So the other day, a Buzz Feed post popped up on my Facebook. It was a delectable looking pancake that involved a Nutella stuffed centre. Um... yes.
I don't have any Nutella. But many of you know that I do make a lot of pancakes. Ok--so they're protein pancakes. But I love them. I decided that I could easily come up with a similar creation. It may not be quite as delicious, but it would make for a better breakfast choice.
I often use a product called PB2. It's essentially dehydrated peanuts, leaving you with a powder that, when water is added, creates peanut butter. I love peanut butter on the regular, but it's easy to overdo it on the stuff. I.e. you go in for a taste and soon realize you've eaten half the jar with a spoon. When this happens, PB2 is a good alternative because it's reduced calorie, but still packed with flavour.
I whipped up a serving of chocolate PB2 and followed the video tutorial provided by Buzz Feed (very technical, with about 4 steps).
The result was my regular protein pancake with a delicious surprise inside! For instructions on how to make a protein pancake, see my post here.
Purchasing supplements can be an overwhelming process, whether it’s protein powder, fish oil, or an every-day multi vitamin. There are so many brands available, all with varying claims and reviews. It’s difficult to know what you should be purchasing and incorporating into your daily routine.
A personal supplement hunt of my own has been around finding the best tasting plant-based protein powder that meets my nutritional standards. Although I like to get the majority of my protein through whole foods, I still find this difficult to do in the morning, or when I'm really busy, which is why I turn to a powdered supplement to help me meet my protein intake goals.
As I’ve noted in the past, I prefer plant-based proteins because I tend to digest them much better than whey. This isn’t uncommon, as whey is a dairy-based supplement, and can be somewhat inflammatory, depending on your system.
Now, if you’ve never had a plant-based protein, I’m just going to say it: it’s not as good as whey isolate. Disagree if you’d like, but my personal opinion is that it’s rare to find a plant protein with a texture that even comes close to whey. For those of you who are regular consumers of plant-based protein, I’m sure you understand where I’m coming from—it can be grainy, chalky, and simply not good, flavour wise.
Recently, I’ve been experimenting with a few brands. So, I thought I would take some of the guess work out for you, and provide a brief review of each, based on my own experiences.
The three brands I am going to review are:
Vega Sport Performance Protein (vanilla)
Garden of Life Raw Protein (chocolate)
Lean Fit Naturals Complete Green Protein (vanilla bean)
When I’m looking for a protein powder, I am not looking for a meal replacement. That is, I almost always mix my protein powder with other foods, whether I’m making a smoothie, or (more often than not) a protein pancake. So I don’t need a nice balance of carbohydrates and protein. I can easily get my carbs and fats from other sources (I don’t know about you, but finding carbs to eat generally isn’t an issue for me…). So I look for brands that offer an adequate dose of protein (20g is preferable for me), while remaining low in carbohydrates (under 10 grams).
Last year for my birthday, I received a gift from my in-laws that I didn't even know I wanted. Almost one year later, it has become one of my favourite kitchen appliances. It's the gift that keeps on giving: my infamous spiralizer.
Without this contraption, I would not be able to make the delicious recipe that I am sharing with you today. And that recipe is my zucchini noodle pad thai.
If you don't have a spiralizer, I encourage you to invest in one. Mine was purchased from Williams Sanoma. It even comes with a recipe book, if you're not sure where to begin your spiralizing adventure. I have also seen them on Amazon.
This salad is quick and nutritious, and can be modified any which way you'd like. I made up my ingredient list, so feel free to do the same.
I've made this recipe a few different ways. I love incorporating different colours for aesthetic pleasure, but my end-of-week refrigerator contents were limiting this time around. However, I encourage you to spiral in some beets (those are usually in pad thai, right?), as well as yellow zucchini, which I generally like to incorporate.
Working with what we had, here's what I used this week:
I began by spiralling my zucchini. At this point, you would also spiral whatever other veggies you choose to add in. You can also spiral the carrots if you'd like.
(let's play a game: how many times can she use any derivative of the word "spiral" in one post?)
Next, I chopped my carrots in long, thin pieces. You can julienne these as well. I'm not that skilled, and I don't think these count. "Thinly sliced" is more representative of my work.
Then I chopped up my green onion.
And thew it all together, including the cashews.
Next, add the kelp noodles. If you've never had kelp noodles--do not be afraid. They are a simple plant-based food from the sea. They really don't have much taste, but I really enjoy the texture they add to a noodle dish. I can usually find them in my local organic grocery store. The more the better, in my opinion. Load 'em on there.
Finally, I like to use a sesame or peanut dressing on this salad. You can either make it from scratch, or choose your favourite pre-made brand. Unless the entire salad will be eaten in one day, I will add the dressing to individual servings so that the veggies don't get soggy.
Last time I made this salad, I blanched the zucchini and let it cool before assembling the ingredients. However, this time, I decided to use raw zucchini, as I wanted something a little crispier. Both methods worked well.
I love how colourful and light this salad is. Perfect for a sunny day!