If you are ever looking to irritate a vegetarian, (And why would you want to do that? We’re lovely folk.) the best way to do it is to sidle up and ask where we get our protein. There is something about hearing that a person is a vegetarian that turns random bystanders who live on a diet of potato chips and ramen noodles into nutritional experts. After this many years I have answers for this perennial favorite question.
Options depending on my mood:
- Protein deficiency is a rare condition in people who are getting adequate caloric intake because of … science, science, science until their eyes glaze over.
- Gorillas are vegetarians with a similar digestive tract to humans and they don’t have any problems with muscle mass.
- If you are really interested I can give you information about (insert athletes from NFL players to bodybuilders to runners who have written about their diets.)
- Do I LOOK like I’m wasting away to you? (This works best if like me you are a fat vegetarian.)
Now, I’m not saying that I’ve been immune to the lure of protein powders. I’ve used protein powders in smoothies before because it seemed like the thing you do. It is an easy way to increase your nutrition especially if you’ve been eating a terrible diet the rest of the time. I don’t use them routinely though.
When Naked Nutrition contacted me to offer their protein powder for review, I chose to try the brown rice version. It is vegan. It isn’t made with a lot of extraneous ingredients – hence the Naked label.
At first, I planned on just trying it in a smoothie. But here’s the thing. I’m terrible at smoothies. I buy bananas and spinach intending to make smoothies every morning. I get lazy. I’m not sure why I think making a smoothie is such hard labor when I’ll gladly cook something instead but I’m not pretending to be logical. Then the bananas go bad so I throw them away. Then I buy more. Basically I’m just subsiding the organic banana industry and taking bananas on a drive from the store to my house before they go in the trash.
I did manage one smoothie though. My go to smoothie recipe is pretty basic. I do a banana, frozen fruit, spinach, and coconut milk. When I add protein powder it always makes it taste chalky to me. Maybe I need to add more ingredients to cover up the taste. When I used the Naked protein powder it was still slightly chalky but not as strong as others I’ve tried.
So then I decided to try the protein powder in different forms since I’d never remember to make enough smoothies to use up the whole container.
Test 1 – Rice Crispy Treats
The Bigman’s World was my inspiration for this. I used his Cake Batter Rice Crispy Treats recipe. It is just rice cereal, protein powder, maple syrup, and peanut butter. I put mine in a loaf pan instead of muffin tins and I didn’t make the glaze that he recommends. See his recipe for proportions and directions.
These are amazing. They don’t taste like rice krispie treats to me though. They taste like no bake cookies. Maybe that’s because I’m not used to having peanut butter in my rice krispie treats so my brain interprets these in another way. For my next batch I’m going to try mixing in some cocoa powder and then they will taste just like no bake cookies. The protein powder taste disappeared totally in this recipe. This is a winner. The only problem that I had was that it took my batch overnight to set up.
Test 2 – Apple Dip
- 15 oz Canned white beans drained
- 1 scoop Protein Powder
- 3 Tablespoons Maple Syrup
- 2 Tablespoons Peanut Butter
- 1 Tablespoon Vanilla
- Nondairy milk as needed to thin
Combine all ingredients except milk in high speed blender.
Add in milk a small amount at a time to thin to desired consistency.
This is like protein overload. Beans, protein powder, and peanut butter? I didn’t want the peanut butter in it because I’m not a huge fan but it wasn’t tasting like much of anything without it. This also tasted better after a day in the fridge.
Test 3 – Mocha Drink
So if I’m not a huge fan of protein powder in cold drinks, what about hot ones? I’ve been making this concoction when I want to feel good about myself for not wasting money at Starbucks. I decided to add protein powder to it.
- 1 scoop Protein Powder
- 1 packet Hot Chocolate mix
- 1 cup Coffee
- 1 cup Nondairy milk
- LOTS Whipped Cream optional, I suppose
Mix together the protein powder and however much of your hot chocolate mix is recommended for 1 cup of hot chocolate.
Add coffee. I use a Keurig and select the large cup size.
Add the nondairy milk. I don't heat mine because I like it to cool down the coffee. You can get fancier if you like.
Add on a slab of whipped cream because you know you want to.
This was amazing. No chalkiness at all. Now I can pretend that I am both frugal and healthy (if I leave off the whipped cream and the caramel sauce that I’ve been known to drizzle on this.) 100% will make again.
Thanks to Naked Nutrition for sending me the Naked Rice powder.