Thursday, February 23, 2017

how to eat pumpkin seed protein (and not vomit)

A couple weeks ago I went a'hunting for good protein powder of the non-soy non-whey variety. I am not a health nut and I am as far from "crunchy" as you can get, though we keep our Little Debbie snacks and fast food runs to an almost non-existent minimum (though that's more for financial reasons than health reasons, I love me a good swiss roll). I say is only to explain why, after I found and purchased this pumpkin seed protein powder at a local grocery store, I brought it home and stared at it in total confusion having literally no idea how to ingest the substance. I stored it right next to our plant food in the cupboard and found myself getting confused between the two every time I opened it.

Then one morning I tried it in a smoothie and almost gagged and threw it up with every sip. I was sure I had accidentally scooped out the plant food instead (in reality I hadn't, it just tasted that awful.) A few Google searches turned up very little by way of good ideas on how to use the powder so I started experimenting and came up with a couple good (one good and one VERY good) recipes that I thought I'd share in case anyone else in the world is confusedly staring at this weird powder on their counter and not sure how to digest it in a semi-palatable fashion. 

The first is the good one and is a spin off of Against All Grain's Dark Chocolate Peanut Butter Granola bars,

Here are the ingredients I had and used:
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla
  • 1/4 cup honey
  • 1/2 cup natural peanut butter
  • 2 tablespoons coconut oil
  • 1 1/2 cup raw almonds
  • 1 1/2 cup raw cashews
  • 1 cup chopped dates (the second time I had no more dates so I tried raisins- stick with dates)
  • 1/4 cup shredded coconut
  • 2 tablespoons chocolate chips 
  • 2 heaping scoops pumpkin protein powder
Throw all dry ingredients in a large food processor (I included the chocolate here so that it would be more evenly distributed and fool me into thinking there was more than there actually was), pulse away until it's finely ground.

Melt honey, peanut butter and coconut oil in a saucepan and pour over the dry ingredients, mix and mash into a well greased 9x13 pan. Freeze for 2 hours, cut into bars and refrigerate.

These have been super handy to just grab out of the container and eat when I have no time in the morning, or to take in the car if I have to leave and haven't eaten. And as an added bonus! My typically health-food hating kids loved them. Score.

The next is the VERY good one and is a spin off of Grace at Camp Patton's Grain Free Granola recipe.

Here's what I had that I used:
Missing the coconut since I had already thrown the empty bag away. Can you tell I shop at Aldi? Almost exclusively.

1 1/2 cups shredded coconut
1 1/2 cup almonds
1 1/2 cashews
1 cup pecan pieces
1 tablespoon cocoa powder
1 teaspoon cinnamon
1 teaspoon cardamom (these 2 spices did a LOT for the flavor)
1/2 cup raisins(I didn't have any neat berries like Grace did in her recipe, so I just threw a few raisins in and called it good.)
3 tablespoons coconut oil
1/4 cup maple syrup (or honey) (I used extra maple syrup and probably could have gone with less but I really wanted it to not taste like the pumpkin protein)
2-3 heaping scoops pumpkin seed protein powder

Pulse nuts, cocoa powder, spices and protein powder in large food processor, enough to get them semi-chopped, but NOT finely ground. So, a few times? (stick to non-recipe blogging, Ana, sheesh!) Throw them in a large bowl. Melt maple syrup and coconut oil in saucepan and pour over the dry stuff, then toss (ok, gently put) onto a lined, greased pan and bake at 325 for about 10 minutes,

(Take this opportunity to take a selfie of yourself in your apron to prove that you were indeed making this granola)

Then take out the pan, turn the heat up to 335 and mix your raisins (or whatever dried fruit you have) in with the granola and bake for about 5 minutes more (I had never done this before trying Grace's recipe and I really loved the outcome- thanks, Grace!) Store and eat with almond milk (my favorite) or with yogurt or straight out of the bag or whaaaatever)
I was so very pleased with the outcome of this and now I just have to try to not eat it all in one sitting.
The pumpkin seed protein added a really nice texture to the granola that grains would usually bring plus it boasts 15 grams of protein per scoop, so it's a nice addition for packing the extra protein punch you need when you're a tired, frazzled mother. I only did 2 scoops in this batch but I will probably go ahead and add a third scoop to the next batch so that each serving has an optimal dose of protein.

So that is that. This post is not sponsored in any way, but if you happen to pass this crazy powder in the vitamin aisle, I would actually recommend it because these 2 recipes are both ones I will be using again and again and again.... you get it.

Happy weekend! 

1 comment :

  1. Aldi is awesome! I love that you are sharing recipes and healthy goodness. :)