two reasons: one, because I like to keep them sugarless and two, because with dark chocolate, they last longer ;-) Indeed, with ultra dark chocolate, just a handful and you're set (it's the beauty of dark chocolate really, the fact that, because it's so intense and rich, a little is enough to send your tastebuns into a pleasure-induced stupor of sorts, hehe). OK, enough bla bla from me. Are you ready for the recipe? Because, I tell ya, these protein powder dark chocolate covered nuts are a revoluuuuuuution!
I have a secret and a secret sauce. Which one should I divulge first? I'll start with the secret sauce. I use it to top pretty much every chocolate protein cake or brownie I make. It's only one ingredient - two if add toffee flavdrops to it (this makes the whole experience even crazier!) What is it? It's double goat's cream. I know, it's not really a 'sauce' per se but I call it a sauce because on top of chocolate? Ohhhhhhh!!!! it makes any other sauce bow with feelings of inferiority (for further evidence, see here and here!) This leads me to the secret: whenever I use double goat's cream on chocolatey protein things, I throw away refinement and transform into a hearty canine. Don't judge me though. Hey, try it for yourself! Let's see if YOU are able stop yourself from licking the plate ;-)
Turning one's favorite cakes into pancakes is where it's at. At least I think so ;-) Can you tell by looking at all the protein pancakes that I've made? They're all pretty cake-like! Ahh.... protein pancakes are just such an easy, quick, and nom nom nom way to bring to life one's favorite cakes! You can even frost them up and layer them, if what you're after is more of a cake experience, hehe (kind of like my Super Protein Chocolate Tower of Goodness pancakes). Really though, what better way to chase a (leg-)slaughtering workout than with an outstanding stack of protein pancakes?
Last week, a bespoke recipe request was put in by Simon. He wanted me to design a protein bar that would fuel his and his team's epic success during the Satmap 10 Peak Challenge later this month. What he was after was a moist delicious protein bar (not a dry and extra chewy one like a lot of protein bars out there that make the act of eating them a challenge in itself); a bar that'd provide energy without being too high in sugars; a bar with a kicking mix of complex and simple carbs, good fats, and a nice punch of protein kaPOW! to conquer every peak and bolt through that finish line like a boss ;-) Here's the recipe I shot back. Before you dive into it though, be sure to check out Simon's website and drop some good-luck bombs on his facebook wall! Go Simon!
Have you ever had cinnamon flavored protein powder? The first time I tried it was last Christmas when I bought a tub of BSN Lean Dessert, Fresh Cinnamon Roll flavored whey and I wasn't too impressed by it. No, not at all. Instead of conjuring up a cinnamon roll, all that powder did for me was conjure up a lab (in the sense of it tasting overly artificial and hm-hm). Not having a good cinnamon flavored whey didn't bother me too much though because creating one's own is so easy - all you need to do is find a good vanilla protein powder and mix it up with one hell of a lot of cinnamon +/- some maple syrup ;-) When I was at BodyPower 2012 though, I stopped b y the Reflex stall and, there, I was offered a taste of their soon-to-be-launched cinnamon flavored peptide fusion (a blend of whey casein and egg). I smiled, nodded, and thought 'hm....' as I accepted the little sample whey-containing-shot-glass with, I'll admit, some trepidation. Zeus Almighty though, DAMN! It was delicious! I wanted to scream FINALLY, a good cinnamon formula that actually beats my simple vanilla + cinnamon combo in the cinnamon roll department!
When a cake is filled and frosted - a protein cake, at that - things can get a little messy. Not in the sense of creating a mess in the kitchen that makes me want to google 'local cleaning companies' but messy in the sense of them leading to posts that are packed full of superlatives, exclamation marks, capital letters, and excessive outbursts of AAAAA! I'm going to give you this recipe without any of that. I'll just say that the cake was DELICIOUS and leave it at that ;-)
I get a lot of deliveries in the mail, a LOT of boxes of protein powder. Every delivery excites me tremendously and my reaction (much to the amusement of the delivery guy) is always one of WAHOOO!!!!!!! because it means I get to experiment with a new powder and bring into our kitchen gameboard an exciting new player :-) I'm telling you this to give you some context and frame my discussion of today's delivery because, as soon as I saw who it was from, I wanted to jump up and down (I tell you, had I been wearing spring-shoes, my head would have forcefully crashed against the ceiling!) What did the package contain? It contained bars made with cricket protein powder; a powder that, according to Chapul, 'has a third more protein than most leading protein powder brands, with less than a quarter of the fat and zero sugar.' Are you jumping too? ;-)
I shaved some Madagascan Bourbon Vanilla Pods for this one and MAN, oh MAN! did that dropkick the whole thing into to another dimension of OOMPH (also, I always think that when vanilla ice cream has visible vanilla seeds, it looks even tastier for some reason?) Vanilla ice cream is one of my all time favorites; it's simple but done right, oh! it can pack such a delicious punch! AAAA!!!!
I'm calling this a 'Gelato Sorbet' because it straddles the boundaries between Gelatos and Sorbets in texture, taste, and overarching 'feel.' It's light like a Sorbet but creamy like a Gelato, does that make sense? Now, I know that those possessed by nomenclature are itching to to know why Gelato and not just Ice Cream. Well... mostly because Gelatos (outside of Italy of course as there Gelato is just the word for Ice Cream) tend to be lighter and somewhat lower in fat than regular Ice Creams. It's a fuzzy boundary though so please go don't spend (as much time as I apparently am) thinking it over ;-)
Ingredients - blended together with a handheld blender :-)
2 cups-ish of frozen raspberries
1/2 cup-ish of vanilla whey protein powder
1/2 cup-ish of full-fat Greek (or Turkish!) yogurt (just make sure it's super thick and creamy)
Sorry about the "-ish" in my measurements above. It's just that I didn't measure too closely because this was a quick experiment I made for some friends which I wasn't going to post but then the final product turned out so good that here I am typing away ;-) The recipe above is the basic gist though. It's pretty cool because it involves just three ingredients (whey, berries, and yogurt) and is absurdly quick to make. Cool, no? And could it possibly be any easier? You can play around with the proportions too: make it more sorbet-like by adding more frozen berries, more gelato-like with extra yogurt, or more kaPOW!(d)erful with extra whey. Note too that, topped at the end with a tbsp or two of extra yogurt (or even some clotted cream!) is fantastic as the latter add a nice creamy texture which, as a factor of not being frozen, lends a great contrast against the colder berriness of the whole thing. What better for a hot day, honestly?
Macros per one bowl (if you divide the above into two and follow the measurements provided above without the 'ish'): 320kcals, 27.5g protein, 29g carbos (18.5g sugars), 11.6g fat (7.5gsat) and 5.5g fiber!
Do you know Scott? He's the man behind www.foodforfitness.co.uk, where lots of healthy recipes live. Scott (who, incidentally, is a Scotsman!) is an extremely nice guy with a passion for helping people reach their fitness and nutrition goals and he has a facebook page so do stop by and say hello! He's always there to answer people's questions, give advice, and share kicking recipes like this pudding which really out to be right next to the definition of 'luscious' in the dictionary ;-)
These brownies are an omega 3, antioxidant, fiber, and phytonutrient powerhouse; they're nutrition-packed (hail folate, potassium, manganese, and vitamin C) anti-inflammatory BEASTS. I mention this because it's important to pay attention to not only the macros but also of MICROS in one's diet - the small nutrients that mastermind the optimal functioning of our bodies and minds (from A to Zinc!) This is why I love to power-charge my protein recipes with hidden fruit and veg (and lend power to 'don't judge a book by its cover'.)
Do you know who that is up there? (Maybe the cape and protein muffin tattoo gives him away...) It's Protein Pow Man! Sampling today's recipe like a champ ;-) This recipe is actually a tribute to one of my favorite ingredients: toffee flavdrops. The anti-sweetenerists amongst you may cringe at the artificiality of this product (because it's basically just sucralose and flavoring), hailing all sorts of arguments to support the notion that all sweeteners are ultimately noxious to human health. What do I say to them? I say that not all sweeteners are created equal (e.g. aspartame ≠ sucralose ≠ stevia). I tell them that I have an imperious and ultra-demanding sweet-tooth which I love dearly and that the option of a. exterminating it or b. satisfying it with table sugar are both out of the question. I tell them that, all things in my diet considered, I find the inclusion of sweeteners to be inconsequential.
Have you ever eaten protein donuts as 'cereal'? Floating in a bowl of milk as they're fished one by one with a spoon? I have and recommend it :-D It's both exciting and madly delicious because, there you are, a full grown adult, eating yummy donuts for breakfast and not just a couple but a dozen or two :-D (by the way, if you haven't already, check out my recipe for Dark Chocolate Covered White Chocolate Protein Donuts while you're here.) It never ends, does it? The protein fun :-))))) Anyways, these donuts were made using a Sugar-Free Peanut Butter Mix that Sanna gave me in Stockholm. I've always been intrigued by peanut flour and the oh-so-famous PB2 so this was a much welcome gift (tack tack, Sanna!) which ended up impressing because it lends a mild peanutbutteriness that's quite different from that you get from using good old peanut butter!
This was a total "I wonder what would happen if..." kind of recipe. It began with me making a batter for protein chocolates before deciding to send the whole thing to the wind by moulding the batter into elongated bar shapes, sticking a fork in them, and cooling it all in the freezer. I was inspired to do this mostly because halfway through making the chocolates, I realized it was too hot and who wants protein-filled chocolates when one can have a protein-filled ice cream bar instead (to munch while watching Croatia demolish Ireland at the Euro 2012!)
I ran a Protein Pow(d)er Cooking Workshop when I was in Stockholm (here are the pics) and, there, I met the awesome Sanna. I knew I had come face to face with a kindred protein-soul as soon as I saw her: a girl in workout clothes carrying a massive cooler bag as she approached our meeting point with an equally huge smile on her face. You see, I asked everyone to bring ingredients to the workshop and, there, Sanna showed up with a big bag full of protein magic! Seriously, as she pulled ingredient after ingredient out of her bag, I was like a mesmerized child watching a magician pull out rabbit after rabbit out of a hat. There were just so many fantastic ingredients to try! e.g. sugar-free peanut butter flour, different kinds of flavoring extracts, hazelnut and almond butter, vanilla and pear protein powder (!), cappuccino casein, aaa! Needless to say, when she was done I had to bend down to pick up my jaw from the floor. At the workshop, Sanna made some super tasty peanut butter protein truffles and also cooked these glorious protein cakes. She let me take one of them home and, as soon as I showed it to my dad, it was gone - he had devoured it in awe just like I did at the workshop. It was fluffy, light, cakey, vanillay, and oh la la: absolutely delicious! And now here is the recipe for you to try it too! Thank you Sannaaaa! Here is her website, by the way, and as soon as she gets her recipe blog up and running, you bet I'll be here ballyhooing the hell out of her cooking too. You won't miss a single protein cake, I promise ;-)
The internet has been down since thursday at my dad's house here in Stockholm so I haven't been able to post any recipes since then. You can imagine the amount of protein pancakes that have gone unrecorded, their life undocumented in this flitting realm of overlapping mornings. This is, I think, actually the longest time this blog has gone without a new recipe! Crazy, huh? I thought I could stay in this internet-less-life until I go back home to the UK on Wednesday but... I couldn't do it any more, the backlog of recipes and photos is weighing me down. So, I stuffed yesterday's recipe and my dad's laptop in my bag and made my way to an internet café ;-)
If it were my responsibility to choose a lifetime partner for a tablespoon of almond butter, I'd have a hard time choosing between an apple and a banana. I mean, the banana + almond combination is legendary! Entire works of culinary genius have been inspired from it (e.g. Almond and Banana Cake, Almond and Banana Muffins, and, of course, the oh-so-simple-and-epically-delicious Almond and Banana Sandwich hehe). And don't even get me started on the apple + almond combination because fufffff! its success cannot be disputed: it has ignited cooks' imaginations for centuries, breathing life to delightful desserts like Apple & Almond Cheesecake, Apple & Almond Cobbler and Apple and Almond Cake! So, what would I do if it were up to ME to decide who I'd join almond butter with? I'd choose both the apple and the banana and, to convince those pressing me to decide between the two, I'd make this cake ;-)
If you were to join me out for a cup of coffee, I'd probably go up and order a double Espresso, a traditional Macchiato, a black Americano, or just a cup of Black Tea (with milk) along with a single Espresso (which I'd then proceed to uncouthly turn into a Yuayang as you raise your eyebrow and wonder what the hell I'm doing). I'd probably pause and examine the menu before ordering though, visually leafing through the Lattes, the Mochas, the Cappuccinos, the seasonal drinks, and the Breves (which are so delicious but unfortunately also a calorific-assault to the system, boooo.) Ah, there are just so many different kinds of espresso-based drinks! So many different flavor combinations! And this cake right here? This is a tribute to one of the most ridiculous coffee drink I've ever had. I tried it in a coffee shop in downtown Chicago a few years back and, I swear, it made me wonder whether the barista was human or divine....
How about it? After five days of breaking the fast with protein pancakes, I'm still not sick of them and neither is dad. This is probably because every stack of pancakes I've made so far has been so different! It's a daily shot of protein POW! that keeps the surprise factor going and tastebus oh so young. Today's pancakes in particular were magical - the perfect mix of fluffiness, pan-fried-cakeyness, berry explosiveness, and mmmmoisture ;-)
Ingredients - blended together and, again, panfried on these little pans which I further nonsticked with some coconut oil:
4 egg whites
1/4 cup of vanilla whey protein powder
1/8 cup of coconut flour
1/4 cup of buckwheat flakes
1/4 cup of frozen strawberries (added after blending the above)
1 tbsp of vanilla essence
This mixture yielded four fat pancakes. Like the ones I made yesterday, they were really heavy but, unlike yesterday's, they were amenable to being flipped in the air (if you need evidence of this, here's a video of me flipping one of them).
It's pretty sweet, isn't it? How many different kinds of protein pancakes one can make? It's endless, really, and it keeps on getting better, waaa!
Macros per one stack of pancakes: 355.9kcals, 40.6g protein, 32g carbs (4.8g sugars), 5.4g fat (2.3g sat) and 9.8g fiber!
Are you wondering whether I will all too soon give up on this daily protein pancake deal I've made with my dad? Whether I'll send the promise to the wind and start baking lyrical? Do you think I can keep up with this daily dose of pan fried protein madness? Or do you think this whole exercise will end with me tossing all the mini frying pans out the window in a state of utter mental pancake saturation? Time will tell I guess ;-) Today's pancakes were truly out there and oh so extravagantly delectable. And, do you know what they're made out of? beef. Uhu. They're beef protein pancakes, woop woop :-D Now, if you're not a fan or don't have been protein pow, you can still follow this recipe. Just use a vanilla whey or a blend of whey and casein!
I love protein pancakes (can you tell?) They're just so easy and quick to make! Plus, they provide a perfect avenue for creative cooking and experimenting ;-) Todays pancakes, for instance, were inspired by butternut squash and quinoa, two ingredients I love and felt would work really well alongside vanilla. The first step to making these pancakes is boiling your quinoa and cooking your butternut squash (I steamed the squash but you can roast it or boil it too; you can also substitute it with a cooked sweet potato if you don't have access to squash or simply don't fancy it enough.) Once your quinoa is nice and cooked and your squash ready to munch, you throw them in a bowl along with three ingredients: egg whites, vanilla protein powder, and coconut flour. That's it. Ready for the whole recipe? Here goes:
My dad has made me promise that for the duration of my Stockholm visit, I must make him protein pancakes every day. He almost pulled out the biblical canons for me to swear to this under oath so humoring his request was out of the question. I couldn't have said 'no' anyways though, because my dad is quite possibly this blog's number one fan. He's also a great dad :-) And why am I telling you this? Well, because, for the next two weeks, this blog will be all about protein panckake recipes, thing of it as = Pancake Pow(d)er ! The protein-pancake-loving-souls amongst you will love this, much to the chagrin of those of you who don't care for pancakes. Maybe by the end though, I will have managed to turn the latter into the former? Because what's not to love about protein pancakes? The stars are the limit in their galaxy ;-)